Information and tips on writing skills and things to think about when writing a statement.

In some courts or tribunals, you may be ordered to prepare a statement. A statement is written evidence which may be used to support a case. A statement must be signed and dated but does not have to be sworn like an affidavit. It can be witnessed, although this is not always necessary.

Statements are used in the civil claims division of the Local Court and in some tribunals, including the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). In the Small Claims Division of the Local Court, statements are used instead of witnesses attending a hearing. In the General Division of the Local Court, statements are served on (given to) each party but witnesses usually still have to attend the hearing. Statements are also sometimes used in criminal, traffic and Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) cases.

For a helpful tool to use when writing a statement, see Checklist - Writing statements​.

There is no strict form a statement should take, but generally all statements will follow a similar format.​

When making a statement you should consider the following: 

A statement can be made by:

  • a plaintiff or applicant
  • a defendant or respondent
  • a victim of crime
  • a witness
  • an expert who has knowledge relevant to a case.

Whether a statement is needed will depend on the circumstances of your case. If you are not sure whether you need to prepare a statement you should get legal advice.

A statement should start out with a heading that describes what case or reason the statement is being made for.

For example:

Robert Taylor v Marvin Tran
Case Number SC2010/016
In the Local Court at Parramatta

Statement of Priya Ghosh 

There should then be a sentence where the person making the statement states:

  • their name
  • their address
  • their occupation
  • that they "state".

For example:

I, Priya Ghosh, of 3 Arthur Street Croydon Park NSW 2133, teacher, state:

Then, in numbered paragraphs, the person making the statement should write, in a chronological order, their evidence.

For example:

1. On 1 December 2009 at about 3:30pm, I was about to get into my car in the car park next to the shops on Burwood Road, Burwood NSW 2134.

2. I noticed that a silver car was driving down the aisle behind me.

3. I saw a green RAV 4 reverse out of a car space and collide with a silver car. The silver car was moving at the time of the collision.

4. My car was parked opposite the place where the accident happened.

5. Both the drivers got out of their cars. Neither of them seemed to be hurt and I went over to them to see how they were.

6. The driver of the green car said "Did you see the accident?". I said words to the effect "I saw it". He then said "Can you give me your contact details, just in case I need a statement from you". I replied "Yes". I then gave him my contact details.

7. The speed limit in the car park was 20km per hour. The silver car was travelling at about 40km per hour.

8. I noticed damage to the back left side of the green RAV 4.

9. I believe that the contents of this statement are true and correct.


If the statement is being made to police in relation to a crime, the end of the statement, before the signature, may also have a sentence that is similar to the following:

This statement sets out the evidence that I am prepared to give in court as a witness.​


It is sometimes helpful to attach a document to your statement if it supports the evidence you are giving in the statement. This document is called an 'annexure'.

Each annexure that is attached must be identified. For example; Annexure 'A', Annexure 'B', Annexure 'C'.

You should also give a brief description of what is being attached in the text of your statement.

For example:

1. On 3 December 2009 I received an invoice for repairs to my car. Annexed and marked 'A' is a copy of that invoice.

Each annexure can also have a statement written on its front page that says something like:

This is the document referred to as Annexure 'A' in the statement of Priya Ghosh made on 7 December 2009.

​If you are not sure what to write in a statement, or whether to attach any documents you should get legal advice.

The person making the statement should sign and date it. The statement doesn't have to be witnessed.

Signed: P. Ghosh
Dated: 7 December 2009​

If the court has ordered you to file and serve your statements, you should do so by the date the court ordered. The court might not accept the statement as evidence if it is filed or served late.

For an example of how to prepare a statement for the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), see:

Instructions: Instructions for preparing a witness statement for NCAT 

Sample: Witness statement for NCAT