The basics you need to know about Justice of Peace and Notary Public in Australia

In Australia, the roles of Justice of the Peace (JP) and Notary Public are important in ensuring the proper execution of legal documents and providing various services to the community. While both positions involve legal services, there are some key differences between them. Keeping reading this Business Kitz blog to find out more.

What is a Justice of Peace?

A Justice of the Peace is a volunteer position that involves witnessing and certifying the execution of legal documents. JPs can be found in various locations, including community centers, government offices, and legal firms. They are appointed by the state government and hold the power to administer oaths and affirmations, witness affidavits, and certify copies of original documents.

The primary role of a JP is to ensure the authenticity and legality of legal documents. They are responsible for verifying the identity of the parties involved and ensuring that all necessary legal requirements are met before certifying a document. This may include verifying signatures, checking that dates and locations are correct, and ensuring that any legal language is correct.

In addition to certifying documents, JPs also have the power to witness statutory declarations. A statutory declaration is a written statement that is made under oath or affirmation and is used in legal proceedings. JPs are authorized to witness and certify these statements, making them a valuable resource for individuals who need to provide evidence in court or to government agencies.

What is a Notary Public?

Notary Publics, on the other hand, are professional legal practitioners who have been authorized by the state government to provide notarial services. Notarial services include witnessing and certifying the execution of legal documents, administering oaths and affirmations, and verifying the authenticity of documents for use overseas.

Notaries Public are appointed by the Supreme Court and are required to undergo specific training and meet certain standards in order to be eligible for the position. They are authorized to provide services to individuals and businesses that require legal documents to be recognized in other countries.

What are the key differences between the two?

One of the key differences between JPs and Notaries Public is the scope of their authority. While JPs are authorized to certify documents for use within Australia, Notaries Public have the authority to certify documents for use overseas. This includes verifying the authenticity of documents such as passports, visas, and business contracts.

Notaries Public are also authorized to provide authentication and legalization services for documents that require recognition in countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention for example. This includes verifying the authenticity of documents and providing an Apostille, which is a certificate that confirms the authenticity of the signature and seal of a public official.

Another important difference between JPs and Notaries Public is the fees charged for their services. JPs are volunteers and are not authorized to charge for their services. Notaries Public, on the other hand, are professional practitioners and are authorized to charge fees for their services. The fees charged by Notaries Public can vary depending on the type of service required and the complexity of the document.


Despite these differences, both JPs and Notaries Public play important roles in providing legal services and ensuring the proper execution of legal documents in Australia. They both provide valuable services to individuals and businesses and are an important part of the legal system.

In order to find a JP or Notary Public, individuals can consult the Australian government website or search for them online. It is important to verify the credentials of any JP or Notary Public before using their services, as this will help to ensure that the legal documents are properly executed and recognized.

Legal advice

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