First this month, you may remember that I wrote over a year ago about the relatively new Civil Procedure rules which include rule 32.20.

This says that Documents created by a Notary Public “may be received in evidence” .. [in the civil courts of England and Wales] … “without further proof as duly authenticated in accordance with the requirements of law unless the contrary is proved”

I noted then that because a Notary is an independent third party lawyer owing a duty of care to the overall “Transaction” and not merely to the party paying him, therefore our Certificates can be of great assistance to any Judge.

Since my earlier blog I have indeed been asked to prepare several certificates for possible use in Court hearings.

Often they are concerned as I expected, with matters of Commercial Intellectual property – where for example I may be required to download webpages as proof that unlicensed copies of protected products are being advertised for sale on commercial websites.

I have been a little surprised however that many of my recent instructions have been in respect of private agreements by married couples. We have all heard of “pre – nups” where the parties to an intended marriage draw up an agreement stating who brings what financial assets into the marriage and who will take what out of it if the marriage should fail.

The agreements I have been asked to witness have been similar in intention. Typically a couple, who fear that their marriage may not last, wish to set out in a written document who is responsible for what in respect of their debts, or before taking on a new mortgage.

As with a pre-nup, I must advise the couple if they are married, that the Judge has a free hand in the event that their marriage should fail, [Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, s25] so that the notarised document could not bind the Judge to implement its terms.

Nevertheless, rule 32.20 does mean that the document would be admissible – that the Judge would read it. As such, it is most likely that the document would be important in assisting the Judge to reach his decision.

I think that this is an interesting development and would point out that all of the clients who have asked me to assist in this way, have sought me, I have not advertised or marketed myself for this sort of work.

Because I am not a Solicitor these days, I must give no element of advice, and the document is the one which the clients have agreed together to write. Clearly the parties feel that the fact that their agreement has been placed on record before an independent Notary gives them renewed trust in the good faith of each other.

It is possible to believe that my work in this way is assisting those couples to feel reassured about each other and perhaps helping to save marriages. I do hope so.

The second area where instructions seem to be on the increase is in relation by persons of Indian Origin to the Indian High Commission [IHC], for OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) visas.

Many times the applicants are unable to produce the last Indian passport upon which they travelled. Usually it has been surrendered to the British Home Office, or simply lost.

This is a problem because the Indian Government before issuing an OCI requires to have the Applicant’s Indian passport surrendered to it. Where this is impossible, please do note that a relevant Affidavit can be sworn before me, a Notary Public, and this will be acceptable to the IHC.

I have also been asked to notarise Affidavits as to change of Appearance, or theft of an Indian passport, and I can assist with those matters also.

Update on the Freeman on the Land Phenomenon


A brief update on my earlier blog (May 16th 2012) upon the phenomenon of persons wishing to Notarise their “Notice of Understanding and Intent and Claim of Right” in order to claim exemption from the jurisdictions of Parliament and the Courts.

I find the situation both fascinating and sad. People are being duped – typically people under pressure, with difficult financial or other worries, are being told that they can in effect elect to opt out of all of the aspects of modern life – taxation, Courts, that kind of irksome business – simply by asking a Notary to certify their magic forms.

The advice is promulgated on websites by self-styled “Gurus” with a variety of motivations.

The movement seems to have started in Canada and there are many more references to it in Canadian case law than in UK. I have seen several however, here in Leeds.

One Canadian Judge in particular was so concerned that too many litigants were causing disruption both to their own lives (getting imprisoned) and to the Courts (pursuing nonsensical claims and wasting Court time) that he has prepared in the course of a judgment there, a detailed critique of the problem and the profiles of the various ways in which the “Gurus” promote their false advice.

He asks some very canny questions
“[668]Last, I have some questions you may wish to direct to those gurus who provide you advice:

“1. Why do these gurus seem to have little, if any, wealth, when they say they hold the proverbial keys to untold riches?
“2. Why do those gurus not go to court themselves, if they are so certain of their knowledge? If they say they have been to court, ask them for the proceeding file number, and see if their account is accurate. Those are public records.
“3. Can that guru identify even one reported court decision where their techniques proved successful? If not, why then are all successes a tale of an unnamed person, who knew someone who saw that kind of event occur?
“4. How are their ideas different and distinct from those surveyed and rejected in these Reasons?
“5. How are these advisors different from the OPCA gurus who have been unsuccessful and found themselves in jail? What did Porisky, Warman, and Lindsay do wrong?
“6. Will your advisors promise to indemnify you, when you apply the techniques they claim are foolproof? If not, why?
“7. If they cannot explain these points, then why should you pay them for their legal nonsense?”

If you find all of this as fascinating as I do, you can read the whole judgment here

( – Warning – There is a lot to read – You might take all day!)