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No Appetite for a Cuppa and Muffin

Ric Carlyon - Monday, March 06, 2017

Auckland Justices, detecting little support from other Associations, withdrew its remit at the Annual Conference of the Royal Federation of Justices Associations which called for refreshments during training sessions.

Auckland thought it was reasonable that during training sessions of 3 - 4 hours Justices could expect a break with cup of tea or coffee, and a food item such as a muffin: the cost reimbursed as training expenses. The break, with refreshments, was regarded as appropriate, especially for those who travelled long distances to and from the sessions.

But at the Conference in Rotorua Auckland delegates detected little appetite for paid refreshments so withdrew the Remit.  

Another Auckland remit was carried. It sought to make strong a recommendation to the Ministry of Justice that some minor offences, removed into Category 1 beyond the jurisdiction of Judicial Justices of the Peace, should be re-instated.

Of the other remits from Auckland, one called for an enforced lapse of 12 months between appointment of a Justice and gaining accreditation. “The public expects accredited Justices will have professional knowledge gained during experience and 12 months seems appropriate” it was argued, but other delegates voted the measure down.

Another Auckland remit was passed, calling for the results of induction training and accreditation testing to be passed on to training officers in each Association so they can see, and fill the knowledge gaps with additional/targeted tutorials. No names of those tested will be revealed, just the (anonymous) results.  

Marlborough Association wants the Ministry of Justice to find ways to monitor and improve the competencies of Justices of the Peace so that the public enjoys the right to a proficient service. The Conference agreed with the conjecture.

Two remits were passed seeking more use of Judicial Justices of the Peace in court work, asking the Ministry of Justice to help realise their full potential, and/or extend their jurisdiction by a change in the law.

Marlborough Association withdrew its remit trying to delay consideration of the frequency of the Federation’s meetings.

And Nelson-Tasman Association’s remit found favour at Conference and will be applauded by Ministerial Justices of the Peace everywhere. It wants the Federation to get agreement by banks, financial and similar institutions to agree on a standard wording for Justices to use when, as “a trusted referee” under anti money-laundering legislation, they identify individuals in photographs.

Once a standard form of wording is agreed, Nelson-Tasman pointed out, Justices can organise appropriate stamps. At present the wording required differs from bank to bank, and among other institutions, and the long declaration often has to be hand-written.

The same Association successfully argued that the Justices of the Peace unique number should be recognised in official documentation as an Official Identifier.

Ashburton was also successful in its bid requesting the magazine Justice Quarterly continue in hard copy, rather than become an electronic journal after 2020 as previously agreed. Ashburton says a paper-based periodical should continue as a “shop window for the work of Justices of the Peace in the community”.

Eastern Bay of Plenty Association’s proposal for a policy of extensive archiving and filing Associations’ records on a central data base, and for the later disposal of paper records, did not find favour with delegates.    

Further News from Conference

Delegates from throughout the land attending this weekend’s conference of Royal Federation of Justices Associations have had several thought-provoking addresses.

Jonathan Temm, QC, in his speech titled “"Looking to Justices of the Peace for Leadership in the Community" reviewed present issues in the justice system and was highly critical of it.  

He contends it’s a legal system rather than a justice system which he says is ineffective, ineffectual, under-funded and misunderstood. He concludes it’s a tyranny of the majority. Prisons, he opines, are not working.

He told Justices there needs to be progress in our liberal democracy, an investment in people with a focus on education and information.

“Concentrate on the matters that unite us rather than those that divide” he implored, “promoting unity and community”.

Chief District Court Judge, Jan-Marie Doogue, who oversees New Zealand’s 176 district court judges, also addressed the conference.

She told delegates that recent international research shows that the No 1 characteristic for those in judicial roles was humility and a sense of public service. 

“In my estimation,” she said, “this definitely applies to JPs”.

Her theme was "Adapting to Change in the Justice System" and spoke about some upcoming changes this year, concluding that there needs to be more leadership, compassion and community.

