The defendant argued that the very definition of witness statement involved a personal signature from the witness. witness statements can be “late” for different reasons – there can be good reasons This is an issue that has not yet been fully considered by the courts. 3.15 A trial witness statement may be prepared by reference to answers provided by the witness to questions posed by the relevant party. 28.4 The rules do not change the law of contempt or introduce new categories of contempt. The attempts of witnesses to be experts, or to tell the judge what the outcome of the case should be, can lead to robust adverse comments* . 29.1 Guidance on the use of video conferencing in the civil courts is set out at Annex 3 to this practice direction. This note contains a practical guide to preparing witness statements for use at trial and interim hearings. 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. 5. (3) the deponent signed or made his mark, in his presence. Witness statements (and affidavits with them), oral evidence (in cross-examination and re-examination) and by judicial notice. does not comply with Part 32 or this practice direction in relation to its form, the court may refuse to admit it as evidence and may refuse to allow the costs arising from its preparation. 1.5 If a party believes that sworn evidence is required by a court in another jurisdiction for any purpose connected with the proceedings, he may apply to the court for a direction that evidence shall be given only by affidavit on any pre-trial applications. Statements of truth underpin key documents in the civil litigation process: see CPR 22.1. (2) if giving evidence in his professional, business or other occupational capacity, give the address at which he works in (1) above, the position he holds and the name of his firm or employer, (3) give his occupation or, if he has none, his description, and. 18.1 The witness statement must, if practicable, be in the intended witness’s own words, the statement should be expressed in the first person and should also state: (1) … There have been three noteworthy amendments to CPR PD32, insofar as it concerns witness statements. 27.10 For convenience, experts’ reports may be contained in a separate bundle and cross referenced in the main bundle. 14. Witness statements are formal court documents. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. 10. If the oath or affirmation can be administered in the manner normal in England and Wales, the VCF arranging party must arrange in advance to have the appropriate holy book at the remote site. “19.1 CPR rule 32.4 describes a witness statement as "a written statement signed by a person which contains the evidence which that person would be allowed to give orally". He will probably also wish to inform the witness of the matters referred to in paragraphs 6 and 7 above (co-ordination of picture with sound, and picture quality). You can either ask them to make the statements themselves, or you can write it for them based on what they disclosed to you then ask them to sign. In particular: Stress to the litigants, both represented and in person, that the witness statements should a) address the issues and b) not address anything else (apart from essential background). • They serve to substantiate the contents of witness statements, themselves the bedrock of both interim applications and evidence at trial. Or; (after, Before me) the witness to the mark of the deponent having been first sworn that he had read over etc. 18.3 An exhibit used in conjunction with a witness statement should be verified and identified by the witness and remain separate from the witness statement. Some significant changes have been made to the Civil Procedure Rules concerning witness statements, which take effect from 6th April 2020. The other site or sites to and from which transmission is made are referred to as ‘the remote site’ and in any particular case any such site may be another courtroom. 27.9 The bundle should normally be contained in a ring binder or lever arch file. In many cases, a simpler and sufficient alternative will be to ensure that there are fax transmission and reception facilities at the participating sites. Where it is not possible to agree the contents of the bundle, a summary of the points on which the parties are unable to agree should be included. (Witness must sign). There are many more changes included in the 113th CPR update in relation to statements, so you should therefore take steps to familiarise yourself with the full requirements for now drafting a Civil Procedure Rules compliant witness statement. This is because the proceedings are court proceedings and, save as directed by the court, no other recording of them must be made. However, as … (3) where possible, be bound securely in a manner which would not hamper filing, or otherwise each page should be endorsed with the case number and should bear the initials of the witness. The court will need to be satisfied that any equipment provided by the parties for use at the local site and also that at the remote site is of sufficient quality for a satisfactory transmission. 20.3 Attention is drawn to rule 32.14 which sets out the consequences of verifying a witness statement containing a false statement without an honest belief in its truth. 25.2 Permission to file a defective affidavit or witness statement or to use a defective exhibit may be obtained from a judge17in the court where the case is proceeding. At the beginning of the transmission, the judge will probably wish to introduce himself and the advocates to the witness. 