Commissioners for Oaths Act 1889

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1889 c. 10


Commissioners for Oaths Act, 1889.

(52 & 53 Vict.) CHAPTER 10.

An Act for amending and consolidating enactments relating to the administration of Oaths.

[31st May 1889]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

S-1 Appointment and powers of commissioners for oaths.

1 Appointment and powers of commissioners for oaths.

(1)1.—(1.) The Lord Chancellor may from time to time, by commission signed by him, appoint persons being practising solicitors or other fit and proper persons to be commissioners for oaths, and may revoke any such appointment.

(2) (2.) A commissioner for oaths may, by virtue of his commission, in England or elsewhere, administer any oath or take any affidavit for the purposes of any court or matter in England, including any of the ecclesiastical courts or jurisdictions, matters ecclesiastical, matters relating to applications for notarial faculties, and matters relating to the registration of any instrument, whether under an Act of Parliament or otherwise, and take any bail or recognizance in or for the purpose of any civil proceeding in the Supreme Court, including all proceedings on the revenue side of the Queen's Bench Division.

(3) (3.) Provided that a commissioner for oaths shall not exercise any of the powers given by this section in any proceeding in which he is solicitor to any of the parties to the proceeding, or clerk to any such solicitor, or in which he is interested.

S-2 Powers of certain officers of court, &c. to administer oaths.

2 Powers of certain officers of court, &c. to administer oaths.

2. Every person who, being an officer of or performing duties in relation to any court, is for the time being so authorised by a judge of the court, or by or in pursuance of any rules or orders regulating the procedure of the court, and every person directed to take an examination in any cause or matter in the Supreme Court, shall have authority to administer any oath or take any affidavit required for any purpose connected with his duties.

S-3 Taking of oaths out of England.

3 Taking of oaths out of England.

(1)3.—(1.) Any oath or affidavit required for the purpose of any court or matter in England, or for the purpose of the registration of any instrument in any part of the United Kingdom, may be taken or made in any place out of England before any person having authority to administer an oath in that place.

(2) (2.) In the case of a person having such authority otherwise than by the law of a foreign country, judicial and official notice shall be taken of his seal or signature affixed, impressed, or subscribed to or on any such oath or affidavit.

S-4 Appointment of persons to administer oaths for prize proceedings.

4 Appointment of persons to administer oaths for prize proceedings.

4. The Lord Chancellor may, whenever it appears to him necessary to do so, authorise any person to administer oaths and take affidavits for any purpose relating to prize proceedings in the Supreme Court, whilst that person is on the high seas or out of Her Majesty's dominions, and it shall not be necessary to affix any stamp to the document by which he is so authorised.

S-5 Jurat to state where and when oath is taken.

5 Jurat to state where and when oath is taken.

5. Every commissioner before whom any oath or affidavit is taken or made under this Act shall state truly in the jurat or attestation at what place and on what date the oath or affidavit is taken or made.

S-6 Powers as to oaths and notarial acts abroad.

6 Powers as to oaths and notarial acts abroad.

(1)6.—(1.) Every British ambassador, envoy, minister, charg d'affaires, and secretary of embassy or legation exercising his functions in any foreign country, and every British consul-general, consul, vice-consul, acting consul, pro-consul, and consular agent exercising his functions in any foreign place may, in that country or place, administer any oath and take any affidavit, and also do any notarial act which any notary public can do within the United Kingdom; and every oath, affidavit, and notarial act administered, sworn, or done by or before any such person shall be as effectual as if duly administered, sworn, or done by or before any lawful authority in any part of the United Kingdom.

(2) (2.) Any document purporting to have affixed, impressed, or subscribed thereon or thereto the seal and signature of any person authorised by this section to administer an oath in testimony of any oath, affidavit, or act being administered, taken, or done by or before him, shall be admitted in evidence without proof of the seal or signature being the seal or signature of that person, or of the official character of that person.

S-7 Perjury.

7 Perjury.

7. Whoever wilfully and corruptly swears falsely in any oath or affidavit taken or made in accordance with the provisions of this Act, shall be guilty of perjury in every case where if he had so sworn in a judicial proceeding before a court of competent jurisdiction he would be guilty of perjury.

S-8 Forgery.

8 Forgery.

8. Whoever forges, counterfeits, or fraudulently alters the seal or signature of any person authorised by or under this Act to administer an oath, or tenders in evidence, or otherwise uses, any affidavit having any seal or signature so forged or counterfeited or fraudulently altered, knowing the same to be forged, counterfeited, or fraudulently altered, shall be guilty of felony, and liable on conviction to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years and not less than five years, or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any term not exceeding two years.

S-9 Trial of offences.

9 Trial of offences.

9. Any offence under this Act, whether committed within or without Her Majesty's dominions, may be inquired of, dealt with, tried, and punished in any county or place in the United Kingdom in which the person charged with the offence was apprehended or is in custody, and for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or punishment the offence shall be deemed to have been committed in that county or place.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT