ROYAL FEDERATION OF NEW ZEALAND JUSTICES' ASSOCIATIONS INC
Te Kāhui Pou Whakatau Ture o Aotearoa
                                                          

 

 

Royal Federation Policy


 
justice2(copy)(copy)-762

 

Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices' Associations (Inc.).

 
 
 
 

                               POLICY

 

 

 

Contents


A.          INTRODUCTION
B.          DEALINGS WITH EXTERNAL BODIES


B1.       Introduction
B2.       Select Committees / Review of Legislation
B3.       Other Bodies
B4.       Local News

C        Education

C1 Education and training - General
            C1 (a) Financial and other assistance
C2 Induction Training
C3 Judicial Justices of the Peace
            C3 (a) Judicial training and practicum
            C3 (b) Judicial panel membership and appraisal
C4       issuing Officers


D.           Complaints and complaints process 
Introduction:
D1        Complaints relating to Ministerial duties
Policy
Process
D2        Complaints Relating to Judicial Duties
Introduction
Policy
D3        Guidelines for Association Complaint Process

E.          Discipline Policy
A.      Minor (Low Level) Complaints
B.       Serious Complaints
Process
F.          Publicity and Communications
Introduction:
F1.        Publicity
National Publicity
Local Publicity
F2.        Justices Quarterly and Education Bulletin
G.         Use of letters “JP” as passed at Conference 2010
H.          Canvassing for Office
Election of Board
Recommendations

I.            Regional Conferences

 
(Updated to May 2013)

 



A - INTRODUCTION


Rule 37 of the Royal Federation constitution is binding on all affiliated Associations:
 
Every affiliated Association shall be bound by these rules and by every resolution of every General Meeting or Annual Conference of the Federation and by any decision of the Board made consistent with the powers expressed or implied in this Rule
 
These policies, while acknowledging the autonomous status of each Association, reinforce the above Rule at the same time as iterating the value of having a strong single voice providing a clear, consistent message on matters of national importance.
 
"Royal Federation" or "RFNZJA" as used in these policies means the Royal Federation of NZ Justices' Associations (Inc.).
 


 

Dealings with Government and other external bodies are necessary to ensure that the viewpoint of Justices of the Peace is considered in the development and application of legislation and policies and practices of Government Departments and other external bodies. This Section deals with statements and submissions made by or on behalf of the Royal Federation.
Rule 37 of the Royal Federation constitution is binding on all affiliated Associations:
Every affiliated Association shall be bound by these rules and by every resolution of every General Meeting or Annual Conference of the Federation and by any decision of the Board made consistent with the powers expressed or implied in this Rule
This policy, while acknowledging the autonomous status of each Association, reinforces the above Rule at the same time as iterating the value of having a strong single voice providing a clear, consistent message on matters of national importance.


B2.Select Committees / Review of Legislation

  1. Royal Federation will be the channel for submissions and/or correspondence relating to Select Committee hearings, Law Commission deliberations, or any formal review of legislation relating to Justice of the Peace matters.

  2. Individual Associations or members will, in the above respects, inform Royal Federation of any submission or correspondence they desire to be communicated.

  3. Royal Federation may, from time to time and where appropriate, enable individual Associations in consultation with Royal Federation to make submissions which are consistent with national policy.

  4. Royal Federation will, in compiling any submission to be made to a Select Committee or other such body, e.g. Law Commission, take into account the views expressed in consultation with Associations.

  5. Royal Federation will consult with all Associations prior to forwarding any formal submissions

  6. Where such advance notice is not practicable, any submission will be notified to Associations at the earliest opportunity.

  7. Royal Federation's submissions will reflect the majority view of Associations where there may be a variation of opinion.

B3.Other Bodies

Overriding principle:  Any statement given by an Association or individual must be seen to be consistent with national policy and should be given in consultation with Royal Federation.

  1. Where an Association deems it necessary to comment on matters concerning national policy or issues to other official bodies, including Local Bodies, Press, T.V. etc., this is to be in consultation with Royal Federation so as to avoid any conflict with national policy.

  2. Copies of any such correspondence or, in the event of oral comment a synopsis of the comment, are to be forwarded to Royal Federation at the earliest opportunity.

  3. Where time does not permit consultation with Royal Federation before making comment, Royal Federation is to be informed at the earliest opportunity.

 

B4.Local News

None of the above should inhibit Associations from issuing their own news items concerning activities within their own associations or the work of Justices of the Peace in general

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C. - EDUCATION
(updated May 2013)


  The following sections incorporate Royal Federation of NZ Justices’ Associations’ policies on all education matters.

C1 Education and Training - General

C1 (a) Financial and other assistance

C2 Induction Training

C2 (a) Initial Training Assessment

C3 Judicial Justices of the Peace

C3 (a) Judicial training and practicum
C3 (b) Judicial panel membership and appraisal

C4 Issuing Officers
 



C1. EDUCATION AND TRAINING - General

 
  Royal Federation Responsibilities
 
  Royal Federation will:

  1. Develop and provide training and education resources for Justices of the Peace and Visiting Justices.

  2. Ensure the provision of an academic training course for Judicial Justices.

  3. Be accountable to the Ministry of Justice for the delivery of initial training to all provisionally approved Justices of the Peace, Visiting Justices and issuing officers.

  4. Be accountable to the Chief District Court Judge for the training of Judicial Justices.

  5.  Appoint a National Education Officer with responsibility, inter alia, for:

    • Developing training and education resources and processes to support Associations.

    • Revising training and education resources where necessary.

    • Compiling training and education resources from a variety of sources including the Education Trust and making these available to associations via the Federation website.

    • Working with Associations to maximise the effect of their own training and education programmes.

    • Organising regional and national training and education seminars as required. A seminar for education officers will be run annually, alternating between Judicial and Ministerial topics.

