Witness statements—substantive content

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

  • Witness statements—substantive content
  • Importance of complying with the requirements for witness statements
  • What should (and should not) be covered?
  • Witness' own words—para 18.1, Practice Direction 32
  • Consistency
  • Documents referred to—Rule 31.14
  • Admissibility of expert evidence within factual witness evidence
  • Amending a witness statement
  • Court specific guidance

Witness statements—substantive content

This Practice Note provides general guidance for the drafting of the substantive content in factual witness statements under Part 32 of the CPR. In particular, what should be covered in these witness statements and the courts’ approach to this, the use of witness’ own words of the witness (para 18.1 of Practice Direction 32), how to ensure consistency with other witness statements and how to refer to other documents exhibited to witness statements. The Practice Note also covers the issue of expert evidence in factual witness statements and the admissibility of such evidence said to be of an expert nature.

This Practice Note provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant provisions of the CPR. Depending on the court in which your matter is proceeding, you may also need to be mindful of additional provisions—see further Court specific guidance below.

It should be read in conjunction with:

  1. Practice Notes:

    1. Planning witness evidence and choosing witnesses

    2. Drafting witness statements—technical requirements—which includes guidance on matters such as how to format the witness statement, the required wording to be used and the statement of truth

    3. Exhibits to witness statements and affidavits

  2. Overview:

    1. Compliance and relief from sanctions—overview—which provides guidance on the importance of complying with rules, practice directions and orders and the courts' attitude to parties who fail to do so

Consideration should also be

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