There are some significant changes that come into effect from January 1, 2020.

From January 1 onwards, the "Oaths and Affirmations Act 2018" which came into effect on 1 March 2019, will change the framework for the way to make statutory declarations.

A transitional period that allowed statutory declarations to be valid even if made under the old system expires on New Year's Eve 2019, and the new framework must be followed from 1 January, 2020.

If you use statutory declarations, you need to understand the changes. Among them:

  • Statutory declarations must now be in the new prescribed form contained in Schedule 3 of the Oaths and Affirmations (Affidavits, Statutory Declarations and Certification) Regulations 2019 (the regulations);
  • A person making a statutory declaration must now make an oral declaration by saying aloud the prescribed words contained in Schedule 4 of the regulations in the presence of the witness, unless the person has a disability that prevents them from doing so, and;
  • The class of person who can witness a statutory declaration has been widened.

Visit https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/statdecs for more information.