Here are some updates from conference for you for the website as follows:

1.  Jonathan Temm QC gave a provocative speech under the heading "Looking to Justices of the Peace for Leadership in the Community" and a review of present issues:

a. Idea of progress in a liberal democracy

b. This is not a justice system at all - it's a legal system (ineffective, ineffectual, under funded and misunderstood)

c. Tyranny of the majority

d. People have to be invested in

e. Prisons are not working

f. Focus on education and information

g. Focus on things that unite not divide us - unity and community


2. Chief District Court Judge J M Doogue addressed the conference also - she oversees 176 district court judges.

She advised us that the No 1 characteristic that came out of recent international research for those in judicial roles was humility and a sense of public service.  This definitely applied to JPs in her estimation. Her theme was about "Adapting to Change in the Justice System" and briefly spoke about some upcoming changes for 2017.
Concluded with there needs to be more leadership, compassion and community.

3. 20% of all JPs are now accredited nation wide

4. Remits as follows:

Remits 1,2,3,4,6,9,10,11 - Carried

Remits 5 and 12 - Lost

Remits 7 and 8 - Withdrawn


5. Election of Officers to the Board - all elected unopposed.

Forgot to mention the Assoc Minister for Justice, Hon Mark Mitchell addressed the conference first thing today.

Official opening last night was formal but not too long, welcomed by the Mayor of Rotorua Districts, MOJ personnel spoke Jacqueline ? Need to get surname to you if you want this.

Currently in a break for afternoon tea and about to go to seminar Ric.  I've ccd Selwyn so he can check, amend etc.

Cheers - Sherryl


Conference News

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, March 12, 2015

Report from the Organising Committee
The recent Royal Federation of Justices Associations’ Annual General Meeting and Conference at Takapuna was successful because of a philosophy confirmed early-on by the organising committee… “that around the business of the AGM there must be relevant and interesting guest speakers, seminars (rather than workshops) that engage participants and then clear opportunities for social interaction”.
That’s the view of Chairman of the Conference Organising Committee, Vice President of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association, Selwyn Haworth, in a report to the Association’s Council.
“Around the 4 hours allocated to the Royal Federation during the weekend or its formal business, we
successfully scheduled a conference which was interesting to delegates, observers and visitors alike”, Selwyn says “and we have received dozens of compliments, and no complaints, about the programme”.
Many delegates praised the calibre and variety of guest speakers: they included the Prime Minister, Minister and local MP Maggie Barry, lawyer/author  Mai Chen, District Court Judges, the Mayor of Auckland and Secretary for Justice.
Social events eclipsed on the Saturday night when a total of 210 Board members, delegates, observers and their partners attended the Gala Dinner at Spencer on Byron on the Saturday night.  
Selwyn Haworth's report also includes observations and hints about the running of these events and, suggests to Royal Federation several options for future Conferences. “Whatever” he says, “we are very willing to share all the information we have to assist future organising teams”.
  

Conference News

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Congratulations and Thanks
At the today’s meeting of the Council of Auckland Justices of the Peace Association, President Colin Davis thanked the Organising Committee of the recent national Royal Federation of N.Z. Justices Associations' annual meeting and conference, recently held at Takapuna's Spencer on Byron.

“Congratulations to all members of the Committee. Few can imagine the amount of work that goes into putting together this 3 day event” Colin said, “and the committee’s meticulous planning meant it went without a hitch. Members did the host, Auckland Association, proud with professional organisation and added prestige with the attendances of the Prime Minister and Auckland’s Mayor”.

“The Gala Dinner, organised by Wallis Walker, was first class” said the President, “with a bonus: the superb entertainment by the Tongan Tenors Trio and accompanying pianist".

Conference News

Ric Carlyon - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Briefs from Conference 2015 at Takapuna

# Graeme Kitto was re-elected President of the Royal Federation of Justice Associations for the ensuing year, his second in office. Denise Hutchins will again be Vice President. Both were elected unopposed. The Regional Representatives for 2015-16 are Rachel O’Grady (Northern), Patrick Samson (Auckland), Kath Blair (Central) and Gavin Evans (Southern).  Greg Weake continues in the office of Immediate Past President. 

# A special farewell was accorded long-serving member on the Auckland Association’s Council and Auckland Regional Representative, Wallis Walker. After a presentation, Wallis addressed Conference, reminding everyone that the Royal Federation was made up of Association-members, and was there to assist and support Associations, a fact that she said was sometimes overlooked at Federation meetings in Wellington.

# Board business at Conference confirmed next year’s gathering will be in Dunedin, followed by Rotorua in 2017 and Canterbury in 2018, that Association’s Centennial.

