Minimum qualifications for consideration for an appointment as a justice of the peace are set out in subsections 2(1.1), (1.2) and (1.3) of the Justices of the Peace Act, as follows:
(1.1) No person shall be appointed as a justice of the peace under subsection (1) unless he or she has performed paid or volunteer work equivalent to at least 10 years of full-time experience and,
- has a university degree;
- has a diploma or advanced diploma granted by a college of applied arts and technology or a community college following completion of a program that is the equivalent in class hours of a full-time program of at least four academic semesters;
- has a degree from an institution, other than a university, that is authorized to grant the degree,
- under the Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000,
- under a special Act of the Assembly that establishes or governs the institution, or
- under legislation of another province or territory of Canada;
- has successfully completed a program designated as an equivalency under subsection (1.2); or
- meets the equivalency requirement set out in subsection (1.3). 2020, c. 18, Sched. 8, s. 1 (1).
(1.2) For the purposes of clause (1.1) (d), the Attorney General may designate programs that involve training in the justice system, including programs designed to enhance diversity in the justice system, as programs that meet the educational equivalency requirement, and shall make the list of programs so designated public. 2020, c. 18, Sched. 8, s. 1 (1).
(1.3) For the purposes of clause (1.1) (e), a candidate may be considered to have met the equivalency requirement if he or she clearly demonstrates exceptional qualifications, including life experience, but does not have the educational requirements set out in clauses (1.1) (a) to (d). 2020, c. 18, Sched. 8, s. 1 (1).
General Selection Criteria for Evaluating Candidates
In addition, the Act requires the Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee to develop general selection criteria.
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.
The following have been adopted by the Committee:
- Skills and/or education that are clearly relevant and transferable to the work of a justice of the peace.
- Work, volunteer or other experience that is clearly relevant and transferable to the duties and responsibilities of a justice of the peace.
- An understanding of, and the skills, abilities, and personal characteristics applicable to, the vacancy, including the pace of court, geographic and community needs.
- Awareness and understanding of the breadth and depth of the role of a justice of the peace.
- Keen interest in people and humanity, including cross-cultural experience and community engagement.
- An ability to apply superior interpersonal skills in the courtroom and maintain decorum in adversarial circumstances.
- A high level of achievement in the area(s) of employment and/or community service.
- Experience providing functional advice, guidance and assistance to/at multiple levels of authority.
- Ability and willingness to learn, substantiated through the candidate’s record of life-long learning.
- Demonstrated good judgment in the face of real or perceived conflict of interest.
- Proven ability and experience in making sound, practical and timely decisions with complex factors.
- Proven reputation for punctuality, reliability, organization skills and preparedness.
- Highly developed intellectual and analytical skills.
- Demonstrated flexibility and adaptability to change.
- Ability to work both co-operatively and independently.
- Ability to manage people, time and resources.
- Ability to present a clear, concise and well-written application that is reflective of the candidate’s interest and ability.
- Ability and willingness to travel as required.
- Bilingual ability (if applicable).
In its review process, the Committee recognizes the importance of reflecting the diversity of Ontario’s population in appointments of justices of the peace as is required by Section 2.1 (12) 6 of the Justices of the Peace Act.
Skills and Abilities
- Diverse life skills, experience and/or education that enhance and enable the work of a justice of the peace
- Ability to make sound, practical and timely judgments
- Highly developed intellectual, analytical, and decision-making skills
- Ability to keep an open mind while hearing all sides of an argument
- Ability to remain impartial and to demonstrate good judgment, including in the face of actual and/or perceived conflict of interest
- Superior active listening skills
- Superior written and oral communication skills in English and, where applicable, in French
- A skilled communicator in addressing diverse groups of people in large and small group settings
- Superior interpersonal skills, including the ability to conduct oneself in a dignified and judicious manner
- Ability and willingness to learn
- Intermediate to advanced computer skills
- Ability and willingness to travel as required
- Ability to work independently without supervision, and effectively manage a heavy workload
- Ability to work at a fast pace while also handling the stress, pressure, and isolation of judicial role
- Keen interest in people and humanity, including cross-cultural experience and engagement
- A demonstrated commitment to community service
- Awareness of and an interest in regional and social issues that give rise to cases coming before the courts
- Compassion, empathy, and respect for the essential dignity of all persons
- Moral courage and high ethics
- A reputation for honesty, integrity and fairness
- Strong, dignified interpersonal skills that command authority
- Confidence, with an absence of pomposity and authoritarian tendencies
- Work ethic, understanding and experience applicable to the vacancy in the court to which the justice of the peace is assigned
- Punctual, reliable, well prepared and organized
- Not involved in serious and/or unresolved criminal charges, professional complaints/claims, civil actions or financial claims including proposals to creditors or family support arrears, bankruptcy or matters with the Canada Revenue Agency