Considering Interim Solutions for Notarization
The business of the courts needs to continue even in extraordinary times – in the time of COVID to dispense justice using COVID measures of social distancing. Thus, we see the emergence of the virtual or e-court as a means of facilitating the daily work of the courts around the country.
Notarization of documents is a fundamental need in the country’s legal system. Considering this need, UP-WILOCI held an e-forum on Notarization In the New Normal inviting experts in the field of law and of technology to discuss its various aspects, which input will be consolidated and shared with Supreme Court’s re-organized Sub-Committee On Notarial Practice for its consideration.
Invited to speak in the webinar was Professor JJ Disini, who is also known as the pioneer of legal technology in the Philippines and is Director of the Technology Law and Policy Program of the UP College of Law. The salient points of his presentation titled Considering Interim Solutions for Notarization, were (1) that Notaries need to operate as quickly as possible –at the same volume as pre-ECQ; (2) to protect the Notary from the virus, physical documents need to be quarantined; and (3) time is of the essence in that notarized documents are essential for the functioning of a lot of businesses, the operation of law offices, and the work of the courts.
He then succinctly discussed the minutiae of electronic notarial practice and its requirements. In concluding his presentation, he recommended that: (1) technology to be used in electronic notarial work be left to the choice of individual Notaries Public; (2) the analogue nature of the courts, which is the use of paper, be left in place; and (3) that the Court minimize Rule-changing and instead come up with a an “alternative language” that would be in compliance with an existing Rule — all this as short-term measures, while the SC’s sub-committee considers longer-term solutions.
The presentation may be accessed at : https://www.facebook.com/legalhackersmnl/videos/2691580937787831/