A Peace Commissioner is an honorary appointment made in Ireland by the Minister for Justice and Equality. The powers and duties of Peace Commissioners consist primarily of:
The Courts of Justice Act 1924 gives Peace Commissioners the power to issue summons and warrants. These powers are less frequently used these days. For example, applications for search warrants are normally made to the local District Court.
The Department of Justice and Equality maintains the Roll of Peace Commissioners, however, it may not be up to date. The Department will usually provide the name and address of a Peace Commissioner on request.
Your local Garda (police) station may be able to give you the name and address of a Peace Commissioner. The Gardaí use their services in the course of their duties and should be in a position to supply the name and address of one who is active in your area. Contact information for all Garda stations in Ireland is available here.
There are no qualifying examinations or educational standards required to be appointed as a Peace Commissioner but you are required to be a person of good character. Anyone who has been charged with or convicted of a serious offence will not be considered for appointment. Most Peace Commissioners are well established in their local community. Those being considered for appointment as a Peace Commissioner should be aware that the Minister for Justice reserves the right to verify with the Gardai that you have never been charged or convicted of a serious offence.
If you are already serving as a Peace Commissioner and are subsequently convicted for a serious offence, your appointment as a Peace Commissioner will cease immediately.
Civil servants are usually only appointed as Peace Commissioners where the performance of their official duties requires this.
Solicitors and persons employed in their offices and members of the clergy are, as a matter of practice, not appointed as Peace Commissioners because of the possibility of a conflict of interest.
It is important to note that appointment as Peace Commissioner is entirely at the discretion of the Minister for Justice, having regard to the needs in your area. Your suitability for appointment or your standing in the local community does not confer any automatic entitlement to be appointed as a Peace Commissioner.
Peace Commissioners are honorary appointments and there is no remuneration or financial compensation by way of fees or expenses for their services.
You may apply to be appointed as a Peace Commissioner on your own behalf, or you may be nominated by another person or you can nominate someone you feel would be suitable for this position. The application for appointment must be in writing and should include some information about the nominee and the reasons why you or they may be suitable for appointment.
Send your personal application (or your nomination) in writing to:
Office of the Minister for Justice and Equality
94 St. Stephen's Green
Tel:+ 353 1 602 8202
Fax:+ 353 1 661 5461
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.