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Format Of A Witness Statement

Written by Muhammed Poswall on 07 March 2014

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A witness statement must comply with strict guidelines as set out in Practice Direction 32. The following non-exhaustive list sets out the format of a witness statement and the information that should be included.

  1. A witness statement should:
    • be produced on durable quality A4 paper with a 3.5cm margin;
    • be fully legible and typed on one side of the paper only;
    • bound securely and not hamper filing or each page is endorsed with the case number and should bear the initials of the witness;
    • have pages numbered consecutively;
    • be divided into numbered paragraphs;
    • have all numbers, including dates, expressed in figures; and
    • give reference to any document or documents mentioned either in the margin or in bold text in the body of the statement.
  2. The witness statement must be in the witness’ own words.
  3. The witness statement must include all of the facts within the knowledge of the witness.
  4. The witness statement should set out the facts and events in chronological order. 
  5. The witness statement must include a header at the beginning of the witness statement, which includes the title of the action, and in the top right hand corner of the first page which contains:
    • the party on whose behalf it is made;
    • the initials and surname of the witness;
    • the number of the statement in relation to that witness;
    • the identifying initials and number of each exhibit referred to; and 
    • the date the statement was made.
  6. The witness statement should state the place of residence of the witness.
  7. If the witness is making the statement in his professional capacity it should state:
    • the address he works at;
    • the position he holds; and 
    • the name of his firm or employer.
  8. The witness statement should state the witness’ occupation.
  9. The witness statement should state if the witness is a party to the proceedings.
  10. Which of the statements in the witness statement are made from the witness’s own knowledge and which are matters of information or belief.
  11. The source for any matters of information or belief.
  12. The witness statement must include a statement of truth, verifying the he/she believes the facts are true. Any false statement made by the witness may result in him/her being found in contempt of court, with the witness potentially being held liable to pay a fine or be imprisoned. 
  13. The exhibits should remain separate to the witness statement.
  14. The witness should refer to the exhibits in the witness statement as ‘I refer to the (description of exhibit) marked ...’.
  15. The numbering of the exhibits should run consecutively throughout the witness statement.
  16. 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.

For a full reference of what is required in a witness statement please refer to the Civil Procedure Rules.

If you would like any further information on any commercial litigation matter please feel free to contact Michael Coyle on michael.coyle@lawdit.co.uk.

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