We’ve hit a new year, and it may take some of us a little time to remember to write ‘2020’ instead of ‘2019’ when we fill or sign on important documents.

Some advice that’s been floating around the internet from various legal and law enforcement bodies recommends that you always write in the full year, rather than an abbreviation.

Thus, 22 January 2020 should be written as 22/01/2020 not 22/01/20.

The point of this is to minimise the risk of fraudulent or mischievous behaviour. An abbreviated date could easily be later changed to any date from the last two decades. For example 22/01/20 could easily be changed to 22/01/2018, giving scammers or fraudsters an opportunity to defraud you or your clients.

Good JP practice suggests we should not abbreviate 2020 when witnessing documents.