*****IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR ALL HONORARY JUSTICES FROM RVAHJ******

On Saturday 20th June 2020 the Premier announced revised rules for extending existing COVID-19 restrictions due to an increase in the number of cases over the last week in a number of areas within Victoria. A number of hot spots were identified as increased risk of infection for the community and the guidelines that where announced by the DHHS in regards to COVID-19 control are still important to be maintained.

The latest update from the DHHS website is as follows:

What you need to know

  • Stay safe by washing your hands, keeping your distance from others, and staying home if you feel unwell.
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should get tested.
  • From 22 June the number of visitors that you can have to your home has reduced to five visitors. Outdoor gatherings have reduced to a maximum group of ten people.
  • Restaurants, pubs, auction halls, community halls, libraries, museums and places of worship remain at a maximum of 20 people in any one space until 12 July.
  • Businesses including gyms, cinemas, theatres and TABs can open, with a maximum of 20 people per space.
  • All changes to restrictions and the proposed dates are subject to the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the continued and effective management of the spread of COVID-19.

What you need to keep doing

    • practice good hygiene
    • maintain physical distancing, keep at least 1.5 metres away from others
    • understand the risk and symptoms
    • help continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 by getting tested, even if you have mild symptoms
    • stay home and avoid contact if you’re feeling unwell
    • take care wherever you go, assume others may be carrying the virus

Following on from our earlier advice and continued careful consideration based on our guiding principle that all Honorary Justices should minimise any and all potential risks and always consider their their own well being.

The RVAHJ has updated our advice in regards to CoronaVirus for both JPs and BJs especially in the identified hot spot areas to reduce the risk of infection is as follows:

  1. Document Witnessing & Certification Services
  • All JPs over 70+ Years of age should refrain from all signing and certification duties
  • Any JP with existing medical issues should refrain from all signing and certification duties
  • All Document Signing Stations should if closed to remain so, or reconsider plans to reopen services until the risk is reduced
  • No Witnessing & Certification Services should be conducted at a JPs home
  • Urgent Witnessing & Certification Services may be considered on a “one off” basis provided all requirements and recommendations for social distancing and other precautions are in place
  • Refer all simple requests (Stat Decs & Certified Copies) to the list of Authorised Witnesses –
    justice.vic.gov.au/information-for-authorised-statutory-declaration-witnesses
    (NOTE: There are thousands of people in Victoria authorised to witness Stat Decs and Certify True copies)
  • If you do decide to witness a document, always wash your hands and sanitise any items used (pens etc) immediately follow each signing event (that is, between clients if there are multiples as well as at the end of the session) and maintain the social distancing and other precautions at all times.

As honorable people, we all feel a very strong need to meet our commitment to the community to provide the important witnessing and certifying services and bail/remand and interim accommodation hearings.   Our earlier advice still remains the same in that all members at this time should however consider their own health and the health of their families and friends first, so that they can continue to support their communities in the future.  Our role is important – very important – but it is not worth risking your health over.

We hope that the extended restrictions will be eased after the next 3 weeks deadline is achieved and that all in the community practice proper health and safety protocols as detailed by the DHHS.

We wish all our members the best as we all work through this difficult time together.

Yours sincerely,
Paul Mracek JP FRVAHJ
President, RVAHJ