Institute of Notarial Studies
(A Division of the Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland)
Diploma in Notarial Law & Practice
Academic Year September 2021 – July 2022
The Notary in Ireland
At the graduation ceremony for candidate notaries of the Diploma in Notarial Law & Practice (Dip.Not.L.) (F.N.P.I.) of the
Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland (‘the Faculty’) and the Institute of Notarial Studies (‘the Institute’) in the Law Society,
Blackhall Place, Dublin 7, in June 2019 were: The Hon Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Chief Justice; Dean Mary Casey; Deputy Dean
Justin McKenna; Dean Emeritus Michael V O’Mahony; Dean Emeritus E Rory O’Connor; The late Dr Eamonn G Hall, Director of
Education of the Faculty and the Institute of Notarial Studies; Secretary of the Faculty, Michael Moran; members of the
Governing Council of the Faculty and the graduates. [Credit: Tutor Print]
The notary is a public officer, constituted and appointed by the Chief Justice of
Ireland, in open court, after a course of part time study delivered through electronic
learning over the period of one year. The notary is the oldest of the three legal
professions in Ireland and shares many of the functions of the solicitor and barrister
with the exception of the conduct of contentious business and, by virtue of a rule of
the Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland (‘the Faculty’), the notary (qua notary) does
not hold client monies.
Postgraduate Diploma in Notarial Law & Practice (Dip.Not. L.) (F.N.P.I.)
The postgraduate Diploma in Notarial Law & Practice designated as Dip.Not.L.
(F.N.P.I.) (‘the Diploma’) for candidate notaries is now in its ninth session. The
Diploma course for the academic year 2021-2022 will be held remotely via multi-
modal delivery (a mix of text, live lecture/ video and other learning strategies) with a
workshop session at the Law Society, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (subject to public
health guidelines). .
The Notary: Address of Chief Justice
The former Chief Justice, The Hon. Mrs Justice Susan Denham, at the conferring
ceremony of the Diploma in Notarial Law & Practice (Dip.Not.L.) (F.N.P.I) in June
2014 addressing the Faculty and the recipients of the postgraduate diploma said:
The Diploma for Candidate Notaries and Entry to the Profession of Notary
This is a day of celebration for the Faculty of Notaries Public in
Ireland. I commend the Faculty for having the vision to underpin
Ireland’s oldest legal profession with a strong educational
The Notary Public counts among the most ancient and respected of
professions. It can be traced to the scribes of Ancient Egypt and the
tabelliones of Rome. Notarii became secretaries to the Roman
Emperor and leading Church figures ….
The notary is the oldest surviving branch of the legal profession. It
requires knowledge of many facets of domestic and international
law. The profession requires intellect and being well versed in the art
of writing. A notary is a public officer of the civil order, appointed by
the State to carry out the functions associated with that office in non-
contentious legal matters.
Notaries Public are important to Irish commerce and trade, which has
a European and international element. Irish people travel all over the
globe and Ireland welcomes other nationalities to its shores in a
variety of circumstances; this human interaction requires the
notarisation of documents and the skill and expertise of the Notary is
called upon. The notary provides a valuable service to those seeking
his/her skill and is a respected and trusted figure of the State of
…. The notary of the twenty-first century must deal with many new
developments such as Hague Conventions and EU law matters.
However, the characteristics that are desired in a notary remain the
same as they were described over the centuries. Richard Brooke,
author of the first edition of a well-known work on notaries in
England and Wales in his Treatise on the Office and Practice of a
Notary of England (1839) wrote:
‘Great is the confidence reposed in notaries and onerous are their
duties. Hence the necessity of their being distinguished for extensive
knowledge, probity, discretion and zeal.’
The Diploma in Notarial Law & Practice (Dip.Not.L.) (F.N.P.I.) offers practising notaries an opportunity of enhancing their skills and potential as notaries in Ireland. The course extends over one academic year. [There are proposals to extend the course over two academic years.]
Instead of a traditional examination in the normal sense, an existing notary will be assigned a topic in due course by the Director of Education and the notary will submit a short dissertation.
The reduced fee for the postgraduate diploma is set out in the Application Form.