# Forum Topics at Conference gave delegates a wide range of choice, from “Fraud and Immigration” (NZ Immigration Investigator), “Trouble-shooting Difficult Situations in Court” (Judge Charles Blackie), “Technology” (Greg Weake), “The Family Court” (Judge Ian McHardy) and “Dealing with Cultural Diversity”, (Camille Nakhid). In addition there were workshops for both Presidents and Registrars.

# Apologies tendered to Conference include a handful from Justices of the Peace on the remote Chatham Islands, members of the Canterbury Association.

# Those attending Conference’s Opening Ceremony became aware the liner Queen Elizabeth II was in port on its special cruise marking the centenary of the ANZAC Gallipoli campaign. Delegates, observers and visitors took the opportunity to mark the 100th anniversary by observing a minute’s silence for servicemen and women, especially New Zealanders, who died at Gallipoli, in previous South African battles, and during all subsequent conflicts.

Conference News

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, March 05, 2015

Success for Auckland Remits

Three remits put up by Auckland were passed by delegates attending the recent Royal Federation of Justices Associations' annual conference held recently at Takapuna.

Two remits were significant because they were both first suggested by Justices of the Peace in ground-roots Support Groups, endorsed and put forward by the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association.

The first, from Auckland’s Eastern Districts, called for the Ministry of Justice to provide for demographic diversity with on-line information and brochures to explain Justice of the Peace services in different languages. It was suggested that this information would be most helpful to those key non-English speaking communities who seek Justice of the Peace duties. Conference agreed with the proposition.

The other remit originated from one of the smaller Support Groups, Waiheke Island. Members there canvassed for a rewrite of the Manual of Ministerial duties, to be provided both on-line and in hard copy. The current Manual is out of date, they pointed out, and Justiuces of the Peace need a ready, accurate Manual that they can refer to. Conference agreed and a request will be made to the Ministry.

Auckland Association also had a remit passed by Conference that called for voting figures to be made available following elections at Conference. But the attempt to get Auckland’s “Active and Trained” initiative incorporated into the Federation’s proposed Accreditation system failed.  

Conference News

Ric Carlyon - Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Minister: Thanks Justices of the Peace and Looks Ahead

Hon. Maggie Barry, standing in for Associate Justice Minister Simon Bridges, officially opened the recent Royal Federation of Justices Associations’ Annual Conference at Takapuna and began her remarks by thanking Justices of the Peace for their services which, she says, are “absolutely invaluable”. “The Government is very appreciative of your work, as are the countless New Zealanders who use your services, both in and outside of the courtroom,” the Minister said, “so thank you for all your hours of service to our communities and our justice system”.

Maggie Barry then pursued the theme of the conference “The Changing Skyline of Justice” when she said that the Government is committed to modernising our courts, so that the court system reflects the needs of New Zealand and New Zealanders in the 21st century.

“We want a system that delivers results faster, is simpler for people to use and understand, and provides a better experience for those who work in it. People expect modern customer service and the greater provision of services online” the Minister said, “and we also need to ensure that resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible”.

“But in seeking a modern court system, the Government is equally conscious of the fundamental values that underpin justice laid out in the Bill of Rights and other laws and conventions”

Maggie Barry continued…“this will require changes in law and operation, and the implementation of technology alongside a commitment of everyone who works in the justice system – judges, court staff and, of course, Justices of the Peace – to ensure these changes are successful”.

Mai Chen to speak at Conference 2015

Selwyn Haworth - Thursday, November 13, 2014

Conference 2015 committee is proud to announce that Mai Chen has been confirmed as Saturday's plenary speaker at the Royal Federation's annual conference starting Friday 27 February 2015.    Mai will be known to many JPs for her many achievements, not only as Founding Partner of Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists, but also as an author, public speaker and winner of numerous awards including Business and Entrepreneur Women of Influence Award in 2013.   

Go to the Conference 2015 News tab and read more information about Mai Chen.    

To register for Conference 2015, go to Conference 2015 Registration tab.   Register NOW so you don't miss out on hearing Mai Chen speak (and also gain the early bird discounted fee).  

