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The offence of giving false evidence or evidence that one does not believe to be true (even if it is in fact the truth). It is punishable by up to seven years' imprisonment and/or a fine. The offence may be committed by any witness who has taken the oath or affirmed, by the defendant at any stage of the trial, and by an interpreter. Perjury is only committed, however, in judicial proceedings, which include any proceedings before a court, tribunal, or someone with the power to hear evidence on oath (e.g. Commissioners of Income Tax hearing appeals against tax assessments). The evidence given must be relevant to the proceedings and must be given with knowledge that it is false or recklessly.

The Perjury Act 1911 also creates various offences related to perjury. These include making a false statement on oath in nonjudicial proceedings and making a false statement or declaration relating to marriage (e.g. to obtain a licence to marry or make an entry in a register of marriage) or to the registration of a birth or death. These offences are punishable by up to seven years' imprisonment on indictment. The offences of making a false statement in a statutory declaration or in any account, balance sheet, or document required to be made by Act of Parliament are punishable by up to two years' imprisonment.

See also subornation.

Subjects: Law.

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