Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to competent: compassionate, competitive


Possessing the necessary reasoning abilities or legal qualifications; qualified; capable; sufficient.

A court is competent if it has been given jurisdiction, by statute or constitution, to hear particular types of lawsuits.

A testator is competent to make a will if he or she understands what a will is and its effects, the nature and extent of the property involved, and the relationships with the people named in the will and those disinherited.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


adj. 1) in general, able to act in the circumstances, including the ability to perform a job or occupation, or to reason or make decisions. 2) in wills, trusts and contracts, sufficiently mentally able to understand and execute a document. To be competent to make a will a person must understand what a will is, what he/she owns (although forgetting a few items among many does not show incompetency), and who are relatives who would normally inherit ("the natural objects of his/her bounty") such as children and spouse (although forgetting a child in a will is not automatic proof of lack of competency, since it may be intentional or the child has been long gone). 3) in criminal law, sufficiently mentally able to stand trial, if he/she understands the proceedings and can rationally deal with his/her lawyer. This is often broadly interpreted by psychiatrists whose testimony may persuade a court that a party is too psychotic to be tried. If the court finds incompetency then the defendant may be sent to a state mental facility until such time as he/she regains sanity. At that time a trial may be held, but this is rare. 4) in evidence, "competent" means "relevant" and/or "material". Lawyers often make the objection to evidence: "incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial" to cover all bases. (See: evidence)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
Chemically Competent Cells, one of the segments analyzed and sized in this study, displays the potential to grow at over 10%.
The Children's Act [1] provides that the superintendent, or the person in charge of the hospital, in the absence of the superintendent, may consent to surgery on an otherwise legally competent child, subject to the following: the treatment or operation is necessary to preserve the life of or save the child from serious or lasting physical injury or disability (section 129(6)(a)); or the need for the treatment or operation is so urgent that it cannot be deferred to obtain the consent that would otherwise have been required (section 129(60)(b)).
This conclusion was reached by the Administrative Court in the decision issued in case No 6001/2013 dated 23.2.2018 in which the applicant -- owner filed a recourse against the decision of the Director of the Department of Lands and Surveys prohibiting the voluntary transfer and encumbrance of his property for the benefit of the competent authority.
The competent authorities have also destroyed the illegal devices in the presence of representatives from the government agencies involved in the campaign.
DA3/4umhur emphasized that it is necessary to achieve the best possible cooperation among the competent institutions in order to protect human rights of migrants who use BiH only as a transit country to the EU countries, but also that the institutions must take into serious consideration the safety of BiH citizens.
Similarly, increment of Deputy Director CDA Syed Kashif Shah and Dr Hafiz Sajjad has been stopped due to their proceeding abroad without prior approval from the competent authority.
Companies increasingly opt to invoke the competent authority procedure as international tax disputes proliferate around the world, with the number of cases more than doubling in the last ten reported years.
London: The EBA published an Opinion addressed to competent authorities on the transition from the existing Payment Services Directive (PSD1) to the revised Directive (PSD2).
Global Cloned Competent Cells Market Size, Growth and Opportunities Research Report 2017
BDI leader publically demanded competent authorities to investigate the officials from his party, which can only be regarded as an empty, political statement, considers Qenan Aliu.
Exactly what is meant by a "competent person" when referring to the drawing up and certifying of written schemes of examinations under the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000?

Full browser ?