Justice minister introduces Bill to simplify document authentication process

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Justice minister introduces Bill to simplify document authentication process

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Justice Minister Delroy Chuck introduced the Authentication (Foreign Public Documents) Bill 2020 in Parliament this afternoon, which is aimed at simplifying the authentication process of local documents intended for use overseas and of foreign documents intended for use in Jamaica.

The ministry said local documents, such as birth, marriage and death certificates; decrees for the dissolution of marriage; excerpts from official public records and registers; and medical and health certificates, are among the documents which can be authenticated under the Bill.

“When this Bill is made into law, and we join the Hague Convention Abolishing the requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, commonly known as The Apostille Convention, locals and foreigners undertaking business with Jamaica will be able to conduct their business transactions in a more transparent, simple and timely manner,” the justice minister emphasised.

Noting that a public document that is intended for use in a foreign country is generally required to be verified, the ministry said if the recipient in the foreign country is not familiar with the official capacity of the signee or the identity of the seal or stamp it bears, there is need for legalization.

“There are currently 118 members of the Apostille Convention. Documents from Jamaica will be accepted as valid from all members once they bear the Apostille certificate,” Minister Chuck noted.

Likewise, the ministry said documents from those countries will be accepted as valid following approval from Jamaica's Apostille Registry.

The ministry added that it is proposed that the Competent Authority in Jamaica for the authentication of the public documents should be the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.


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