Justices of the Peace

 

APPOINTMENT

A Justice of the Peace in Singapore derives his powers from statute.  He is appointed by the President of the Republic of Singapore under section 11(1) of the State Courts Act (Cap. 321). The President may revoke the appointment of any Justice of the Peace.  A newly appointed Justice of the Peace is required by section 17 of the State Courts Act to take the oath of office and allegiance as set out in the Schedule to the State Courts Act before exercising the functions of his office. In recognition of his contributions, a Justice of the Peace may use the title “JP (Retired)” when he retires from the appointment.

FUNCTIONS, POWERS AND DUTIES

The functions, powers and duties of a Justice of the Peace are set out below.

Children and Young Persons Act
(Chapter 38)

A Justice of the Peace may lay a complaint of any offence punishable under the Act before a Court. [Section 20(b)]

Contact Lens Practitioners Regulations

An application for reinstatement in the register of contact lens practitioners shall be accompanied by at least 2 certificates as to the good character and reputation of the applicant signed by a registered contact lens practitioner, a magistrate or a Justice of the Peace. [Regulation 9(2)]

Dental Registration Regulations

An application for registration as a dentist shall be accompanied by evidence of identity in the form of a statement by a registered dentist whose name appears in the first division of the Register of Dentists, a Magistrate or a Justice of the Peace to the effect that the applicant is personally known to him and is in fact the person whose name appears in the application. [Regulation 13(1)(b)]

An application for registration as an oral health therapist shall be accompanied by evidence of identity in the form of a statement by a registered dentist whose name appears in the first division of the Register of Dentists, a registered oral health therapist, a Magistrate or a Justice of the Peace to the effect that the applicant is personally known to him and is in fact the person whose name appears in the application. [Regulation 15(1)(b)]

Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) Act 2014
(No. 6 of 2014)

Any declaration required by this Act may be made before a Justice of the Peace or any of the other persons listed in section 75(1) of the Act. [Section 75(1)]

Merchant Shipping Act
(Chapter 179)

Where neither a receiver of wrecks, Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent of Police or a Magistrate is present at any place where a ship is wrecked, stranded or in distress, a Justice of the Peace may do anything which Part IX of the Act authorises a receiver to do. [Section 151(1)]

Where any ship is or has been in distress on the coasts of Singapore and a receiver of wreck is absent, a Magistrate or a Justice of the Peace shall, as soon as conveniently may be, examine on oath any person belonging to the ship, or any person who is able to give account of the ship, its cargo or stores, as to the matters set out in section 152(1)(a) to (g) of the Act. [Section 152(1)]

The Justice of the Peace shall take the examination down in writing and send one copy to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and another to the office of the Port Master. [Section 152(2)]

A Justice of the Peace is authorised to take or receive any declaration required to be made under the Act. [Section 188]

Mutual Benefit Organisations Act
(Chapter 191)

A member or subscriber of a registered mutual benefit organisation may nominate in writing any person, other than those mentioned in section 18, to receive the benefits provided under the rules of the organisation, if the written nomination is signed by himself in the presence of and attested by a Justice of the Peace, a Magistrate or the Registrar of Mutual Benefit Organisations. [Section 18]

Oaths and Declarations Act
(Chapter 211)

A statutory declaration made in Singapore shall be made before a Court, a person acting judicially or a prescribed person. A Justice of the Peace is a "prescribed person". [Section 11(1)(b) and Regulation 2 of the Oaths and Declarations (Prescribed Persons) Regulations]

Official Secrets Act
(Chapter 213)

A Justice of the Peace, if he is satisfied by information on oath or affirmation, which the Justice of the Peace is authorised to administer, that there is reasonable ground to suspect that an offence under this Act has been or is about to be committed, may grant a search warrant authorising –

  • any police officer named in the warrant; or
  • if so requested, any police officer accompanied by an armed forces officer deputed by the officer in command of such armed forces

to –

  • enter at any time any premises or place specified in the warrant, if necessary by force,
  • and to search the premises or place and every person found in it,
  • and to seize and retain any photograph, drawing, plan, model, article, note or document or anything like it or anything which is or may be evidence of an offence under this Act having been or being about to be committed, which he may find on the premises or place or on any such person and with regard to or in connection with which he has reasonable ground to suspect that an offence under this Act has been or is about to be committed.

