A statutory declaration is a written statement declared to be true in the presence of an authorised witness.
When you sign a statutory declaration, you are declaring that the statements in it are true.
Statutory declarations are used by many Commonwealth and State agencies for witness statements. This guide deals only with the use of statutory declarations made under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (Cth) in matters before the Fair Work Commission.
The Fair Work Commission Rules 2013 require statutory declarations to be used in a range of different matters.
You may wish to provide witness statements in the form of a statutory declaration in other types of matters.
If you intentionally make a false statement in a statutory declaration, you could be charged with an offence and, if convicted, you could be fined or jailed, or both.
Under section 11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, the penalty for intentionally making a false statement in a statutory declaration is up to 4 years imprisonment.
The Statutory Declarations Act 1959 and the Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018 set out the requirements for Commonwealth statutory declarations.
In addition, a statutory declaration submitted to the Fair Work Commission should include certain case information as specified under the Fair Work Commission Rules 2013 (Rule 18).
A form combining both the Commonwealth and Fair Work Commission requirements can be downloaded from this page.
Only certain people may witness a Commonwealth statutory declaration.
A list of people who can be witnesses is set out in the Statutory Declaration Regulations 2018 and at the end of the Commission's statutory declaration form (Word).
A person who is authorised to witness statutory declarations of a particular state or territory can also witness a Commonwealth statutory declaration where it is made in that state or territory.
For example, a person who is authorised by the Victorian Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958 to witness Victorian statutory declarations can witness a Commonwealth statutory declaration that is made in Victoria.
A witness should do the following:
It is important for the witness to check that the statutory declaration does not contain any blanks and that all the information requested on the form, including name, address and occupation/qualification, is provided.