Employing a Justice of the Peace

The Benefits of Employing a JP


The Courts recognise the important role employers play in the Justice System, by allowing employees who are Justices of the Peace (JPs) to undertake their public duties.

The purpose of this leaflet is to illustrate to employers the benefits of having an employee who is a JP and to demonstrate how, in many situations, the skills acquired through public service are directly transferable to the workplace.

What is a JP?

The office of JP has existed for hundreds of years.  People holding the office perform an essential public service by dispensing justice within their community; hearing a range of criminal and non-criminal cases in the Summary Court.

The Summary Court is the first tier within our Justice System.  It comprises of

  • The Adult Court
  • The Youth Court
  • The Family Proceedings Court

Your employee would be directly responsible for determining innocence or guilt, determining bail and deciding the most appropriate sentence for anyone convicted before them.

Do I have to let my employee attend?

There is a statutory obligation to give your employee time off to undertake their JP duties. This is under S.33 of the Employment Protection Ordinance.  What this means in practical terms is that where your employee is appointed as a JP you must allow them to undertake their JP duties when they are called upon to do so and that they must not be penalised for so doing.

The Courts recognise that this can be a challenge for an employer and therefore does all it can to cause as little inconvenience for employers and JPs.

Justices are on a rota system, placing them “on call” for a week at a time.  This rota is based upon information given to the Court by JPs as to when they are available. Being “on call” does not mean that your employee will need to be available each day and therefore cannot come into work; it means that they will be the first person to be contacted in the event that there are matters in the Summary Court.

Currently, each JP is on call for roughly one week each month. All JPs have to take their turn to sit and this is the fairest way to ensure sittings are being fulfilled as needed.

Benefits to the employer: transferrable skills

JPs receive initial and ongoing training and develop skills and capabilities  from sitting in court.

 Many of the skills are directly transferrable to the workplace.

  • Managing yourself—preparing for hearings, conducting yourself effectively;
  • Working as a team member—making an effective contribution and ensuring effective working of the team;
  • Making decisions—using structured processes for effective decision making.
  • Assimilating information– to extract the  key factors.

In addition to this, JPs must develop effective communication and leadership skills and must foster respect within the local community.

The decisions that Justices make require considerable skill and judgement. They often affect a person’s whole life and may also affect the lives of those around them. The responsibility and gravity of the work cannot be underestimated.  Because of this, the skills and training provided are significant and, although aimed at their work as a JP, are all directly transferrable skills that can be used in the work place.

What does this mean for me?

As an employer you are not only assisting in the Justice System, you are gaining a more skilled and useful employee.

The communication, organisational, leadership and management skills acquired through tried and tested training which is given by a member of court staff with qualifications in writing and delivering training offers your business a unique opportunity to receive a skilled staff member with only a commitment from you to allow that staff member to

attend court when it is convenient for your work place and the individual.

The Court recognises that allowing time off can present problems for employees and employers alike, but would hope that the benefits to the business in having an employee who is a JP can be seen to enhance your business considerably.

More information

We hope this page has answered any questions or concerns you may have.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of employing a Justice of the Peace please do not hesitate to contact the Head of Courts and Tribunals, Emma Fulton, on 27271 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.