BNPCN - Professional Course in Notarial Practice

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The Professional Course in Notarial Practice is the first qualification available in Australia and New Zealand in the increasingly important area of notarial practice.

Developed by the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre in association with the Society of Notaries of Victoria Inc, this course is designed as a robust entry level course for legal practitioners who wish to be appointed to office as notaries public.

The course is approved by Victoria's Council of Legal Education as one which satisfies the requirements of the Public Notaries Act 2001 (Vic) in relation to the education of prospective notaries in Victoria.

Although originally designed to meet a specific legislative requirement in Victoria, the Professional Course in Notarial Practice is the pre-eminent qualification for prospective notaries in Australia and in the common law jurisdictions of the Asia Pacific region.

This course aims to provide students with:

  • a comprehensive overview of notarial practice in the major civil law and common law jurisdictions
  • an in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of the work of a notary in Australia generally, including a detailed understanding of notarial acts in private and public forms and instruction in relation to a notary's professional rights and obligations
  • an introduction to comparative law and international law, particularly as they relate to notarial practice.

Course essentials

Course contents

The Course will be delivered over a period of 12 weeks. It commences with a three day compulsory face-to-face workshop, followed by self-paced online study. Assessment will include practical problem solving exercises and the submission of a number of essays.

The Course comprises three modules. The modular structure and flexible teaching approach has been designed to enable practitioners, including overseas, interstate and country practitioners, to readily undertake the Course.

The three modules are:

Module 1 - Applied Notarial Practice
Module 2 - Principles of Notarial Practice
Module 3 - Introduction to Comparative Law and Private International Law

Module 1 - Applied Notarial Practice

This module aims to provide students with an in depth, practical knowledge of the work of Australian notaries including a detailed understanding of notarial acts in public and private forms and instruction in a notary's rights, obligations and duties. On completion of the module, students will demonstrate ability to draft acts in public and private form and identify practical problems faced in daily practice. The module comprises face-to-face workshops over three days and is the only component of the programme with a fixed time commitment. During the workshops, there will be several practical exercises. Following the workshops, two assessment tasks will be released to be completed by specified due dates. Those tasks relate to the practical exercises which were undertaken during the workshops.

Module 2 - Principles of Notarial Practice

This module is aimed at providing students with a theoretical background and understanding of the subjects and issues covered during the Applied Notarial Practice workshop. On completion of the module, students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of the theoretical bases of notarial practice in Australia, the major civil law jurisdictions and in the USA. This module is delivered online and it is expected that the time required to complete it is six weeks. Assessment requires completion of a number of essays.

Module 3 - Introduction to Comparative Law and Private International Law

This module is aimed at providing students with an introduction to the civil law and common law legal traditions and to the resolution of conflicts of laws between those traditions. On completion of the module, students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of the laws of a number of the major foreign jurisdictions and their ability to negotiate those laws in practice. This module is delivered online and it is expected that the time required to complete it is six weeks. Assessment requires completion of a number of problem solving case studies and essays.

Admission information

Students must hold at least a Bachelor's Degree in Law and have been practicing for a minimum of 5 years to qualify for admission into the course.

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Information about course fees, articulation and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations, and services available to students can be accessed on the University’s website or by contacting the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100.