The seal of a court shall not be necessary to validate a warrant issued under this section. [Section 15(l) and (2)]

The information shall be returned without undue delay to a District Court. [Section 15(3)]

Optometrists and Opticians (Registration and Practising Certificates) Regulations

An application for restoration of a registration as an optometrist or an optician shall be accompanied by at least two certificates as to the good reputation and character of the applicant signed by a registered person, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace. [Regulation 20(1) and (2)]

Parliamentary Elections Act (Chapter 218)

Election candidates are required to submit nomination forms containing a statutory declaration to be made before a Commissioner for Oaths or a Justice of the Peace. [Sections 27 and 27B(2), Forms 9 and 9A in the First Schedule]

Every officer, clerk, interpreter, candidate and agent authorised to attend at a polling station, or at the counting of the votes, shall, before so attending, make an oath of secrecy. This has to be sworn before a Commissioner for Oaths or a Justice of the Peace. [Section 56(1), Form 18 in the First Schedule]

Patents Rules

Any statutory declaration or affidavit to be filed under the Act or these Rules, if made in Singapore, shall be made before any Justice of the Peace, or any commissioner or other officer authorised by law to administer an oath for the purpose of any legal proceedings. [Rule 103]

Plant Varieties Protection Rules

Any statutory declaration to be filed or used in any proceedings under the Act or these Rules, if made in Singapore, shall be made before any Justice of the Peace, or any commissioner or other officer authorised by law to administer an oath for the purpose of any legal proceedings. [Rule 59]

Presidential Elections Act (Cap 240A)

A person desiring to be elected as President must apply for a certificate of eligibility containing a declaration to be made before a Commissioner for Oaths or a Justice of the Peace. [Section 8 and Regulations 3 and 5(1) and Form 1 in Schedule of the Presidential Elections (Certificate of Eligibility) Regulations 2017]

A candidate for election to the office of President shall be nominated by means of a nomination paper containing a statutory declaration to be made before a Commission for Oaths or a Justice of the Peace. [Section 9(3) and Form P4 in Schedule of the Presidential Elections (Forms and Fees) Regulations]

Every officer, clerk, interpreter, candidate and agent authorised to attend at a polling station, or at the counting of the votes, shall, before so attending, make an oath of secrecy. This has to be sworn before a Commissioner for Oaths or a Justice of the Peace. [Section 36(1), Form P13 in Schedule of the Presidential Elections (Forms and Fees) Regulations]

Prisons Act
(Chapter 247)

Every person remanded to a prison by a court, Judge, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace, and charged with any crime or offence, shall be delivered to the Superintendent of such prison appointed by the Minister for custody of such persons, together with a warrant of commitment. The Superintendent shall detain that person according to the terms of the warrant, and shall cause that person to be delivered to such court, Judge, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace or shall discharge that person at the time named in and according to the terms of the warrant. [Section 36]

Every person remanded in any lock-up by any court, judge, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace, charged with any crime or offence, shall be delivered to the Commissioner of Prisons or any person authorised by the Commissioner to take custody of such persons, together with a warrant of commitment. The Commissioner or any person authorised by the Commissioner shall detain a lock-up prisoner according to the terms of the warrant, and shall cause that person to be delivered to such court, Judge, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace, or shall discharge that person at the time named in and according to the terms of the warrant. [Section 50C]

The Minister shall appoint a Board of Justices of the Peace called the Board of Visiting Justices. Each member -

  • shall hold office for a period not exceeding 2 years or as the Minister may determine,
  • may be re-appointed or at any time removed from office by the Minister, and
  • may at any time resign from his office by giving written notice to the Minister. [Section 79(1) and (2)]

The Board shall appoint one or more of its members to be, on rotation, a Visiting Justice or Visiting Justices of the prisons for each month of the year, and such Visiting Justice or Justices shall hear, try and dispose of prison offences to which a report under section 74(l) has been made. Such Visiting Justice or Justices shall, upon receipt of such report, attend at the prison without undue delay and investigate the charge, and may punish any prisoner whom after due inquiry upon oath he or they may find guilty of such offence with one or more of the punishments set out in section 74(2)(a) to (c) of the Act. [Sections 79(4) and 74(2)]

A Visiting Justice may at any time -

  • visit any prison or reformative training centre;
  • inspect the several wards, cells, yards, solitary or punishment cells and other apartments or divisions of the prison;
  • inspect and test the quality and quantity of the prisoners' food;
  • hear the complaints (if any) of the prisoners, and question any prisoner or prison officer;