2.01 Give a statement setting out the substance of all material instructions (whether written or oral) including the questions on which your opinion is sought, the materials provided and considered, and the documents, statements, evidence, information or assumptions which are material to your opinion(s). That party must be in a position to inform the court what those inquiries were, what their outcome was and what arrangements have been made. 17. 12.2 When a bundle of correspondence is exhibited, the exhibit should have a front page attached stating that the bundle consists of original letters and copies. If the claimant is unrepresented, the court may direct that another party must prepare and produce the trial bundle. The parties should endeavour to agree on this. If a VCF direction is given, arrangements for the transmission will then need tobe made. Historically, such evidence would have been elicited in its entirety in examination-in-chief. If a witness at a remote site is to give evidence by an interpreter, consideration should be given at this stage as to whether the interpreter should be at the local site or the remote site. 11. These requests are governed by Part 18 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR). Most people who frequently prepare witness statements for use in litigation will use a precedent document and simply amend the content of the statement to suit the circumstances. (4) have the pages numbered consecutively as a separate statement (or as one of several statements contained in a file). In cases in which the VCF is to be used for the taking of evidence, the VCF arranging party must arrange for recording equipment to be provided by the court which made the VCF direction so that the evidence can be recorded. CPR Rule 32.10 specified the consequences of failing to serve a witness statement -namely that a witness may not be called at trial(and so the witness statement cannot be relied on as evidence). witness statements can be “late” for different reasons – there can be good reasons This is an issue that has not yet been fully considered by the courts. (2) a party gives written notice of objection to the admissibility of particular documents. In either case, the location at which the judge sits is referred to as the ‘local site’. • They support the content of application notices. Witness statements. All reasonable efforts should be made to keep the transmission to a minimum and so keep the costs down. A witness giving oral evidence at trial may with the permission of the Court amplify his witness statement and give evidence in relation to new matters which have arisen since the witness statement was served on the other parties (CPR 32.5(3)) but the Court will only give permission if there is a good reason not to confine the evidence witness to the contents of witness statements (CPR 32.5(4)). There is a world of difference between a party who serves available witness evidence late and someone who serves evidence to update the court, or to deal with documents that should have been (but were not) disclosed earlier. First, a witness … CPR 32.10 specifies the consequences of failure to serve a witness statement. What is the correct line spacing for a witness statement? The full text of the 113th update to the Practice Directions can be found on the justice.gov.uk website. (4) have the pages numbered consecutively as a separate document (or as one of several documents contained in a file), (6) have all numbers, including dates, expressed in figures, and. • They corroborate Part 18 replies. There is a world of difference between a party who serves available witness evidence late and someone who serves evidence to update the court, or to deal with documents that should have been (but were not) disclosed earlier. The amendments relate to all statements of truth and come into effect on 6th April 2020. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Free Taster Session – Motor Claims Liability Training, How to get live-online training that really works, Delivering the PSC by live remote learning. Statements of truth verifying witness statements are similarly amended and will read: ‘I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true. This guidance is for the use of video conferencing (VCF) in civil proceedings. Note that the rules on exhibits for affidavits and witness statements overlap substantially, but there are some differences, which are set out below. With current technology, picture quality is good, but not as good as a television picture. The CPR 32.10 sanction is that “the witness may not be called to give oral evidence”. The cost of the use of a commercial studio is usually greater outside normal business hours. CPR 32.4(1) states: “(1) A witness statement is a written statement signed by a person which contains the evidence which that person would be allowed to give orally. It is, however, inevitably not as ideal as having the witness physically present in court. If there are numerous bundles, a core bundle should be prepared containing the core documents essential to the proceedings, with references to the supplementary documents in the other bundles. The VCF arranging party must contact the listing officer, diary manager or other appropriate officer of the court which made the VCF direction and make arrangements for the VCF transmission. 22.3 If the maker of a witness statement fails to verify the witness statement by a statement of truth the court may direct that it shall not be admissible as evidence. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. 