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Commissioner for Oaths

Purpose: To draw barristers' attention to issues relating to this topic
Scope of application: All practising barristers
Issued by: The Ethics Committee
First reviewed: 01/12/2010
Last reviewed: 21/11/2017
Status and effect: Please see the notice at end of this document. This is not "guidance" for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4.

If you were Called to the Bar before 1 January 2010 you were advised that you were entitled to administer an oath and that this did not depend on whether you had a right of audience or a practising certificate. However, that position has changed. The Legal Services Act 2007 (sections 12-13, and Schedule 5) provides that the administration of oaths is now a reserved legal activity. Such activities may only be carried out by authorised persons.

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Important Notice

This document has been prepared by the Bar Council to assist barristers on matters of professional conduct and ethics. It is not “guidance” for the purposes of the BSB Handbook I6.4, and neither the BSB nor a disciplinary tribunal nor the Legal Ombudsman is bound by any views or advice expressed in it. It does not comprise – and cannot be relied on as giving – legal advice. It has been prepared in good faith, but neither the Bar Council nor any of the individuals responsible for or involved in its preparation accept any responsibility or liability for anything done in reliance on it. For fuller information as to the status and effect of this document, please see here.

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