Frequently Asked Questions

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In order to assist you in preparing for this application process, the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee (JPAAC) has developed a set of frequently asked questions. These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) cover a variety of topics. We hope that they will provide the answers you need.

Committee Process

An application for a vacancy must be completed on the current Application Form. The Application Form is available only during an advertising period. The form can be found on the Committee’s website at www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jpaac/application/.

What is the role of the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee?

The Committee’s responsibility under the Justices of the Peace Act is to classify candidates for appointment as “Not Qualified”, “Qualified” or “Highly Qualified”. Classifications are based on a thorough review and evaluation process. The evaluation process may or may not include an interview. Classifications are reported to the Attorney General, who recommends candidates for Order-in-Council appointments to the Ontario Court of Justice.

Will I know what my classification is?

No. As with similar committees of this kind, your classification is not disclosed to you.

How long will a classification be valid?

Your classification for an advertised vacancy is valid until that vacancy is closed.

When may I apply?

You may apply for an advertised position during the period stated in the advertisement.

Can I submit an application even if there is no advertisement?

No. Applications are accepted only during the Committee’s advertising period for a specific justice of the peace vacancy. Applications are not accepted on an ongoing basis.

When will there be an advertisement for applications?

The Committee advertises for applications for vacant justice of the peace positions upon the request of the Attorney General.

How will I know that a vacancy exists?

All vacancies are advertised. As well, vacancies will be posted on the JPAAC website.

May I be notified if a vacancy arises?

If you would like to receive e-mail notification of advertised vacancies, please go to the Advertisements page of the Committee’s website at www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jpaac/advertisements and click on the “Subscribe to Vacancy Notifications (via E-Mail)” link on that page.

What happens after I submit my application?

You can expect to receive an acknowledgement letter following the closing date for applications. There may be a delay in acknowledgement due to the volume of applications received.

A panel of Committee members will review and evaluate your application. The Committee may/may not choose to interview you as part of the evaluation process.

The evaluation results in a classification, which will then be reported to the Attorney General. The Attorney General may, at his/her discretion, recommend you for appointment as a justice of the peace to the Lieutenant Governor in Council to fill the vacant position.

All applications received become the property of the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee and will NOT be returned.

I wish to contact the Committee regarding my application. Whom should I contact?

All communication from the candidate is to be made through the JPAAC Coordinator. It is not appropriate to contact members of the Committee at any stage of the application and evaluation process.

Will the Committee consider additional information after the closing date of an advertised vacancy?

No. Candidates are to consider carefully the information submitted in their application. Only updates to personal and/or referee contact information are permitted

The Justice of the Peace Position

What is the role of a justice of the peace in Ontario?

A description of the role can be found at www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jpaac/role/.

Do I require legal experience?

No. The justice of the peace bench is a lay bench. There is no requirement that a candidate for the position have legal training or experience in the justice system. As a result, justices of the peace have varied educational, business and community backgrounds. All new justices of the peace, regardless of background, go through a rigorous training and mentoring program prior to presiding on their own.

What are the salary and benefits for a full-time presiding justice of the peace?

Full-time presiding justices of the peace are paid $132,828 per annum; in addition, they have a comprehensive pension and insured benefits package, including annual vacation of twenty-two (22) working days.

How long may a justice of the peace serve?

A justice of the peace who is 65 years of age or older may continue in office until he or she reaches 75 years of age, subject to the annual approval of the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 2, s. 39 (5).

Are there part-time justice of the peace positions available?

No. The Committee has the mandate to classify candidates for full-time justice of the peace positions.

How demanding can I expect the role of a justice of the peace to be?

While most duties fall within a regular business day, a justice of the peace may be required to work at any hour of the day and on weekends or holidays. Justices of the peace are expected to travel within the region to which they are assigned, and occasionally elsewhere in the province. For example, justices of the peace appointed in the Central East Region are subject to assignment to the Telewarrant Centre. Assignments of justices of the peace are at the direction of the regional senior judge or regional senior justice of the peace.

What is the Telewarrant Centre?

The Telewarrant Centre is located in the Central East Region and operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week. A justice of the peace assigned to the centre will consider search warrants and other emergency applications by law enforcement agencies around the province. Shifts are 12 hours in length and a regular rotation of this assignment can be at either the Newmarket or Oshawa criminal courthouses. A full rotation lasts five weeks and consists of seven day shifts and seven night shifts. All justices of the peace in the Central East Region will be assigned to work at least one full rotation per year at the Telewarrant Centre.

