About Notaries

Since the 16th Century Notaries in England and Wales have been regulated by the Archbishop of Canterbury under the Court of Faculties and the Faculty Office.  All Notaries must undergo academic and practical preparation including knowledge of how laws work in inter-jurisdictional situations and the requirements that other jurisdictions may have in relation to legal acts.  Once the academic and practical requirements have been fulfilled a prospective Notary is issued with a Faculty and then, like Solicitors, on an annual basis, is issued with a Practising Certificate.  Without a Faculty and a current Practising Certificate a Notary cannot act.

The Notarial Roll is quite distinct from that of a Solicitor or a Barrister.  Practically all notarial activity relates to inter-jurisdictional matters and focuses on the inter-jurisdictional transaction itself.  A solicitor or Barrister may have particular expertise in a foreign law or international law but the focus of their work is legal advice to the individual rather that the specific transactional and inter-jurisdictional nature of the proposed act.

The Notary’s Certificate is generally accepted as proof without need for further evidence of an act or as authentication of a document depending on the matter at hand.  The Notary therefore has a duty, not only to the client asking for an act to be made by the Notary, but also to the receiving jurisdiction and the other parties that may be involved in any legal transaction.  Sometimes there is need for proof of the authority of the Notary to act, see legalisation page.

Click here to read information on Notaries by the Notaries Society.

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