A Supreme Court Judge has called on Notaries Public to understand their duties and regulations and perform them as requested in the Notary Act.
“As sworn public officials you play an important role in the prevention of fraud and protection of the parties involve by acting as an official unbiased witnessed in respect of some documents,” Justice Jones Dotse added.
Justice Dotse said this when he administrated the oath to 25 Notaries Public in Accra on Wednesday.
He said under the Notaries Public Act, 1960 (Act 26), the Chief Justice is empowered to appoint to be a Notary Public any person, whom she considers fit and proper to discharge the duties assigned to that office by law or by the practice of commerce.
He said the practice, therefore, had been and continued to be that only a lawyer of high moral character and proven integrity and now not less than 15 years standing as a lawyer was appointed as a Notary Public.
“It is expected that you bring to bear on your new appointment as Notaries Public that experience you have gathered over the years in your profession as lawyers and officers of the courts in Ghana,” he added.
He noted that the functions of a Notary Public, however, entail greater responsibilities and skills than oath taking including certifying documents, attesting to the authenticity of signatures, and performing official acts in commercial matters.
“A person appointed to such a public office is expected to be a qualified and experienced practitioner trained in the drafting and executing of legal documents. Such a person ought to be a person of trust and fidelity, a person of some worth and dignity and a person well instructed in his business, adroit in framing acts and taking the examination of a witness.”
Justice Dotse said as Notaries Public they play an important role in the prevention of fraud and protection of the parties involved by acting as official unbiased witnesses in respect of some documents.
He said: “As Notaries Public you may have to prepare important documents such as contracts, leases, power of attorney and articles of partnership, wills and other instruments.
“You also have the authority to notarise documents anywhere in Ghana, but must not notarise a signature of a person who has not appeared before you.”
He advised them to include on any document, their names, signatures, date of notarisation, affix their notary seal or stamp to documents, as well as to maintain a register of all notary acts they perform and notify the judicial Secretary of any name or address changes for an amendment to be made in the records.