Practice Direction – 113th update pertaining to witness statements

The 113th Practice Direction (PD) update (effective variously on 31 March 2020 & 6 April 2020) has been published and includes the following changes:

– PD32 – Evidence: this amendment provides that any witness statements written in the instance where the witness does not speak English, must be prepared in the witness’s own language and go along with an English translation in order to be deemed valid.

– PD22 – Statements of truth: PD22 requires for witness statements/statements of truth to be dated with the date that it is signed and must further include a warning which provides that proceedings contempt of court may be brought against those who give a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.

Other key changes include:

– PD7E – Money Claims Online: the email address to file a certificate of service will be changed from “mcolaos@hmcourts-service.gsi.gov.uk” to “ccbc@justice.gov.uk”.

– PD52A – Routes of Appeals: a number of amendments were made concerning appeals. The first amendments are in respect of the issues raised in Topping v Ralph [2017] EWHC 1854 Topping v Ralph [2017] EWHC 1854 – the amendments include the restoration of the general principle that” the destination of an appeal is governed by the rank of Judge who dealt with the case at first instance; and the second removes the restriction limiting the class of judge able to deal with directions to those able to hear the appeal.”

Note that the above changes are effective from 6 April 2020, changes effective from 31 March 2020 include the following:

– PD51O – Extension of the E-Working Pilot Scheme: PD510 will extend the duration of the pilot scheme by a year to 6 April 2021.

– PD51T – The County Court Legal Advisers Pilot Scheme – Final Charging Orders: Due to the change in Rule 9 of the Civil Procedure Amendment Rules 2020 (SI 2020/82), PD51T will be removed resulting in the provisions of the PD being converted into ‘mainstream’ rules.

The full text of the 113th update to the Practice Directions can be found on the justice.gov.uk website.

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