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A Notary Public is also known in Australia as a Public Notary or Notary. They are senior lawyers that, in addition to practising in their chosen legal field, have been admitted to the Supreme Court as a Notary.

Notaries can witness and notarise documentation so that it is legally valid and recognised overseas, administer oaths and statutory declarations and help confirm a person’s identity.

A Notary’s primary role is to notarise documents so that they are legally valid and recognised in overseas countries. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Certifying copies and execution of legal and business documents
  • Witnessing affidavits, statutory declarations and other documents
  • Administering oaths

Whenever you wish to use a document overseas you will need to engage a Notary rather than a Justice of the Peace (JP) to witness or certify your documents.

Deciding whether to use a Notary or a Justice of the Peace depends on the end-use and destination of your documents.

A Notary Public is a lawyer who has been admitted to the Supreme Court as a Notary. In contrast, a JP is a volunteer of good character and standing in the community who has been appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Attorney-General.

All Notaries can provide the same services as a JP but they also have their own signature and Official Notarial Seal that is recognised in Australian, foreign and International courts. It’s important to note that the services of JPs are only recognised within Australia.

Our firm can prepare Notarial Certificates for you to use overseas. If you require legal documents to be drawn up that can be used in another country, we suggest that it is preferable that you try to obtain the services of a lawyer in the country in which you intend to use that particular document. For example, if you require a Power of Attorney document, a lawyer in the country in which you intend to use the document will be able to draft the Power of Attorney in accordance with that country’s laws.

Whilst it is possible to download forms and templates from the Internet in order to devise documents for use overseas, we suggest that you contact a lawyer for advice before preparing any documents.

In the event that you do not engage the services of a lawyer in the overseas’ jurisdiction where the document will be produced, and you ask us to prepare the document for you to use outside Australia, we do not accept responsibility for the document’s validity and acceptability, or consequences that may arise from the use of the document. Our firm will be unable to ascertain whether the document will be legally enforceable, and you will have to make your own enquiries to satisfy yourself whether you have met the requirements of the host country.

Jacqueline Brown of Lynn & Brown Lawyers Pty Ltd is a member of The Australian and New Zealand College of Notaries.

If you would like further advice please don’t hesitate to contact us on 9375 3411 to make an appointment.



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