Justice of the Peace initiative

Justices of the Peace (JPs) have been a part of QCAT since a trial was implemented in Brisbane, Ipswich, Maroochydore, Southport and Townsville in June 2013.

A panel of two JPs, one of whom must be legally qualified, constitute the tribunal to resolve some minor civil disputes (MCDs) valued up to $5,000, including:

  • non-urgent residential tenancy disputes;
  • minor debt matters;
  • consumer and trader disputes;
  • dividing fence matters; and
  • property damage disputes.

JPs have brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to resolve these MCDs. The initiative recognises the significant voluntary contribution of JPs in Queensland and provides access to swift and fair justice by reducing costs associated with MCDs and allowing QCAT adjudicators, and magistrates to focus on more complex matters.

Ongoing research shows user satisfaction for MCDs heard by a JP panel is comparable to overall user satisfaction in the MCD jurisdiction.

In 2016-17, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 was amended to enable JPs to hear MCDs on a permanent basis. Work is underway to embed the use of JPs in to business as usual operations in QCAT, and JPs will continue to hear MCDs in the five locations.

Fast facts

2016-17 (as at 30 June 2017):

  • 75 QCAT JPs are appointed
  • JPs heard 2,229 MCD matters
  • Matters within JPs jurisdiction reached a clearance rate of 93%
  • JPs delivered low levels of adjournment (8%), appeal (1.7%) and complaint (0.6%)

Since 2013:

  • Since 2013, QCAT JPs have heard over 12,600 matters across five sites
  • Two JPs have been appointed as a QCAT adjudicator
  • Five JPs have been appointed as a QCAT sessional member

Expressions of interest

Recruitment of QCAT JPs is currently closed. You can register your interest in the initiative at any time.

To register your interest please email QCAT.JPTraining@justice.qld.gov.au.