Oaths and Affirmations (NT)

In the NT, a person may be required to make an affirmation or take an oath for a number of reasons including when they are signing an affidavit and when they are to give evidence in court. Oaths and affirmations in the NT are governed by the Oaths, Affidavits and Declarations Act 2010.


An oath is a religious declaration that can be sworn in accordance with a religion of the deponent’s choice. It is not necessary for a copy of a scripture to be used when taking an oath. An oath should be spoken aloud but if the witness is unable to speak, it can be taken in an alternative way.


An affirmation is the secular equivalent of an oath. A person can choose to make an affirmation rather than taking an oath. An affirmation has the same effect as an oath.


A child witness, or a witness who has an intellectual disability, may make a promise to tell the truth rather than taking a formal oath or affirmation. The promise can be made is any way that is appropriate.

Who may administer an oath?

Under section 7 of the Oaths, Affidavits and Declarations Act 2010, an oath or affirmation may be administered by the following persons:

  • A Justice of the Peace
  • A commissioner for oaths
  • A person who is authorised to administer an oath such as a legal practitioner or medical practitioner


Under section 14 of the Oaths, Affidavits and Declarations Act 2010, an affidavit must include the full name of the person making it, the date and place where it is made and the fact that it is made in the presence of an authorised witness.

The deponent must say in the presence of the witness that they are the person named as the maker of the affidavit and that the contents of the affidavit are true.

The deponent and witness must sign each page of the affidavit.


A statutory declaration may be made in writing or as a recording.

A written statutory declaration must include the full name of the person making it, the place and date where it is made and a statement to the effect that the maker knows it is an offence to make a false statement in a statutory declaration. The declaration must be witnessed by an adult who must sign and declaration and write their full name and contact details.

Offence to give false testimony under oath or affirmation

Under section 96 of the Criminal Code Act 1983, a person who gives false testimony in judicial proceedings, either orally or in writing, is guilty of the offence of perjury and liable to up to 14 years imprisonment.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.  


Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws from Latrobe University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) from Deakin University. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in 2016.
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