The Truth the Whole Truth and nothing but the Truth

A Statement of Truth

In court proceedings or in contemplation of court proceedings, parties have to prepare certain documents, which are filed at court and served on the other side. These documents which includes probably the most common of them being a witness statement will have to be verified by what is called a ‘Statement of Truth’.

Since 6 April 2020 the Statement of Truth must say‘[I believe][the (claimant or as may be) believes] that the facts stated in this [name document being verified] 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’.

There is an additional sentence to the usual short statement, which we have underlined. The addition is to highlight the serious consequences contained in clause 5 of the practice direction of the Part 22 and rule 32.14 of the CPR.

Clause 4 and 5 of the practice direction of the Part 22 of the CPR confirm the consequences of

a) Failure to verify a document with a statement of truth – the contents of the document cannot be relied upon and a party can apply to strike out a statement of case

b) Falsely verifying a document – contempt of court proceedings can be brought under rule 32.14 of the CPR

If you have falsely verified a document, then an application can be made under Part 81 of the CPR to find you in contempt of court.

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