In the family law proceedings I'm dealing with the following sentence written by the solicitors of the respondent:

"This Statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it known it will be placed before the Court in evidence"

To the best of my knowledge and belief I find the quoted text an outright manipulation - creating a "halo effect" by presenting the phrase it will be placed before the Court (true statement) and immediately following it with in evidence as if it really was an evidence.

Without being confrontational (because that would create an undesirable impression) how can I explain to the other party and magistrates that this is not an evidence?


Evidence Rules & Practice Direction: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part32

Witness Statement: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/standard-directions/general/witness-statements

Statement of truth: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part22/pd_part22

Sworn testimony: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sworn_testimony#England_and_Wales

Because it is family law (civil law), the balance of probabilities is in place: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2015/41.html

The standard of proof is the balance of probabilities: Is it more likely than not that the event occurred?


I am a supporter and believer in the freedom of speech. I am also aware that some statements are not legal:

Maybe https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/https://www.sra.org.uk/ have some standards about what phrases are considered illegal?

(a good example could be not using word "evidence" unless something is actually admitted as evidence)


Evidence is simply those things (verbal and physical) which are given to the court as evidence.

When a witness gives testimony, that’s evidence. When a gun is submitted as an exhibit, that’s evidence. When an expert report is tendered, that’s evidence. Basically, whatever either party in the case submits to the court to prove their case is evidence.

There is noting objectionable about the sentence - they are saying the statement is true, as they will be required to do in court and that they intend to submit it as evidence. While it’s not evidence yet, when submitted to the court, it will be.

Courts have rules about what is allowed to be put into evidence (e.g. relevance, hearsay) and there may be some parts of the statement that fall foul of these - the other party can object to the proposed evidence on those grounds and the first party can withdraw it, the parties can agree on a modification or the judge rules on it. This can (and should) be done now in order to save time in the hearing.

Evidence and proof are not the same thing. The judge will consider and weigh all the evidence and, where it is contradictory decide which to believe and which to reject in order to determine if the party which has the onus of proof has met it.

  • FWIW, the main thing submitted to a court which is not evidence, even after it is submitted to a court, are the opening and closing arguments of the lawyers in the case and any legal briefs filed by the parties.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 6 '19 at 5:51

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