At the risk of offending some of our potential clients it’s as well to nip certain things in the bud.

People often only come to see a notary because by its very nature a notary’s signature and seal can legitimise and give legal authenticity to the document in question.    Sometimes people attempt to use notaries to legitimise a document that not only doesn’t warrant that (having no legal standing whatsoever) but which may even be illegal or actually designed to deceive third parties.  These can take many forms but when clients come to see me with the request that I “simply notarise their signature to a document” verifying them as a “Freeman of the Land” or asserting a “Claim of Right” or  “Notice of Understanding” I have to turn them away.

These documents have been circulating on the internet for a little while but actually date back many years.  Ultimately they have no legal effect whatsoever.  They have often been sold over the internet by companies in Australia and Canada to UK citizens with a seemingly plausible offer that by signing it and then having it notarised will (amongst other things) you somehow assert your human individuality and status as outside the law of any nation state.  That’s similar to what they did in ancient civilisations when people were expelled from cities and so on, and they became “outlaws”.  The documents go on to imply that in consequence you are exempted from a host of UK law including the obligation to pay tax (!), avoid prosecution or civil liability in the Courts, claim millions of pounds for a variety of “incidents” or will even enable you to discharge any loans or debts due and owing to UK registered banks and so on.

Please do not buy these documents however persuasive the seller is.   If you do, please don’t then try and explain to a notary that you just want him to witness your signature (I’m told some companies even now give you the wording you should follow to badger the notary into signing and will even include details on how you can threaten to complain to the notary’s regulator when he refuses)

There is a debate in notary circles as to whether these documents are deliberately fraudulent or just grossly naïve.  Either way I’m sorry but I can’t help you.  One of my notary colleagues Christopher Atkinson has written an excellent article on this topic  and if you are tempted I really recommend you read this and especially the judgement he refers to where the Supreme Courts in Alberta, Canada dismissed these out of hand