    • Issuing bi-monthly Judicial Education Bulletins to disseminate matters of interest to Judicial Justices.

    • Providing an education component in each issue of the Justices’ Quarterly.

    • Providing on-going education for all Visiting Justices annually for the Ministry of Justice.

    • Producing regular memoranda to both Ministerial and judicial education officers.

  6. Liaise with and support association trainers and education officers (through Regional Representatives where appropriate) to ensure a consistent standard of on-going education throughout the country.

  7. Organise educational seminars as the need arises and within available resources.

 
  Association Responsibilities
 
  Every affiliated Association will:

  1. Provide appropriate education of its members using national education resources and other material issued from time to time. When requested, provide on-going education to non-members (which may be at a cost to the Justice).

  2. Appoint or elect sufficient education officers to meet the training and education needs of the association’s members.

  3. Liaise with Royal Federation on such matters as:

  • The names and contact details of current trainers and education officers.

  • Distribution and provision of training material and training to provisionally approved nominees and advice to Royal Federation of training completion as required.

  • Assistance with the delivery of training and education by the association.

  1. Deliver induction training to provisionally approved nominees and report as required in this respect to Royal Federation and be accountable to the Ministry of Justice through Royal Federation for the delivery of induction training.

  2. Deliver on-going education in ministerial duties to members at a regular interval in ministerial duties.

  3. In respect of judicial Justices:

  1. Provide support for Justices in training and a system of mentoring;

  2. Hold an education meeting at least quarterly and keep a record of those justices who attended;

  3. Undertake an annual review of the performance of each member of the panel; and

  4. Attest to Royal Federation annually on the competence of their judicial panel members based on their annual review of performance.
     


C1 (a) Financial and other assistance

  1. Funds for education and training purposes are derived from a portion of the annual grants received from Government. Where possible, funds will be made available to associations for education.

 

  1. Justices who take the role of association trainer or education officer should not be personally out of pocket for carrying out their duties.

 

  1. If at all possible and suitable, District Court facilities should be used as a venue for training and education.  

 

  1. Following directions are given in respect of claims for reimbursement of expenses:

 

  1. Venue Hire:  Reimbursement for hire of appropriate premises may be approved where it has not been possible or suitable to use Court facilities for training and education e.g. the Court may be too small for the expected numbers attending.

  2. Reproduction of training/education material: When services are not available at the Court for the production of training and education materials, reimbursement will be considered for such items as copying or printing material and preparing audio and/or visual resources.  Associations considering these methods are to seek approval from Royal Federation prior to such preparation if reimbursement is to be considered.

  3. Meals and refreshments: Claims for meals for association attendees will not be met by Royal Federation.

  4. Hire of equipment: Prior approval from Royal Federation is essential if reimbursement is expected. Note this equipment includes projectors, screens and audio equipment but not consumables. Associations are expected to use every endeavour to obtain equipment locally at no cost.

  5. Communication Grant: Every Association receives a communication grant from Royal Federation for the purposes of meeting training and education-related communication costs. No other reimbursement will be met.

  6. Transport expenses: Where association trainers or education officers are required to visit branches in order to carry out training and education under this policy, travelling expenses may be approved for reimbursement

    • for a maximum of two visits to any one branch in one financial year, unless additional visits are approved by Royal Federation

    • for travel allowance at the approved rate

If more than one Association education officer is involved in a visit to a branch, it is expected that they will travel in one vehicle. Normally not more than two or three persons should be required to visit a branch for training or education purposes.

  1. Claims:  Claims should be submitted on the current “Claim for Reimbursement of Education expenses” form through association Registrars to the Royal Federation Registrar.

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C2 INDUCTION TRAINING

 
  Royal Federation responsibilities
 
1. On receipt of information on provisionally approved nominees, Royal Federation will send to the Registrar of each nominee’s Association:

  • The list of provisionally approved nominees to be trained,

  • A manual of Ministerial duties and any other training materials for each provisionally approved nominee,

  • Clear instructions to the Registrar of the importance of getting the material to the provisionally approved nominees immediately; and

  • Royal Federation sends the provisional appointee an email containing their username and password.

 
  Association responsibilities
 
2. On receipt of the material, the association Registrar must contact the provisionally approved nominees as soon as possible, as well as the Association’s induction training officer who must ensure:

  • The distribution of training material, explanation of the material and reinforcement of the need to complete training before swearing-in,

  • The method and timing of training in line with Association policy and Royal Federation guidelines,

  • The time for completion of training including online components and consequent practice assessment.

  Important note:
 
The maximum time (as set out in the Best Practice Manual) is 4 weeks from the Association receiving the information to the completion of the Initial Training Assessment.

C2 (a) Initial Training Assessment:

 

  • After a period of preparation using the Initial Training Module (ITM) the association will arrange for the provisionally approved nominee to complete a practice assessment to demonstrate an understanding of and competence in the basic duties and responsibilities, using a format provided by Royal Federation.

  • The practice assessment will be completed under a controlled situation with the trainer.

  • If satisfied with the response to the practice assessment the Association will notify Royal Federation using the T2 Form provided.

  • If not satisfied with the response to the practice assessment the Association will identify weak areas and arrange for further training and practice assessments.

  • On receipt of T2 Form noting the successful completion of the induction training, Royal Federation will enable the provisionally approved nominee’s website account to access the Initial Training Assessment.

  • The Initial Training Assessment will be scored by Royal Federation automatically online and an email will be sent to the provisionally approved nominee and the Association with the result.

  • Where a nominee’s result is 90% or above (45+ out of 50 questions), Royal Federation will notify the Ministry of Justice.  After the Minister’s and Governor General’s approval the appointment will be Gazetted.

  • The local MP will notify the Justice of his/her appointment.

  • Following the Gazette notice Royal Federation will inform the local Association and ask for a date for swearing in to be arranged. The Royal Federation’s certificate, badge and stamp may be presented to the appointee on that occasion (by an Association representative or possibly by the District Court Judge).

