A Peace Commissioner is an honorary appointment made by the Minister for Justice under Section 88 of the Courts of Justice Act 1924. They are responsible for:
- Taking statutory declarations and oaths
- Witnessing signatures on documents required by various authorities
- Signing certificates and orders under various Acts
Peace Commissioners also have the authority to issue summons and warrants, though these powers are are not exercised very often. In most cases, applications for search warrants are made to the local District Court.
Finding a Peace Commissioner
The Department of Justice maintains the Roll of Peace Commissioners, however, it may not be fully up to date. The Department can usually provide the name and address of a Peace Commissioner on request - see 'Where to apply' below.
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 Gardaí that you have never been charged or convicted of a serious offence.
If you are already serving as a Peace Commissioner and are convicted for a serious offence during this time, your appointment as a Peace Commissioner will cease immediately.
Civil servants are usually only appointed as Peace Commissioners when their official duties requires this.
Solicitors and people employed in their offices and members of the clergy are not appointed as Peace Commissioners because of the possibility of a conflict of interest.
Peace Commissioner appointments are 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 give any automatic entitlement to be appointed as a Peace Commissioner.
Social media guidelines
Peace Commissioners must respect the integrity of the office and to behave to the highest standards. This obligation applies to comments on social media platforms or other public fora.
You should be aware of the implications of engaging in social media and online conversations. Comments made in a personal capacity can sometimes be attributed or perceived as the official position of the Department of Justice.
When using social media, whether in a personal capacity or otherwise, Peace Commissioners are required to:
- Ensure their actions do not bring the Office of Peace Commissioner into disrepute
- Use caution, common sense and exhibit sound judgment before posting to online platforms
- Respect the views and opinions of others
- Avoid unnecessary confrontation
- Be respectful of all individuals, races, religions and cultures
- Refrain from using slurs, insults or obscenities at all times
- Be considerate of others’ privacy
- Refrain from describing themselves as employees of the Department of Justice
In the event of any breach of these guidelines the Minister for Justice reserves the right to remove a Peace Commissioner from office.
How to apply
You may apply to be appointed as a Peace Commissioner on your own behalf, you may be nominated by another person or you can nominate someone you feel would be suitable for this position.
Your application must be in writing and should include some information about the nominee and the reasons why you or they may be suitable for appointment.