Rex and Bob gave an entertaining and informative look at the role and history of being a Justice of the Peace.
Bob began by detailing some of the history of Justices in general and in Whyalla. History records that JP’s had their beginnings in 1195 and were proclaimed by an Act of
Parliament in 1361. Bob also recounted some of the more unusual and humorous events that he has presided over with names withheld to protect the guilty. The role of
a JP these days is primarily to certify and witness documents and take Statutory Declarations. Bob was at pains to point out that the JP is does not verify the accuracy of
statements made in the Stat. Dec. merely that the applicant is making it. These documents can then be tendered as evidence in court. There are penalties under the
Oaths Act for statements found to be false.
The JP is a voluntary position and there is no paid remuneration. There are about 60 JP’s in Whyalla who offer a document witnessing service at the Whyalla Library Rex is the Immediate Past President of the Association of JP’s of which there are approximately 3,000 in S.A. This was a most informative and interesting depiction of what it
means to be a JP in Whyalla and anyone of good character can make application to become one.