Amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules: Statements of truth and witness statements

2nd April 2020

The 113th update to the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 will bring about changes to a number of practice directions.

One of the more notable changes is that with effect from 6 April 2020, Practice Direction 22 will require additional wording be included in all statements of truth.

Statements of truth

Presently, statements of truth must confirm that the person signing believes the facts contained in the document are true. Going forward, the following wording must also be included:

“…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.”

A statement of truth will additionally have to be in the language spoken by the person giving that statement of truth.

Witness statements

Amendments have also been made to Practice Direction 32 to require a witness statement to be in the witness’ own language in addition to being in the witness’ own words. A party that will want to rely on a witness statement that is made in a foreign language must also have it translated. Both the witness statement in the foreign language and the translated copy will then have to be filed with the court, with a certification by the translator and the date of the translation required.

In addition, the body of all witness statements will have to contain information setting out how the witness’ evidence was taken and how the witness statement was prepared, for example “face to face, over the telephone, and/or through an interpreter”.

A full list of the amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules can be found here.

This article has been co-written by Joanne Thompson and James Helps.

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