1.   Short title


   2.   Interpretation






   3.   Effect of authentication




Documents Emanating in Botswana and Intended for Use in Botswana


   4.   Authentication of documents in Botswana


   5.   Use of seal


   6.   Official documents




Documents Emanating in Botswana and Intended for Use outside Botswana


   7.   Competent authorities


   8.   Method of authentication




Documents Emanating outside Botswana and Intended to be Used inside Botswana


   9.   Certain powers of attorney and affidavits


   10.   Certain official documents


   11.   Documents from Lesotho and Swaziland


   12.   Documents from Commonwealth countries


   13.   Public documents from convention countries


   14.   Other documents


   15.   More than one mode of authentication


   16.   Translations


   17.   Documents executed by persons on active service




      First Schedule - Authentication by Administrative Officer


      Second Schedule - Certificate or Apostille



Law 33, 1964,
L.N. 28, 1965,
L.N. 84, 1966,
S.I. 20, 1967,
Act 45, 1968,
Act 57, 1970.

An Act applying the provisions of the Convention abolishing the requirement of legalisation for foreign public documents and extending to civil proceedings in courts certain provisions of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act relating to the production of documents and generally to make better provision for the authentication of documents emanating inside or outside Botswana and intended for use inside or outside Botswana.

[Date of Commencement: 1st April, 1967]

(ss 1-2)


1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Authentication of Documents Act.


2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

   "authenticate", in relation to a document, means to certify the authenticity of the signature thereon, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted and, where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears;

   "competent officer" means a person for the time being performing the duties of one of the offices designated in section 7;

   "Convention" means the convention abolishing the requirements of legislation for Foreign Public Documents made at the Hague and dated the 5th October, 1961;

   "document" includes a book, record, deed, power of attorney, affidavit, certificate, contract, plan, map, drawing, writing and any other method of conveying information in visible form;

   "legalisation" means the formality by which the diplomatic or consular agent of the country in which a document is to be produced certifies the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted and where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which it bears;

   "public document" includes-


   (a)   a document emanating from an authority or an official connected with the courts of any State being a party to the Convention, including those emanating from a public prosecutor, a clerk or registrar of a court, a sheriff or a process server;


   (b)   an administrative document not hereinafter excluded;


   (c)   a notarial act;


   (d)   an official certificate which is placed on a document signed by a person in his private capacity, such as an official certificate recording the registration of a document, or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date, and an official or notarial authentication of a signature;

   but does not include-


   (i)   a document executed by a diplomatic or consular agent;


   (ii)   an administrative document dealing directly with a commercial or customs operation;

   "signature", in relation to a document, includes execution of the document by any other lawful means, and "sign" has a corresponding meaning.

(s 3)


3.   Effect of authentication

   (1) The provisions of this section shall apply in all criminal and civil proceedings in any court in Botswana and to the acceptance of documents by the officer in charge of any public office in Botswana.

   (2) A certificate which purports to be signed, sealed or stamped by an officer whose certificate is declared by this Act to be sufficient authentication of a document may be accepted in

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