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Unit 4. Notary System. Section 1. Notary Bodies of Ukraine

Notary: What language have you translated your document into? Client: Here are the translations from Ukrainian into English and


Notary: You see, I can certify the translation into English as I have a good command of this language.

Client: And what should I do with my German variant? Everything is correct here as it has been done by an expert translator.

Notary: All right, but I can authenticate only the signature of an expert translator.

Client: Should he come to the notary office personally?

Notary: Oh, no. You are to present the document identifying his personality and the document about his qualification, and certainly his signature.

Client: And where should he sign the document?

Notary: Let me have a look at your English translation. Oh, you are perfectly right. The original text is on the left, the translation is on the right. Under the document there should be all the signatures and the signature of the expert translator.

Client: Well, can you certify my English variant today?

Notary: Surely, I can. And the German one can be notarized after you fulfill all the necessary requirements provided for by the law.

Client: Thank you very much. What time can I come to you again? Notary: Any time it will be convenient for you.

2.Imagine that you are a client. You have brought translator’s documents and are eager to certify the translation. Make up a conversation between a notary and a client during their second meeting.

3.Make up a conversation. Imagine that you have come to a notary:

to certify your leaving certificate;

to draw up the deed of purchase-and-sale;

to draw up power of attorney.


PART VI. Civil Justice

Unit 4. Notary System

Section 2. Notary Bodies of the UK

and the USA


1.Think over the following questions and discuss them in class:

1.Who is engaged in paper work in Great Britain and the USA?

2.Is there any difference between functions of a civil law notary and a common law notary?


Read the text to understand what information is of primary importance or new for you.

Notes: bill of exchange переказний вексель


A notary, in almost all common law jurisdictions, is a qualified, experienced practitioner trained in the drafting and execution of legal documents. The functions of notaries include the preparation of certain types of documents (including international contracts, deeds, wills and powers of attorney) and certification of their due execution, administering of oaths, witnessing affidavits and statutory declarations, certification of copy documents, noting and protesting of bills of exchange and the preparation of ships’ protests.

Documents certified by notaries with the notary’s seal or stamp and recorded by the notary in a register (also called a "protocol") are maintained and permanently kept by him or her. These are known as "notarial acts".

A notary is a qualified lawyer – a member of the third and oldest branch of the legal profession in the United Kingdom. The rules which affect notaries are very similar to the rules which affect solicitors. They must be fully insured and maintain fidelity cover for the protection of their clients and the public. They must keep clients’ money separately from their


Unit 4. Notary System. Section 2. Notary Bodies of the UK and the USA

own and comply with severe practice rules and rules relating to conduct and discipline.

English notaries acquire the same powers as solicitors and other law practitioners with the exception of the right to represent others before the courts.

There are several classes of notaries in England and Wales: 1) the Scrivener notaries who get their name from the Scriveners’ Company, 2) the ecclesiastical notaries whose functions are limited to the affairs of the Church of England and 3) qualified persons who are not trained as solicitors or barristers but have passed special examinations.

In the United States a notary public is a person appointed by a state government (often by the governor or the secretary of the state, or in some cases the state legislature) to serve the public as an impartial witness.

A notary in the United States has powers that are far more limited than the role of a civil law notary in the rest of the world or in most other common law countries.

The US notary may not offer legal advice or prepare documents (with the exception of Louisiana) and cannot recommend how a person should sign a document or even what type of notarization is necessary. In many cases, a notary cannot authenticate a copy of a document. The most common notarial acts in the United States are the taking of acknowledgements and oaths.

The Louisiana notary is a civil law notary with broad powers that can perform many civil law notarial acts except represent action of another person before a court of law for a fee. Notaries are not allowed to give “legal” advice, but they are allowed to give “notarial” advice – i.e., explain or recommend what documents are needed or required to perform a certain act – and do all things necessary to the performance of their civil law notarial duties.


1. Find in the text the information on:

a)functions of a common law notary;

b)duties of an English notary;

c)classes of English notaries;

d)duties of American notaries.


PART VI. Civil Justice

2.Fill in the table with the words and word combinations from the text concerning professional duties of notaries in Great Britain and the USA:

Notaries of Great Britain

Notaries of the USA





3.Using the table above compare the list of professional duties discharged by the notaries in Great Britain and the USA. Tell your classmates about the results of your analysis.

4.Read the following definitions of the main notarial acts performed by a common law notary and find answers to the following questions:

1.What is a certificate of acknowledgement?

2.What is the difference between an acknowledgement and a certificate of acknowledgement?

