Commissioner for Oaths Explained

A Commissioner for Oaths is an authorised individual who can verify affidavits and statutory declarations for court proceedings and other legal documents. While not all are solicitors, every solicitor holding a current practising certificate is entitled to administer oaths under the title of a Commissioner for Oaths. 


You may need to engage the services of a Commissioner of Oaths if you are giving evidence on an affidavit for court proceedings in Ireland, you are making an affirmation, declaration, or attestation for the purposes of court proceedings, or you are making a declaration for the purposes of the transfer of property or registration of ownership. The purpose of taking an Oath is to give due solemnity to what you are doing and saying in order to ensure its truth and accuracy.



Functions of a Commissioner for Oaths

Commissioner for Oaths’ have a number of functions. Their primary task is to facilitate declarations. These declarations can be in the form of sworn oaths, affidavits, statutory declarations, and other legal documents.

Essential functions include:


  • To make sure that the evidence in question is in written form (the draft affidavit)
  • To establish that the person before him/her has read the draft affidavit and fully understands the contents
  • To require the person to swear that the affidavit is true by raising the appropriate Testament in the right hand and repeating the words of the oath
  • To verify that the affidavit was properly sworn by completing a "jurat" on the affidavit
  • To charge a fee for his/her services.



The Process

The process of swearing an Oath is actually very simple. You should first make sure that you have read and understood the declaration or the affidavit. You should ensure that all information is true and accurate and you should be willing to swear to This accuracy. Make sure you bring the document to the Commissioner for Oaths appointment. You will also need to bring photographic ID and proof address to confirm your identity.

The Commissioner will ask you if you have read and understood the document. He will ask you to sign where appropriate, take a Bible, Old Testament, Qur'an or relevant holy book in your hand and say "I swear that this is my name and handwriting, that I have read the affidavit and that the contents of the affidavit are true". If you are not religious and you can affirm instead of swearing. Simply replace "swear" with "solemnly and sincerely declare".



Signature & Declaration Conditions

A Commissioner for Oats has certain rules they need to follow. Additionally, they are not obligated to witness your signature. This means that they may decline to the declaration or swearing. They may reject the signature if:


  • The signatory of the declaration or affidavit is not present. This would be known as signing 'in absentia' and is not allowed.
  • Adequate photo ID is not provided
  • They believe that the signatory does not understand that they are affirming.
  • They believe the individual will refuse to sign or may potentially become hostile. 




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