Justice of the Peace (JP) is a Judicial Officer of a lower court, elected or appointed by means of a commission (letters patent) to keep the Peace. In past centuries the term commissioner of the Peace was often used with the same meaning.
Depending on the Jurisdiction, such Justices dispense summary Justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdiction. Justices of the Peace are appointed or elected from the citizens of the jurisdiction which they serve and are (or were) usually not required to have any formal legal education in order to qualify for the office. Some jurisdictions have varying forms of training for JPs.