dying declaration

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An oral or written statement by a person on the point of death concerning the cause of his death. At common law, a dying declaration was admissible at a trial for the murder or the manslaughter of the declarant as an exception to the rule against hearsay evidence, provided that he would have been a competent witness had he survived (see competence). Case law required that the person making the dying declaration must have had a “settled, hopeless expectation of death”. The current law is found in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Subjects: Law.

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