Manama : Getting a notary licence just got tougher with the government imposing new stricter measures to verify the applicants’ background.
As per a new decree-law issued by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, notary licences will not be issued to any applicants, “who have been convicted of any crime or misdemeanour, even if their consideration was restored or pardoned”.
The decree-law amends the provision stipulating the qualifications of applicants for Notary Public licensure and added a new article (1 ditto) to the Law Decree 14/1971.
“The Minister may issue a licence to qualified, good reputed and well-behaved applicants, who should not have been convicted of any crime or misdemeanour that affects honour or honesty even if their consideration was restored or pardoned,” the amendment reads.
Retired judges, members of the Public Prosecution, members of the Legislation and Legal Opinion Commission, lawyers or attorneys licensed by a resolution from the minister responsible for justice affairs are eligible to apply.
On the fee structure, the decree states that the minister will issue a resolution, after receiving Cabinet approval, defining the duties of a licensed notary public, their bookkeeping, penalties imposed for a violation, the fees to be paid to the ministry and the fees chargeable for notarisation business.
The fee collected by a private notary, according to the statement, should be deposited into the account of the ministry responsible for justice affairs based on the duration and conditions set by the ministry. A private notary public is also allowed to collect a fee for their service.
On the responsibilities, the decree states that the government allows a ‘Notarisation Office’ to carry out an administrative and technical inspection of a private notary public business “at any time to view all the transactions, attestations, books, records, documents, and to take photocopies whenever necessary”.
The decree also terms a licensed private notary public and their staff as public servants.
Writs enjoy official status
Writs prepared by a licensed private notary public shall have the same power of official writs, according to the decree.
The decree also states that writs may be inscribed in English whenever the law permits and in other writs defined by a resolution issued by the minister concerned with justice affairs.
The minister in charge of justice affairs has been tasked with the implementation of this law within six months from the date of its issuance. The law becomes effective forty-five days after the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.
HM, the King, also issued Decree-Law 38/2017 amending some provisions of the Telecommunications Law promulgated by Law 48/2002. The law will take effect a day after its publication in the Official Gazette.