China Cuts Notaries from Government Payroll

Starting this month, China will push forward a nationwide reform to cut 18,000 its notaries from the government payroll, senior legislator Jiang Chunyun said in Beijing on Wednesday.

"But that by no means that authority, seriousness, fairness and accuracy of notary papers shall be compromised," warned Jiang, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

According to a State Council document, notary offices shall be affiliated with the government as a public undertaking, and authorized by the government to issue notary papers that represent the authority of the state.

However, they will be independent economic entities having full authority for management and responsibility for profits and losses.

"Such practices are in line with the norm of conducts recognized by the international community," Jiang told the meeting on the implementation of the State Council plan, adding that the reform will better facilitate the profession to adapt to situations after China joins the World Trade Organization.

Minister of Justice Gao Changli said today that the reform will be a gradual process and the government will work to ensure its success.

China began reforming its notary system in 1993, and in 1994, a national conference decided to transform the country's notary system from a governmental one to a institutional one.

Currently, some 20 percent of China's notary offices have been turned into professional institutions.

Meanwhile, quality examination of China's public notaries will be opened to the public. In the coming national notaries examination in September, more than three-fourths of the applicants are from outside the notarial service system.

According to the reform plan, a notary compensation system will also be instituted, so as to promote notary agencies to become real institutional legal bodies, which can independently conduct business, bear liability, and carry out the functions of notarization following market rules and the operation of self- regulation.

China now boasts some 3,200 public notary offices.

Created in the early 1950s, China's public notary system was abolished in 1957 and then resumed in 1978.

In 1982, the State Council promulgated China's first public notary regulation, the Interim Regulation on Public Notary of the People's Republic of China.

People's Daily Online ---