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Improved Justice of the Peace services for Kiwis

20 November 2007 Media Statement
Improved Justice of the Peace services for Kiwis

Associate Justice Minister Clayton Cosgrove today announced the release of a Justices of the Peace Best Practice Manual.

The manual contains national standards and best practice guidelines for the use of New Zealand’s Justices of the Peace and Court staff. It is a result of research by the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices’ Associations and the Ministry of Justice into the customs and practices of New Zealand JPs.

“The manual will help ensure that New Zealanders get a consistent, high quality service from Justices of the Peace (JPs) no matter where they are in the country as it clearly spells out the standards JPs should meet,” said Mr Cosgrove. “It will also be a useful tool for the hard-working men and women who give freely of their time to be JPs, and further strengthen their good reputation as highly valued volunteers in our communities.”

The Justices of the Peace Best Practice Manual includes best practice on the:
• Appointment of Justices of the Peace
• Complaints and Dispute Resolution
• The retirement of Justices of the Peace.

These measures complement the training and disciplinary regime provisions in the newly enacted Justice of the Peace Amendment Act 2007.

Mr Cosgrove thanked both the Ministry of Justice and the Royal Federation for their work in developing the manual. Mr Cosgrove said he is pleased to see that JP associations are so strongly behind the best practice guidelines that start taking effect from this month.

“In the past there has been some variation in how JPs carry out their work and in the support and training they receive. These agreed-upon standards and best practices will ensure that there is a strong, robust and consistent modern framework for JPs to support their vital work in our communities,” he said.

“These national standards and practices provide a consistent benchmark of excellence for JP associations to operate from, and further professionalise an already professional service,” Mr Cosgrove said.

The manual is available on the Ministry of Justice website (www.justice.govt.nz). Hard copies can also be requested from the Royal Federation by emailing jpfed@clear.net.nz or by writing to P.O. Box 5005, Lambton Quay, Wellington.


ends

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