Civil Law vs Common Law Notaries

In civil law jurisdictions notaries are legal practitioners who have been conferred authority by the state to authenticate acts and provide legal advice to the parties of their rights and obligations under the act. Accordingly, notarial practice is a specialist area of law that requires additional study and experience. In general terms, a civil law notary prepares authentic acts in relation to transactional matters, such as the preparation of wills, the administration of estates, real property transactions and the formation and conduct of businesses.

In comparison, common law notaries are legal practitioners who are qualified to provide notarial certificates that; bear witness to the execution of documents by an individual or a company, declare the exhibition of a document in the presence of the notary, notarise ship’s protest or protest bills of exchange, affirm that copies of certain documents are true and correct copies of their originals, authenticate an annexed document and notarise a power of attorney.