Chances are if you need to sign a legally binding document a Justice of Peace (JP) or notary public may be needed. A JP or a Notary public is someone who is authorised to witness the signing of a statutory declaration or affidavit.
Justice of Peace
The primary role of a Justice of peace is to:
- Witness statutory declarations, oaths or affidavits
- Certify copies of original documents
A JP is appointed by the governor of their state and works in a voluntary position. They are an independent witness that oversees the execution of signing official legally binding documents. Due to the importance of their role they are restricted from doing the following:
- Charging a fees
- Refusal of service unreasonably
- Assist in the creation of statutory documents
- Provide any legal advice during their role as a JP
Where do I find a justice of peace?
The NSW government provides citizens with a JP public register that can be easily accessed online. The website allows you to customise your search for a JP by selecting your preferred suburb, day, time and language. The NSW government website can be accessed through this link: https://www.jp.nsw.gov.au/findajp
A Notary public is able to execute all roles that a JP is able to do however they are not restricted by Australian jurisdiction. A Notary Public is recognised both within Australia and internationally. They also have an official seal that is recognised in Australian, foreign and international courts. A notary public primary role is to:
- Witness documents
- Administer oaths
- Certify copies of original documents.
Where do I find a notary public?
The Notary Locator website is the primary source of finding a Notary across Australia. Like the JP register it also allows you to customise your search by suburb and language. The website can be accessed through this link: https://www.notarylocator.com.au/NSW
Main differences of JP and Notary Public
|Justice of Peace||Notary Public|
|Recognised throughout Australia||Yes||Yes|
|Have there own official seal||No||Yes|
|Witness affidavits and statutory declaration||Yes||Yes|
|Provide international recognised documents||No||Yes|
Both a JP and Notary Public are able to witness statutory declarations and affidavits. If you require international recognition then a Notary Public would be of better assistance for such a matter. There are hundreds of JPs and Notary Publics available depending on your preferences and are all easily found through the locator websites.