Frequently Asked Questions

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Updated: 5 January 2021

The Role of the Committee

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 Recommended”, “Recommended” or “Highly Recommended”. 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. Your classification is not disclosed to you.

May I contact the Committee directly to ask about my application, interview or classification?

No. All communication from the candidate is to be made through the JPAAC Coordinator. It is not appropriate to contact members of the Committee directly at any stage of the application and evaluation process.

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 posted on the JPAAC website during an advertising period.

May I be notified if a vacancy arises?

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

What is the E-mail Notification Registry?

This 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 here to receive all notices of advertised vacancies for justice of the peace positions throughout the province.

What happens after I submit my application?

You will receive an acknowledgement e-mail following the Committee’s receipt of your application. Incomplete or late applications will not be processed for review by the Committee.

A panel of Committee members will review and evaluate your application. Once the evaluations are complete the Committee will determine which applicants will be interviewed. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Following the evaluation and interviews, all candidates will be classified. The results of the classifications will then be reported to the Attorney General. The Attorney General may, at his/her discretion, recommend a candidate for appointment as a justice of the peace to the Lieutenant Governor in Council to fill the vacant position.

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

Only updates to personal and/or referee contact information are permitted. You must e-mail the JPAAC Coordinator at JPAAC.Info@ontario.ca and advise of the change. The change will be noted on your file.

In addition, you must inform the Committee of any changes to the Personal and Other Matters section of the application form such as a claim, complaint, review, suspension, sanction or any disciplinary action by a professional organization or regulatory body or involvement in litigation at any time after you have submitted your application.

Can I get feedback on my application?

No. The Committee does not provide feedback to candidates.

What is the status of my application?

The process involved in evaluation and classifying candidates is lengthy. From the time of the posting of an opening until the position is filled will take several 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 because the Coordinator will not be able to share any information regarding the confidential process.

When will appointments be made?

Committee members and staff are unable to answer queries regarding when the Attorney General will announce the justice of the peace appointments. These announcements are posted on the Ontario government’s Newsroom webpage. To view all bulletins and news releases from the Ministry of the Attorney General, click on the following link: www.news.ontario.ca/mag/en.

The Justice of the Peace Position

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

A description of the role of a justice of the peace can be found here.

Do I require legal experience?

No. The justice of the peace bench is a lay bench. There is no requirement that an applicant for the position have legal education 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 education and mentoring program prior to presiding on their own.

If I am appointed as a justice of the peace, where will I be assigned?

Vacancies are advertised by location referencing the name of a municipality where a criminal court of the Ontario Court of Justice is located (e.g., London, Cornwall). Assignments will be at this court location and other courts within the region.

You will be assigned to a location for a vacancy to which you applied. Assignments will include criminal and provincial offences courts in your region as well as telewarrant. Occasionally, you may be asked to preside at other courts in Ontario.

Requests for transfer to a different court location within the first five years of appointment will only be granted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Associate Chief Justice–Coordinator of Justices of the Peace. Please ensure that you are able and willing to preside in the court(s) to which you are applying before applying to a particular vacancy.

Where are the courts?

Maps showing the location of courts in each region can be found here.

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

Full-time presiding justices of the peace are paid $148,962 per annum; in addition, they have a comprehensive pension and insured benefits package, including annual vacation of twenty-two (22) working days.

I am over 65 years old. Can I still apply?

In 2017 Section 6 of the Justices of the Peace Act was amended to clarify that people who are 65 – 74 years of age may be appointed to the office of justice of the peace.

How long may a justice of the peace serve?

Section 6 of the Justices of the Peace Act provides that 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.

Are there part time justice of the peace positions available?

No. All Justice of the Peace appointments are full-time.

As a justice of the peace, will I be required to travel?

Yes. Justices of the peace often preside in courts throughout their region which can involve considerable travel. Travel is also required for initial and continuing education. All justices of the peace, regardless of the region or vacancy to which they are assigned, can expect to be assigned for up to one full rotation in telewarrants.

If I am appointed as a justice of the peace and I have to relocate, will I be paid for my relocation expenses?

No. You will not be paid for your relocation expenses.  Please only apply to those vacancies that you are able to fill without requiring a move, or to which you are willing to move in order to fill.

Application Process

When may I apply?

You may apply for an advertised vacancy during the period stated in a JPAAC advertisement only. You cannot submit an application when there is no vacancy posted.

Is there an application form I must use?

You must use the application form made available during an advertising period. When completing the application, please read the application instructions carefully and provide detailed and complete answers. As the Committee updates its application form regularly, only the form posted during the advertising period is accepted. Previous forms will not be accepted.

