Oaths Act, 1888



An Act to amend the Law as to Oaths.[1] [24th December 1888.]

When affirmation may be made instead of oath.

1. Every person upon objecting to being sworn, and stating, as the ground of such objection, either that he has no religious belief, or that the taking of an oath is contrary to his religious belief, shall be permitted to make his solemn affirmation instead of taking an oath in all places and for all purposes where an oath is or shall be required by law, which affirmation shall be of the same force and effect as if he had taken the oath; and if any person making such affirmation shall wilfully, falsely, and corruptly affirm any matter or thing which, if deposed on oath, would have amounted to wilful and corrupt perjury, he shall be liable to prosecution, indictment, sentence, and punishment in all respects as if he had committed wilful and corrupt perjury.

Form of affirmation.

2. Every such affirmation shall be as follows:—

“I, A.B., do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm,” and then proceed with the words of the oath prescribed by law, omitting any words of imprecation or calling to witness.

Validity of oath not affected by absence of religious belief.

3. Where an oath has been duly administered and taken, the fact that the person to whom the same was administered had, at the time of taking such oath, no religious belief, shall not for any purpose affect the validity of such oath.

Form of affirmation in writing.

4. Every affirmation in writing shall commence “I,_________, of_________, do solemnly and sincerely affirm,” and the form in lieu of jurat shall be “Affirmed at_________, this_________day of_________, 18_____. Before me.”

Swearing with uplifted hand.

5. If any person to whom an oath is administered desires to swear with uplifted hand, in the form and manner in which an oath is usually administered in Scotland, he shall be permitted so to do, and the oath shall be administered to him in such form and manner without further question.

[S. 6 rep. 8 Edw. 7. c. 49 (S.L.R.).]

Short title.

7. This Act may be cited as the Oaths Act, 1888.

[Sched. rep. 8 Edw. 7. c. 49 (S.L.R.).]

[1 Short title, “The Oaths Act, 1888,” see s. 7.]