Remote Justices of the Peace (Magistrates Court) Program

The Queensland Government began the Remote JP Magistrates Court Program in 1993. It was part of its response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody 1991.

This program aims to make the criminal justice system more culturally appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold positive roles in the criminal justice system in their community by:

  • identifying negative interactions that Indigenous communities have with the justice system and finding ways to improve those interactions
  • dealing with local matters more quickly
  • using culturally appropriate practices with local knowledge and respect
  • enabling communities to decide local solutions to offending within their community
  • using language and processes that are easily understood by defendants.

Under the program, qualified JP magistrates can form a Magistrates Court. They are able to hear and determine outcomes for a range of matters, and in matters where a guilty plea is entered, they are able to sentence the defendant.

The Remote JP Magistrates program operates in discrete communities. Currently, Remote JP courts are active in the discrete communities of Cherbourg and Kowanyama.

Find out how to become a JP on the Queensland Government’s website.

For more information email or contact Indigenous Justice Programs on (07) 3738 7209.