Peace Commissioners

Introduction

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 principally responsible for:

  • Taking statutory declarations
  • 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 exercised infrequently. 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 will usually provide the name and address of a Peace Commissioner on request - see 'Where to apply' below.

Your local Garda (police) station may also be able to give you the name and address of a Peace Commissioner.

Rules

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 Gardaí 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.

Social media guidelines

Peace Commissioners should be aware that the appointment to this role carries with it an obligation to respect the integrity of the office and to behave to the highest standards. This obligation extends to the making of any comments on social media platforms or other public fora.

It is important to be mindful 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.

Rates

Peace Commissioners are honorary appointments and there is no remuneration or financial compensation by way of fees or expenses for their services.

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.

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.

Where to apply

Send your personal application (or your nomination) in writing to:

Minister for Justice

Office of the Minister for Justice
94 St. Stephen's Green
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: + 353 1 602 8202
Locall: 1890 022 1227
Fax: + 353 1 661 5461
Page edited: 3 December 2020