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The Notary Public - the Third Arm of the Legal Profession

Noel Cox


New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, Vol. 6, 2000

The notary public is a survival of a civil law notion in the common law. The notary public's duties are primarily involved with authenticating documents. Notaries are appointed under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Although some consideration was given in New Zealand a decade ago to the introduction of a Notaries Public Bill, no Bill was ever introduced. Though it may seem anomalous to have a type of New Zealand legal practitioner appointed by an ecclesiastical authority, let alone an English one, this is not now the primary factor which should influence any review of the office. Modern commercial practice, and especially electronic commerce, makes it imperative that any change takes into account international usage of the office.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: notary public, notaries, apostille, master of the faculties, archbishop of Canterbury, New Zealand

JEL Classification: K39

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Date posted: August 23, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Cox, Noel, The Notary Public - the Third Arm of the Legal Profession. New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, Vol. 6, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=420749 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.420749

Contact Information

Noel S.B. Cox (Contact Author)
Independent ( email )
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