  • After swearing in the Association is required to complete a T3 form and return it to Royal Federation.

  • Where a nominee’s result is below 90%, Royal Federation will notify the Association and the nominee and allow a further four weeks for further training and practice for the nominee to prepare to undertake the assessment again. If the result in the second assessment is 90% or above, Royal Federation will notify the Ministry of Justice as above.

  • In a case where a nominee does not achieve an average of 90% over the two assessments Royal Federation will not proceed with the nomination and will notify the nominee’s Association and the Ministry of Justice.

  • The Federation Registrar has the discretion to grant a third and final attempt at the assessment, after consideration of a nominee’s exceptional circumstances.

 


 
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Royal Federation of NZ Justices’ Associations Inc.

T1
 
INITIAL TRAINING MATERIAL
 

[DATE]

The Registrar
Justices of the Peace Association
 
The new Justice(s) of the Peace from your area shown in the attached spread sheet were provisionally approved on [DATE] by the Associate Minister under s 3 (1) of the Justices of the Peace Act 1957.

3 Appointment of Justices of the Peace

(1) The Governor-General may, by Warrant under his or her hand, appoint any person to be a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand.

(2) A person may not be appointed as a Justice unless he or she has completed training, approved by the Secretary, in the exercise and performance of the powers and functions of a Justice.

 
Enclosed is training material for each nominee, consisting of the Justices of the Peace Manual, Guide for Justices of the Peace and Aide Memoire.
 
It is critical under the Minister’s directives that training commences immediately and that the training and assessment are both completed within 4 weeks - with exceptions advised to Royal Federation.  Training must include the online Initial Training Module (which is found on the Royal Federation website), and the paper-based practice assessment (which is to be administered by the trainer).
 
When the nominee is ready for assessment, please send the T2 form to Royal Federation, and we will enable the website so that they can undertake the online assessment
 
Following a successful assessment result the Minister will be advised and consideration given to formal appointment.
 
When the appointment(s) are gazetted, we will forward you a certificate, badge, and stamp for each new Justice.


A L Hart

 
 
Alan Hart
Registrar


 

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Royal Federation of NZ Justices’ Associations Inc.

T2
 
NOTIFICATION OF COMPLETION OF INITIAL TRAINING


 
This form is used to confirm that the person is ready to undertake the online Initial Training Assessment.
 
 
 
Justices of the Peace Association: ...............................................
 
 
To Royal Federation:
 
This is to certify that the following Justice/s of the Peace has/have satisfactorily completed initial training and are ready to undertake the online Initial Training Assessment:
 
Name                                                  MoJ Number
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Registrar:      .......................................................                                                       
 
Date:            .......................................................                                                         
 
 
 
 
 
 
Please return to Royal Federation of NZ Justices’ Associations Inc., PO Box 5005, Lambton Quay, Wellington or email to
administrator@jpfed.org.nz
 

 
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Royal Federation of NZ Justices’ Associations Inc.
T3
 
SWORN IN NOTIFICATION


This form is used to confirm that this person has been sworn in and their details will be included in the “Find a JP” area of the website.
 
The following new Justice was sworn in on (date)………………………and is a member of the  

……………………………………………………… Association.
 

Full Name:...........................................................  
 

Address:...........................................................     
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
JP Number:...........................................................
                                                                                        
Phone (Home):...........................................................
                                                                                  
Phone (Work):...........................................................
                                                                                      
Email:........................................................... 
 
                                                                                                 
Honours (e.g. QSM):...........................................................
 
 
 
Please return to Royal Federation of NZ Justices’ Associations Inc., PO Box 5005, Lambton Quay, Wellington or email to administrator@jpfed.org.nz

 

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C3a Judicial training and practicum

Judicial training consists of a 3-stage programme:
  1. The academic judicial studies course
  2. The practicum
  3. Mentoring and on-going education.
  1. From 2014, the academic judicial studies course is that delivered by the Royal Federation in conjunction with and under contract to the Ministry of Justice and is open to all Justices of the Peace upon the recommendation of their Association.
  2. Successful completion of the judicial studies course is the first pre-requisite for consideration for selection to attend a judicial practicum.
  3. The judicial practicum is a programme of court based skills training designed to provide realistic practice of some of the main skills of a competent judicial justice.
  4. The judicial practicum is provided for Justices from Associations which attest to an actual or expected vacancy on their judicial panel and which have supported the justice to complete the judicial studies course.
  5. The length, days, dates, venue/s and content of any Judicial Practicum are decided each year by the Board, taking into account the advice of the National Education Officer (NEO).
  6. The number of places at any judicial practicum is limited, for practical and funding reasons.  The exact number of participants is decided each year by the Board, taking into account the advice of the NEO. A JP who has undertaken judicial studies for personal interest will not be eligible for practicum.
  7. Justices are invited to the practicum based on factors including: the urgency of need for a new panel member in their local area, their achievement in the judicial studies course and any other factors considered relevant by the Board at the time of deciding.
  8. Participants’ travel, accommodation and meals are provided by Royal Federation. (However participants may incur incidental personal costs.)
  9. Practicum participants are assessed as satisfactory or not satisfactory by the Chief District Court Judge (or a Judge nominated in his or her place), in fulfilment of section 3B (1) Justices of the Peace Act 1957.

 

C3b Judicial panel membership and appraisal

 

  1. Those Justices assessed as satisfactory by the Chief District Court Judge must be listed on Associations’ court panels immediately following the Judicial Practicum.

  2. Associations must make every effort to roster every new panel member to sit as an associate Justice as soon as possible.

  3. Associations must provide a programme of mentoring for new panel members for at least one year from the time of their first hearing.