If I am appointed as a justice of the peace and I have to re-locate, will I be paid for my re-location expenses?

No. If you are required to re-locate to accept your position, any re-location costs are borne by you.

I understand that I will be assigned to a base court in my region. What is a base court?

A justice of the peace is assigned a base court. He/she will likely have an office, or an office shared with a colleague, at his/her base court location.

For details regarding the base court locations, please refer to the Base Court Description webpage at www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jpaac/base-court-description.

Request for transfer of a base court by a justice of the peace within the first five years of appointment is discouraged and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Associate Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Where are the base courts?

Maps showing the location of base courts in each region can be found on the Advertisements page of the Committee’s website at: www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jpaac/advertisements.

Application Process

How do I apply?

When a vacancy for which you wish to apply is advertised, download the current Application Form from the Committee’s website at: www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jpaac/application/. Read the application package thoroughly, review the FAQs to answer questions, complete the form and submit the package as detailed in the instructions. If you are applying to more than one vacancy being advertised at the same time, you must indicate all vacancy identifiers on the same form. Please be thorough. Other than the exceptions listed above, changes are not allowed to your application after the closing date.

Which application form should I be using?

You are required to use the current Application Form. Please ensure that you read the application instructions carefully and provide detailed and complete answers. During an advertising period, the form can be downloaded from www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jpaac/application/.

Are there additional procedures if I apply for a position advertised as “bilingual”?

Courts in Ontario operate in both official languages, English and French. Bilingual justice of the peace positions require a Superior level of oral and written proficiency in French, in addition to a high degree of proficiency in English. If you apply for a position identified as bilingual, you may be required to complete a standardized language proficiency test on which you must achieve a Superior level of proficiency.

If the Committee requires you to complete a language proficiency test, you will be contacted by the JPAAC Coordinator. Questions about the results of the test MUST be directed to the evaluator.

I took a French language proficiency test as part of a previous JPAAC application process but did not score at the Superior level. When may I re-take the test in order to apply for a posted bilingual vacancy?

French proficiency tests are valid for five years (as per the Ministry of the Attorney General’s French Language Services Office). If you have been tested as part of the JPAAC application process and wish to be re-tested within the five-year period, you may do so independently at your own expense. Contact the JPAAC Coordinator for information on how to arrange for Ontario government-approved French language testing.

If I re-take the test, how do I report my new French language proficiency test rating?

Details regarding your testing outcomes may be provided in the Supplementary Information section of the Application Form. You may also be asked to submit a copy of the evaluator’s report.

I am an Indigenous person. May I self-identify on the Application Form?

Yes. The Committee encourages Indigenous persons to self-identify on the Application Form.

What if I missed the deadline to file my application?

Your application will not be considered. All applications received become the property of the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee and will NOT be returned.

If I have previously applied, when may I apply again?

You may apply when a vacancy is advertised.

Can I re-file the application I filed previously?

No. Each application must be submitted on the current Application Form with content supporting the specific advertised vacancy(ies). During an advertising period, the form can be downloaded from the Committee’s website at www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jpaac/application/.

How many copies of my Application Form do I need to file?

You are required to submit one original signed Application Form plus eight copies for each region to which you are applying. The original Application Form is held by the JPAAC Coordinator. The copies are distributed by the JPAAC Coordinator to the Committee members evaluating the applications.

If applying to a vacancy/vacancies in one region, submit your signed original Application Form plus eight copies of this signed Application Form, for a total of nine applications in your complete submission.

If applying to vacancies in more than one region, submit your signed original Application Form plus eight copies of this signed Application Form for each of the regions to which you are applying.

Below are three examples of applications and the number of copies required in each situation.

Example #1 – Candidate applies to vacancies in Fort Frances and Kenora

BASE COURT VACANCY REGION APPLICATION FORM + COPIES REQUIRED
Fort Frances Northwest Region 1 original + 8 copies
Kenora

Example #2 – Candidate applies to vacancies in Cornwall and Timmins

BASE COURT VACANCY REGION APPLICATION FORM + COPIES REQUIRED
Timmins Northeast Region 1 original + 16 copies
Cornwall East Region

Example #3 – Candidate applies to vacancies in Barrie, London, Newmarket, Toronto and Windsor

BASE COURT VACANCY REGION APPLICATION FORM + COPIES REQUIRED
Barrie Central East Region 1 original + 24 copies
Newmarket
London West Region
Windsor
Toronto Toronto Region

May I complete a separate Application Form for each vacancy to which I am applying?

