In the law of evidence. The presence of those characteristics, or the absence of those disabilities, which render a witness legally fit and qualified to give testimony in a court of Justice. The term is also applied, in the same sense, to documents or other written evidence. Competency differs from credibility. The former is a question which arises before considering the evidence given by the witness; the latter concerns the degree of credit to be given to his story. The former denotes the personal qualification of the witness; the latter his veracity. A witness may Be competent, and yet give incredible testimony; he may be incompetent, and yet his evidence, if received, be perfectly credible. Competency is for the court; credibility for the jury. Yet in some cases the term “credible” is used as an equivalent for “competent” Thus, in a statute relating to the execution, of wills, the term “credible witness” is held to mean one who is entitled to be examined and to give evidence In a court of justice; not necessarily one who is personally worthy of belief, but one who is not disqualified by Imbecility, interest, crime, or other cause. In French law. Competency, as applied to a court means its right to exercise jurisdiction in a particular case.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like. 2. Prima facie every person offered is a competent witness, and must be received, unless Lis incompetency appears. 9 State Tr. 652. 3. There is a difference between competency and credibility. A witness may be competent, and, on examination, his story may be so contradictory and improbable that he may not be believed; on the contrary he may be incompetent, and yet be perfectly credible if he were examined. 4. The court are the sole judges of the competency of a witness, and may, for the purpose of deciding whether the witness is or is not competent, ascertain all the facts necessary to form a judgment.