How do I apply?

When a vacancy for which you wish to apply is advertised, download the application form posted on the JPAAC website. Read the application thoroughly, observe the courts, review the FAQs to answer questions and complete the form. E-mail your application as an attachment in PDF format to the Committee as detailed in the instructions. Other than updating your contact information or referees, you are not allowed to make changes to your application after the closing date.

What do I need to know to apply for a position advertised as “bilingual”?

Courts in Ontario operate in both official languages, English and French. Justice of the peace positions designated as “bilingual” require a Superior level of proficiency in French, in addition to a high degree of proficiency in English. If you apply for a position identified as bilingual and are selected for an interview, you will 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.

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 retake 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 retake 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.

What if I missed the deadline to file my application?

Only applications received by the closing deadline can be considered by the Committee. Late applications will not be considered.

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

You may apply when a vacancy is advertised.

Can I resubmit an application from a previous JPAAC application process?

No. During an advertising period, each application must be submitted on the prescribed application form with content supporting the specific advertised vacancy(ies).

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 e-mail the JPAAC Coordinator at JPAAC.Info@ontario.ca and advise of the change. The change will be noted on your file.

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 submit copies of all your degrees or just the highest-ranking degree.

IMPORTANT:

If selected for an interview, an applicant who has completed the Post-Secondary Education section of the application must submit proof of meeting the education requirement. The applicant will be asked to e-mail a copy of all (or the highest) post-secondary degree(s) or diploma(s) or certificate(s) earned or an official transcript (together with a certified translated copy/ies, if applicable) by a specified deadline date for submission. Failure to submit proof of the education requirement will result in the cancellation of the interview. The JPAAC strongly recommends that applicants begin compiling these transcripts and proof of post-secondary education as soon as possible and submit them only at the time they are requested. Applicants selected for an interview who do not have post-secondary education and have completed the Equivalency Requirement section of the application are not required to submit this proof.

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.

IMPORTANT: If you are selected for an interview, you must submit proof that you meet the education requirement. You will be asked to e-mail a copy of all (or the highest) post-secondary degree(s) or diploma(s) or certificate(s) you have earned or an official transcript (together with a certified translated copy/ies, if applicable) by a specified deadline date for submission. If you fail to submit proof that you meet the education requirement, your interview will be cancelled. Applicants are urged to compile this information as soon as possible and have it ready when requested. If you do not have any post-secondary education and completed the Equivalency portion of this application instead, you are eligible for an interview and will be exempt from providing copies of certificates and diplomas.

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

Proof of Post-secondary Education:  Yes. If you are selected for an interview, you must submit proof that you meet the education requirement. You will be asked to e-mail a copy of all (or the highest) post-secondary degree(s) or diploma(s) or certificate(s) you have earned or an official transcript (together with a certified translated copy/ies, if applicable) by a specified deadline date for submission. If you fail to submit proof that you meet the education requirement, your interview will be cancelled. Applicants are urged to compile this information as soon as possible and have it ready when requested. Applicants are advised to contact their post-secondary institution as soon as possible to allow adequate time to process the request for proof of post-secondary education.

Equivalency for Post-secondary Education:  If you do not have any post-secondary education and completed the Equivalency portion of this application instead, you are eligible for an interview and will be exempt from providing copies of certificates and diplomas.

What are common mistakes that applicants make in filling out or submitting their application which will result in the application not being considered?

The following are some common mistakes the Committee has come across when reviewing applications:

  • failed to indicate that the candidate meets the legislated requirement of having a university degree or a diploma granted by a college of applied arts and technology or another institution as noted under subsection 2(1.1) of the Justices of the Peace Act, or that the candidate meets the equivalency requirement (subsection 2(1.3));
  • applied to a bilingual justice of the peace position which, as noted in the advertisement, requires a Superior level of proficiency in French and failed to indicate that the candidate can read, write and speak French at a Superior level;
  • failed to answer each question carefully and concisely; each question – especially the questions about transferable skills, decision making and community awareness – must be completed;
  • used the wrong application form or a form from a previous advertising period;
  • vacancy locations for which the candidate wishes to be considered are not indicated on the application form or too many vacancy locations are indicated (The committee, at its discretion, may designate a maximum number of locations that the candidate may apply to and ask the candidate to rank their preferences. Follow the instruction on the application form carefully);
  • applied to a location not currently advertised;
  • does not have the required 10 years of full time paid or volunteer work experience; and
  • did not provide the required four referees, two of which must be work/professional and two of which must be from the community.

