Law

How do Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Differ, and how do they work?

Affidavits and statutory declarations are usually used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing as they have different roles and uses.

Both affidavits and statutory declarations are required to be signed and adequately completed following a sequence of events approved by law. Firstly, we need to discuss the main difference between these terminologies. 

Statutory Declaration 

A statutory declaration is such a formal and legal document that consists of a sworn statement that is actually true. It must be approved and signed by a legal person who can execute it in a better way, such as an attorney.

Statutory declarations are always used outside the courtroom and can be used for various purposes such as a formal declaration that is required to be provided, an insurance claim, or it can also be used outside and inside of the province.

People may need a statutory declaration due to several reasons, which are mentioned below. 

  • Financial Matters
  • Health Matters
  • Evidence for Sick Leave 
  • Confirmation of your personal details 

Following are the two kinds of statutory declarations: 

  • State and Territory 
  • Commonwealth 

People may need a commonwealth statutory declaration if their matter relates to the following contexts.

  • The Australian Capital Territory 
  • Some Smaller Territories 
  • The Commonwealth

If you want to get a statutory declaration for your territory, you need to search on the internet for certain things like statutory declarations in your state and the Department of Justice or Attorney-General in your state.

Anybody can make a statutory declaration like officeholders, retirees, and minors. Most of the companies do not accept a statutory declaration from people under 18 years of age, and these companies do not make any statutory declaration for any individual. 

An attorney is supposed to prepare these documents for you and can also help you execute both affidavits and statutory declarations.

If a person puts a false statement on purpose in a statutory declaration, he will be charged with a criminal offence and can be imprisoned for more than 4 years.

While if a statutory declaration is observed by someone who is not a legal witness, it will be considered invalid. And if you are concerned that your declaration is incorrectly witnessed, you are free to contact the organization that demanded it. 

Affidavit 

An affidavit refers to a written formal document that possesses evidence that is required in court proceedings. A person who is making an affidavit needs to take a formal oath that what he is writing or saying is true.

These affidavits are mainly used in court proceedings within British Columbia and various estates and trusts within civil litigation. These affidavits also require some other documents attached with them as evidence to support your case. 

In both affidavits and statutory declarations, people who are preparing the documents are called the “declarant,” and both of these documents are legally tied. Most of the legal affairs require the evidence that a court wants to hear about your legal matter in an affidavit form. 

Specific Rules to create an Affidavit 

There is a specific way to create an affidavit, as it must be set out in the form of paragraphs that are numbered. You can also use headings and bullets while writing this document.

Before preparing the affidavit, you must contact the court in order to get the correct form of affidavit that can be used in this process. 

Federal Circuit Court Practice Direction No 2 of 2017 made some significant changes to the management of provisional proceedings in the Federal Court.

They have introduced limitations on the length of affidavits, which is up to 10 pages, and the total number of annexures up to 5 to the affidavits which are filed in intervening reports.

While writing the affidavit, people should make sure first that they are having an authorized and qualified witness present in the room.

That qualified person may be a lawyer, a justice of the peace, or a commissioner for declarations. If you are signing an affidavit, you need to sign at a place where “deponent” is written. 

The deponent means an individual who is aimed to create the affidavit, and you will sign the document in front of the qualified witness.  The witness is also supposed to sign the document with their name and further details of their position. 

Difference between the Sworn Document and Affirmed Document

If a person has an affidavit sworn, it means that he is thoughtfully promising to tell the truth to the judge while holding the bible in his hand or any other religious text at the time of having an oath on the affidavit. However, if you do not have any religious belief or context or have the document sworn is totally against your religious belief, you must take an affirmation.

Affirmation means that you are declaring that the document you have prepared and signed is just telling the truth. 

Both affidavits and statutory declarations should be signed in front of a qualified person who has the power to witness an oath, such as notary public and solicitor.

These documents cannot be recognized in a foreign jurisdiction if they have not been performed in front of a public notary except for some specific circumstances. 

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