Code of conduct: Commissioner for Oaths

This code establishes acceptable standards of conduct for Commissioner for Oaths appointed in the Northern Territory under the Oaths, Affidavits and Declarations Act. 

1. Access to services

(1) A Commissioner for Oaths must not unreasonably refuse to provide Commissioner for Oaths services and must treat all persons seeking such services with courtesy, dignity and respect.

(2) A Commissioner for Oaths must deal with requests for Commissioner for Oaths services in a timely manner.

2. Conduct and integrity

(1) A Commissioner for Oaths must not engage in dishonest activities or conduct himself or herself in such a way as to bring the office of Commissioner for Oaths into disrepute.

(2) A Commissioner for Oaths must keep safe and must not reveal information which is private, confidential or commercially-sensitive and which the Commissioner for Oaths has obtained when providing Commissioner for Oaths services, unless authorised by law.

(3) A Commissioner for Oaths must remain independent and impartial when providing Commissioner for Oaths services.

(4) If a Commissioner for Oaths has a personal, family, financial or business interest in a matter before them, the Commissioner for Oaths must disclose the interest to the person seeking Commissioner for Oaths services or decline to provide Commissioner for Oaths services in that matter.

(5) If the term of appointment of a Commissioner for Oaths expires and the person has not been reappointed or if the Commissioner for Oaths has been removed from office by the Minister, the person must immediately cease providing Commissioner for Oaths services.

3. Financial and personal benefit

(1) A Commissioner for Oaths must not charge a fee or accept a gift or donation, either directly or indirectly, for providing Commissioner for Oaths services.

(2) A Commissioner for Oaths must not use the title of Commissioner for Oaths to claim or imply that he or she has any special authority, credibility or status, or to advance or appear to advance his or her own interests in any business, commercial or personal transaction or dispute.

(3) However, a Commissioner for Oaths may use the title of Commissioner for Oaths to advertise his or her availability to perform Commissioner for Oaths services for the public or clients (including by using the title after his or her name on a business card or letterhead, whether in hard copy or electronic form).

4. Knowledge and competence

(1) A Commissioner for Oaths must be familiar with and follow the provisions in the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice's publication Commissioner for Oaths Handbook.

(2) A Commissioner for Oaths must never witness a document unless he or she is satisfied as to the identity of the person and is satisfied that it is the person's signature. For example, the document has been signed in the presence of the Commissioner for Oaths.

(3) Where an Act of Parliament provides that a declaration or instrument be signed or attested by a Commissioner for Oaths, the Commissioner for Oaths must do so in accordance with any instructions under that Act and any instructions on the declaration or instrument.

(4) A Commissioner for Oaths must not offer legal advice in his or her capacity as a Commissioner for Oaths.

(5) A Commissioner for Oaths must clearly record his or her Commissioner for Oaths registration number together with his or her full name and signature when performing Commissioner for Oaths services.

5. Notifications

(1) A Commissioner for Oaths must notify the Statutory Appointments Officer in writing of any of the following matters as soon as practicable after:

(a) being found guilty of a criminal offence;

(b) being found to have acted dishonestly by any court, tribunal, inquiry, regulatory agency, complaint handling or dispute resolution body or professional, business, trade or industry association;

(c) becoming bankrupt or making any debt agreement or personal insolvency agreement under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 of the Commonwealth;

(d) being disqualified from being involved in the management of any company under the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth;

(e) being suspended or disqualified from holding any licence, registration, certificate or membership in relation to any profession, business, trade or industry.

(2) A Commissioner for Oaths must update their details on the Commissioner for Oaths database or notify the Statutory Appointments Officer in writing of any of the following changes as soon as practicable after that change:

(a) a change to the name of the Commissioner for Oaths;

(b) a change to his or her postal, residential or email address, or;

(c) a change to the telephone number on which the Commissioner for Oaths can be contacted in relation to Commissioner for Oaths services.

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Last updated: 19 April 2016