  4. All panel members should be rostered as often and as regularly as possible.

  5. Associations must:

    1. Carry out an annual appraisal of the performance of each member of the panel. The appraisal may be carried out using the Association’s own processes or by the approved process provided by Royal Federation, and

    2. Attest annually to Royal Federation (which will report to the Chief District Court Judge for his or her satisfaction) that:

      1. each member of their Judicial panel has performed satisfactorily during that year and is suitable to remain on the Judicial panel and

      2. each member of their Judicial panel has attended 50% or more of the quarterly on-going education meetings held by that Association, or if not, that appropriate reasons for absence were given

  6. The annual appraisal must include the criteria for suitability as a Judicial Justice of the Peace set out below. 

  7. Where any Justice has not met the criteria for suitability as a Judicial Justice (based on the appraisal process) the Association must:

    1. Cease to roster that Justice or

    2. Roster that Justice only as an associate and provide a programme of mentoring until that Justice meets the Association’s required standards as per 5a above, provided that the standards are met before the next report is due.

  8. Judicial justices must be of a suitable age, bearing in mind that no appointment to panels should be made after the person has reached age of 70 years (Justices of the Peace Act 1957 Section 7(i) (a)).

  9. No member of the judicial panel may continue to sit in court after their 75th birthday, unless the Association has identified a need for the Judicial Justice of the Peace to continue for a specified period.

 
 

Criteria for suitability as a Judicial Justice of the Peace:

 
Prospective candidates and all practising judicial panel members must be able to demonstrate that they have all (or the majority, where applicable) of the following attributes:

  • Recognition in the community as a person of worth, integrity and honesty.

  • Thorough understanding of and, where necessary, demonstration of the ethical requirements of a judicial officer.

  • A demonstrated desire to serve the community and justice system.

  • Ability to speak and write English fluently.

  • Ability to explain complex ideas simply.

  • Ability to speak loudly and enunciate clearly.

  • Ability to listen carefully and analyse what is heard.

  • Ability to cope with the demands of study and possibly of long days in court.

  • Appropriate personality, deportment, and inter-personal skills and attributes.

  • Ability to make reasoned and impartial judgements based on relevant facts, common sense and law.

  • Ability to communicate ideas clearly and cogently.

  • Demonstrated confidence and common sense.

  • Ability to cope with the study programme, both in terms of ability and time.

  • Ability to accept their own mistakes and omissions and demonstrate learning from them.

  • Ability to adapt to different cultural perspectives.

  • Ability to put personal views second to the requirements of the law.

  • Availability to sit in court with reasonable frequency, including some extended hearings where necessary.

  • Demonstrated commitment to on-going training and education, including significant amounts of reading at times.

 

Notes and Guidelines for mentoring programmes:

  • Allocate a mentor from amongst experienced Justices. The mentor will be the first reference point for guidance and advice.

  • Assist with on-going education especially in noted areas of lack of confidence or experience.

  • Hold regular informal reviews covering:

    • Frequency of sittings and coverage of facets of work.

    • Understanding of education material and recent cases.

    • Areas of confidence.

    • Areas needing revision/education /experience.

    • General progress, e.g. bench manner, decision-making, commitment.

    • Personal goals for learning.


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C4  ISSUING OFFICERS

 
Some Justices of the Peace are personally authorised issuing officers under s108 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012. They undertake their tasks as issuing officers and not as Justices of the Peace.
 
Associations should:
 
1. Maintain a list of their members who are currently authorised as issuing officers.
 
2. Refer to Royal Federation any member who wishes to note his or her interest in becoming an issuing officer, or wishes to resign, or has resigned as an issuing officer.
 
3. Facilitate at least one meeting of issuing officers per year to share experiences and to discuss resources that will be provided by Royal Federation.

  1. The facilitator of an issuing officer meeting must be an issuing officer but may or may not be an Association education officer.

  2. Court staff who are issuing officers and others who are issuing officers in the local community must be invited to issuing officer meetings. Police and other interested parties may also be invited for discussion.

  3. Associations must advise Royal Federation when meetings are to take place.

  4. Facilitators’ costs may be claimed as per training/education sessions.

 
Adopted 18 April 2013

 



D - Complaints and complaints process

 

Introduction:

From time to time complaints will be made about Justices of the Peace. The following policy lays out the guidelines for handling complaints.
Any complaint which does not refer to any of the Ministerial or Judicial duties of the Justice concerned will not be dealt with under this Complaints Policy.
A complaint is a submission or accusation that implies some degree of dereliction of duty or misconduct by a Justice of the Peace by either commission or omission. Complaints may be made by a Justice of the Peace or any other person or organisation.
The Complaints process shall be managed as follows and “serious situations” managed as set out in Part 4 of the Justices of the Peace “BEST PRACTICE MANUAL – November 2007”

D1    Complaints relating to Ministerial duties

Policy

In the first instance, such complaints will be handled by the Association concerned.

  • Complaints must be in writing unless circumstances dictate otherwise.  Any complaint must be treated with tact, neutrality and goodwill, avoiding any sense of defensiveness and giving an assurance that the complaint will be investigated.

  • The Justice in question must be advised in writing within 10 working days, of the nature of the complaint and be given an opportunity to explain the circumstances giving rise to the complaint.

  •  A Justice about whom a complaint is made must not take any part in the deliberations except to give evidence.

  • Both the complainant and the Justice concerned must be informed of the outcome of the complaint at the earliest opportunity.

  • Each Association must have an established process for dealing with such complaints. It is recommended that such process follow the guidelines as set out below.

 

Process

Low-level complaints.

