NSW is set to continue to enjoy the practical benefits of witnessing important documents remotely via audio-visual link, following a decision to retain the temporary measures introduced in response to public health orders restricting movement and association during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Electronic Transactions Amendment (Remote Witnessing) Bill 2021 has passed both houses of the NSW parliament, meaning the temporary measures brought in during the pandemic to enable parties to witness documents remotely will become permanent.

The Bill makes various amendments to the Electronic Transactions Act 2000 (NSW) and the Oaths Act 1900 (NSW), and captures the witnessing of documents including wills, deeds, affidavits and powers of attorney.

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman has said the measures will improve access to justice for people living in regional and remote areas, as well as individuals suffering from illnesses, the elderly and people living with a disability. There are otherwise protections contained within the legislation to ensure the risk of fraud is minimal.

The Attorney General’s full statement can be accessed here.

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Should you or your business need assistance with witnessing a document remotely in NSW, please do not hesitate to contact our office.