No. All vacancies must be indicated on the same Application Form if you are applying to more than one advertised vacancy during the same advertising period.

What do I need to do if I have already submitted my application but now I wish to apply for an additional vacancy during the advertising period?

You must email the JPAAC Coordinator at JPAAC.Info@ontario.ca and advise of the change you wish to make. The Coordinator will email you instructions on how to amend your application.

NOTE: If you fail to submit a complete package (as noted in the instructions you are given) by the closing date, your application will only be considered for the previously identified vacancy(ies).

Where do I find the Vacancy Identifier and Region with respect to an advertised vacancy?

The Vacancy Identifier and Region can be found on the Advertisements page of the Committee’s website at: www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jpaac/advertisements.

May I attach additional information and/or letters of reference to my Application Form? 

No. The Committee will review only the documents requested in the prescribed Application Form.

I have more than one degree. Must I submit copies of all my degrees?

If you possess multiple degrees, you may choose to submit only a copy of the highest ranking degree.

I have a degree/transcript from abroad. Am I required to submit a certified translated copy?

Yes. Candidates who hold university/college degrees/diplomas from outside Canada are required to supply the Committee with a translated certified copy of the degree/diploma/transcript when submitted in a language other than English or French.

I do not have a copy of my diploma, degree or an official transcript. Do I need to obtain one?

Yes. Your application must contain evidence of your scholastic completion at the post-secondary level. Filing instructions indicate that you are to attach one photocopy of your degree, diploma or official transcript to the back of the signed original Application Form which you are submitting. Any documents submitted will not be returned.

There is no need to submit evidence of completion of individual courses.

If you have tried all resources available to you and are still unable to obtain a copy of the required documents, you must attach to your Application Form an explanation of why the documents are not available, as noted in section 7B of the Application Form.

If you are unable to obtain the degree/diploma/official transcript in time for submission with your application, please attach a letter to the Application Form indicating that you have requested the documents. In the letter, you should indicate the dates on which the request(s) have been made. Upon receiving the documents, please forward copies to the JPAAC Coordinator.

What will the Committee do with my application if I do not file the required copies or if my application is incomplete?

Your application may not be considered. All applications received become the property of the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee and will NOT be returned.

The following is a sample of the deficiencies the Committee has received during our previous application periods:

  • signature missing;
  • pages/copies missing;
  • use of incorrect Application Form;
  • handwritten application;
  • evidence of degree/diploma omitted and explanation not provided.

The above is not an exhaustive list of deficiencies, containing only the most common. Please check your application thoroughly before submission to ensure it is complete. Applications cannot be amended following the closing date of an advertised vacancy.

What will the Committee do with my application if I do not indicate that I meet the requirements of the vacancy?

To be considered for a vacancy for an advertised justice of the peace position, you must clearly indicate that you meet all of the requirements of that vacancy. Failing to demonstrate that you meet the requirements of the vacancy and the General Selection Criteria may result in a “Not Qualified” classification.

Please Note: The Committee is unable to evaluate candidates who fail to meet or demonstrate that they meet the minimum qualifications for consideration.

All applications received become the property of the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee and will NOT be returned.

How do the General Selection Criteria, included with the Application Form, bear on the evaluation process?

During the evaluation process, Committee members will consider very carefully how the candidates meet the selection criteria for the position. Throughout the application process, candidates shall provide evidence that they meet all of the Selection Criteria. In addition, the candidate review process will consider the desirability of reflecting the diversity of Ontario’s population in appointments of justices of the peace and an assessment of the skills, abilities, and personal characteristics of candidates against those desired in a justice of the peace.

After I submit my application, what should I do if I want to update my personal contact information listed on page 1of the Application Form? 

You must re-submit, to the JPAAC Coordinator, an updated paper copy of page 1 of the Application Form with a covering letter advising of the updated information.

Should I attend court while preparing my application?

You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role of a justice of the peace. The Committee strongly recommends that you attend various courts where a justice of the peace is presiding, such as a Provincial Offences court and Bail court. Should you be unsure of which court you are attending, justices of the peace are identified by a green sash over their robes.

What do I need to do if I wish to withdraw an application for a vacancy?