The Diploma for Candidate Notaries and Entry to the Profession of Notary
The Notarial Professional Course is aligned with the Diploma in Notarial Law &
Practice (Dip.N.L.) (F.N.P.I.) and is the entry route to the profession of Notary Public
for suitably qualified candidate notaries.
There are three stages in the process of appointment as a Notary Public in Ireland.
First, the candidate notary must comply with the relevant provisions of the Notaries
Public Education, Training and Examination Regulations 2007-2021 (‘the regulations’)
(available on www.notarypublic.ie). In particular, candidate notaries must, at the
date of application to sit the Faculty Examination (early July 2022) (as set out in the
regulations) be practising solicitors or barristers, have not less than five years post-
qualification experience in the general practice of the law and at least two
consecutive years of the general practice of law must be in the period immediately
preceding the application to sit the Faculty Examination.
Second, the candidate notary must attend the Notarial Professional Course/Diploma
in Notarial Law & Practice, (Dip.Not.L.) (F.N.P.I.) at present extended over one
academic year from September to July and be so certified. The course will be held
remotely in the main part which will allow flexibility for candidate notaries. The
purpose of the course is to encompass all relevant areas of notarial practice and
prepare candidate notaries for practice as a Notary. Assessments and quizzes will be
set during the course to assist with engagement and will be based on situations that
candidate notaries can expect to deal with in practice.
Third, the candidate notary must be in ‘good standing’ with the Law Society or the
Bar Council and produce a certificate to that effect.
As stated above, the Notarial Professional Course and the postgraduate Diploma in
Notarial Law & Practice are aligned together, leading to the award of the
postgraduate Diploma in Notarial Law & Practice – designated as Dip.Not.L. (F.N.P.I.).
This course is provided by the Institute of Notarial Studies (‘the Institute’), a division
of the Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland (‘the Faculty’) which was founded by the
late Dr. Eamonn Hall in 2012.
Currently, there are twelve topics on the Notarial Professional Course/Diploma
Completion of assignments is compulsory.
The Faculty Examination/ Diploma examination is scheduled for the 8 July 2022
(subject to public health guidelines). If the candidate notary is successful, he or she
moves to the third stage in the process of appointment. Success at the
Diploma/Faculty Examination does not guarantee appointment as a Notary Public.
The third stage of the process of appointment as a Notary Public involves a formal
petition to the Chief Justice of Ireland in open court on a Notice of Motion (to which
the Faculty is a notice party as is the Law Society of Ireland). The Chief Justice
decides on petitions for appointment and who should or should not be appointed.
The admission criteria summarised here are without prejudice to any further
directions which the Chief Justice and the Faculty may make from time to time.
Candidate notaries should consult the Rules of the Superior Courts, the Courts
Service website, and Hall & O’Connor, The Notary of Ireland: Law and Practice (2018)
about the formal petition. The Registrar of the Faculty, Mr Ross McMahon
(firstname.lastname@example.org) will also provide a precedent Notice of Motion and Petition
etc. upon request.
Where a candidate notary is an employed solicitor, including an in-house counsel for
a corporation, or a partner in a law firm, a requirement (inter alia) is a letter from
the relevant employer’s Chief Executive Officer, or managing partner, consenting to
the relevant candidate notary proceeding with the petition. There is also the issue of
a facility to meet appearers.
An employed candidate notary or a partner in a law firm must also undertake never
to notarise documents for his/her employer or law firm and there is a corresponding
undertaking required from the firm/corporation never to seek notarial services in
connection with a matter in which the employer/corporation is involved.
Barristers are eligible to become a notary but are not permitted by the Bar Council to
practise as a notary from a desk in the Law Library. The Bar Council also requires
barristers to keep fees earned as a barrister separate from notarial fees.
TThere may be other requirements which may prove to be an impediment about
appointment and the candidate notary should familiarise himself/herself with all the
requirements to avoid disappointment.
The fee for existing notaries and candidate notaries for the Notarial Professional
Course/Diploma in Notarial Law & Practice 2021-2022 is inclusive of a textbook,
lecture notes (provided by the Institute of Notarial Studies), examination fees and
the graduation ceremony followed by a reception for the graduand and guests. The
fee is set out on the relevant Application Form and is €6,500.00 for candidate
notaries payable in advance.
