A witness statement needs to take a particular format if it is to be used as evidence. It is essential that your statement is signed and dated. Each paragraph must be numbered. The last sentence must be “The contents of this witness statement are true“.
If you would like to submit a witness statement either come to the legal tent located next to Tent City University at St Paul’s Cathedral. Alternatively, you could email it to email@example.com or post it to our solicitor: Karen Todnor, Kaim Todnor, 11 Bolt Court, London, EC4A 3DQ. Please write evidential and personal elements separately but in the same statement as shown in the picture above. Examples of an evidential statement would be (if applicable):
- who you are
- when you arrived at St Paul’s
- whether you are a resident, part-time participant, observer, tourist etc
- details of your involvement in working groups, general assemblies or other activities
- observations within the working groups, general assemblies and more generally of the camp
- events which were important to you
It should be factual and to the point as if you were detailing a chronological series of events. If you refer to a particular piece of evidence which you have submitted, ensure the evidence has a particular reference and that the reference corresponds with your statement.
A personal statement will allow you to go into far more detail about your reasons for being involved in the Occupy movement. This is your opportunity to explain to the court and the world what Occupy London and the international movement means for you. You may wish to mention:
- your personal background
- what motivated you to become involved in the movement
- what the movement has given you
- where you see the movement going – what your personal objectives are
It is important to remember that the City of London Corporation are the claimants in this case and that they are saying that they are not against our right to protest but rather that they object to our using semi-permanent structures and bedding on site. As such, please bear in mind that our defence case is that the tents are fundamental to the contributed enjoyment of your right to protest.
There are no financial consequences of providing a witness statement. You may be asked to attend court if your witness statement is of particular use.
Separately to your witness statement you will need to give your full name and contact details. This is so that we can contact you if we want to use your witness statement. Your details will not be included in the statement and will be secured off site each night.
The photograph above is an example of an almost perfectly formatted witness statement – ideally the line spacing would be double spaced!
Please submit your statement as soon as possible. The High Court has ordered that all our evidence has to be submitted by a certain date. However, if we receive your statement very close to that date, it is difficult for us to process it. Our solicitor has to digest the statements we have received, choose the best ones, contact the witness personally to make arrangements to have them attend court and compile a bundle of all our evidence. Obviously, this all takes some time. Therefore, we are asking everyone to get their statements to us by the end of 6th December 2011! The deadline for our solicitor to submit evidence to the High Court is 12th December 2011. If you really can’t get your statement to us by 6th, please do submit it anyway but remember, this will make our case preparation much harder than it needs to be.