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Law Council of Australia

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New methods of completing a Commonwealth statutory declaration

27 February 2024
 

Since 2021, the Law Council and its Modernising Document Execution Working Group have been contributing to reform measures in relation to the modernisation of document execution. A key focus has been the permanent retention of temporary measures developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the implementation of measures contained in the Australian Government’s deregulation agenda. At all times, the Law Council has adopted an approach towards modernised document execution which accommodates the needs and limitations of parties, while minimising opportunities for fraud and abuse in the utilisation of new technologies.

The most recent contribution has been the Law Council’s submission to the Statutory Declarations Amendment Bill 2023, in which conditional support was provided for reforms to the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (Cth), to enable the electronic execution of Commonwealth statutory declarations. These measures passed the Parliament in late 2023 and have since been implemented. Further details on the new options for executing a Commonwealth statutory declaration available on the Attorney-General’s website.

We thank the Modernising Document Execution Working Group, led by John Keeves from the Law Council’s Business Law Section, for their work on what has been a significant reform package over the past several years. The Law Council will continue to monitor implementation of the reforms in the coming months.

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