If awarded the diploma, the designation Dip.Not.L. (F.N.P.I) may be used on the
notary’s professional literature.
An application form is available from email@example.com
Applications to this course close on Friday 27 August 2021.
DETAILS OF MODULES
The Notarial Professional Course
The Diploma in Notarial law & Practice (Dip. Not. L.) (F.N.P.I.)
INTRODUCTION EVENING TO THE DIPLOMA COURSE:
Friday 3 September 2021 3.30pm – 5.30pm
THE OFFICE OF NOTARY PUBLIC, Appointment of Notaries – Qualifications for Office,
Conduct of a Notary – Professional Ethics
Monday 6 September 2021
The Office and Appointment of Notaries
The Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland and professional ethics
Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism, Politically Exposed
Persons and Financial Sanctions
Roman Law – the origins of notaries and the rediscovery of Roman Law in the
PIL – the appointment and regulation of notaries internationally, the UINL, the CLAN,
the UK and Ireland notarial forum
PERSONAL IDENTITY AND CAPACITY
Monday 20 September 2021
Names, gender, other identifiers such as patronymics, religion, ethnic grouping,
marital status and matrimonial property regimes
Mental capacity, bankruptcy, and instructions from or relating to minors
Roman Law – civil-law concepts of personal identity and capacity
PIL – recognition of notarial acts internationally – apostilles and consular legalisation
Monday 27 September 2021
OATHS, AFFIDAVIDS, AFFIRMATIONS AND DECLARATIONS
Monday 4 October 2021
Roman Law and perjury
Private International Law – different concepts of criminal liability for declarations
NOTARIAL WORK FOR THE USA
Monday 18 October 2021
Roman Law – the relevance of Roman Law in the USA (Louisiana, adoption of civil
codes, civil-law notaries)
Private International Law – internal PIL in the USA, federal matters, reception of Irish
notarial acts and apostille
Monday 8 November 2021
DIRECT NOTARIAL CERTIFICATES TO POWERS OF ATTORNEY ISSUED BY
Monday 22 November 2021
Powers of attorney issued by individuals
Dealing with an attorney
Electronic signatures in notarial practice
Roman Law – development of the law of agency
Private International Law – powers of attorney used in cross-border situations
PUBLIC-FORM NOTARIAL ACTS AND DEALING WITH FOREIGN LANGUAGES,
Monday 6 December 2021
Public-form notarial acts
Notarial instructions relating to succession and cross-border succession
NOTARIAL ACTS FOR COMPANIES – IDENTIFICATION OF COMPANIES
Monday 10 January 2022
Roman Law – the “societas” and its development
Private International Law – differing concepts in company law internationally, in
particular the “right of representation”
COMPANY DECISION-MAKING: MEMBERS AND DIRECTORS
Monday 24 January 2022
Private International Law – comparison with other jurisdictions
Monday 7 February 2022
POWERS OF ATTORNEY AND OTHER AGENCY DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY COMPANIES
AND OTHER ENTITIES
Monday 21 February 2022
Powers of attorney and other agency documents issued by:
Private International Law – an introduction to foreign companies and the
establishment of branches
COMPANY INSOLVENCY PROCEDURES
Monday 7 March 2022
Roman Law – insolvency in Roman law
Private International Law – recognition of Irish insolvency proceedings in the EU and
elsewhere and the recognition of foreign insolvency proceedings in Ireland
Friday 25 March 2022
Review of accoutrements
Preparation for Supreme Court petition / application
Friday 8 April 2022 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm
DELIVERY: In person
DEALING WITH FOREIGN COMPANIES
Monday 25 April 2022
Sources of information, research and defensive drafting
Private International Law – applicable law in cross-border company matters
PROTESTING BILLS OF EXCHANGE AND DRAWING UP SHIP PROTESTS
Monday 9 May 2022
The use of bills of exchange in international trade transactions
Ship protests – requirements and purpose
Roman Law – the law of the sea
Private International Law – negotiable instruments, ship registration
Monday 23 May 2022
Review of the course
Friday 10 June 2022
Friday 8 July 2022 2.30pm to 5.30 pm
DELIVERY: In person
Please note that topics & dates may be subject to change. Draft timetable as of June
An application form may be obtained in relation to the Diploma course from: