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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. Prima facie every person offered is a competent witness, and must be received, unless his incompetency appears. 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. 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.


 - In the French law, by competency is understood the right in a court to exercise jurisdiction in a particular case; as, where the, law gives jurisdiction to the court when a thousand francs shall be in dispute, the court is competent if, the sum demanded is a thousand francs or upwards, although the plaintiff may ...

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