Where a complaint against a Ministerial JP is of a minor nature, such as an incorrect following of process, the issue should be dealt with at the Association level.
There should be liaison between the JP Association and the Royal Federation as to how the investigation will progress and a record of such complaints and their resolution should be kept by the Association and be accessible to Royal Federation if required.
“Low-level” complaints that cannot be appropriately resolved and more serious complaints such as charging for services, breach of confidence, or incompetence, shall be referred to the Ministry of Justice.  Please refer to the Flow charts below.
If the complaint is considered justified, the Minister of Justice may recommend to the Governor-General to direct the Minister to reprimand the JP, direct the JP to apologise, request the JP undertake further training, or suspend or remove the JP from office.
Key points about the Complaints Resolution process for Ministerial Justices of the Peace:

  • Complaints that are “low level” are dealt with by the JP Association if possible, with notification to the Royal Federation Registrar at all times.

  • The Royal Federation keeps a register of all complaints.

  • “Low level” complaints that cannot be appropriately resolved and serious complaints are referred to the Office of Legal Counsel, Ministry of Justice for investigation.

  • If the complaint is considered justified, the Minister of Justice may recommend to the Governor-General that the JP be disciplined in accordance with section 5 or section 5D of the Justices of the Peace Act 1957.

Complaint deemed to be of serious nature (e.g. charging for services,)

1.Where made to an Association

  • The Association must immediately advise Royal Federation of the nature of the complaint and agree on action to manage the complaint.

  • The Association must within 10 working days advise the Justice in question of the nature of the complaint and of its reference to Royal Federation.

  • After consultation with the Association, Royal Federation may refer the matter to the Ministry for Justice (Office of the Legal Counsel) and advise the Justice in question accordingly.

2.Where made directly to Royal Federation

  • Royal Federation will immediately advise the Association concerned of the nature of the complaint and agree with the Association on action to manage the complaint.

  • The Association will within 10 working days advise the Justice in question of the nature and origin of the complaint

Where initiated by an Association the same process as in 1 above will apply
Notes:
In the above cases, much will rely on the interpretation of the degree of seriousness of the complaint.
If there is any doubt, consultation must be taken between the Association and Royal Federation with a follow-up in writing and the process set out in the chart “Ministerial Justices of the Peace” will be followed.

1.3     Public criticism of a Justice of the Peace

Where a criticism of a Justice of the Peace is publicly promulgated, the relevant Association must immediately provide Royal Federation with the details and consult over subsequent action to be taken.
Note:

  • This places the responsibility on the Association concerned to initiate the reference and should avoid any delay between the event and action being taken.

  • If the matter is first noted by Royal Federation it will immediately notify the Association concerned.

This will set in train any subsequent action which may trigger any (or none) of the disciplinary measures allowed for in the Justice of the Peace Act 1957 S.5.

1.4     Unjustified Complaint

Where a complaint is found to be unjustified, the Association concerned and, where appropriate, Roya1 Federation must provide to the Justice concerned such support as is deemed necessary.


 

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D2    Complaints Relating to Judicial Duties

Introduction

It is important to distinguish between a complaint which implies some degree of dereliction of duty and an appeal against a decision or process in court.
Care needs to be taken where an appellant, having lost an appeal through the normal process, then lodges a complaint against a Justice concerned with the case. If the grounds for complaint are substantially the same as those for the appeal, such a complaint should be dismissed as having already been adjudicated and the Parties advised accordingly in writing.
Similarly, where a complaint has gone through the formal Court Appeal process and dismissed, there can be no further complaint against the Justice concerned on substantially the same grounds.
However, should a successful appeal or formal complaint dealt with through the Court process reveal shortcomings in the Justice or Justices concerned, Associations must be mindful of their responsibility to put in place such corrective measures as may be appropriate. (Refer to Discipline Policy E).

Policy

All complaints must be notified to the Royal Federation by JP Associations, and the Royal Federation is to be notified of the outcome from JP Associations.
“Low level” complaints, that is, complaints that are not serious enough to justify removal or suspension of a Judicial JP, should be dealt with by the relevant JP Association in the first instance. The process shall follow that outlined in the following chart “Judicial Justices of the Peace”.
The Justice concerned must be advised of the complaint in writing in 10 working days and given the opportunity to present in writing, his/her position on the matter.
The Judicial JPs serving in the relevant Court must be notified of the complaint and asked to comment to the Association.
Formal or “Serious complaints”  that are not “low level” will be first addressed to the Chief District Court Judge for investigation and the Flow Chart followed.
The Chief District Court Judge will advise the Royal Federation of the complaint and may consult with the local Executive Judge or Liaison District Court Judge.
Note that the Ministry of Justice's role in relation to serious complaints against Judicial JPs is limited because of judicial independence.
However, the Chief District Court Judge may make a recommendation to The Minister of Justice on disciplinary actions per section 5A of the Justices of the Peace Act 1957 or recommend to the Governor-General the removal or suspension of the Judicial JP following further consultation with the Chief District Court Judge.
Key points about the Complaints and Dispute Resolution process for Judicial Justices of the Peace:

  • Formal complaints are to be referred to the Chief District Court Judge for investigation.

  • “Low level” complaints are to be dealt with by JP Associations, if possible.

  • “Low level” complaints that cannot be appropriately resolved should be referred to the Office of Legal Counsel, Ministry of Justice.

  • All complaints must be notified to the Royal Federation, and the Royal

  • Federation must be notified of the outcome from the JP Association.

  • The local Judicial JP Panel must be notified of the complaint and asked to comment.

  • The Minister of Justice, following consultation with the Chief District Court Judge, has the power to recommend the removal or suspension of a Judicial JP.

  • The Ministry of Justice's role with respect to serious complaints is limited because of judicial independence.

  • Each Association must have a recognised structure and process for dealing with complaints, formal or otherwise.

  • It is recommended that such structure and process follow the guidelines as set out below.


 
Judicial Justices of the Peace



 

 


 

D3    Guidelines for Association Complaint Process

The following is a guide to assist Associations in setting up a viable complaints process to deal with complaints lodged with them in respect of a Justice of the Peace.

  1. Each Association must have a standing panel with the specific task of dealing with complaints.

  2. Membership of the panel should be such as to ensure good judgement, neutrality of approach to any issue and reflect the confidence of members of the Association in it.

