The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Wood on Friday called on notaries public to perform their duties with diligence and care in compliance with the Notarial Act.
She said failure by Notaries Public to adhere to the laws of their profession could lead to consequences such as being suspended or their names struck off the roll of Notaries.
Mrs Justice Wood made the call in an address read on her at the swearing-in of 32 Notaries Public in Accra.
Notaries Public are lawyers of high moral character and proven integrity of not less than 10 years standing at the bar appointed and sworn-in by the Chief Justice.
Their duties include taking oaths, authenticating documents, preparing contracts, leases, powers of attorney, articles of partnership, wills and other instruments.
The newly sworn-in notaries public are Mr John Opoku, Ms Sadia Chinery-Hesse, Ms Dora Glover-Tay, Mr Amiel Adjorkor Codjoe, Ms Amina A. Kuguah, Ms Jessie Jacintho, Mr Ebenezer Kojo Kum, Ms Sylvia Assimeng Archer, Mr Anthony Desewu and Mr Fred Dotse.
The rest are Mr Christopher Archer, Colonel Mahama Iddrisu, Mr Fredrick Worsemao Armah Blay, Ms Gloria Afua Akuffo, Dr Dominic Mmengayela Ayine, Nana Kwame Ofori-Amanfo, Mr Perfect Debrah-Grieves, Mr Daniel Kofi Agamah, Ms Doreen Kweiba Illiasu, and Mr Enoch Larbi Aboagye.
The others are Mr Albert Justin Kwame Gyan, Mr Sam Bannerman-Wood, Ms Abena K. Asafu-Adjei, Mr Peter Bilumsige Amaleboba, Ms Monica Nana Ama Senanu, Mr Daniyal Abdul-Karim, Ms Ama Ayittey, Ms Sandra Opoku, Ms Hafisata Amaleboba, Ms Gifty Annan, Mr John Kofi Offeh and Mr Nathan Parker Yarney.
The Chief Justice charged them not to notarise persons and documents that had not appeared before them.
She said they should maintain registry of all notarial acts performed by them since this would serve as record of the notary’s act.
Mrs Justice Wood said as sworn public officials, notaries public must help in preventing fraud and protect parties involved by acting as unbiased witness in respect of some documents.
She said notaries public were officials invested with international character that was recognised by the laws of all civilised nations and that affidavits sworn and authenticated by a notary were respected and received as evidence in foreign courts.
Mr Justice Alex Opoku-Acheampong, Judicial Secretary whose speech was read on her behalf reiterated the call on notaries public not to notarise persons and documents that had not appeared before them.
He said the Judicial Service had received complaints from some foreign missions in Ghana as well as the national security about lawyers who notarise documents they had not prepared themselves.
“You must thoroughly examine every document that may come before you for notarisation. In so doing, you protect your reputation and character since most notarised documents are used outside the country,” he added.