The Federation Press

The Law of Affidavits


Affidavits are used in Courts and Tribunals including arbitrations, to provide the evidence-in-chief of witnesses. There are evidentiary, formal and procedural rules which apply to affidavits. Non-compliance can result in the evidence being excluded, the case being lost, or proceedings adjourned with adverse costs orders against the party, or against the lawyer who prepared the affidavit. Most young lawyers serve an informal apprenticeship drafting affidavits under the supervision of more experienced colleagues, learning from their experience and saving their own references and precedents. Some, less fortunate are ’thrown in at the deep end’ without guidance or supervision. In addition, case management has created new pressures for compliance with short timetables for filing and serving affidavits, so there is no luxury of time available in preparing affidavits which involves taking relevant instructions, putting it into an admissible form without mistakes and so it can survive objections.

This is the first work on Affidavits published in Australia and sets out to provide a reference for evidentiary, formal and procedural rules together with precedents.

Table of Contents

Table of Cases

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: What is an affidavit?
Chapter 3: Professional obligations
Chapter 4: Preparation
Chapter 5: The objectives - admissible, relevant and probative
Chapter 6: Use of an affidavit
Chapter 7: Form Court form
Chapter 8: The Deponent and incapacity
Chapter 9: Affirmations and oaths
Chapter 10: Style
Chapter 11: Content
Chapter 12: Opinion
Chapter 13: Attachments: annexures and exhibits
Chapter 14: Filing
Chapter 15: Service
Chapter 16: Objections
Chapter 17: Documentary evidence
Chapter 18: Attendance of deponent
Chapter 19: Use at the hearing
Chapter 20: Irregularities and defects
Chapter 21: Discretion
Chapter 22: Cross examination
Chapter 23: False statements and contempt
Chapter 24: Adverse consequences

Of interest...