Clients often require copies of documents to be certified as being true and complete copies of the original documents. In most instances, this certification can be performed by a Justice of the Peace – both Vicki Stokes and Shae Small of Shire Legal are Justices of the Peace.
Sometimes, clients will require copies of documents to be certified for international purposes, or they will require their signature on a document to be witnessed for international purposes. In this instance, the clients need to meet with our Notary Public, Melissa Lammers.
What is a Notary Public?
In addition to all of the functions of a JP, a Notary is required to have the combined legal experience to draw up formal certificates and to notarise, verify, certify and authenticate documents that can be recognised throughout the world, such as debentures, affidavits for use in Court proceedings in other countries, powers of attorney, estate matters, confirming the identity of individuals and even ships protests.
A Notary is identified by their registered signature and their Notarial seal. When documents are notarised, a certificate drafted and executed by the Notary is sewn onto the copy of the document with a ribbon. A wafer is placed over the ends of the ribbon and sealed with an embosser. The certificate can then not be removed unless either the paper is torn, the ribbon is cut, or, the seal is broken. This process ensures that a document is secure. A stapled certificate is not accepted by DFAT or for other notarial purposes.
To ensure recognition of the Notary’s signature and seal, registration is made with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). This is an important process, as some countries, like Australia, are contracting States to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 and instead of having to have public documents legalised by individual countries, documents can be sealed with an Apostille by DFAT. In those countries that are not a Convention country, individual Consulates are required to be consulted on specific arrangements for those countries, which can in some cases be more complex and expensive.
Within our social and business community the role and responsibility of JPs and Notaries are an important function to ensure the authenticity and certification of documents, to keep our day to day local and international business transactions moving.
Contact Shire Legal if you require an appointment with either a Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public.