Witness statements – changes from today

Insolvency Practitioners and others should be aware of a number of changes to the format and content of witness statements that are effective from today. Any witness statements signed from today onwards need to be in the new format.

The latest amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules bring in changes to both witness statements and statements of case.

The wording of the new statement of truth for statements of case and application notices is as follows:

“[I believe] [The party believes] that the facts stated in this [name of document] 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”.

Of particular note, however,  are the amendments to Practice Directions 22 and 32, which now require additional wording to the statement of truth at the end of witness statements.

For witness statements, the statement of truth’s wording is now as follows:

“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”.

Further amendments 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. Witness statements will also need to spell out the process by which the statement was given (for example face to face, by telephone or through an interpreter) and be in the witness’s own words.

A full list of amendments to the Rules can be found here on the Justice website.

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