Written by Team Farallon
In Singapore, a statutory declaration is a formal statement made under the Oaths and Declaration Act. It is a declaration of something to be true, made voluntarily about any matter or to fulfil a legal requirement or regulation.
A statutory declaration is used as a factual statement while interacting with statutory bodies or government institutions. It is often used as documentary evidence representative of the truth in the absence of other proof. As statutory declarations are regarded as declarations of truth, declarants making false or misleading statements will be liable for criminal charges.
In Singapore, statutory declarations are made before a Commissioner of Oaths. As lawyers are allowed to act as commissioners of oaths, they are often engaged for this purpose as well as assist in the preparation of the necessary documentation for affirming a statutory declaration.
In order to satisfy legal requirements or regulations, a person may be required by the law to make a statutory declaration. Often, this is in the case whereby there is an absence of any other evidence to establish a cause.
There are various situations about personal, business, and legal matters which may require a person to make a statutory declaration.
Some examples related to personal matters may include:
Some examples related to business and legal matters may include:
The above lists are just some examples of situations that require statutory declarations and by no means an exhaustive list. However, it should give you an idea that a statutory declaration can be used in a wide array of situations when a need arises to affirm a fact or statement, especially when interacting with governmental and statutory bodies in the spheres of personal, business, and legal matters.
If you are unsure whether a statutory declaration is required for your particular circumstance, you can check with the relevant authorities or institutions. Alternatively, you can also consult with a lawyer regarding this matter.
Making a statutory declaration in Singapore involves several separate stages, each with its own legal requirements.
A statutory declaration must be made in accordance with the legal requirements set out in the First Schedule of the Oaths and Declarations Act.
You can obtain the statutory declaration form from the State Courts, Supreme Court, relevant ministries, statutory boards, or organisations where the statutory declaration is intended to be used. As each Ministry and government institution may have its declaration form, you must obtain the statutory declaration form from the relevant institution relating to your intended purpose.
You can also get a statutory declaration form from a lawyer who has been appointed a Commissioner for Oaths.
When filling in the statutory declaration form, you will need to find out from the relevant institutions regarding what you are required to declare. This information can be obtained from the Commissioner for Oath of the intended institution or a lawyer.
The form should be properly completed according to the requirements before swearing or affirming it.
A Commissioner for Oaths can be found at the State Courts, Supreme Court, Singapore ministries, and statutory boards. You will need to find a Commissioner for Oaths to affirm your declaration. Otherwise, you can also make a statutory declaration by approaching any Commissioner for Oaths in a law firm to assist you in the process.
A declaration before the Commissioner for Oaths will first require you to produce your NRIC card for verification. You will then have to swear on a bible (for Christians) or affirm your declaration (for non-Christians) in front of the Commissioner for Oaths.
Once a declaration is sworn or affirmed, both you and the Commissioner for Oaths will sign the declaration. After this is done, the statutory declaration is taken to be a legal affirmation and cannot be changed or amended unless before a Commissioner of Oaths.
Intentionally making a false statutory declaration constitutes a criminal offense in Singapore, and is punishable by imprisonment up to 7 years and/or a fine.
For statutory declarations to be used in the Commonwealth countries and the UK, it is required to have your statutory declaration be made and signed in the presence of a Notary Public, Justice of Peace, or other authorised person under the law of that country.
For statutory declarations to be used in a country outside the Commonwealth countries and the UK, it is required for your statutory declaration to be made and signed before a consul, vice-consul, or other authorised person under the law of that country.
As statutory declarations in Singapore need to be accurate, truthful and require the declarant to present evidence as to the facts known, it is highly recommended that you engage with a lawyer in the process. While it is possible to engage with a Commissioner of Oaths from the Singapore courts, ministries, or statutory board, engaging a lawyer will ensure a smoother process as well as eliminate the risks of you making false statements that are punishable under the Singapore law.
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