Automatic language translation
Our website uses an automatic service to translate our content into different languages. These translations should be used as a guide only. See our Accessibility page for further information.
Issued: 8 April 2020
Download PDF (PDF, 347.3 KB)
As outlined in our alert of 25 March 2020, the Electronic Transactions Act 2000 ("ET Act") has been amended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to permit regulations that alter arrangements for signing and witnessing documents. As we continue to monitor these developments closely, agencies filing court documents, including affidavits, should ensure compliance with existing signing and execution requirements until such regulations are made.
Where a court document requires a signature, in general this means an ink signature on paper. Some courts by rules or practice notes accept electronic signatures on court documents, subject to conditions. In response to COVID-19, the power to change signing requirements via regulations has been inserted as s.17 of the ET Act.
It is important to monitor the developing requirements of each judicial body in the current environment, as a number of individual courts have recently varied their practices and procedures.
Pending changes via regulations, the signing requirements of each jurisdiction and document must be considered. By way of example:
Each jurisdiction differs, and it is important to bear in mind that a failure to comply with requirements associated with the preparation of court documents can have serious consequences, including inadmissibility in certain circumstances. If the requirements in this interim period for signing or witnessing court documents in a particular judicial body are not clear, consider seeking advice.
Cheryl Drummy, Assistant Crown Solicitor
Civil Law Division
02 9474 9201
0431 656 690
Naomi Malhotra, Assistant Crown Solicitor
Inquiries & Criminal Law Division
02 9474 9184
0416 927 933
John McDonnell, Assistant Crown Solicitor
Administrative Law, Employment & Child Protection Division
02 9474 9219
0411 259 472
Felicity Shaw, Assistant Crown Solicitor
Commercial & Property Law Division
02 9474 9442
0466 480 286
To subscribe to legal alerts, email the CSO Marketing and Communications team at: email@example.com.
09 Jun 2023
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.