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Apply to become a justice of the peace

A Justice of the Peace is a member of the public who hears less serious criminal cases such as:

  • theft
  • minor assault
  • antisocial behaviour
  • road traffic offences

A Justice of the Peace does not need to be legally qualified. They are ordinary members of the community who volunteer their time.

The Justice of the Peace hears the case and decides whether an accused person is guilty or innocent. They can give punishments such as:

  • fines of up to £2,500
  • prison for up to 2 months
  • disqualifications
  • unpaid work in the community

Justices normally sit alone but have a legal adviser in court to help with questions about the law.

Who can become a Justice of the Peace

Justices come from a wide range of backgrounds and occupations.

You do not need formal qualifications or legal training. You'll get full training for the role, and a legal adviser in court will help you with questions about the law.

You cannot become a Justice of the Peace if you:

  • are over 75
  • are a local authority councillor
  • are a member of the Scottish Parliament, the House of Commons or the House of Lords
  • have been the subject of sequestration or bankruptcy proceedings

Time off work

The role of Justice of the Peace is voluntary and unpaid, although you may get reasonable travel expenses. Most employers will give you time off with pay or let you claim for your loss of earnings. 

Find out more about time off work for public duties

Apply to become a Justice of the Peace

You do not need specific qualifications but you'll need to be highly committed and be able to make good, sound judgements.

You must live within 15 miles of the sheriffdom you work in.

Current Vacancies

There are currently no Justice of the Peace vacancies.

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