You may withdraw your application for a vacancy at any time in the process, before or after the closing date for applications. All withdrawals must be clearly stated in writing. Please email the JPAAC Coordinator at JPAAC.Info@ontario.ca stating the Vacancy Identifier(s) of the location(s) from which you wish to withdraw. You may withdraw your application for a single vacancy or you may withdraw your application for all vacancies in this manner.

Interviews

Will I be interviewed as part of the evaluation process?

The evaluation process may or may not include an interview.

If I am interviewed for a vacancy, can the details from that interview be used in the classification for another vacancy to which I apply?

Yes. During the classification process for a vacancy, the Committee considers information from a number of sources, including the application provided, references, security and disclosure checks and other interviews held before the Committee. However, the Committee may also choose to re-interview a candidate who has applied for another vacancy.

When can I expect to be notified if I am selected for an interview?

The Committee receives a significant number of applications, all of which are thoroughly evaluated. As a result, a considerable amount of time may elapse between the submission of an application and the request by the Committee for the candidate to attend an interview. There may be a very short period of time between an invitation to a candidate to attend an interview and the date of the interview.

Who will be present at the interview?

There will be a panel of at least four members of the Committee, at least one of whom will be a lay member from the region of the base court to which you have applied and another of whom will be a judicial member.

How should I prepare for the interview?

You should familiarize yourself with the role of a justice of the peace.

What do I need to bring to the interview?

You do not need to bring anything to the interview.

May I make notes during the interview?

Yes. However, any notes that you make during the interview must be left in the designated location in the interview room.

Are my travel expenses and any related costs to attend the interview paid by the Committee?

No. The candidate incurs all travel expenses and related costs to attend the interview.

What if I am not able to attend my interview?

The Committee will make every effort to re-schedule your interview.

If I have been assigned an interview date and time and subsequently wish to cancel my interview, whom do I contact?

All contact with the Committee is to be done through the JPAAC Coordinator.

What if I am invited to attend an interview and require special accommodation?

The Committee’s policies and processes for review and evaluation of candidates are in compliance with the accessibility provisions under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001. Please contact the JPAAC Coordinator to advise of the accommodation required.

What happens after the interview?

The Committee will classify you.

Additional Steps

You should contact all referees, in advance of your application, to advise them of your application and of the role of a justice of the peace.

If the contact information for a referee you have provided has changed, you must submit this information to the JPAAC Coordinator immediately. The JPAAC Coordinator will record that information and provide it to the Committee.

When will my referees be contacted?

Referees may be contacted any time after your application is filed; however, they may not be contacted at all, at the discretion of the Committee.

What do I do if I want to change a referee after my application is submitted?

Submit any request for change to the JPAAC Coordinator with an explanation for the change and the Committee will consider your request.

Security and Disclosure Checks

Please note that candidates will be required to provide permission for the Committee to conduct various security and disclosure checks. The security check consists of a name search through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) to obtain information on criminal convictions.

Candidates for appointment as a justice of the peace who are or have been members of a professional organization are required to permit disclosure by the organization to the Committee or the Attorney General of any complaints, charges, insurance or compensation claims made against them.

If I am appointed as a justice of the peace, how soon would I be expected to assume my duties?

Although the JPAAC does not make appointments, the Committee understands that the usual timeline for assuming one’s duties is short, approximately two to three weeks – potentially sooner – after receiving notification of the pending appointment.

What is the status of my application?

The process involved in classifying candidates is lengthy. From the time of the posting of an opening until the position is filled may take more than eight months. Once you have received your acknowledgement that your application has been received, please do not contact the JPAAC Coordinator regarding the status of your application.

For other queries, as outlined in the above FAQs, you may contact the JPAAC Coordinator in writing.

What is the E-mail Notification Registry?

The E-mail Notification Registry is the Committee’s vacancy notification e-mail list. If you are new to this registry and wish to be informed of future vacant justice of the peace positions, sign up to the Committee’s registry (vacancy notification e-mail list) to receive all notices of advertised vacancies for justice of the peace positions throughout the province. You can register to receive the notifications at www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jpaac/advertisements/registration/.

NOTE: All e-mail addresses in the E-mail Notification Registry were deleted prior to the re-launch of April 8, 2016.

For those who have registered since the re-launch of April 8, 2016, an e-mail notification has been sent and no further action is required.

Past recipients must register again to receive future e-mail notification if not already done so since April 8.