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Notary Public and Legal Services' Ombudsman

Stephen asks, - how do I become a Notary and who is the Legal Service Ombudsman?

A Notary Public is appointed by the Chief Justice to witness international documents and commercial paper for international use.

Sometimes it’s required to go to a Solicitor of a Commissioner for Oaths to have a domestic document signed such as an Affidavit or a Statutory Declaration. When it comes to international business – say you were buying a house abroad or you were involved in a company that was setting up a branch abroad – you would have to get documents certified for the overseas Government Agency and these would have to be brought to a Notary.

You have to do an exam to become a Notary and then you have to bring an application to  the Supreme Court to prove why you should be appointed.

Very often people confuse the work of a Notary Public with that of a Commissioner for Oaths. It is easier to be appointed a Commissioner who has the power to witness and certify documentation for use in Ireland. This again is an application to the Chief Justice but it is much simpler and the Courts Service – www.courts.ie - have all the details.

Regarding the Legal Services Ombudsman – this is the office set up to deal directly with the public who do not wish to deal with the Bar Council.  The office of the Legal Services Ombudsman is not up and running yet because the Legislation isn’t finalised.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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