23 July 2021
Practice Note – Witnessing of Affidavits during COVID-19
Supreme Court, District Court and Magistrates Court
The following procedure applies to witnessing affidavits during the COVID-19 Pandemic, given that deponents may be in social isolation, quarantine or vulnerable persons.
It is not appropriate for an oath to be taken via video link. Affidavits must continue to be witnessed in person, with appropriate safety precautions in place.
However, if for health or logistical reasons this is not possible, a solicitor should exhibit the deponent’s unsworn affidavit to his/her own affidavit, with an undertaking to file the sworn original once it is possible to have it sworn.
The solicitor’s affidavit should attest to:
- the reasons why it was not possible for the exhibited affidavit to be sworn by the deponent;
- the unsworn document has been prepared on the instructions of the deponent;
- the deponent has read the document and agrees with its content; and
- upon it becoming possible to do so, the deponent will swear/affirm the document.