  3. A suggested optimum number is three members, with the capacity to co-opt expertise from outside the panel or the Association where circumstances may demand.

  4. Membership should not be confined solely to Executive Members of the Association but should use resources within the Association as a whole. In some instances, a distancing of the Executive from the issue will be important.

  5. The use of members with judicial experience may assist but should not be a pre-requisite. There must be no possibility of a conflict of interest in respect of membership of the panel for any one hearing.

  6. Panel appointment must be an annual process, either at the Association’s AGM or by the Council for that year.

  7. Procedure: On receipt of a complaint the Association will:

  • Determine whether the matter can be dealt with as a low-level  complaint or is of a more serious nature ( Refer to Policy D1 & D2 above)

  • If the complaint is of a low-level nature, immediately advise in writing the nature of the complaint to the JP named in the complaint.

  • Obtain in writing from the complainant all necessary information concerning the complaint. Where the information is not available in writing, a record of the verbal information must be kept along with relevant dates and times of when the information was received.

  1. At this point the situation may be able to be resolved without recourse to any hearing e.g. the JP concerned recognising an error and putting it right. A record must be kept (Refer to Policy D1 & D2 above)

  2.  If the situation cannot be resolved, a date and place must be set for a hearing of the complaint and the JP concerned furnished in writing with all material relevant to the complaint.

  3. The Association Complaints panel will establish the method of hearing, dependant on the circumstances i.e. whether to have both Parties together or to hear each party separately and in writing will advise both Parties of the date, location and time of such hearing.

  4. Both Parties must be advised that the Association Complaints panel’s decision is binding and that any appeal from it must be made in writing to the Royal Federation.

  5. The outcome of any hearing must be written up, forwarded to both parties and the Royal Federation.

  6. If the complaint is deemed to be of a more serious nature than can be dealt with at Association level, (Refer to Policy D1 & D2 above) Royal Federation must be informed immediately and the matter dealt with by following the Flow Chart for Judicial matters.

Note:

  1. It is important that complaints are dealt with expeditiously and not left to fester.

  2. Although the procedures suggested above for low-level complaints may look over-formal, two ingredients are essential:

  • Consistency of approach and fairness.

  • The requirement to treat any hearing as a method of seeking resolution to a matter, rather than exacting justice/retribution in the first instance. If the latter approach develops, it is suggested that the matter should move to the next level.

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Discipline Policy

This policy and process is to be read in conjunction with the Complaints Policy and Process.

A.      Minor (Low Level) Complaints

This section relates to minor matters requiring no referral beyond Association level.  For example:

  • Inadequacy in some aspect of duties requiring further training.

  • Breach of protocol or policy.

  • Personal relationship problems.

  • Public profile.

The Association shall make its own decision as to whether the matter can be dealt with satisfactorily locally, or whether it would need to be dealt with at a higher leve1.
Where an Association deals with locally, it will apply its own appropriate corrective measures but keep a record of any action taken in case of the need for future reference.
Appropriate disciplinary measures might include:

  • Speaking with the JP concerned and giving notice of the measures required of him/her.

  • Requiring re-training in the area(s) of deficiency.

  • Warning that repetition or failure to respond may mean referral to the Royal Federation and/or the Ministry of Justice (Office of Legal Counsel).

Associations shall be mindful of the need to monitor progress of the Justice concerned following a disciplinary measure being applied and to respond appropriately to inadequate improvement, repetition of offence or breaches of a different nature. This may require referral to a higher authority.


B.      Serious Complaints

This covers more serious breaches deemed sufficient to warrant referral to the Royal Federation and/or the Ministry of Justice. These fall under the requirements of the relevant Flow Chart (Ministerial or Judicial).

  1. Any disciplinary action taken against a Justice of the Peace in this category must be the subject of a complaint lodged either with the Association concerned or with Royal Federation. Such a complaint may be laid by an individual or individuals through the Association concerned or by the Association itself.

  2. Where a complaint is laid directly to or by Royal Federation, the protocol laid down in Complaints Policy D1 or D2 will apply.

  3. No disciplinary action will commence  without a complaint having first been lodged in writing and the subject of the complaint having been advised in writing of the nature of the complaint and given an opportunity to explain his/her position on the matter.

  4. A complaint referred to the Ministry of Justice (Office of Legal Council) must be in accordance with those provisions set out in the Justice of the Peace Act 1957 S.5. and include substantiated written evidence that:

  • the Justice is unable to perform his or her functions as a Justice or

  • the Justice has neglected his or her duties as a Justice or

  • the Justice has, since appointment as a Justice, behaved in a way that is inappropriate or undesirable for a Justice or

  • the Justice has, since appointment as a Justice, been convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment or

  • the Justice has, since appointment, been adjudged bankrupt or

  • the Justice has failed to comply with a requirement under Section 5 of the Act or

  • in the case of removal, the Justice has purported to exercise or perform a function of a Justice, knowing that he or she was suspended from office or

  • any other relevant information

  • the relevant flow chart will be followed for each matter.


Process

Subject to the provisions of the Justices of the Peace Act 1957, the following process is to be applied where some form of disciplinary action is to be sought from the Minister:

  1. Where a complaint warranting disciplinary measures under the requirements of the Act is lodged through or by an Association

  2. The Association with whom the complaint has been lodged must carry out a proper investigation of the complaint within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint.

  3. The Association will provide Royal Federation with details of the complaint at the earliest opportunity, to be accompanied or followed as soon as possible by all relevant supporting information, including advice that the Justice concerned has been advised in writing as to the nature of the complaint and the steps taken to investigate the complaint.

  4. Royal Federation will consult with the Association before forwarding the matter to the Ministry of Justice.

  5. Where it is agreed that the matter should be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, Royal Federation will do so on behalf of the Association, copying any relevant correspondence to the Association.

