Media release - 22 May 2020
Queensland’s peak legal body has welcomed new regulations allowing for the electronic execution and virtual witnessing of affidavits, statutory declarations, deeds, some mortgages and general powers of attorney in response to the challenges created by the global coronavirus pandemic.
Queensland Law Society President Luke Murphy said solicitors have faced many challenges in trying to assist clients stuck in home confinement, quarantine and isolation to comply with the requirements in the execution of legal documents and managing their legal affairs.
Mr Murphy said consultation with the state government had been excellent and the Society was pleased to see this measure being taken by way of emergency legislation.
"The new law permits different arrangements for the electronic signing and witnessing using communications technology and takes the Queensland law on document execution to the forefront of the country," he said.
"These measures will assist in overcoming the challenges of COVID-19 and provide access to justice for those in isolation.
"It will also benefit those in regional and remote Queensland where face to face witnessing is difficult and costly to achieve.
"The Society looks forward to working with Government on other measures to overcome legal impediments caused by the current law in assisting Queenslanders with the public health requirements of dealing with COVID-19."