The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Apocrypha (11)

Magistrates are often called upon to witness a Statutory Declaration. Most of the time we hear them in court, but we can do them at home, and I have done them in the pub before now.

The formal declaration goes:-

'I (name) do solemnly and sincerely declare that the contents of this my declaration are true. And I make this declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.'

The person making the declaration then signs it, and the magistrate does the same. It is usual before putting pen to paper to warn that a wilfully false declaration may lead to a charge of perjury. I like to say 'I am not signing this to say that it's true, but to say that you say it is true'

I have done countless numbers of these over the years, but they have one thing in common: at least ninety per cent of declarants stumble over the word 'conscientiously'.