The above is not an exhaustive list, rather it represents only some of the most common mistakes made when filling out the application Please check your application thoroughly before submission to ensure it is complete. Incomplete applications will not be considered by the Committee. 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 the requirements of that vacancy. Failing to demonstrate that you meet the requirements of the vacancy and the General Selection Criteria will result in a “Not Recommended” classification.

How do the General Selection Criteria bear on the evaluation process?

During the evaluation process, Committee members will carefully consider how the candidates meet the General Selection Criteria for the position. Throughout the application process, candidates shall provide evidence that they meet all of the General 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 1 of the Application Form?

If you wish to update your personal contact information please send an e-mail to the JPAAC Coordinator and provide the necessary updated information in that e-mail.

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 communicated in writing.  E-mail the JPAAC Coordinator and in your message state the specific vacancy location(s) from which you wish to withdraw along with your full name and home address. You may withdraw your application for a single vacancy or for all vacancies for which you have applied.

Should I attend court while preparing my application?

The application requires that you are able to demonstrate an understanding of the role of a justice of the peace. Imperative to the evaluation of your application will be your insights from observing justices of the peace, presiding over different types of courts for which justices of the peace preside. We strongly recommend that all applicants make every effort to observe these courts in action. Even if you are a frequent participant or observer in various court proceedings, we still urge the candidate to observe courts presided by a Justice of the Peace and reflect back to the Committee their observations of the proceedings.

How can I observe justices of the peace presiding in court?

All courts in Ontario are, by and large, open and accessible to the public. We acknowledge that there are presently some restrictions on in-person public access to courthouses and many courts are being accessed remotely by audio only. We recommend that you take advantage of the opportunity to access the courts remotely by audio. The Office of the Chief Justice provides direction on how one can access the courts. Detailed instructions on how to access the courts can be found here: Notice Regarding Media and Public Access to Ontario Court of Justice Proceedings during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Detailed instructions on how to access the Provincial Offences Act (POA) courts can be found here: COVID-19: Notice to Counsel/Paralegals and the Public Re: Provincial Offences Act Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice. Check the sites often for updates. All courts are open to the public, though there may be some restrictions and limitations.

In addition, you may wish to contact the relevant courthouse directly—preferably by e-mail—to request information for remote hearing access. Please be sure to ask for information on accessing courts that are presided over by a justice of the peace. E-mail contact information for Ontario courthouses is available here and phone numbers are available here. Contact information for all municipally-administered POA courts is available here. Please exercise patience with court staff as they are trying to accommodate many requests. Please be assured, the JPAAC will be reasonable and accommodating in its evaluation of the answers provided in the Understanding and Preparation section of the application form.

Interviews

Due to the volume of applications received, interviews are expected to commence in early 2021 and will take several months to complete.

Will I be interviewed as part of the classification process?

The classification process may or may not include an interview.

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.

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.

How will the JPAAC conduct interviews if there are restrictions on in-person meetings?

The JPAAC will be conducting interviews remotely via video-conference. JPAAC Coordinator will be contacting candidates selected for the interviews.

What if my access to internet or broadband technology is limited?

For those parts of Ontario where access to broadband technology may be limited, or if your individual location prevents stable connectivity, candidates may be asked to travel to a location in your region where broadband is accessible. Details will be worked out with the applicant in advance of the interviews.

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

No. Travel expenses and any related costs to attend an in-person interview, if necessary, are not paid by the Committee.

What if I am not able to attend my interview?

If you are unable to attend the interview, please inform the JPAAC Coordinator as soon as possible and at least 24 hours before your schedule time for the interview. The Committee at its sole discretion may grant an opportunity to reschedule your interview.

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.

Who will be present at the interview?

The interview panel will consist of at least three (3) Committee members, at least two of whom are Regional members from the region of the vacancy to which the candidate is applying and another of whom is a member of the Core committee. Please note, however, that your interview panel may include up to eight (8) Committee members if all five (5) Regional and all three (3) Core committee members are present.

What do I need to bring to the interview?

You do not need to bring anything to the interview, unless requested ahead of time by the JPAAC.

What happens after the interview?

The Committee will consider your application and interview.  They may contact references or conduct any other discrete inquiries as they deem appropriate.  Then the Committee will meet and classify you. That classification – “Not Recommended”, “Recommended” and “Highly Recommended” – is presented to the Minister.  This classification is confidential and results are not shared with the candidates.  The Minister may choose, at her/his discretion, to appoint any candidate from the “Recommended” and “Highly Recommended” lists.

Additional Steps

When should I advise my referees of my application?

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 e-mail this information to the JPAAC Coordinator immediately.

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 in writing for the change and provide the contact information of the new referee and the Committee will consider your request.

Security and Disclosure Checks

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.