"The Society recommended adopting regulations for legal documents to be signed via audio-visual technology as it would allow practitioners to deliver important legal services to the public while following official advice to observe social distancing in order to stop the spread of COVID-19," said Law Society President Tim White.
"Lawyers have noticed an increase in enquiries about legal documents such as wills, powers of attorney, and advance care directives during this uncertain time, but a number of people - particular those in vulnerable circumstances - are understandably reluctant to sign and attest documents in person and risk exposure to the virus."
"The Society has also sought measures to allow for court documents, such as affidavits, to be signed electronically rather than requiring a physical signature, with appropriate procedures to ensure the veracity of the documents."
"NSW has already made such regulations, while Queensland and Victoria are also expected to introduce similar regulations shortly."
"These are extraordinary times that require novel solutions. We believe that interim measures could be adopted to allow for remote signing, with integrity safeguards in place that attest to the authenticity of legal documents."
"While law firms have made arrangements to accommodate face to face witnessing where it is safe to do so, there are a number of situations where face to face contact would not be appropriate in the current climate, and it is most unfortunate that there are people who can not have their instructions or statements validated, particularly if they are urgent."