Public Notaries Act 1997 – Section 4 – Functions of Admission Board
Section 4 of the Public Notaries Act 1997 (NSW) is the first section in Part 2 of the Act which deals with the Appointment of Public Notaries. It reads as follows:
(1) The Admission Board has and may exercise the functions conferred or imposed on it by or under this Act.
(2) In exercising those functions, the Admission Board may consult with the Society of Notaries.
These two subsections outline the powers and authority of the Admission Board and the consultative nature of the Society of Notaries, which is the professional association of Notaries Public in New South Wales. Further specific powers of the Board are outlined in section 9 in relation to the making of Rules for Notaries Public.
An interesting aspect of sub-section 4(b) is the use of the word “may”. The word suggests that the Board can but does not have to consult with the Society of Notaries. While the Society of Notaries functions as a body representing the interests of its members as well as an organisation dedicated to maintaining their best practice, the Board is not mandated or compelled to liaise with it. In other words, the Board has discretion whether or not it will consult with the Society at all. Be that as it may, section 4(b) does not prevent the Society from making submissions to the Board if and when it sees fit.
As at the publication of this short article, no case law could be located in which the scope and powers of the Board vis-à-vis the Society has been tested.
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