A Commissioner for Oaths is a person who is authorised to verify affidavits, which are statements in writing and on oath, and other legal documents.
A Commissioner for Oaths is appointed by the Chief Justice and is usually, though not always, a solicitor. Every solicitor holding a current practising certificate is entitled to administer oaths and to use the title "Commissioner for Oaths". A Commissioner for Oaths may continue to act as a Commissioner for Oaths for as long as he/she remains a solicitor.
A Commissioner for Oaths who is a:
- Solicitor – they cannot use their powers in any proceedings in which they are acting for any of the parties or in which they have an interest.
- Non-solicitor – they must not practise outside the area for which they are appointed.
A Commissioner for Oaths, who is also a Peace Commissioner, must not charge fees for administering oaths or taking declarations or affirmations that they are required by law not to charge for as a Peace Commissioner.
You may need the services of a Commissioner for Oaths if:
- you are giving evidence on affidavit for court proceedings in Ireland
- you are making an affirmation, declaration, acknowledgement, examination or attestation for the purposes of court proceedings or for the purposes of registration of documents
The Functions of a Commissioner for Oaths
The essential functions of a Commissioner for Oaths are:
- to make sure that the evidence in question is in written form (the draft affidavit)
- to establish that the person before him/her has read the draft affidavit and fully understands the contents
- to require the person to swear that the affidavit is true by raising the appropriate Testament in the right hand and repeating the words of the oath
- to verify that the affidavit was properly sworn by completing a "jurat" on the affidavit
- to charge a fee for his/her services.