Statutory Declarations Amendment Bill 2023 (Cth)

28th Sep 2023



The ALA has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee (Committee) regarding the Statutory Declarations Amendment Bill 2023 (Bill). This Bill proposes amendments to the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (Cth) to finalise a three-pronged framework for executing Commonwealth statutory declarations.

The ALA also made a submission in July 2023 to an initial consultation by the Attorney-General’s Department initial consultation on statutory declarations execution reform.

In this submission, the ALA again expresses our support for formally expanding the options for Commonwealth statutory declaration execution, allowing execution in any one of the following three ways:

  1. traditional paper-based (requiring wet-ink signatures and in-person witnessing); or
  2. electronically (through the application of an electronic signature and witnessing audio-visually); or
  3. digitally verified (through the use of a prescribed online platform that verifies the identity of the declarant through a prescribed digital identity service provider).

In relation to the latter option, the ALA emphasised the importance of privacy protection and data security – especially if, as the Government proposes, statutory declarations could be digitally verified through platforms like myGov and the Australian Government Digital Identity System. Both of those platforms have been subject to highly-publicised cyber attacks and data breaches in recent years.

Read the ALA's submission here.

Tags: Access to justiceNational laws