A written statement of evidence which is sworn before a person authorised to administer affidavits, such as a solicitor. Affidavits take a similar form to witness statements but they include a jurat instead of a statement of truth. Before the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules ( www.practicallaw.com/6-107-5906) (CPR), affidavits were the principal means by which evidence was put before the court in interim applications. However, witness statements have generally taken their place now, except in some limited circumstances where affidavits must still be used, such as:
In an application for a search order, a freezing order or an order requiring an occupier to permit another to enter his land.
If required by the court, the CPR or a practice direction (PD) or by legislation (for example, section 3(5)(a) of the Protection from Harrassment Act 1997 or in certain insolvency proceedings under the Insolvency Rules 1986).
See also the provisions about evidence in relation to contempt of court in CPR Part 81.
(PD 32 1.4.)