Affirmation in United Kingdom
Affirmation in Scottish Law
A declaration or promise to tell the truth in court that does not involve taking a religious oath.
In the Parliament
Instead of taking the oath on taking his seat in the House of Commons a member, or in the House of Lords a peer, may make affirmation. The form used in this case is: ‘I … do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law.’ The right to make affirmation is given by the Promissory Oaths Act, 1868. The Oaths Act, 1888, which gave a similar right to atheists, resulted from the objections to Bradlaugh (q.v.) making affirmation. The Quakers and Moravians Acts of 1833 and 1838 allowed persons of those persuasions to make a ‘solemn affirmation or declaration instead of taking an oath’.
- Wilding, N. and Laundy, P., An Encyclopaedia of Parliament, 4th ed., London: Cassell & Company Ltd., 1972