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Apart from a few exceptions,6 witness statements now replace affidavits as the normal way of giving evidence.

Evidence is to be given by affidavit if it is required by the court, practice direction or any other enactment or as an alternative to witness statements or in addition to it if the court requires it (r 32.15(1)). An affidavit may be used in circumstances where a statement would have sufficed, but the party putting it forward may not recover any additional costs of preparing it unless the court otherwise orders (r 32.15(2)). For the format of affidavits see PD 32, para 2.16. Failure to comply with the formalities may have the same result as with witness statements, above.