  6. Where there is disagreement between the Association and Royal Federation, the Association may forward the matter to the Ministry of Justice on its own behalf: noting that the matter has been referred to Royal Federation which has declined to take action and copying any relevant correspondence to Royal Federation.

  7. Following the submission of a complaint to the Ministry of Justice, Royal Federation will keep the Association informed of the subsequent decision.

  8. Where a complaint warranting disciplinary measures under the requirements of the Act is lodged directly with Royal Federation

  • Royal Federation will, within 10 working days of receipt of such complaint, consult with the relevant Association to ascertain the merits of the complaint and, where appropriate, obtain supporting or dismissive information.

  • Where a complaint is to be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, Royal Federation will, within 10 working days of receipt of advice of such complaint, inform the subject of the complaint of that fact and of the nature of the complaint. Royal Federation will also inform the complainant of the fact that the matter has been so forwarded.

  • Where Royal Federation, or the Association in consultation with Royal Federation, judges the complaint to have no merit or to be frivolous or vexatious, the complainant will be so informed in writing and the Ministry of Justice advised in the event of the complaint being laid later directly with the Ministry.

  1. Where a complaint is laid directly with the Ministry of Justice

Where a member of the Public or another Justice lodges a complaint directly with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Justice will inform Royal Federation who will carry out the requisite investigation through the Association concerned and report back to the Ministry of Justice.

  1. Limitation

No matter dating back further than two years from the time of complaint will be dealt with under this policy.

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Publicity and Communications

Introduction:

Publicity and communication of the activities of individual Justices and of local associations and the Royal Federation is desirable to:

  • inform others of the services that are provided and how to obtain these,

  • attract suitable applicants for the position of Justice of the Peace, and to advise them of application requirements

  • provide a considered response to external events or developments that may affect members of the Royal Federation or of local associations, and

  • influence others to further Royal Federation or local association purposes

  • inform Justices of developments and representations made on their behalf,

  • provide information as to royal Federation and local activities

 
Consistency of views and professional presentation will assist in achieving these aims.

F1.   Publicity

National Publicity

  • Royal Federation will be responsible for national publicity of any matters relating to Justices of the Peace and their functions.

  • Initial public statements on matters of national policy or national importance will be made exclusively by Royal Federation

  • Requests for interviews by international/national/local TV and/or other media on Justice of the Peace matters which are to be released nationally or internationally are to be referred in advance by the approached Association to Royal Federation for either

  1. Approval/non approval or

  2. Transfer to Royal Federation

  • There may be occasions where national publicity emanates from the activities of an Association.

  • Where this publicity is positive publicity, the Association concerned will exercise its own judgement as to release.  Royal Federation is to be advised (in advance where the situation permits)

  • Where there is a probable or definite aspect of negative publicity, Royal Federation is to be consulted before any release in order that appropriate action may be taken.

  •  

  • Where negative publicity has been generated without the foreknowledge of the concerned Association, that Association is to advise Royal Federation at the earliest possible opportunity

Local Publicity

Associations will be responsible for local publicity, subject to the above conditions. Local publicity of any nature generated by an Association must avoid contradiction of any national policy or directive.


F2.   Justices Quarterly and Education Bulletin

The following are the guiding editorial principles and policy for the publishing of these two publications by the Royal Federation of NZ Justices Associations Inc. as approved by the Board at their meeting on 1st July 2005

  1. The QUARTERLY publication should be one of record and indexed accordingly.

  2. It is the official publication of the RFNZJA and the means of direct communication with members.

  3. The Editor of the QUARTERLY is directly answerable to the President and Council of the RFNZJA. However matters concerning the payment of accounts and budget are to be discussed with the Registrar.

  4. The publisher gives the Editor editorial freedom within the following guidelines.

    1. The editor is free to commission articles, crosswords, cartoons etc. to enhance the appeal of the publication, subject to budget provisions having been provided for such expenditure.

    2. The editor may seek advertising and / or sponsorship to assist with the commercial viability of the publication.

    3. The layout/format and production quality should reflect a modern contemporary- publication. (as will the price to be determined by the annual conference from time to time)

    4. It should contain articles or information of a general nature as deemed appropriate by the editor.

    5. It could contain articles of a legal or quasi legal nature which the editor considers to be of interest to readers. For example extracts from "Law Talk" or other similar publications, by permission of course.

    6. It should contain a Registrars column through which matters of policy, governance, jurisdictions and administration are conveyed to members.

    7. It should contain contributions from the National Education Officer of a wide general nature and where this publication is more appropriate that the Education Bulletin.

    8. It should contain contributions from affiliated Associations of a wide general nature.

    9. It should contain an on-going schedule of Regional Conferences, seminars, workshops, as well as notice of AGM's and social occasions so that members and visitors may participate in each other’s affairs as guests or visitors. (This is to encourage good social and professional interchange of interests and ideas)

    10. It should encourage "letters to the Editor" to create debate on matters of interest.

 

  1. The Judicial Education Bulletin is an ancillary publication of the RFNZJA with the National Education Officer as the Editor (Subject to confirmation when each new NEO is appointed)

  2. The Editor of the Bulletin is directly answerable to the Registrar for all administrative and publication matters and to the Convenor of the Federations Education Committee for policy (jurisdiction) matters.

  3. Each issue of the Bulletin should contain inside its front cover the RFNZJA's training policy as a constant reminder to all training officers and registrars, their obligation to convey the attached information to all parties.

  4. It should contain policy requirements and other material of a general or specific nature relating to training judicial justices as well as for the training for search warrants and visiting justices.

  5. It should contain summaries of appeals and case studies that the editor (NEO) believes suitable for training purposes.

CATCHALL: Both the Editor of the QUARTERLY and the BULLETIN have the freedom to include anything of a general or specific nature not referred to in this statement in their respective publications but the President and or Registrar should be forewarned of anything of a controversial nature.
 

