WHY?

All Notaries are lawyers but not all lawyers are Notaries. When there is a requirement by lawyers or private citizens for:

  • Inheritance of overseas assets;
  • Powers of attorney for use in overseas jurisdictions;
  • International wills;
  • Australian company Certificates of Good Standing;
  • Certification or verification of documents for use overseas;

there will be a need for a Notary Public. These matters cannot be done by lawyers or JP’s. A competent or experienced Notary will be someone who understands foreign legal systems many of which differ from our common law. Much of the globe has countries that have or practice some form of Codified Civil Law. The Common Law is not all that common outside the Commonwealth or the US.

Roy Hasda can assist in all the above matters and more. He has experience with Civil Law jurisdictions.

WHAT?

The first function of a Notary is to establish and verify the identity of the person who requires Notarial Services. This will involve photo identification documents such as a passport (preferred) or Driver’s Licence as long as they verify your current address.

The notary’s duty is to ensure the integrity of the transaction. Courts and governments throughout the world rely on the notary’s signature and seal as an assurance that the document concerned, and the transaction embodied in it, complies with our local law and the law of the country to which the documents may be sent.

The notary’s task is therefore a very serious one and no matter how simple it may appear, it is never a mere formality.

You must not assume that your first attendance will be a short one, so allow plenty of time in case it is needed. A second attendance will invariably be necessary, depending on the nature and complexity of the matter.

If any of the documents are written in a foreign language and you cannot speak that language, or if you cannot speak or understand English, a translator and/or interpreter will be required and special arrangements may be necessary.

Because of the international focus of their work, Notaries must be familiar with and undertake Apostilles, Authentication and Legalisation. Notaries must know which is needed, when and why.

To comply with foreign requirements, Australian documents or foreign documents executed in Australia for international use, sometimes need additional government legalisation before they can be used overseas. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides a number of legalisation services to help Australian documents meet the requirements of foreign governments.

Fees will generally be charged at the rate set out in the Terms of Engagement sent to you which I am obligated to have you peruse and sign prior to or at your first appointment.  An estimate of fees will not be provided. However, any estimate that is provided must be taken as an estimate only, and NOT a quotation.

Payment is due at the time Notarised Acts are finalised and handed to you. Documents will not be released until full payment has been made.

HISTORY

The office of a public notary has a long and distinguished history.  It is the oldest branch of the legal profession. Notaries have been around longer than Christianity.

When the civil law experienced its renaissance in Medieval Italy from the 12th Century onwards, the notary was established as a central institution of that law. It is a position which still exists in the civil law countries of the world including most of Europe and South America.  In those countries, a notary is regarded as a level above a lawyer.

Notaries were introduced into England and the common law system in the 13th and 14th centuries.  At first, most notaries in those days were members of the clergy.  As time went on, members of the clergy ceased to do this sort of work and the common law notary came into his own.

Notaries are in essence, public officials who witness the truth of a particular situation.

Historically Notaries were the recorders of facts, often the only persons in the village or town able to read or write and hence the responsibility of recording births, marriages, deaths and business activities rested with them. The role has developed but has it changed? Notaries throughout the world vary slightly. In mainland Europe they deal with all things non-litigious with formality, gravitas and a charging structure reflecting that. In the USA a Notary is found in every shopping mall and pays an annual licence to be able to operate. In the UK and Australia a Notary is qualified for life and provides services somewhere between the two.

Even today they perform the task dating back to the origins of the Notary. In a world where facts seem to take a back seat sometimes to spin a good story, the role of the Notary is still essentially to confirm facts, to state facts and be the upholders of the truth the same values upheld by Magna Carta.