JPs to mediate and judge on smaller disputes
AN EXPERIMENTAL program using Justices of the Peace to handle minor legal matters will be run across parts of Queensland, including on the Sunshine and Gold coasts, Ipswich and Brisbane.
The goal is to allow these specifically trained JPs to mediate and judge on smaller disputes - up to a value of $5000 - that would normally be handled by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The JPs are placed into two-person teams, of which one must be legally qualified.
Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie said 111 JPs had so far signed up to the plan, which would also run in Townsville.
"The JPs have undergone a rigorous selection and training process and they will continue to receive legal support throughout the pilot," Mr Bleijie said.
"The trial will be used to assess whether the use of JPs in QCAT help reduce backlogs by freeing up adjudicators to deal with more complex matters."
QCAT President Justice Alan Wilson said Queensland's JPs were ready for the new challenge.