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Use of letters “JP” as passed at Conference 2010

Justices of the Peace are entitled to use the letters "JP" after their name and it is proper for the letters to be inserted after Royal Honours at all times, but preceding academic, professional and other qualifications, e.g. John Smith, MC, QSO, JP, BCA, Dip BS, FBINZ, AAMINZ
The criteria for use are based on the assumption that appointment to the office of Justice of the Peace indicates a sense of good judgement and a commitment to the integrity of the office on the part of the office-holder.
Although it is customary for the letters "JP" to be placed after the name of a Justice of the Peace, the propriety of doing so is limited to certain instances.
There is a clear contradiction in use between allowing the letters to appear after a name on company prospectuses etc. and not on letterheads of the same business, or even business cards. In a business setting, wherever possible the letters should not be used on their own, so as to avoid the accusation of commercial influence.

ACCEPTABLE USE

  • When signing as a Justice of the Peace

  • Correspondence

  • Personal

  • Private notepaper

  • Social functions

  • Election pamphlets and verbally for Parliamentary & Local Body elections

  • Public Company prospectus or annual report

  • Professional business cards or letterheads where in addition to other honorifics, qualifications

  • Personal visiting cards without business or similar information

  • On a gate plate (usually shown as “Justice of the Peace”)

UNACCEPTABLE USE

  • Cheques

  • Driving licences

  • Commercial advertising

  • Election billboards (Parliamentary or Local Body)

  • Business envelopes

  • Personal matters not related to Justice of the Peace matters

  • Where clearly intended to create a business or similar advantage

  • Use of “JP” or “justice” in email or fax address

  • By marriage/civil union celebrants

  • Letters to the editor of newspaper or magazine

 
The over-riding principle to be followed by all Justices of the Peace is:

No use should give the impression that the use of the letters “JP” is for the purpose of furthering trade, business or professional interests or of enhancing the status of the individual relative to his or her peers.

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Canvassing for Office

 
The 2004 Conference directed Board to set rules for canvassing for office which were amended and approved at Conference 2009 as follows although it must be noted that the current practice continues as set out in clauses (b), (c), (d) of Rule 6 of the Constitution. (See below)

Election of Board

  • Written nominations for the positions of President and Vice President will be called for by the Registrar on 1st August annually and may be received from any affiliated Association from that date until the closing of nominations on 1st November.

  • Written nominations for the positions of the four Regional Representatives may be received from any affiliated Association in the respective region.  Any one Association may only forward one nomination.

  • All nominations shall, subject to the person nominated consenting thereto, be in the hands of the Registrar not later than 1st November in each year, the nominations for the positions of Regional Representative to be accompanied by his/her Curriculum Vitae for inclusion in the Conference Papers and/or with the voting papers for an election, if required.

  • The nominees for the positions of President and Vice President shall be financial members of any affiliated Association and must previously have served at least one full year as a Regional Representative on the Board. The nominees for the positions of Regional Representative shall be financial members of an affiliated Association in the region for which they are nominated.

  • The election for the positions of President and Vice President shall take place at the Annual Conference and such election, in the event of the number of nominations for either position exceeding the vacancies in that position, shall be by ballot in accordance with Rule 17 hereof.

Recommendations

  • Intending Nominees to inform Associations of their intention to seek Regional Representative nomination prior to their Regional Conference

  • Time frame: one month prior to Regional Conference (to allow Conference planning.)

  • C.V. to be provided to all Associations which includes a recent photograph.

  • Experience relevant to the position

  • Statement of intent i.e. how they perceive the role

  • Limited to 500 words

Regional Conferences to provide a nominated speaking time for Intending Nominees to address the Conference.

  • An Association President/Registrar may invite intending Nominees to speak to their Association.

  • An Association President/Registrar may contact intending Nominees to clarify or seek further information prior to the formal nomination time of 01 November.

  • A nomination may still be made by an Association for the position of Regional Representative other than at a Regional Conference up to the closing date for Nominations of 01 November.

  • Not permitted. Communication e.g. Telephone, Fax, Email or personal communication with individual Association members by intending nominees.

 
Comment: The objective is to allow a structured process that is fair to Associations and intending nominees. Regional Conferences shall provide the venue for this to take place.

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Regional Conferences


1.         Royal Federation consists of 29 Associations which are grouped into four regions.
Northern        -           9 Associations
Auckland       -           1          “
Central          -           10        “
Southern       -           9          “
2.         An annual regional conference is held and any Justice may attend and participate and not just members of Association councils.
3.         The aims of the regional conferences are to:

  • up-date justices on issues/projects Federation is involved in;

  • put forward possible remits for Federation conference and encourage discussion and feedback, also to consider remits from other regional conferences where possible;

  • include an aspect of training;

  • provide an opportunity for registrars to meet with Federation registrar;

  • allow justices from different Associations to meet and discuss issues;

  • allow a wider spectrum of justices, who would not normally attend Federation conference, the opportunity to learn of how Royal Federation and Associations work i.e. a form of succession planning; and

  • provide an opportunity for justices willing to stand as regional representative to meet with the region.

  1. Venues for regional conferences should be planned at the regional meeting held at the end of Federation Conference each year.

  2. In order for the aims to be reached, timing needs to be in August or September.

  3. Funding for regional conferences:

  • Each conference should be fiscally neutral;

  • Attendees pay for their travel, lunch, and accommodation if required;

  • A registration fee or augmented lunch cost, should cover other expenses e.g. guest speaker, cost of venue;

  • Each region has a designated sum for reimbursement as a contribution towards travel expenses to Associations (the division of this amount depending on the number of people travelling in a car and the distance travelled), and any sundry items not covered by the registration fee; and

  • The regional representative or the local organizing Association may gain sponsorship to increase the reimbursement or to cover costs.

  • The regional representative needs to produce a budget to work to in order that all costs are covered.


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