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Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice if she will assess the merits of widening the range of professions which are permitted to become notaries. (142308)

In England and Wales, qualification and regulation as a notary is governed by the Court of Faculties. No person in England and Wales is entitled to practise as a notary public, or do any notarial act unless he has been duly sworn, admitted and enrolled in this court. The Notaries (Qualification) Rules 1998 set out the qualification and admission requirements for becoming a notary.

The Legal Services Bill, which is currently before Parliament, introduces greater competition in the provision of legal services. Under the Bill, notarial services will become a reserved legal activity and it will become possible—subject to proper authorisation from the Legal Services Board—for other approved regulators to authorise and licence the provision of these services.