What is an Affidavit and What is its Purpose
What is an affidavit?
An affidavit is a formal written document setting out a person’s own account of events in numbered paragraphs. The content of the affidavit must be:
- generally of the maker's own knowledge.
The contents should also only include information that is directly related to the issue to be decided.
Purpose of an affidavit
Disagreements are brought to the court by the parties in dispute. Courts will only decide what the disagreeing or disputing parties ask the court to decide. Each party sets out their own particular issues and each party is responsible for presenting evidence to the court which supports their version of events. The court's function is to adjudicate (judge) on the disagreement after considering the differing versions of events which each party tells the court about. This is described as the adversarial system.
Affidavits are a way of giving evidence to the court other than by giving oral evidence. They are a means of telling the court about the facts (evidence) which support particular issues raised by each party. Affidavits as a form of evidence allow the court to weigh up differing versions of events.
Affidavits may sometimes contain a statement of fact based on information or belief, but the grounds supporting that information or belief must then also be set out in the affidavit. Sometimes, the maker (deponent) of an affidavit may be cross-examined on the contents of the affidavit. In accordance with the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005, affidavits can be used in many ways and in relation to many types of proceedings.
The following information sets out a particular example relating to when an affidavit is used as part of the process of commencing a proceeding so as to place before the court a particular version of events.
Affidavit for leave to appeal decision of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
Rule 4.07 of Chapter II Supreme Court (Miscellaneous Civil Proceedings) Rules 1998 sets out what is required in preparing an affidavit when seeking leave to appeal from a decision of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Any affidavit in support of an application for leave to appeal a decision of VCAT shall set out the acts, facts, matters and circumstances relating to:
- the order of the tribunal
- the draft grounds of the proposed Notice of Appeal.
- a copy of the VCAT order
- a copy of any written reasons given for the order
- a copy of the proposed Notice of Appeal.
If any of these exhibits are not available, the reasons for their absence should be explained in the affidavit.
- Affidavit Template
- Affidavit in Support of Application for Bail Template (FORM)
- Bail Applications
- Before and After an Application for Leave to Appeal a Decision of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
- Court Documents
- Court Fees
- Disputing Your Solicitor's Bill
- Exhibits to an Affidavit
- Form 5A Writ Template
- Form 6-2H Application for Extension of Time to File-Serve Notice of Appeal or Notice of Application to Appeal
- Guide to Preparing and Formatting an Affidavit
- Information Sheets
- Notice of Appeal Against Order of Associate Judge Template (Form)
- Preparing an Application for Bail
- Swearing or Affirming an Affidavit
- When Bail is Granted and Surety
- Affidavit in Support of having Default Judgment Set Aside Guide
- Checklist for Preparing and Filing an Affidavit
- Civil Litigation Flowchart
- Form 43A Certificate Identifying Exhibit Guide
- Form 8A Notice of Appearance Guide
- Important Information for People in a Civil Dispute
- Notice of Appeal Guide
- Notice of Change of Address for Service Guide (PDF)
- Notice of Discontinuance Guide
- Notice of Intention to make Application for Bail Guide
- Summons for Taxation of Costs Guide
- Summons to have Default Judgment Set Aside Guide