Modernising Document Execution: Consultation on proposed reform to the execution of Commonwealth Statutory Declarations

31st Jul 2023



The ALA has made a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department in relation to formally allowing electronic execution of Commonwealth statutory declarations. Temporary measures for online execution expire on 31 December 2023.

The proposal under consideration is to implement a framework whereby a Commonwealth statutory declaration could be executed in any of the following ways:

  • traditional paper-based execution (wet-ink signatures and in-person witnessing);
  • e-execution (electronic signatures and witnessing via audio-visual means); and
  • digital execution (end-to-end online execution through the Australian Government Digital Identity System).

In our submission, the ALA expresses our broad support for the above framework. ALA members have reported that online execution in recent years has facilitated greater access to justice for clients, especially for those located in rural, regional and remote areas, as well as for those who are elderly, injured, in hospital, or who have limited mobility.

However, the ALA also emphasised that our support for ‘e-execution’ and ‘digital execution’ is contingent upon the assurance of privacy protection and data security, including within the Australian Government Digital Identity System.

Read the ALA's submission here.

Tags: Access to justice