20/09/2019 0 Comments
What is a Commissioner for Oaths?
Most people are unaware of the functions and duties of a Commissioner for Oaths, but there may come a time in your life when you will need to use their services so it is important to know what it is they do. A Commissioner for Oaths is a person who is authorised to verify affidavits, which are statements in writing and on oath, and other legal documents. In Ireland, a Commissioner for Oaths is appointed by the Chief Justice and usually, but does not always, a solicitor.
You may require the services of a Commissioner for Oaths if:
- You are giving evidence on affidavit for court proceedings in Ireland.
- You are making an affirmation, declaration, acknowledgment, examination or attestation for the purposes of court proceedings.
- You are making a declaration for the purposes of the transfer of property or registration of ownership.
Functions of a Commissioner for Oaths
Commissioner for Oaths have a number of functions. These are primarily:
- 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 establish the identity of the person signing the affidavit.
- 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.
A Commissioner for Oaths can take declarations for a number of documents including:
- Family Home Declarations
- Statutory Declarations
Oaths and Affirmations
The person making the oath will be required to swear on the New Testament. Those in the Jewish faith can swear on the Old Testament. The oath taken in front of the Commissioner will be:
- "I swear by Almighty God that this is my name and handwriting, and that the contents of this my affidavit are true.”
Some people do not wish to be sworn in on the grounds of religion. Instead, they are required to make a solemn affirmation as follows:
- “I, ... do solemnly and sincerely affirm that this is my name and handwriting, and that the contents of this my affidavit are true.”
Once you have sworn your oath or made your affirmation, the Commissioner for Oaths will provide a signature verifying the documents and stating that the oath has taken place.