Queensland Law Society

Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Documents and Oaths) Regulation 2020

The Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Documents and Oaths) Regulation 2020 is a welcomed regulation dealing with the electronic signing and witnessing of a number of additional types of documents during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes affidavits, statutory declarations, deeds, general powers of attorney and certain mortgage documents.

The policy objective of the Regulation is to prescribe modified requirements or arrangements, which will apply in addition to existing requirements, for the making, signing and witnessing of wills under the Succession Act 1981 and enduring documents under the Powers of Attorney Act 1998, in reliance of the COVID-19 Response Act 2020.

The Regulation also sets out a number of general requirements that must be met when using audio visual link for signing and witnessing documents. It sets out the requirements of a special witness to sign and keep a certificate that states particular matters including that the document was signed and witnessed in accordance with the Regulation.

These modified arrangements will mean that these documents can continue to be made even with social distancing requirements under the COVID-19 emergency.