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Witness Statements

Two changes to the rules relating to witness statements came into force on 6 April 2020.

  • The wording of the statement of truth has changed and must confirm that the person making the statement understands the liability for contempt of court for anyone making a false statement without an honest belief in its truth; and

  • The body of the statement must now set out “the process by which it has been prepared, for example, face-to-face, over the telephone, and/or through an interpreter.” (Practice Direction 32, para 18.1(5)).

Witness statements in civil proceedings

Witness statements in Civil Proceedings must:

  1. Start with the name of the case and the claim number;

  2. State the full name and address of the witness;

  3. Set out the witness's evidence clearly in numbered paragraphs on numbered pages;

  4. End with this paragraph:  'I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true. I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth..' and

  5. Be signed by the witness and dated.

 

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Witness statement layout 

The following shows a typical layout.

Witness statement

On behalf of: [Claimant/Defendant]

Witness: [Initials and surname]  

Number:          

Exhibits: [“ABC1”]     

Date:            

IN THE [________] COUNTY COURT                             CLAIM NUMBER:

BETWEEN

                                                                  [________]                                                    Claimant

And

                                                                  [________]                                                 Defendant

WITNESS STATEMENT OF ABC

ABC of [insert residential address of individual][insert business address of person making statement on behalf of firm or company] will state:

1.         [I am a [insert occupation or, if none, description] and the claimant in these proceedings][I am a director of the claimant company and am authorised to make this statement on its behalf].

2.         Except where I have indicated otherwise the statements made in this statement are from my own knowledge. Where statements made are matters of information or belief I have stated the source for any such matters of information or belief.

3.         I refer to the bundle of documents marked “ABC1” (“the exhibit”).

4.        etc.

I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true. I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.

Signed ________________

Dated ________________

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Form of the statement of truth

The form of the statement of truth verifying a witness statement should be as follows (and provided in the language of the witness statement):

‘I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true. I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.’

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Furthermore

Include a section at the start dealing with the purpose of the statement as well as the circumstances in which it was drafted might be useful approach.  For example: “This witness statement was drafted by my solicitor following a face to face meeting, e mail correspondence and telephone discussions.  I understand that the purpose of this statement is to set out the evidence of fact which I will give at the trial and that I am responsible for its contents.”

Solicitors in Weston-Super-Mare · Family Law 

Lawyers and solicitors - legal advice to clients based in Weston Super Mare and the wider Bristol andSomerset area

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