LANGUAGE NO BARRIER TO JUSTICE OF THE PEACE SERVICES IN SYDNEY’S SOUTH WEST
Attorney General Brad Hazzard and Member for Granville Tony Issa today announced a campaign to raise awareness among culturally and linguistically diverse communities about the services provided by Justices of the Peace (JPs).
A new JP fact sheet is available in 12 languages, including Hindi, Chinese and Arabic. JP workshops have also been conducted with leaders from emerging communities in Sydney in recent months.
“Justices of the Peace don’t exist in many non-English speaking countries and recent workshops have revealed there is confusion among some of Australia’s newest residents about what JPs do and how to access their services,” Mr Hazzard said.
Justices of the Peace are relied upon as witnesses for the signing of statutory declarations or affidavits and can certify copies of original documents.
“Most people will need a JP at some point in their lives, whether it’s in the process of buying a home, accessing superannuation or going to court,” Mr Hazzard said
“If you are unable to read or understand written English, the JP should use an interpreter when witnessing your statutory declaration or affidavit, even if the JP speaks your language.”
Mr Issa said with more than 90,000 JPs in NSW, only 11 per cent indicated that they speak more than one language.
“It would be great to have even more JPs in our local area who are new citizens and who understand the challenges of dealing with official documents when you come from a different country,” Mr Issa said.
“I would really like to see more new citizens applying to become JPs to be available to witness the range of official documents we face regularly – but locals should know JPs do it as a contribution to the community and not for payment,” Mr Issa said.
People can search for a local JP or the fact sheets by visiting the online public register of JPs at: www.jp.nsw.gov.au