3.What other written statements are performed by a notary public?


instrument документ, що становить правовий акт jurat засвідчення письмових показань під присягою oath of office присяга при вступі на посаду

An acknowledgment is a formal oral declaration before an authorized public officer. It is made by a person signing an instrument who states that it was his or her free act and deed.

A certificate of acknowledgment is a written statement signed (and in some jurisdictions, sealed) by the notary or other authorized official that serves to prove that the acknowledgment occurred. The form of the certificate varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but will be similar to the following:

On the ....day of .... in the year...before me, the undersigned, personally appeared ...personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the individual(s) whose name(s) is (are) subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument, the individual(s), or the person upon behalf of which the individual(s) acted, executed the instrument.


Unit 4. Notary System. Section 2. Notary Bodies of the UK and the USA

A jurat is an official statement written by a notary public that he or she has administered and witnessed an oath or affirmation for an oath of office, or on an affidavit – i.e., that a person has sworn to or affirmed the truth of information contained in a document.

Oath and affirmation have the same legal effects. Both legal terms mean a solemn promise to tell the truth while giving evidence or when making an affidavit in court. The difference is that an oath is usually appealed to God to witness the truth. Those who object to swearing an oath (because of their religious beliefs) may instead affirm.

Affidavit is a written statement of evidence used as proof in a court of


The simplest forms of jurat, oath or affirmation administered by a notary are:

Jurat: "Sworn to before me this ........ day of ........, 20 ......"

Oath: "Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this affidavit subscribed by you is correct and true?"

Affirmation: "Do you solemnly, sincerely, and truly, declare and affirm that the statements made by you are true and correct?"

6.Consult the Law on the Notary Service Board of Ukraine and decide if it provides the performance of the similar notarial acts by the notaries of Ukraine. Give your opinion.

7.Insert one of the following words into the text in an appropriate place:

Functions of Notaries in some States

signature, empowered, witnesses, advice, notary public, oaths, instruments, mortgages, affirmations, acts

Minnesota notaries public have the power to administer all oaths required or authorized to be administered in the state; take and certify all acknowledgments of deeds, … , powers of attorney and other … in writing.

Notaries in the state of New Jersey serve as impartial … signing documents, attesting … on the document. Notaries may administer … and … to public officials and officers of various organizations.


PART VI. Civil Justice

A notary in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is … to perform seven distinct official … : take affidavits, verifications, acknowledgments and depositions, certify copies of documents, administer oaths and affirmations, and protest dishonored negotiable instruments. A notary is strictly prohibited from giving legal … or drafting legal documents such as contracts, wills, powers of attorney.

South Carolina is one of three states (Florida and Maine are the others) where a … can perform a marriage ceremony.

8. Translate into English:

Нотаріус – це посадова особа, якій держава делегувала право державного посвідчення документів. Обов’язок нотаріуса – складати, посвідчувати та завіряти угоди, заповіти, передачу власності, переклади документів за допомогою офіційної печатки та підпису.

Нотаріальні сертифікати чи інші документи, складені нотаріусом, вважаються прийнятними без подальших доказів будь-якими судовими чи державними органами країни. Нотаріус є автором документа, а тому відповідальний за його відповідність закону.

Усі нотаріальні дії, вчинені нотаріусами, реєструються в реєстрах нотаріальних дій. Нотаріуси та інші посадові особи, які вчиняють нотаріальні дії, перевіряють, чи відповідає зміст посвідчуваної ними угоди вимогам закону і дійсним намірам сторін.


1.Read the following statements and discuss them with your classmates. Proving your idea make use of the following words and word combinations.

The notary functions are protective by nature.

to take measures to guard the inherited property;

hereditary right;



The notary functions are preventive by nature.

to prevent civil offences;

to prevent disputes on rights;

to reduce the risk of litigation;


Unit 4. Notary System. Section 2. Notary Bodies of the UK and the USA

to provide legal support to the agreements between citizens;

to protect legal interests of citizens.

Notary is an impartial witness.

to take oaths, acknowledgements;

to witness affidavits;

to witness statutory declarations.

2.Prepare a report on one of the above-mentioned topics.

3.Study Article 40 of the Law on the Notary Service Board of Ukraine and tell your classmates who can make wills and prepare powers of attorney if a person is:

in hospital; on a voyage; on an expedition;

in the military service; in places of confinement.


Write a short composition on one of the topics mentioned in exercise 1 ( Practice and Experience).


1.Practise your active vocabulary. Read the text and translate the words given in brackets.

