Malta's far-reaching amendments to Notarial Legislation

Cristina Maria Scerri | Published on 20 Jul 2011

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A bill has been published on Tuesday 19 July's issue of the Malta Government Gazzette introducing tighter regulation for public notaries. The new amendments seek to provide the entire profession with enhanced reputability through increased regulation.

Maltese notaries will be required to open trust accounts within which they would deposit any funds that they would be handling on behalf of their clients thus ensuring that the notary’s creditors would not be able to claim funds belonging to the notary’s clients. Malta notaries will also be required to possess obligatory insurance to cover clients in instances of financial hardship.

The acts that Maltese notaries would be prohibited from publishing will be increased from four to ten in order to address any questionable legal loopholes. The law will also legally oblige all notaries to perform the necessary research in relation to their clients’ needs as specified in the upcoming law. Notaries will also be required to present detailed reports of their research and investigations to the client; this obligation can be waived by the client in writing.

The amendments will also empower the Malta Notary Council to draw up a code of ethics for notary officials and to review notaries’ acts and ensure compliance with the law.

The proposed amendments are augured to be tabled for parliamentary discussion as soon as the summer recess is over and may potentially come into force by the end of the year.

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