The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Affidavits
  • When to use an affidavit
  • Technical requirements of an affidavit
  • Exhibits to affidavits
  • Swearing and affirming affidavits
  • Overseas deponent
  • Deponent unable to read or sign
  • Deponent unable to speak English

When to use an affidavit

Affidavits are a means of adducing sworn, written evidence. In certain circumstances, affidavits are required but in general witness statements are used as evidence.

Affidavits must be used:

  1. where sworn evidence is required by the court, rule, practice direction or law (CPR 32.15(1) and CPR PD 32 para 1.4(2))

  2. in an application for a search order, freezing injunction or an order requiring an occupier to permit entry to land (CPR PD 32 para 1.4(2))

  3. in any application for an order against anyone for contempt of court

A party is not prevented from using an affidavit in other circumstances, but the party may not recover the additional costs of making an affidavit. In particular, take into account whether a witness statement would be sufficient.

Technical requirements of an affidavit

Affidavits largely follow the same form as witness statements but include a jurat swearing or affirming the evidence given.

An affidavit must state the title of the proceedings. Certain information must be stated in the top right hand corner of the first page and on the back sheet. For example, the second affidavit of John Smith with two exhibits filed by the claimant should state:

  1. Claimant

  2. J Smith

  3. Second

  4. JS 3 and JS 4

  5. (date affidavit sworn or affirmed)

Where the deponent is swearing, the affidavit starts