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What is an affidavit?

Posted on November 15, 2020 at 1:15 AM

Many times throughout the course of a lawsuit one comes across the term "affidavit", either through one's lawyer or the Court.  However, at times if one was not previously asked to draw up an affidavit, one would not know what is meant by such a term. 


An affidavit is a sworn statement in written form.  It is one's testimony with the exception that instead of giving it orally in Court, it is written down.  However, that does not diminish its strength.  Indeed, anything written down must be the truth.  Just like one cannot lie in Court when giving evidence as that would tantamount to perjury, one cannot lie when drawing up an affidavit, as that would also amount to perjury. Indeed, criminal action can be taken against anyone who commits perjury. 


Therefore, when one draws up an affidavit, one not only must say the truth, but one must limit himself/herself to state the facts.  Cases are decided on facts and not on perceptions/wishes/thoughts etc.  Therefore, it is imperative that an affidavit has facts as seen and heard by the person drawing up that affidavit. 


Moreover, the person drawing up an affidavit should not write down everything that comes to mind as one needs to stick to the case at hand.  It is useless to write down irrelevant facts because if they are not of relevance to the case at hand, they will be discarded, and the exercise of drawing up an affidavit would have been a futile one.  Therefore, one must put down the facts relevant to the case and nothing more. 


When one draws up an affidavit and this affidavit is filed in Court, the other party has the right to summon the person who drew up the affidavit to cross-examine him/her.  For the cross-examination, one needs to be present in Court and one will be asked questions arising from the affidavit. 


An affidavit is a useful legal tool as it is expeditious and helps with the progression of the case, because, rather than waiting for a sitting to summon the witnesses to testify one by one, one can file their testimonies in written format saving time for everyone. 


Article written by Dr Ann Marie Mangion.

Categories: Civil Law, Family Law, Fair Hearing

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On 20 June 2019, Dr Mangion participated in the Council of Europe exercise on Child Participation, namely the Child Participation Tool held by the Ministry for the Family, Children's Rights and Social Security in collaboration with the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society.

On 1 October 2018, Lisa Micallef joined the office as a legal trainee.

On 17 January 2018, Dr Mangion attended the inauguration of the Judicial Year of the Ecclesiastical Tribunals of the Maltese Province at the Archbishop's Palace.

On 13 January 2018, Dr Mangion was a guest speaker on Radio 101's 'Ghazliet' discussing sexual harassment.

On 11 January 2018, Dr Mangion attended a public lecture on gender quotas in Ireland held by Dr Fiona Buckley of the University of Cork, organised by the Faculty of Social Wellbeing, at the University of Malta.

On 13 October 2017, Dr Mangion was a guest speaker on FLiving TV, 'Attwali' discussing criminal responsibility amongst minors.

On 4-8 October 2017, Dr Mangion went to a FAIR Project training session on immigrant children's rights access to justice organised by the ICJ at Ferney-Voltaire/Geneva.

On 15 September 2017 Dr Mangion attended Dontilla Mukamana's speech on genocidal rape in Rwanda as part of the Festival of Research 2017 held at the University of Leicester.

On 6 September 2017 Dr Mangion's paper on confidentiality and treatment of young people was published in Kevin Aquilina, Peter Mallia and Bridgit Ellul (eds), Contemporary  Issues in Medical Law  & Ethics: Conference Proceedings 2012-2015 (University of Malta 2017).

On 19 August 2017 Dr Mangion was a guest speaker on Radio 101's 'Ghazliet' discussing juvenile crime.

On 9 April 2017 Dr Mangion was invited as a guest speaker on Radio 101's 'Ghazliet' discussing the family.

On 16-17 February 2017 Dr Mangion attended a two-day training session: "Fostering Access to Immigrant Children's Rights (FAIR) Project organised by Aditus and the International Commission of Jurists.

On 24 December 2016 Dr Mangion along with Johanna Cauchi held the last radio programme from the long-running programme, Il-Ligi u l-Familja on Radio RTK (103 FM).

On 1 October 2016 Dr Mangion was asked to make an intervention on the legal implications of gay parenting on Radio 101's radio programme Ghazliet.

On 5 September 2016 Dr Mangion was invited on Campus FM's radio programme Ghazliet to discuss children's rights.

On 11 June 2016 Dr Mangion was asked to give her opinion on children's views in court during the radio programme Ghandi xi Nghid.

On 21 April 2016 Dr Mangion was invited on TVM's Skjetti alongside Pauline Miceli, the Commissioner of Children and Claire Agius Ordway to discuss children's rights.

On 7 March 2016 Dr Mangion attended a lecture organised by the Chamber of Advocates on Act IV of 2016 - an act to amend law relating to justice reform in the sphere of civil procedure.

On 8 February 2016 Dr Mangion started a course entitled Forensic Science and Criminal Justice as part of her CPD.

On 3 February 2016 Dr Mangion attended a seminar on annulment procedural reforms organized by the Chamber of Advocates.

Articles

Dr Mangion has published a paper entitled, 'Confidentiality and Treatment of Young People: Proposals for Amendment 1' in Kevin Aquilina, Peter Mallia and Bridgit Ellul (eds), Contemporary Issues in Medical Law & Ethics: Conference Proceedings 2012-2015 (University of Malta 2017).

Dr Mangion has publshed the following paper, 'Confidentiality and Treatment of Young Adults. Proposals for Amendments: the Gillick Proposition' in the Journal of the Malta College of Family Doctors, (Vol. 4, Issue 1, May 2015)

Hamid Reza Salehi and Ann Marie Mangion have published an article called, Legal Aspects of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Science. (Int J Adv Stu Hum Soci Scie. 2014; 2(2):111-115)

Ann Marie Mangion, 'Young Adults Should Have a Say', The Times (Valletta, 5 April 2013)

Radio & TV

Discussing sexual harassment on Radio 101's 'Ghazliet' discussing sexual harassment (13 January 2018 - live).

Discussing criminal responsibility amongst minors on FLiving TV, 'Attwali' (13 October 2017 - live).

Discussing the family of Radio 101's Ghazliet (9 April 2017 - live).

Discussing children's rights on Campus FM's radio programme Ghazliet (5 September 2016 - recorded).

Asked to give her opinion on children's views in court during the radio programme Ghandi xi Nghid (11 June 2016 - live).

Discussing children's rights on TVM's Skjetti (21 April 2016 - recorded).


Seminars & Conferences

Dr Mangion attended a public lecture on gender quotas in Ireland held by Dr Fiona Buckley of the University of Cork, organised by the Faculty of Social Wellbeing, at the University of Malta (11 January 2018).

Dr Mangion went to a FAIR Project training session on immigrant children's rights access to justice organised by the ICJ at Ferney-Voltaire/Geneva (4-8 October 2017).

Dr Mangion attended Dontilla Mukamana's speech on genocidal rape in Rwanda as part of the Festival of Research 2017 held at the University of Leicester (15 September 2017).

Dr Mangion attended a two-day training session: "Fostering Access to Immigrant Children's Rights (FAIR) Project organised by Aditus and the International Commission of Jurists (16-17 February 2017).

Dr Mangion gave a talk on Matrimonial Regimes to post-Cana group (4 December 2016).

Dr Mangion gave a talk on Consent, Confidentiality and Disclosure at the Maltese Curia (23 June 2016).

Dr Mangion attended a lecture organised by the Chamber of Advocates on Act IV of 2016 - an act to amend law relating to justice reform in the sphere of civil procedure (7 March 2016).

Dr Mangion attended a seminar on annulment procedural reforms organized by the Chamber of Advocate (3 February 2016).

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