 

Registrations Open for Regional Conference

Ric Carlyon - Friday, August 29, 2014

This year’s Auckland Regional Conference is being held on Sunday 14th September 10am - 3pm at Alexandra Park, Epsom. Registrations are now open – the form’s found in the Members’ Section of our website and can be returned  on-line (see below for details to access Members' Section)

A varied programme has been arranged by Wallis Walker, Auckland Regional Representative to Royal Federation.

Included is an address by Bruce Adin speaking on Population Trends, updates on Support Groups and further information on the “Active and Trained” initiative – a move to get more JPs involved in community service. 

There’s also opportunity for members to suggest remits for next year’s National Conference in Auckland.

Members: Access the Members Section of the website this way…. on the Any Page ...

Enter Username: your surname and JP number e.g. Bloggs92345 (if your number is fewer than 5 letters put noughts in front to make it up to 5 numbers)

Enter Password: your date of birth ddmmyyyy, e.g.  21st May 1999 will be  21051999

Press Log In and go to Regional Conference 2014.  

For a direct link click here for the the Region Conference Page

Update - 2015 Conference - Auckland

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, July 17, 2014

Yes, we are hosting the 2015 Conference... and first registrations are in!

Chairman of the organising committee, Selwyn Haworth, updated the Council on preparations at its recent meeting. “The budget’s been approved,” he advised, “the venue at Spencer on Byron (at Takapuna) will provide a great venue, February 27 – March 1st, and the theme, “The Changing Skyline of Justice”, provides ample scope for worthwhile direction and discussion”.

"This new website is the vehicle for conference registration and learning what is news – all under the Conference 2015 tab".

To help cover costs of the conference J.P.s and others are being asked to sponsor the event –
Patron for $1,000 secures full registration, recognition, priorities and a tax deductible donation receipt
Associate of Conference ($500) full registration and recognition, and a tax deductible donation receipt
Friend of Conference (minimum $50), recognition and a tax deductible donation receipt.
A raffle will be circulated to all Auckland members to assist fundraising.

 

Briefs from Council’s May Meeting

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, May 22, 2014

+ Within days of being re-organised, it was reported, and welcomed, that Waiheke Support Group had arranged its first activity: training with Rex Chandler, to brush up on Ministerial duties. This, Dawn Jones, told Council, is typical of Support Groups taking every opportunity to include training in their activities - it’s become an essential part of their meetings

+ Council adopted the document Arrangements for Service Desks which details guidelines for establishing and maintaining Service Desks: facilities fast becoming the most popular way for JPs to serve their community. “The Arrangement provides advice for new Service Desks…” Convener Ric Carlyon advised Council, “…and gives a good base document for those already successfully operating”.

+ Good progress is being made for next year’s Royal Federation Conference which Auckland Association is hosting at Spencer on Byron, Takapuna, February 27, ‘15. Organising Committee Chairman, Selwyn Haworth, told the meeting that budget-setting, setting the programme, arranging partners’ programmes and other plans are well advanced for a successful event. Wallis Walker said the Royal Federation’s Board has approved the programme proposed by the host Association.

+ Auckland’s the venue for another event – Regional Representative, Wallis Walker, also advised that the Regional Ministerial Seminar for JP trainers in the northern part of New Zealand has returned to the calendar after a break, and will be held in Auckland with a tentative date 23rd August.

+ The review of the Association’s Constitution is almost complete, President Colin Davis reported, and in a week or two the final draft will be approved. It will be circulated to Support Groups for comment and will be submitted to this year’s Annual General Meeting for ratification.

+ This year’s Auckland Regional Conference will be held on Sunday 14th September at Alexandra Park. Wallis Walker said an interesting programme is scheduled including the Year of the JP which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the appointment of New Zealand’s first JP, ministerial training and a speaker on population trends in Greater Auckland.
+ Registrar, Roger Brookes, reminded Council that the next swearing-in ceremony at Auckland District Court will be held on Monday 26th May when 7 appointees will be sworn.

+ Discussion during Council’s meeting centred on new JPs’ awareness of the expectation that they must be available to serve the public, to complete initial training with a mentor, to join a Support Group and to assist on a Service Desk. It was noted that these matters are mentioned in printed material given to candidates, canvassed again during interview and reiterated once they are sworn in. However, it was suggested that the check-list used during interview with prospective JPs should be amended to make certain that they are in no doubt that, if appointed, they’re expected to serve the public, with special awareness of being rostered at a Service Desk.

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