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David performed Ireland's first ever eNotarial act in February 2010, and for years encouraged others to acquire and utilise the special skills of the eNotary. He was among a small group foremost in the movement to introduce and encourage eNotarial services in Ireland and which in particular, was engaged in dialogue with relevant government agencies. Regrettably, with the failure of many nation states, including Ireland, to adopt the eApostille, as yet, the eNotarial concept has enjoyed very limited application, but we live in hope.

eNotary

The electronic documents legislation

An eNotary is a Notary Public who notarises documents digitally and publishes them electronically. Where, as is very common, what is being notarised is the signing of the document, that is effected exactly as it always has been, by the individual signing in the sight and presence of the Notary, no exceptions, and the finished document is then digitised and that is then published electronically. eNotarial process does not at all avoid all the strict and secure requirements for peresonal attendance that have always been essential when notarising signatures. The method employed by eNotaries is the use of a visible digital signature looking just like the conventional Notarial signature, stamp and seal. eNotarising digital and digitised documents usually consist of a standard PDF document that has several layers of authentication added, first among which is the strong visible digital signature. This involves involves a dedicated personalised memory stick issued by Adobe (or its licencees worldwide) containing a secure password of minimum 10 digits known only to the eNotary in question, who in turn has been validated, not only by Adobe though its worldwide network of certifying authorities, but also by the Chief Justice of Ireland in the Supreme Court Office in Dublin. This maintains the integrity of the process. The potential need for electronic eNotarisation is growing, spurred on by, of all things, Covid. In time it is hoped that the Department of Foreign Affairs will issue the eApostille as the digitised version of the conventional Apostille. This will take the form of an electronic appendix (technically, an "allonge") to the eNotarial PDF file, and forms part of the file. Put together, the new eNotarial act bearing the eApostille will be quicker, cheaper and easier than what we have been used to for millennia. At that point it is anticipated that the demand will expand exponentially for the eNotarial Act and eApostille, and there will be no going back.


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The electronic Apostille | e-Apostille

New Zealand was the first country to issue e-Apostille. In Europe it was The Superior Court of Murcia (Spain) who issued the first electronic Apostille (e-Apostille) in 1998. This Apostille, issued within the framework of an international adoption procedure, is perfectly consistent with the model proposed under the e-APP (Electronic Apostille Pilot Program).

First and easiest step in the introduction of the e-Apostille in any country is the e-Register of Apostilles allowing anyone anywhere to verify on line that an Apostille is genuine.


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eNotary in Ireland

David performed Ireland's first ever eNotarial act in February 2010, and for years encouraged others to acquire and utilise the special skills of the eNotary. He is among a small group foremost in the movement to introduce and encourage eNotarial services in Ireland and which in particular, was engaged in dialogue with relevant government agencies. Regrettably, with the failure of many nation states, including Ireland, to adopt the eApostille, the eNotarial concept has enjoyed very limited application, but we live in hope.


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Issues

The main subjects of electronic Apostille Pilot Program are: What is a digital signature? How does a Competent Authority use a digital certificate to sign e-Apostilles? How does the recipient of an e-Apostille verify its origin, including the current status of a Competent Authority's digital certificate?