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.
* View Detailed Table of Contents
Explanatory Note: Evidence Act 1995
Table of Statutes
Table of Cases
2. What is an affidavit?
3. Professional obligations
5. The objectives – admissible, relevant and probative
6. Use of an affidavit
8. The deponent and incapacity
9. Affirmations and oaths
13. Attachments: annexures and exhibits
17. Documentary evidence
18. Attendance of deponent
19. Use at the hearing
20. Irregularities and defects
23. False statements and contempt
24. Adverse consequences
… The Law of Affıdavits provides expert commentary together with useful precedents and summary by State, various federal jurisdictions and New Zealand of the relevant court rules proscribing to the form, substance and use of affidavits.
This excellent work provides a ready repository of the law and practice in relation to the use of affidavits in all jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand.
The precedents provide useful guidance and when read in conjunction with the relevant rules in the appropriate jurisdiction, The Law of Affıdavits provides a clear and concise guide and explanation of relevant law and practical aspects regarding the making and use of affidavits.
Peter Lithgow, Australian Business Law Review, Oct 2014
… a very welcome resource, published by the Federation Press as “the first work on affidavits in Australia”. … The book is written in a very easy and straightforward way, notwithstanding the broad and complex challenge of identifying the many different sources of the law in the various Australian jurisdictions.
Adrian Stone, InPrint, Law Institute Journal Victoria, September 2014
“The Law of Affidavits” is a text which could well be said to be long overdue. Although a crucial part of almost all aspects of modern civil litigation (not to mention hearings in Coronial Courts and the wide variety of Tribunals), affidavits have been given little attention in the teaching of legal skills and in legal publications. The extremely variable (and some may argue declining) quality of affidavits filed daily in courts and tribunals makes Mr Levingston’s publication very welcome.
… provides a comprehensive foundation course for all new lawyers beginning to develop skills in the drafting of affidavits. Its usefulness, however, also extends to more experienced practitioners dealing with the arguments which often arise over the admissibility of affidavit material. It is an essential addition to the library shelves of all legal practitioners.
Patricia Feeney, Hearsay, September 2014, 69
The poorly prepared affidavit is an all too common phenomenon and the aim of improving standards is admirable. … the book goes some way to pulling together the various tips, advice, rules and principles that provide a framework for drafting a good affidavit.
Natalie Zerial, Bar News, Autumn 2014