Justices of the Peace are considered to be a “lay bench.” A “lay bench” ensures that Justices of the Peace are chosen from within the community to reflect its values and diversity.  People from the community charged with criminal, regulatory or traffic matters will then appear before someone chosen from their community.

Highly qualified professionals  with diverse experience

The members of the bench are professionals with superior qualifications and employment experiences.  They do not necessarily have a law degree, though many do. Many Justices of the Peace have post-graduate education as well as professional designations. They are experienced, community-minded, esteemed members of their communities prior to appointment.

Justices of the Peace must demonstrate a high-level of analytical and decision-making skills, good practical judgement, and a commitment to their community. They come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds and experiences and are provided with intensive training to be able to apply the law and legal principles to the wide range of matters where they have jurisdiction.

Dedicated to community

Justices of the peace are chosen to reflect the cultural diversity of the communities they serve.

It is important that the justice system understand the diverse perspectives of the community. Like a jury of peers, a lay bench connects the community to the justice system.

Justices of the Peace were actively involved in their own community before being appointed to the bench. That spirit of community service is important to the role.