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Statutory declarations & affidavits - Commonwealth

 

Statutory declarations

A person may, if he or she so desires, make a statutory declaration in relation to any matter, including in relation to a law of the Commonwealth or of a Territory (unless the contrary appears in that law) or in connection with a Commonwealth Department. It is an offence to wilfully make a false statement in a statutory declaration.

A statutory declaration may be made before:

a Magistrate, a Justice of the Peace, a Commissioner for Affidavits, a Commissioner for Declarations, a Notary Public, a person before whom a statutory declaration may be made under the law of the State in which the declaration is made, an Australian Consular Officer or an Australian Diplomatic Officer as defined by section two of the Consular Fees Act 1995, a chiropractor, a dentist, a legal practitioner, a medical practitioner, a nurse, a patent attorney, a pharmacist, a veterinary surgeon, an agent of the Australian Postal Corporation who is in charge of an office supplying postal services to the public, a bailiff, a bank officer with five or more years of continuous service, a building society officer with five or more years of continuous service, the chief executive officer of a Commonwealth court, a civil marriage celebrant, the clerk of a court, a credit union officer with five or more years of continuous service, the holder of a statutory office, the Judge of a court, the Master of a court, a member of the Australian Defence Force who is an officer or a non-commissioned officer within the meaning of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 with five or more years continuous service or a warrant officer within the meaning of the Act, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants or the National Institute of Accountants, a member of the Institute of Corporate Managers, Secretaries and Administrators, a member of the Institution of Engineers, Australia other than at the grade of student, a member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, the Parliament of a State. a Territory legislature or a local government authority of a State or Territory, a minister of religion registered under Division 1 of Part IV of the Marriage Act 1961, a permanent employee of the Commonwealth or of a Commonwealth authority or a State or Territory or of a State or Territory authority or a local government authority with five or more years continuous service, a permanent employee of the Australian Postal Corporation with five or more years continuous service who is employed in an office supplying postal services to the public, a police officer, the Registrar or Deputy Registrar of a court, a Senior Executive Service officer of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory or of a Commonwealth, State or Territory authority, a Sheriff, a Sheriff's officer, or a teacher employed on a full-time basis at a school or tertiary education institution.

The form for a Commonwealth statutory declaration is:

I [insert declarant's name, address and occupation], do solemnly and sincerely declare [insert matter being declared]

I make this solemn declaration by virtue of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 as amended and subject to the penalties provided by that Act for the making of false statements in statutory declarations, conscientiously believing the statements contained in this declaration to be true in every particular.

[the declaration should be signed here (by a natural person in their name) in the presence of the witness]

[the witness will complete the following section]

Declared at [place] on [date] 19 , before me,

[the witness should complete their name, qualification and address]

 

Affidavits

Affidavits for use in an Australian court exercising federal jurisdiction may be sworn before any justice of the peace, notary public or lawyer. Depending on the purpose of the affidavit, a number of other classes of person may also be able to witness affidavits. In Family Court matters, for example, the list of suitable witnesses differs from state to state.

 

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