CHAPTER 4:06
AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
EFFECT OF AUTHENTICATION

   3.   Effect of authentication

PART III
DOCUMENTS SIGNED IN MALAWI AND INTENDED FOR USE IN MALAWI

   4.   Authentication of documents in Malawi

   5.   Use of seal or stamp

   6.   Official documents

PART IV
DOCUMENTS EMANATING IN MALAWI AND INTENDED FOR USEOUTSIDE MALAWI

   7.   Competent authorities

   8.   Method of authentication

PART V
DOCUMENTS EMANATING OUTSIDE MALAWI AND INTENDED FORUSE INSIDE MALAWI

   9.   Certain affidavits

   10.   Certain official documents

   11.   Documents from the Commonwealth

   12.   Public documents from Convention countries

   13.   Other documents

   14.   Translations

PART VI
GENERAL

   15.   More than one mode of authentication

   16.   Documents executed by persons on active service

      Schedules

50 of 1966

An Act providing for the Authentication of Documents for useboth in and outside Malawi and for Matters Connected therewith

[23RD OCTOBER 1967]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Authentication of Documents Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   “authenticate” in relation to a document means to certify the authenticity of the signature thereon, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted and, where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears;

   “competent authority” means a person for the time being performing the duties of one of the offices designated in section 7;

   “Convention” means the Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents made at the Hague and dated the 5th day of October, 1961;

   “document” includes a book, record, deed, power of attorney, affidavit, certificate, contract, plan, map, drawing, writing and any other method of conveying information in visible form;

   “legalisation” means the formality by which the diplomatic or consular agent of the country in which a document is to be produced certifies the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted and where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which it bears;

   “public document” means—

   (a)   a document emanating from an authority or an official connected with the courts or tribunals of any State being a party to the Convention, including those emanating from a public prosecutor, a clerk or registrar of a Court, a sheriff or a process server;

   (b)   an administrative document not hereinafter excluded;

   (c)   a notarial act;

   (d)   an official certificate which is placed on a document signed by a person in his private capacity, such as an official certificate recording the registration of a document, or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date, and an official or notarial authentication of a signature,

   (e)   but does not include—

   (f)   a document executed by a diplomatic or consular agent;

   (g)   an administrative document dealing directly with a commercial or customs operation; “signature”, in relation to a document, includes execution of the document by any other lawful means.

PART II
EFFECT OF AUTHENTICATION

3.   Effect of Authentication

   (1) This section shall apply in all criminal and civil proceedings in any court in Malawi and to the acceptance of documents by the officer in charge of any public office in Malawi.

   (2) A certificate which purports to be signed, sealed or stamped by an officer whose certificate is declared by this Act to be sufficient authentication of a document may, if duly stamped under the Stamps Act, be accepted in evidence without proof of the signature, seal or stamp of such officer, and when accepted shall be presumed to be signed, sealed, or stamped by such officer.

   (3) The certificate of such officer shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein certified or attested.

   (4) Nothing in this Act shall prevent the acceptance by any court or officer in charge of a public office of other evidence that a document was in fact signed by the person by whom it purports to have been signed or as to the capacity in which the person signing acted.

PART III
DOCUMENTS SIGNED IN MALAWI AND INTENDED FOR USE IN MALAWI

4.   Authentication of documents in Malawi

   (1) Upon payment of any stamp duty payable, an administrative officer may attest the signature on any document subject to the following conditions—

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