David Low Partner Litigation

Important changes to the Civil Procedure Rules


The 113th update to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) will come into force shortly (variously on 31 March and 6 April 2020) and there are some important changes and new requirements that all litigants (and litigators) should be aware of.

The key updates are summarised below and please note these particular changes come into effect on 6 April 2020:


Statements of Truth

Specific wording is now required at the end of all statements of truth (and this therefore covers pleadings and other Court documents as well as witness statements) about the contempt of court consequences for making false statements.  The wording should read:

“I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.”

Furthermore, all statements of truth must now be dated with the date that it was signed by the witness.


Witness Statements

In addition to the above addition to all statements of truth, all witness statements must also contain information about the process by which it has been prepared (e.g. face-to-face, over the telephone, and/or through an interpreter).

In circumstances where the witness does not speak English, additional rules apply as follows:

  1. The statement must be drafted in the witness’s own language.
  2. The statement cannot be signed and verified by a third party on behalf of the witness simply because the witness can’t read or sign as a result of the language barrier.
  3. The information contained in the top-right hand corner must include the date of any translation.


Where a statement is in a foreign language, the party that wishes to rely upon the statement must arrange to have it translated and file the foreign language witness statement with the court. The translator must sign the original statement and certify that the translation is accurate.

These updates also serve as a timely reminder to double-check the requirements set out within Practice Direction 32 to ensure that any witness statements prepared are fully CPR compliant.


Possession/Housing Claims

CPR 55.11 and 55.12 are being amended to remove demoted tenancies and oral tenancy agreement cases from the scope of accelerated possession proceedings, with the Claim Form N5B also being amended to reflect the changes.

The Pre-Action Protocol for Social Landlords in rent claims is being updated to cover these accelerated possession proceedings changes, and we are still awaiting the permanent version of the Pre-Action Protocol for Disrepair following the recent publication of the interim document which currently applies.


If you have any questions related to the upcoming changes to the Civil Procedure Rules, please contact Partner in our Litigation team, David Low, by email at djl@swinburnemaddison.co.uk or by telephone on 0191 384 2441.

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