Cabinet approves amendments to strengthen the notarial profession

Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

The Cabinet has approved amendments to the Notarial Profession and the Notarial Archives Act, the Ministry for Justice said in a statement on Thursday.

Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis who put forward the amendments said that these were proposed following a consultation with the Notarial Council as well as the Chief Notary of Government. The minister will now initiate the parliamentary process to bring the bill forward in order to amend the law.

The proposed amendments concern instances when a notary can refuse to provide their services, in particular when the parties before the notary fail to deposit excise duties, taxes, and other obligations both due to the Government, and for the notary to comply with important obligations in order to ensure transparent and good governance in legal negotiations and acts published by the same notary.

The Ministry said that the amendments set out clear parameters concerning the powers of the notary, empowering the Board of Examiners to decide when to conduct the notary qualification examinations and the position of notaries who are engaged in a contract of employment.

The proposed Bill paves the way for other digitisation methods, for all volumes of Acts held in the Notarial Archives, apart from microfilming, the Ministry said.