[Section 79(3)]

A Visiting Justice shall -

  • ascertain, so far as possible, whether the prison regulations are adhered to;
  • call the attention of the Superintendent to any irregularity that may be observed in the working of the prison or reformative training centre or in the treatment of any prisoner confined therein; and
  • exercise and perform such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Minister by regulations. [Section 79(3)]

Every Visiting Justice shall, for the purposes of this Act, have power to summon witnesses and to administer oaths. [Section 79(5)]

A Judge, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace having jurisdiction in the place where any prison is situated may -

  • whenever he thinks fit, enter into and examine the condition of such prison, and of the prisoners in it;
  • question any prisoner or officer; and
  • enter any observation he thinks fit to make in reference to the conditions of the prison in a Visitors’ Book to be kept for that purpose by the Superintendent which shall be produced to the Visiting Justices at their next ensuing visit. [Section 80]

Registered Designs Rules

Any statutory declaration filed under these Rules or used in any proceedings under the Act shall, if made in Singapore, be made before a Justice of the Peace or any commissioner for oaths or other officer authorised by law to administer an oath for the purpose of any legal proceedings. [Rule 55(a)]

Regulations of Imports & Exports Act
(Chapter 272A)

Whenever it appears to a Magistrate or a Justice of the Peace, upon information and after such inquiry as he may consider necessary, that there is probable cause to believe that there are any goods or property liable to forfeiture under the Act, concealed or deposited in any dwelling-house, shop or other building or place, the Magistrate or Justice of the Peace may, by warrant directed to any senior authorised officer, empower that officer by day or night to enter that dwelling-house, shop or other building or place and there to search for and take possession of any goods or property reasonably suspected to be so liable to forfeiture and any books, documents or articles which may reasonably be believed to have a bearing on the case. [Section 22(1)] [A “senior authorised officer” is defined in section 2.]

Secondhand Goods Dealers Act
(Chapter 288A)

Every licensed dealer of secondhand goods shall keep in his shop a book recording the particulars of all goods bought and sold by him with -

  • date of purchase, seller's name and address and other prescribed particulars; and
  • date of sale, buyer’s name and address and other prescribed particulars.

Such books shall be produced for examination at any time on demand by a Magistrate, a Justice of the Peace, the Licensing Officer or a police officer. [Sections 10(1) and (5)]

Singapore Citizenship Rules

A declaration of renunciation of citizenship required by Article 128(1) of the Constitution or the Oath of Renunciation, Allegiance and Loyalty required by Articles 122(2), 126(1), 126(3) and 127(4) of the Constitution, shall be of no effect unless it is made in the prescribed form and, if made in Singapore, is signed in the presence of or administered by a Justice of the Peace or any person authorised to administer oaths. [Rule 19(1)(a)]

Societies Act
(Chapter 311)

  Any Magistrate, Justice of the Peace or police officer not below the rank of assistant superintendent may –

(a) enter, with or without assistance; or

(b) by warrant under his hand or by writing under his hand, authorise any other police officer to enter, with or without assistance,

    using force if necessary, any dwelling house or other building, or any place in which he has reasonable ground to believe that –

    • a meeting of an unlawful society, or of persons who are members of an unlawful society, is being held; or
    • any books, accounts, writings, banners, or insignia belonging to an unlawful society are concealed, kept or deposited.

    The Magistrate, Justice of the Peace or police officer not below the rank of assistant superintendent, or any other police officer so authorised may also –

    (a) arrest or cause to be arrested all persons found in the house;

    (b) search that house, building or place; and

    (c) seize or cause to be seized all books, accounts, writings, banners, documents, flags, insignia, arms and other articles which he has reasonable cause to believe to belong to any unlawful society, or to be in any way connected with it. [Section 28(l)]

      Trade Marks Rules

      Any statutory declaration filed under or used in any proceedings under the Trade Marks Act (Chapter 332) or the Trade Mark Rules shall, if made in Singapore, be made and subscribed before a Justice of the Peace, or any Commissioner for Oaths or other officer authorised by law to administer an oath for the purpose of any legal proceedings.  [Rule 70]

      Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners
      (Register and Practising Certificates) Regulations

      An application for restoration of a registration to carry out any prescribed practice of traditional Chinese medicine shall be accompanied by at least two certificates as to the good reputation and character of the applicant signed by a registered person, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace. [Regulation 8(1) and (2)]