An affidavit is the evidence of a witness in written form. It is a document that is sworn on oath or affirmed and made before a person who is authorised to take an oath or affirmation.
An Oath is a solemn promise made in the name of God, or to some other revered deity, that statements made are true.
An experienced deponent may recite the oath or affirmation. There is no need for the authorised witness to administer the oath if they are satisfied the oath has been stated voluntarily and satisfactorily. For example:
Do you swear that the contents of this affidavit are true and correct, so help you God?
I swear that the contents of the affidavit are true and correct, so help me God.
An Affirmation is a verbal, solemn and formal declaration that may be made in place of an oath, if a person objects to taking an oath or if an oath is contrary to that person’s religious beliefs. For example:
Do you solemnly, sincerely and truly affirm and declare that the contents of the affidavit are true and correct?
I solemnly, sincerely and truly affirm and declare that the contents of the affidavit are true and correct.
Hearsay – Because an affidavit is evidence, the rules of evidence apply to it in the same way that the rules of evidence apply to a witness giving oral testimony. Exceptions are provided in the UCPR and in the Evidence Act. Rule 430(2) of the UCPR allows an affidavit for use in an application, other than final relief, to contain statements based on information and belief if the person making it states the sources of the information and the grounds for the belief, Ie.
All the facts and circumstances herein deposed to are within my own knowledge save such as are deposed to from information only, and my means of knowledge and sources of information appear on the face of this my affidavit.
The Jurat – based on Latin juratus ‘sworn’. Noun: chiefly a person who has taken an oath or who performs a duty on oath, juror. It is the formula at the end of the affidavit where the deponent who has sworn or affirmed the truth of the matters set out in the affidavit signs it to this effect and the person witnessing certifies that they have done so. It sets out the when, where and before whom the affidavit was sworn.