Notaries in England have a role which is really Clerical at base. We establish facts, and we prepare Certificates in which those facts are set out as genuine. Our Certificates are then relied upon in foreign Countries.
In other countries, the role of the Notary is often wider than this.
A Notary in France acts in a way similar to that of the English Land Registry. S/He records local land ownerships and the transfer of land and in many areas actually stores the title deeds.
In areas of Spain, the Notary can act as a small claims court, hearing disputes and issuing legally enforceable judgments.
In many Countries and in some States of USA, a Notary can officiate at a Wedding.
But it is a new one on me, to read of a Notary actually seeking to change the Law, by Notarial certificate.
If this newspaper article is to be believed – link here- a Notary in Colombia has done just that. He has by his certificated paperwork, cleared the way for a marriage between three parties, all of them male.
In reality it seems to me that the Notary, who is mentioned many times on the internet as an active advocate for gay rights in Colombia, is being somewhat provocative or challenging to the government there. Of course some newspapers have picked up this action and described it as the first “three-way Gay Marriage”.
If this were really what the Notary has achieved, he has apparently wielded power more usually the preserve of an elected government.
And, opened the door to a new jurisprudence, with a lot more new questions than answers.
The Laws and Courts of most Countries, certainly in England, have been battling with matters of entitlement to assets on the breakdown of two-party heterosexual marriages for hundreds of years and there is still no consensus that any fixed and reliable resolution has been reached.
Imagine the scope for new esoteric argument about money and property and children when a breakup could be potentially three way, or one partner leaving the other two.
The reality is perhaps less extreme: it may be that the Colombian Notarial documentation is more akin to a “Pre-Nup” – a form of contract in which the three men set out the terms of their relationship in regard to ownership of property and dealing with matters such as maintenance or inheritance in the case of a future separation or death. [Bit like a partnership agreement between a firm of Solicitors? Only a bit, mind]
But headlines no doubt sell newspapers.
At any rate, Colombian Notarisations do seem to be a bit more sensational than my quotidian existence here in Leeds.
CONSENT TO TRAVEL – What is a Child?
I can perhaps also use my Blog this week to underline one point which may not occur to parents of young persons travelling abroad.
Louise and I have written on many occasions, and will do again, to bring home to our clients the need for notarised certificates of consent when children are to travel with grandparents or other adults, but not with both parents.
What we have perhaps not stressed, is what is a “Child”.
The reality is that there is no agreed international definition of the age at which adulthood is reached. We have this week noted the need to certify parental consent on behalf of a twenty year old “child” to travel alone – for the United States, where the age of adulthood in many States is still TWENTY ONE.
[Imagine how a man of twenty would feel, when he can’t get on an aeroplane because he hasn’t got a notarised “note from his Mummy”.]
Ok, here’s a song for this week Link here
As ever, please do remember whenever you have documents to Notarise to use abroad, you can contact me or Louise here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website http://www.atkinsonnotary.com