Profession of a Notary in Australia

An applicant for appointment as a notary should be a legal practitioner with knowledge of Australian law and commercial practice.

There are three significant differences between notaries and other lawyers.

Firstly, s notary may act for both parties to (угода) as long as there is no conflict between them. In such cases ( обов’язок нотаріуса) is to ensure that the transaction that they conclude is fair to both sides.

Secondly, a notary will often need to place and complete a special clause or attach a special page on or to ( документ) in order to make it valid for use overseas. In the case of some documents which are to be used in some foreign countries it may also be necessary to obtain another (по-


PART VI. Civil Justice

свідчення) known as an "authentication" from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Thirdly, a notary identifies himself or herself on documents by the use of his or her individual ( печатка). Such (печатки) have historical origins and are regarded by most other countries as of great importance for establishing the ( автентичність) of (документа).

The principal (обов’язки) include:

1.(посвідчення документів) and their due execution for use in Australia and internationally,

2.preparation and certification of (доручення, заповіти, контракти) and other legal documents for use in Australia and internationally,

3.administering of (присяга) for use in Australia and internationally,

4.witnessing (письмове свідчення під присягою, урочиста заява про правдивість свідчень) and other documents for use in Australia and internationally,

5.(завірення копій документів) for use Australia and internationally,

6.exemplification of (офіційних документів) for use internationally,

7.noting and protesting of (перевідний вексель),

8.( вчинення морських протестів).

Australian notaries do not hold "commissions" which can expire. Once appointed they are authorized to act as a notary for life and can only be "struck off " by the Roll of Notaries for proven misconduct.

All Australian jurisdictions also have Justices of the Peace (JP) or Commissioners for Affidavits who can witness affidavits or statutory declarations and certify documents. However they can only do so if the relevant affidavit, statutory declaration or copy document is to be used only in Australia rather than in a foreign country.

QUIZ: Notary’s Competence

Misconceptions about the notary’s role and notarial acts can cause problems in your professional life.

Take the quiz below and check your knowledge.

(See below for answers.)

Multiple Choice

1. Power of attorney documents: a) can never be notarized;


Unit 4. Notary System. Section 2. Notary Bodies of the UK and the USA

b)are often notarized;

c)are sometimes used when notarizing other documents;

d)both B and C.

2. If a signer does not want to appear before a notary: a) a subscribing witness is a good alternative;

b) the document may be mailed to a notary;

c) a written statement of intent to have the document notarized is sufficient;

d) the notary should insist on personal appearance. 3. A notary must always be guided by:

a) the employer’s needs; b) Notary laws;

c) his or her own discretion; d) the customer’s wishes.

True/False Statements

4.A private notary is the same as a public notary.

5.You can secure a patent or copyright or protect ownership of an idea if a notary notarizes it.

6.One all-purpose notary certificate can be used for all notarial acts.

7.If there is no room for a notary certificate, it is acceptable to just stamp and sign a document.

8.Notarization makes any document legal.

9.You can execute a jurat or acknowledgment without a signature.

10.A photograph can be notarized just by placing a notary's seal on it.

Answers to: Notary’s Competence (Quiz above)

1.(d) Sometimes notaries are confused about power of attorney documents and erroneously feel they cannot be notarized. Any power of attorney document that meets the criteria for a proper notarization can be notarized. Also, a signer acting as an attorney in fact may present a power of attorney document to legitimize his authority to sign.

2.(d) Before any signature may lawfully be notarized, the signer must appear in person before the notary. This is the only way the notary can properly identify the signer and verify that he or she is signing or has signed the document willingly, with an understanding of its purpose and effect.

3.(b) To properly perform his or her duties, a notary must be guided by state statute.


PART VI. Civil Justice

4.False. There is some difference in the competence and the way of setting the fee for their services.

5.False. You cannot secure a patent or copyright or protect ownership of an idea merely by having a notary notarize it.

6.False. Because each type of notarial act certifies a different set of facts, each requires different wording in the notarial certificate. So acknowledgments, jurats, copy certifications and other notarial acts all have distinctly different certificates.

7.False. Every notarization requires certificate wording to indicate exactly what the notary is certifying. It is a completely meaningless act for a notary to merely stamp and sign any document.

8.False. Notarization does not legalize or validate a document. Any legal paper that contains invalidating flaws before notarization will contain the same flaws afterward.

9.False. Jurats require a signer to sign in the notary's presence. Acknowledgments indicate, among other things, that the signer freely signed for the purposes stated in the document.

10.False. Notaries have no authority to notarize or certify photographs to verify their contents.


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