Updated 23 December 2013
- Duties and powers
A Notary Public is an officer of the law whose public office and duty is to draw, attest or certify under his official seal, for use anywhere in the world, deeds or other documents.
Such documents include wills, powers of attorney, affidavits, declarations, etc…
The importance of Notaries Public in Jersey is not so much in the functions which they perform within Jersey but in the link which they provide between institutions in Jersey and overseas.
- Typical functions
For Jersey purposes, the typical functions of a Notary Public include:
(i) witnessing the swearing on oath (or making of a solemn affirmation) by way of affidavit;
(ii) witnessing the execution of a will or deed poll (e.g. to change your name);
(iii) witnessing the execution of a power of attorney requiring registration in the Public Registry under the Powers of Attorney (Jersey) Law 1995;
(iv) attesting, authenticating or certifying personal documents.
For international purposes, the typical functions of a Notary Public include:
(i) witnessing (or attesting, authenticating or certifying) the execution of a power of attorney for use overseas;
(ii) attesting, authenticating or certifying personal documents for use overseas (e.g. migration, marriage, property or estate purposes);
(iii) attesting, authenticating or certifying personal, company or business documents for foreign transactions.
This function, carried out by the Notary Public, is described as “notarisation”.
Notarisation is often required in international transactions where the identity and capacity of the parties needs to be checked in order, for instance, to minimise the risk of fraud. There is increasing demand for notarisation in light of worldwide anti-money laundering and “know your client” requirements.
A document for use overseas must also sometimes be notarised in order to have formal validly in that country.
- Notarial acts
Notarisation will broadly take two forms:
(i) A notarial act in the public form:
This is where the Notary Public is the author of the entire document (e.g. a notarial certificate which confirms the truth of various statements made therein).
(ii) A notarial act in the private form:
This is, usually, where the Notary Public simply appends his attestation, authentication or certification onto a private document signed by the client.
- Some history
The notarial profession has its roots in Roman law. Notaries Public were originally scribae (or scribes) who copied or transcribed documents for use in court proceedings and who, as a result of their technical knowledge and skill, played an increasing role in public and private affairs.
Notaries Public are thus sometimes described as members of the oldest branch of the legal profession.
For historic reasons, Notaries Public in Jersey are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and are regulated by the Court of Faculties. Notaries Public in Jersey, whilst acting in that capacity, are not officers of the Royal Court of Jersey or members of, or regulated by, the Jersey Law Society.
Despite our common origins, the functions of Notaries Public in Jersey is different to that of “Latin” notaries in at least one important aspect – in civil law jurisdictions, few legal transactions can be effected without the intervention of a Notary Public and this is not the case in Jersey.
- The Jersey Notaries Society
The Jersey Notaries Society is the unincorporated association representing the interests of Notaries Public in Jersey. The current joint secretaries of the Jersey Notaries Society are:
1st Floor, Mielles House
La Rue des Mielles
Jersey JE2 3QD
Tel: +44 (0) 1534 76304 / 300
Elizabeth Le Guillou
c/o Backhurst Dorey & Crane
24 Sand Street
Jersey JE2 3QF
Tel: +44 (0) 1534 823823
- Legalisation and apostille
Just like a Notary Public will check the identity and capacity of the person signing a document for use abroad, foreign authorities may wish to check the identity and capacity of the Notary Public.
This process can take two forms (depending on whether the foreign country is a party to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961):
This is the certification process by which, in Jersey, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office verifies the signature and seal of the Notary Public.
The Lieutenant Governor’s Office is c/o States of Jersey Customs & Immigration Department, Maritime House, La Route du Port Elizabeth, St Helier, Jersey JE1 1JD. A fee of £21.00 is currently charged for this service. The Notary Public will also be able to arrange this for an additional fee.
This is the certification process by which the diplomatic or consular agents of the country in which the document has to be produced, verify the signature and seal of the Notary Public. Charges and fees will be on a case-by-case basis.
It is common, for most countries, to accept certification by way of the Apostille. This is the fastest and more cost-efficient process. The Notary Public will be able to inform you which is required.
You should make enquiries, in advance, to check whether the foreign authorities require this. This is important as they may not accept a notarized document without this.
A notarial act in the public form (as described above) will typically be more expensive than a notarial act in the private form (as described above). This is because the Notary Public will have to produce a notarial certificate.
As opposed to other legal professionals which usually charge on a time-cost basis, a Notary Public will usually charge on the number of documents being notarised. As a result, a Notary Public may be cheaper than other legal professionals.
There are no industry standard fees. However, a Notary Public should inform his client in advance of the fees which he proposes to charge. There is no cost to get in touch and you should not hesitate to contact us to discuss.
c/o Voisin, Advocates, Solicitors and Notaries Public
Jersey JE1 1AW
Tel: +44 (0) 1534 500300
Fax : +44 (0) 1534 500350
Notaries practising in Jersey
6. Notaries practising in Jersey as at January 2011
|Advocate R Amy||Ogier||504000|
|Advocate E C G Bennett||Bedells||814814|
|Mrs N Bennett||639687|
|Ms S E Blake||864341|
|Advocate P F Cubitt Sowden||Crill Canavan||601700|
|Advocate A J Dessain||Bedells||814814|
|Robert Harman||Cornwall and Harman||766077|
|N A Jenner||Le Gallais and Luce||07797821959|
|J J R Johnson||Galsworthy and Stones||740120|
|Advocate D E Le Cornu||Hanson Renouf||767764|
|Advocate S A Meiklejohn||Ogier||504000|
|Advocate A J Olsen||Carey Olsen||822210|
|Advocate C Parslow||Bedells||814814|
|Advocate S A Pearmain||Appleby||818059|
|B K Pickersgill||Pickersgill and Co||827766|
|Mr P C P Scally||Le Gallais & Luce||760763|
|Advocate Ian Strang||Voisin||500300|
|Advocate C M B Thacker||Viberts||888666|
|Ms E Turton||609000|
|Advocate M Goulborn||Bois & Bois||480480|
|P.J. Matthams||Carey Olsen||822225|