Commissioner of Oaths

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.

Kevin Beirne, Commissioner of Oaths and Peace Commissioner