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Notaries Public

Every legal practitioner who holds a licence to practice can practice as a commissioner for oaths in Malawi. However, not every legal practitioner can practice as a notary public in Malawi. Under section 45 of the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act, a legal practitioner who holds a licence to practice the profession of law only qualifies to practice as a notary public if the Chief Justice appoints the legal practitioner and grants him a certificate entitling him to practice as a notary public upon application by the legal practitioner. The legal practitioner must have been in practice for at least seven (7) years.

In considering the application for the certificate to practice as a notary public, the Chief Justice shall have regard to the requirements of the public for notarial services and the number of notaries public already practicing in the district which the applicant resides.

The granting of the certificate to practice as a notary public is in the sole discretion of the Chief Justice and the certificate to practice is only granted to a legal practitioner who has held a licence to practice for three (3) years prior to his application.

The certificate to practice as a notary public expires on 31st March of the following year after its issue and a legal practitioner who is desirous of continuing to practice as notary public is required to apply to the Chief Justice for renewal of the certificate. The Chief Justice may suspend or cancel a certificate granted to a legal practitioner to practice as notary public where the legal practitioner ceases to be entitled to act as a legal practitioner or where the notary public fails to carry out his duties as a notary public satisfactorily.

Any person who holds himself as a notary public or receives a fee or reward as notary public without being entitled to practice as such or performs duties of a notary public commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a fine of one million Kwacha (MK1,000,000.00) or for a subsequent offence to a fine of two million Kwacha (MK2,000,000.00) and imprisonment for six (6) months.

A legal practitioner who holds a valid certificate to practice as a notary performs the following functions: (a) attesting to the signature and execution of documents; (b) authenticating execution of documents; (c) authenticating the contents of documents; (d) administering oaths and declarations; (e) attending upon the drawing up of binds; (f) drawing deeds, sales or purchases of property, wills and other legal documents for use abroad; (g) authenticating documents to deal with the administration of the estate of people who are abroad, or own property abroad; (h) authenticating personal documents and information for immigration or emigration purposes, or marriage applications or for purposes of working abroad; authentication of translations from foreign languages to English and vice versa; (j) taking evidence in Malawi as a Commissioner for Oaths for foreign courts; (k) provision of notarial copies; (l) preparing and witnessing powers of attorney, corporate records, contracts for use in Malawi or other countries; (m) authenticating company and business documents and transactions; (n) conducting international domain name transfers; and (o) any other functions prescribed by an Act of Parliament.


List of Lawyers Who are Admitted and/or have Renewed their Certificates to Practice as Notary Public for the Period 1st April, 2023 to 31st March, 2024
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