Amendments to Statements of Truth and Witness Statements

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By Kirsty White, Barrister

As of 6 April 2020 amendments to Civil Procedure Rules will bring amendments to various practice directions.

 Of particular note are the amendments to Practice Direction 22, which will require additional wording to a statement of truth. All statements of truth, whether for a statement of case, application notice, witness statement or any other document requiring a statement of truth, whilst still declaring the truth of the document,  shall hold the additional words:

“…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.”

Further amendments to Practice Direction 22 require the statement of truth to be in the witness’ own language, and for the statement of truth to be dated with the date on which it is signed. 

Of further note are the amendments to Practice Direction 32 which reminds practitioners that these documents are to be in the witness’ own words and also in the witness’s own language. Furthermore, a witness statement is now to declare how his evidence has been taken and the witness statement prepared “for example face to face, over the telephone or through an interpreter”. Such information should be contained within the body of the witness statement.

For your reference a full list of amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules can be found via this link: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/update/cpr-113th-pd-update.pdf