An ASB officer (by which I mean any officer who has responsibility for managing cases of ASB) needs a wide (and seemingly ever-growing!) range of skills in order to do their job to best effect. One such skill is the ability to draft a civil witness statement, those which are used as evidence within many legal actions to address ASB such as tenancy matters, injunctions or closure orders. The best statements not only comply fully with the civil procedure rules but also paint a clear picture, proving that the incidents have happened, showing the impact that the behaviour has had and justifying the need for the order sought.
In her latest blog, Janine Green outlines some key areas that she sees as often being overlooked. Complying with all court rules in relation to witness statements will also show you to be professional, competent and respectful in the eyes of the court.
These key points are:
1. Make sure you follow the civil procedure rules.
2. Create a corporate template
3. Tell a story
4. Don’t hide things
5. Finish the job
The importance of your witness statements when making a legal application should never be underestimated – those relatively short documents are incredibly powerful weapons in ensuring that you can resolve the ASB being caused and protect the victims. I hope the suggestions above prove useful as you continue to develop your drafting skills.
To read the full blog, click here.