The importance of the Statement of Truth in court cases.
The issue was highlighted recently in the case of Recovery Partners GP Ltd & Anor v Rukhadze & Ors.
What is a Statement of Truth?
The Statement of Truth states that the defendant or other party believes the facts written in a document to be true. It should be signed by the defendant or other relevant party. The legal representative should ensure that the defendant checks and verifies each element of the document before signing. Multiple defendants need to go through each allegation and separately sign or authorise their legal representative to sign on their behalf.
In this case, the judge, Mrs. Justice Cockerill, was concerned at an apparent lack of regard for the importance of the Statement of Truth. Two of the defendants had never signed a Statement of Truth in relation to the pleadings served on their behalf.
She said in her judgement, “Neither of them appeared to comprehend exactly what a statement of truth was, or to have been taken through the pleading in detail by Mr Marson, ensuring that they approved all relevant factual allegations before the statement of truth was signed.”
“The importance of the requirement of the Statement of Truth is underpinned by the fact that it is given a whole rule, Rule 22 in CPR, and by the fact that the sanction for breach can be contempt of court.”
The case has drawn attention to the dangers of not complying with Civil Procedural Rules and the risk of being found in contempt of court.