Recently a Justice of the Peace was requested to provide a photo of himself to satisfy a document being presented by a client.

The document was a request from the Department of Home Affairs, Australian Government in the form of a Check List and Request for Details.  The client was applying for Australian Citizenship via the Australian High Commission, Suva and this was a follow-up letter to the client.

So, in this case, the Justice did not want to provide his photograph to the client especially in these times of AML and identity theft so what is the answer?  The question was put to Royal Federation and their answer is as follows:

If the Justice of the Peace is not comfortable about providing a photo ID then he/she should explain to the client that he is uncomfortable with doing this. The Justice does not have to give reasons. The client would then have to find a Justice of the Peace who is willing to do this.

The Royal Federation Office occasionally receives comments from members who have been asked to provide copies of passport or drivers licence photos. Usually, the requests come from small legal firms or finance companies and it is connected with compliance with the Anti Money Laundering legislation. The advice is that if they are uncomfortable they should refuse and tell the client that the identity of the Justice can be confirmed from Find a JP or by contacting the Royal Federation Office.

Check out the Education Section of our next JQ.  For those interested, the document in question can be viewed HERE and changes have been made to protect the client.