Wednesday, 5 November 2014

My JP Spring comes to an end

As a courtesy I informed the JP branch of this blog and the philosophy behind it to see if they had any objections. Immediately I was contacted by a polite but firm senior community engagement officer conveying a message from the director applying the guillotine to this site. Apparently the JP branch is of the view that JPs conversing publicly in this forum is 'likely to cause confusion'. Accordingly this is my last post on this blog.

It seems the JP branch will be investigating the use of social media and may establish a managed blog in the future. A quick search of what is already available yielded:

  • @JusticeQLD This Twitter account for JAG seems as though it might be a useful vehicle for JP announcements. I had to track back to April in the tweet stream to find any mention of JPs, although it is good to see some of the 50 and 60 years of service as a JP being included here. 
  • QJA Facebook page. A very active update stream from the QJA appears on Facebook and is a good exemplar of what would be possible for all Qld JPs.
  • JusticeQLD on Google Plus. I was very pleased to see JAG even have an embryonic presence on Google Plus, my favourite social network. The associated JusticeQLD YouTube channel already contains a somewhat odd collection of videos. I wonder who and what the first JP video will feature?
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to post a small practical question like 'Do the QPS expect to see a seal on a traffic infringement stat dec or is a JP number sufficient?' and have it answered authoritatively within a day or two on a site for all JPs in Qld to see?

While I bow to the higher authority of the JP branch I will continue to produce my own aides memoir to improve my productivity and lessen my own confusion. Being a technologist I will store them privately in the cloud. Should any JPs wish to have copies they can contact me directly at michael@mrees.com.

It has been suggested I send my ideas through jpsinthecommunity@justice.qld.gov.au and I will certainly do so, and invite other JPs to do the same. Over to you JP branch.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

JP Handbook available online as PDF

I have to admit that my academic background in IT teaching and research has always made me prefer information in electronic form. It is therefore a surprise that I did not know that the JP branch in July this year made available the JP handbook as a PDF file. This can be downloaded from this publication page. I like the peaceful green cover.

This is link now added to my Useful Links collection.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A checklist for search warrants



JPs on the Gold Coast are given a useful set of aides memoire laminated flip cards. For compact snippets of information like the wording of oaths, list of document types and the sequence of steps in a short process these flip cards are invaluable.

Where the process is more complicated and needs to be spread over many cards I find the flip cards less convenient. I like to have an overview of the process on a single sheet in front of me. So I have started producing checklists on single sheets and my first is for search warrants. I used the JP branch 'red' book and the QJA 'yellow' book as guides as well as talking with fellow JPs. Note that these checklists are my personal summaries and carry no formal status.

In practice for my own use I print the A4 page reduced to A5 and laminate that to have in front of me while talking with the police officer or other official. I have created a new page to hold documents like this called Aides-memoire and Checklists.

Updated 5 November 2014 as a result of a communication from the JP branch the link to this document has been withdrawn.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

JP Mobile App

I recently discovered the mobile app for JPs in Queensland and it is another gem from the JP branch. The JP web app provides us with the main services from JPD at our fingertips right there on our mobile phone browser of whatever make and model.

On your mobile phone run your browser often called Internet or Web and enter the web app address:
www.justice.qld.gov.au/jpapp
Make sure you set a bookmark/favorite to find it again easily. Incidentally the JP App links works equally well on tablets, laptops and desktops. I have added this link to the Useful Links list on the right.

As a technologist I have to praise the JP branch for creating a web app that works on all devices rather than the shortsighted route of creating native apps for Android, Apple, Windows Phone and so on, each of which has to be downloaded and updated separately. With a web app you always see the latest version and the app developers only need to work on one version.

Some other screens in the app to whet your appetite:


Well done JP branch.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

JP Forms Collection

During my mentoring it became clear that we needed a ready supply of blank forms for the common tasks our clients undertake. These include statutory declarations, affidavits, land titles and guardianship forms amongst others. While the signing centres should hold a stock of these forms I found it pays to have your own copies if only for reference purposes.

Being a fan of the Mindmeister site I set out to collect links to many of the standard forms as an online mind map. My JP colleagues asked for copies so I simply set my Forms for JPs map to allow public access. Find the JP Forms Collection link on the right of this page.

Part of the Forms for JPs mind map
When you open the map drag the mouse on the background to move the map around and click the + and - symbols at the top left to zoom in or out. Note that if you move your mouse over an arrow symbol on any node a popup box appears with the external link which you click to open the relevant page/form. In a similar way hovering over the symbol with lines brings up a note attached to that node, see the centre node note for example.

Don't forget to send me suggestions for additional forms you would like to see added. As well let me know if any of the links are broken since they all point to public web sites that change over time.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Personal stamps

Add caption
After only one week sitting with my mentor Damien it was very apparent that stamps considerably speed up processing of documents. While signing centres usually have a good collection of stamps they are necessarily generic stamps that all JPs can use. Where the stamp wording should include the JP's name it pays to have your own personalised stamps.

Damien immediately recommended I use a stamp supplier in the USA who go by the fairly memorable name of RubberStampChamp.com which is obviously their web address. Even allowing for the $8 freight charge per order the stamps are around 30% of the cost for any Australian supplier, and frequent special deals make them even cheaper.

I have used them on several occasions. My pride and joy is the Shiny certified copy stamp that incorporates adjustable date wheels albeit in the US format. RubberStampChamp allow complete control over text weight, font, and layout in an easy web format so ordering is accurate and convenient.

Apart from the seal this stamp just needs the alternatives crossing out and signing. Over the hundreds of certified copies I have made over the months this stamp has saved many minutes if not hours.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Columns in the log book

One of the first pieces of key information Damien my mentor sent to me related to marking out the columns of your log book. Here are his exact measurements which spread across both left and right pages:

Heading
Width (mm)
Verso (left page)

Date
30
Venue
30
Seq #
15
Full Name
Rest of Page


Recto (right page)

ID Type
25
Signature Ck (Vert)
5
Photo CK (Vert)
5
Doc Type(Vert)
5
# Docs (Vert)
5
Comments
Rest of Page

The log book columns look like this:


The document type is taken from the recommended table.