Affidavit Explained

An affidavit is a formal written document which describes a person’s own account of events in a prescribed format. A person making the affidavit is called a ‘deponent.’

What does an affidavit contain?
The contents of an affidavit must be factual and based on the maker’s own knowledge. A requirement of an affidavit is that it must be witnessed by an “authorised person”.  An “authorised person” can be a justice of the peace, a barrister or a solicitor. Following the authorised person witnessing your signature, the witness is also required to sign the affidavit. When you sign an affidavit you are attesting that under the law you swear that the facts disclosed in the document are true. Affidavits may contain a statement of fact based on information or belief. The deponent must provide an explanation to support the information provided within the affidavit.

What is the purpose of an Affidavit?
An affidavit can be used as a method for an individual to give evidence to the court other than giving oral evidence. An affidavit does not become part of the proceedings until it is read to the Court. An example of when affidavits may be used is when there is a disagreement that is brought before the court by the disputing parties. Affidavits are then be used by the court to weigh up differing versions of events in a dispute.

What is the difference between an Affidavit and a statutory declaration?
A statutory declaration is a statement made in writing which allows an individual to declare that something is true. An affidavit and a statutory declaration may have a similar purpose, however they are not the same. An affidavit is a sworn statement of fact that is made under oath in a court. On the other hand, a statutory declaration is a statement of fact which is not sworn under oath in a court.

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