Today’s correspondent asks
… with the advent of registration, are WA paramedics allowed to witness a statutory declaration?
I suspect not, given that the 2005 Act quite clearly lists the professions permitted to witness a document, but some of my colleagues think otherwise.
As far as I can tell, signing a stat dec when you are not permitted to could result in a prison term?
It’s true that claiming to witness a statutory declaration when one is not entitled to do so is an offence punishable by up to 12 months’ imprisonment Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Act 2005 (WA) s 17.
It is also true that the ‘the 2005 Act quite clearly lists the professions permitted to witness a document. What is not clear is what version of the Act my correspondent is looking at as the current version of the Act (with an effective start date of 1 December 2018, that is the date that paramedic registration came into force) lists, in Schedule 2 ‘Authorised witnesses for statutory declarations’, cl 28A:
A person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Western Australia) in the paramedicine profession.
It follows that indeed a paramedic can take the declaration required by the Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Act 2005 (WA).
For related posts see:
- Can members of Victoria’s emergency service administer oaths and declarations? (March 19, 2019); and
- Paramedics making declarations for employment purposes in Victoria (January 30, 2016).