civil law jurisdictions, the notary:
1) is a lawyer;
2) is also a "public officer" who performs public
3) is a specialized lawyer who draws "authentic deeds";
4) is a professional who is compelled to keep the original
deeds in legal custody, as a public records office;
5) is a multi-party counselor, with a specific, traditional
Latin Notary as a lawyer
notaries (at least in Europe) have a law degree.
may or may not have passed the bar examination. In Italy,
however, they are not allowed to practice both legal professions
at the same time.
be allowed to practice the notarial profession, they must
get through a very rigorous and competitive examination
and, unlike the solicitors, their number is fixed by the
most civil law countries, the Latin notary is compelled
to avail his services to whoever asks for them, unless special
impediments excuse him, and so long as the notarial document
he is asked to draw is lawful.
notary as a "public officer"
"public officer" is a professional who performs
means that he is vested by the State with public authority
and faith, which allows him to draw "authentic deeds"
(or "public deeds").
“authentic deed” is the characteristic "product"
of the latin notary system. Even though the notaries' discipline
can show slight differences in the different countries adopting
the latin system, they all draw up authentic (public) deeds
with the same legal meaning.
means legal security and reliability of legal documents:
these are considered essential goals in our constitutional
state, because they can very efficiently
- prevent disputes and lawsuits,
- protect commerce from forgeries and
- avoid damages to the parties involved.
means that the notary generally performs what has been I
has been mentioned as an "anti-trial" function,
which is becoming cost-saving for the society as a whole
because of the increasing costs of he judicial system.
this point of view, a notary can be defined as a public
officer to whom the State delegates a specific public power,
the power to assert (to affirm) the authenticity of a document.
official State seal used by the notary bears witness of
this privileged strength
"Public officer", however, does not mean that
he is in any way dependent from any branch of government.
just means that he is empowered to draw "authentic
deeds" (in the meaning and content which we will see)
by the State itself.
means, in other words, that he can give his own deeds a
legal certainty only because the State has empowered him
to this function.
this reason, he is also subject to a strict public control.
been delegated the "authenticity" public function,
the Latin Notary has a specific, legally binding duty to:
- check out the conformity with the law provisions of the
agreements the parties ask him to notarize;
- explain to the parties the legal consequences and effects
of their contracts and statements, also from a fiscal point
of view, pointing out the possible risks;
- be absolutely neutral and impartial.
is not the customers' notary, but the State's Law’s
relationship between him and his customer cannot affect
his professional duty to draw only perfectly lawful deeds,
in the combined interest of both parties.
a "public officer" and therefore an impartial
professional, the Latin Notary has a strong "anti-trial"
deeds must prevent - as much as possible - future lawsuits.
Latin Notary "authentic deed"
said before, an "authentic" or "public"
deed is a legally reliable instrument, whose trustworthiness
is guaranteed by the Latin Notary who executed it.
Where does the "need" of an "authentic deed"
legal security in business and private relationships allow
for economic development; therefore a constitutional state
must guarantee legal security to its citizens.
1) lawsuits must be prevented, for as much as possible;
2) the citizens must have access to public registers whose
records are reliable and legally trustworthy.
the reliability of the findings depends entirely upon the
trustworthiness of the deeds entered.
the official website of the Italian Civil Law Notaries www.notariato.it)