29 December 2021
By Mary Bermingham
What is a Peace Commissioner?
In other countries, it’s called a Justice of the Peace, but in Ireland – following independence in the 1920s – it was renamed as Peace Commissioner. It is one of a variety of names for a person who is authorised to sign legal documents.
Documents which a Peace Commissioners can sign
The powers and duties of Peace Commissioners consist primarily of:
- Taking statutory declarations
- Witnessing signatures on documents when required by various authorities
- Signing certificates and orders under various Acts
- The Courts of Justice Act 1924 gave Peace Commissioners the power to issue summons and warrants.
Search warrants can be issued to Gardai under the Road Traffic Act 1961, Misuse of Drugs Act 1977, Control of Dogs Act 1986, Customs and Excise (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1988, Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989, Video Recordings Act 1989, Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990. However, the powers to issue summons and warrants are rarely used these days following Supreme Court challenges about the Constitutionality of a non-Judicial personage performing quasi-Judicial functions. Applications for warrants are now normally made to the local District Court Judge.