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Believability. The major legal application of the term credibility relates to the testimony of a witness or party during a trial. Testimony must be both competent and credible if it is to be accepted by the trier of fact as proof of an issue being litigated.

The credibility of a witness or party is based upon the ability of the jury to trust and believe what he or she says, and relates to the accuracy of his or her testimony as well as to its logic, truthfulness, and sincerity. Personal credibility depends upon the qualities of a person that would lead a jury to believe or disbelieve what the person said.

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


n. whether testimony is worthy of belief, based on competence of the witness and likelihood that it is true. Unless the testimony is contrary to other known facts or is extremely unlikely based on human experience, the test of credibility is purely subjective. (See: credible witness)

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


in the law of evidence, the aspect of evidence, usually the testimony of a witness, such that the fact-finder tells that the evidence can be believed. See also RELIABILITY.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CREDIBILITY. Worthiness of belief. To entitle a witness to credibility, he must be competent. Vide Competency.
     2. Human testimony can seldom acquire the certainty of demonstration. Witnesses not unfrequently are mistaken or wish to deceive; the most that can be expected is that moral certainty which arises from analogy. The credibility which is attached to such testimony, arises. from the double presumption that the witnesses have good sense and intelligence, and that they are not mistaken nor deceived; they are further presumed to have probity, and that they do not wish to deceive.
     3. To gain credibility, we must be assured, first, that the witness has not been mistaken nor deceived. To be assured as far as possible on this subject, it is proper to consider the nature and quality of the facts proved; the quality and person of the witness; the testimony in itself; and to compare it with the depositions of other witnesses on the subject, and with known facts. Secondly, we must be satisfied that he does not wish to deceive: there are strong assurances of this, when the witness is under oath, is a man of integrity, and disinterested. Vide Arch. Civ. Pl. 444; 5 Com. Dig. 449; 8 Watts, R. 227; Competency.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pc Keith Evans, of the Dangerous Dogs Unit, said: "We are seeing a rise in chain fighting where young people are forcing their dogs to fight in parks, purely as a way of boosting their street cred.
"First of all, I was thinking, 'Go for it' but then I thought 'What about the street cred?' "It would have been free Milky Bars for the rest of my life but it wasn't right.
Barry McGee, Todd James, and Stephen Powers-aka Twist, Reas, and ESPO, respectively--have, variously, gone to art school, published books, won awards, and had museum shows, all of which does nothing to diminish their considerable "street cred." They have collaborated to produce "Street Market" (a larger version of "Indelible Market," exhibited at the ICA Philadelphia last summer) with the intent to annihilate the viewer by re-creating urban cacophony in the gallery.
Sue Stevens, assistant youth sports development officer, said: "Basketball has enormous street cred with young people and the tournament will also offer lots of youngsters the chance of competitive play.
ASDA has a full range of stationery and accessories like back-packs and swim bags, all featuring street cred favourites like the Simpsons, Rug Rats, Lost World, Space Jam and The Lady And The Tramp.
Sadly, the same ringing endorsement is unforthcoming when asked about wife Kim and her affect on his street cred.
A TEENAGER who acted as a look-out on a burglary so he could get some "street cred" has been spared time behind bars.
Mind you, it might not do their street cred much good.
I have not seen one yet with a lead on, nor a muzzle, maybe because it is not 'street cred'.
BONKERS German styling firm Asma have modified the 2007 Mercedes S-Class to "invigorate its street cred".
In it he has a certain amount of street cred and, from my point of view, it covers up his strange fringe.
Surprisingly, the offenders were those over 30, rather than youngsters who often wear those silly woolly hats,albeit for street cred rather than anything to do with keeping warm.