Swearing of Affidavits

What is an affidavit?

An affidavit is a written statement of evidence which must be either sworn (on the appropriate Holy Book of your religion) or affirmed by the person making it, normally before a Commissioner for Oaths. You swear or affirm that the contents of a document are true and correct to the best of your knowledge.

If you knowingly make a false affidavit you are in contempt of court. 

Who is the Commissioner for Oaths?

Certain members of the courts staff are appointed, under Section 1 of the Commissioners for Oaths Act 1962, to administer oaths and declarations or take an affidavit for any court or matter. Some advocates are also appointed as Commissioners for Oaths. 

Where do I swear/affirm?

You can swear or affirm an affidavit at the Court Office/public counter or at an appropriate advocate’s office. A list of Manx advocates can be found on The Law Society Isle of Man website. 

How do I swear/affirm?

The Commissioner for Oaths will first have to satisfy him/herself that you are the deponent and that you are competent to do so. This is usually done by asking you to confirm your name and handwriting before you take the oath.

You will then be asked if you wish to swear on a Holy Book or affirm.

Swearing/Oaths

You will be invited to identify the Holy Book on which you wish to be sworn, courteously and appropriately handed the Holy Book and asked to read aloud from a card. If you have problems reading from the card the Commissioner for Oaths will ask you to repeat after him/her. 

Affirmations/Declarations

You will be asked to read aloud, from a card, your affirmation/declaration. If you have problems reading from the card the Commissioner for Oaths will ask you to repeat after him/her. 

What happens next?

Once you have sworn or affirmed you and the Commissioner for Oaths will sign the affidavit. Once sworn or affirmed the affidavit will become a legally binding document. It can then be used in a court of law as an alternative to calling you as a witness. It can also be used in certain other legal matters. 

Can I change my affidavit once it has been sworn?

Once sworn, an affidavit can only be altered by making any amendments and having the document re-sworn. 

Is there a fee?

There is a fee and courts staff will be able to tell you what that fee is. You can also refer to the fees section of this website.

Page last updated on 07 August 2018