Certification of Electronically Sealed Documents

On 1 July 2017, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia changed the way court orders are accessed by legal practitioners. Court orders are now signed and sealed electronically, with the exceptions of orders made by consent and appeal orders, and may be downloaded from the Commonwealth Courts Portal.
Both courts permit the seal or stamp of the court to be attached to a document by electronic means (see Rule 2.11 Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001 (Cth) and Rule 24.01 Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth)). Where a solicitor is requested to certify that a facsimile is a true and correct copy of an electronic court order it would be desirable for the practitioner to use words to the following effect:

“I XX hereby certify as true and correct this copy of the engrossed electronic order made by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia/Family Court of Australia on [practitioner to specify the date] and issued from the registry at [wherever the registry is location e.g. Brisbane]. The engrossed electronic order was accessed by me through the Commonwealth Courts portal at www.comcourts.gov.au on [the practitioner to specify the date of access].
Day xx Month xx of 20xx
[signature of practitioner]”

It should be noted that certification may need to refer to the number of pages of the order that has been printed.

Stafford Shepherd
Director, QLS Ethics Centre