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Affidavits

Information

An affidavit in Ireland is a written sworn statement from a witness in a case. It is a document that sets out in paragraph form the evidence that the witness wishes to give. Affidavits are usually written and prepared by a solicitor or a barrister after having obtained all the necessary information from the witness. The wording used in the affidavit will depend on the circumstances of the case. Your solicitor can give you more information on the wording that will be used.

When the affidavit is ready, the witness must go before a Commissioner for Oaths. The Commissioner for Oaths will check that the person swearing the oath has read the affidavit and fully understands the contents. The witness will be asked to raise the Bible and to repeat the words of the oath. If the witness does not wish to swear an oath on the Bible, he or she may make an affirmation. He or she will then sign the affidavit.

The Commissioner for Oaths will verify that the affidavit was properly sworn by completing a "jurat" on the affidavit. It may then be submitted as evidence to the court by lodging it in the appropriate court office and sending a duplicate to the other party in the case.

Some cases do not involve an oral hearing with witnesses giving evidence in court. Those cases may be dealt with by affidavit only. For example, if the Plaintiff issues a summary summons, it will be accompanied by an affidavit setting out the facts of the case. The Defendant may then respond by affidavit. The judge may be able to decide the case by simply reading the affidavits. This is a swifter and less expensive procedure.

Rules

An affidavit must contain the following information

  • The title of the case
  • The identity of the person making the affidavit and the capacity he or she is acting in. It must state that the witness is over 18 years of age.
  • It must be stated in the affidavit that the witness is making the affidavit from facts within his/her own knowledge and that where it appears that he or she is giving evidence on something outside his/her personal knowledge, he or she believes those facts to be true.
  • The evidence that the witness gives must be set out clearly in paragraph format. The language is less formal that the language of formal pleadings.
  • The affidavit must be dated and signed by the witness.
  • The affidavit must contain a "jurat", which is a section where the Commissioner for Oaths verifies that the affidavit was properly sworn.

Rates

The stamp duty that must be paid when an affidavit is lodged in the Circuit Court office is €15. In the High Court Central office, the duty is €20.

Your solicitor and barrister will also charge fees for their services.

Further information

For more detailed information you should seek legal advice.

Page updated: 4 July 2014

Language

Gaeilge

Related Documents

  • Commissioners for Oaths
    Functions, responsibilities and duties of Commissioners for Oaths are described and an explanation of the services they provide in Ireland is provided.
  • Types of witnesses
    Different types of witnesses that can be encountered in a court of law in Ireland.
  • The procedure for being a witness
    Steps involved in giving evidence as a witness in a court of law in Ireland.

Contact Us

If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.