1.3 Statements of case (see paragraph 26 onwards) and application notices3may also be used as evidence provided that their contents have been verified by a statement of truth4. The VCF arranging party must make all appropriate prior inquiries and put in place all arrangements necessary to enable the oath or affirmation to be taken in accordance with any local custom. There is an argument that a statement that does not… The court's permission is required for any part of any proceedings to be dealt with by means of VCF. 3.1 The affidavit should be headed with the title of the proceedings (see paragraph 4 of Practice Direction 7A and paragraph 7 of Practice Direction 20); where the proceedings are between several parties with the same status it is sufficient to identify the parties as follows: 3.2 At the top right hand corner of the first page (and on the backsheet) there should be clearly written: (1) the party on whose behalf it is made. 3. The VCF arranging party must take care to ensure that the number of microphones is adequate for the speakers and that the panning of the camera for the practitioners' table encompasses all legal representatives so that the viewer can see everyone seated there. (Paragraph 3A of Practice Direction 22 sets out the procedure to be followed where the person who should sign a document which is verified by a statement of truth is unable to read or sign the document other than by reason of language alone.). (3) the number of the affidavit in relation to that deponent, (4) the identifying initials and number of each exhibit referred to, and. Where that is done, a full record should be kept by the relevant party of the questions posed and the answers provided, whatever form the trial witness statement takes. The quality of the picture is enhanced if those appearing on VCF monitors keep their movements to a minimum. He will probably want to know who is at the remote site and will invite the witness to introduce himself and anyone else who is with him. 18.1 The witness statement must, if practicable, be in the intended witness’s own words and must in any event be drafted in their own language, the statement should be expressed in the first person and should also state: (2) his place of residence or, if he is making the statement in his professional, business or other occupational capacity, the address at which he works, the position he holds and the name of his firm or employer. They say that: 1. It is recommended that the judge, practitioners and witness should arrive at their respective VCF sites about 20 minutes prior to the scheduled commencement of the transmission. In summary, a witness statement must: 27.3 Rule 39.5 provides that unless the court orders otherwise, the claimant must file a trial bundle containing documents required by—. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Generally a Part 18 request will be made shortly after the relevant statement of case is served. He will probably wish to explain to the witness the method of taking the oath or of affirming, the manner in which the evidence will be taken, and who will be conducting the examination and cross-examination. Consideration will need to be given in advance to the documents to which the witness is likely to be referred. (2) in the jurat the word ‘sworn’ is replaced by the word ‘affirmed’. 9. Power of the court to require a document to be verified. Where the total number of pages is more than 100, numbered dividers should be placed at intervals between groups of documents. It will usually be most convenient for a bundle of the copy documents to be prepared in advance, which the VCF arranging party should then send to the remote site. must now be dated with the actual date signed and include new standard text with a contempt of court warning. New wording for Expert Witness’s Statement of Truth A reminder to all solicitors that are currently instructing expert witnesses under CPR that from today PD35, paragraph 3.3 requires experts to include the following additional sentence in their Statement of Truth: “I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, […] 16 All provisions in this or any other practice direction relating to affidavits apply to affirmations with the following exceptions: (1) the deponent should commence ‘I (name) of (address) do solemnly and sincerely affirm ……’, and. The Changes to the CPR 2. However it just as important is that you ensure that the statements you draft comply with the rules. (5) witness statement: ‘the witness statement filed on [date] or served on [party] on [date]’. 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.’. 18.6 Where a witness makes more than one witness statement to which there are exhibits, in the same proceedings, the numbering of the exhibits should run consecutively throughout and not start again with each witness statement. Note that the rules on exhibits for affidavits and witness statements overlap substantially, but there are some differences, which are set out below. A party that will want to rely on a witness statement that is made in a foreign language must also have it translated. • These changes are effective from 6 April 2020. 12.1 Copies of individual letters should be collected together and exhibited in a bundle or bundles. (1) which of the statements in it are made from the witness’s own knowledge and which are matters of information or belief, and. (3) an exhibit to either an affidavit or a witness statement. The convenience of the witness, the parties, their representatives and the court must all be taken into account.