Justices of the Peace

Contact Details for Counter Signature of Formal Documents

As of 2 June 2008, District Courts ceased to exist and were replaced by Justice of the Peace (JP) Courts, operated by the Scottish Court Service.

From 10 December 2007 only Justices of the Peace (JPs) who sit in the JP Court are eligible to counter-sign documents, which require the signature of a JP.

A list of Justices of the Peace is maintained by the Scottish Court Service and you can contact your local Sheriff Court House for a copy of the list as the Highland Council no longer has any responsibility for JPs or the District Court.

Further information on Signing Powers for Councillors in Scotland can be found here.

Since 10th December 2007 the procedures for obtaining a counter-signature on certain formal documents has changed.

Until then some documents – including passport applications and applications for shotgun and firearms licences – required the signature of a Justice of the Peace (JP).

However from 10th December only JPs who sit in court are eligible to counter-sign documents which require a JP’s authentication.

To ensure that the public still have access to a range of counter-signatories, provision has been made which enables councillors to endorse or counter-sign documents which could previously be signed only by a JP.

From 10th December members of the public may still approach any other member of the community specified in a formal document as a competent counter-signatory, but they should not approach former JPs who do not sit in court.

Ex-JPs may still be eligible to sign applications for passports, shotgun licences and firearm certificates if they have known the applicant personally for two years.  But they should then sign in their personal capacity adding, if they wish, a note to the effect that they are a former JP.

Anyone wishing to make contact with a local councillor for this purpose can do so by contacting a councillor via contact details available on the Highland Council website.

Anyone wishing to make contact with a JP can do so via the contact details on the Scottish Court Service website.