In order for a document to be accepted internationally, it usually must first be legalised or formally proved valid and genuine. Most countries require documents to be witnessed or for original documents to be certified by a Public Notary before those document can be used overseas.
In Australia, Notaries are senior legal practitioners who are qualified to authenticate, prepare, attest, verify, witness and certify original and copy legal documents for use in Australia and internationally. A notarial act is generally recognised as an international “certification of authenticity”.
Under the Hague Convention, the office and seal of a Notary is internationally recognised.
Until 6 June 2002, Notaries in the State of Victoria were appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in London. Following the introduction of the Public Notaries Act 2001, they are now appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria and their title has changed from Notary Public to Public Notary.