The Australian Government, through the Attorney’s General Department, has opened consultation on amending the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 and the Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018 to introduce new ways of executing Commonwealth statutory declarations.
The proposed amendments would establish a legislative framework to allow multiple options for execution of Commonwealth statutory declarations. Declarants could choose which method suits them best, meaning that those without adequate access to technological devices or internet connectivity, or those who may prefer not to engage with the electronic or digital execution options, will not be disadvantaged.
The framework would allow a Commonwealth statutory declaration to be executed in any of the following ways:
traditional paper-based execution (requiring wet-ink signatures and in-person witnessing)execution (allowing electronic signatures and witnessing via audio-visual link)digital execution (end-to-end online execution, with digital identity providers to verify identity and satisfy witnessing requirements).
The consultation opened on 6 July 2023, closing on 28 July 2023.
You can make a submission or find further information about the proposal and consultation paper at Modernising document execution: consultation on proposed reform to the execution of Commonwealth statutory declarations - Attorney-General's Department - Citizen Space (ag.gov.au)