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compellablein the law of evidence, applied to a witness required to come to court and to testify. The general rule is that a competent witness is compellable. The sovereign and certain diplomats are competent but not compellable. Parliamentary privilege probably has the same effect as regards Members of Parliament. Jurors are not compellable in regard to the discussions in the jury room. Parties, their spouses and their lawyers are compellable in civil cases. The rules in regard to criminal matters vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the accused is not a competent witness if tried alone. If the accused gives evidence for the defence, he loses the privilege against self-incrimination in respect of the offence charged. Spouses are generally not compellable.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006