DUEL

DUEL

duel.

1. TRIAL BY COMBAT.

2. A single combat; specif., a prearranged combat with deadly weapons fought between two or more persons under prescribed rules, usu. in the presence of at least two witnesses, to resolve a previous quarrel or avenge a deed. ? In England and the United States, death resulting from a duel is treated as murder, and seconds may be liable as accessories.

¡ª Also termed monomachy; single combat. Cf. MUTUAL COMBAT. [Cases: Homicide 537.]

¡°[A] duel which did not end in death was only a misdemeanour, till the passing of Lord Ellenborough’s Act, 43 Geo. 3, c. 58, passed in 1803 …. A duel which did end fatally might be either murder or manslaughter, according to the following distinctions: ¡ª If the duel was on a sudden falling out, if the parties fought in hot blood and on the spot and one was killed, the offence was only manslaughter, however aggravated the case might be…. If a fatal duel took place when the parties were in cool blood, it was held to be murder, and of this there has never been any doubt whatever in this country, though juries not unfrequently acquitted in such cases if they sympathized with the prisoner.¡± 3 James Fitzjames Stephen, A History of the Criminal Law of England 100 (1883).

¡°Dueling is distinguished from other offenses in that it has none of the elements of sudden heat and passion, and is usually carried out with some formality. A duel has been distinguished from an ¡®affray¡¯ in that an affray occurs on a sudden quarrel while a duel is always the result of design.¡± 28A C.J.S. Dueling ¡ì 2, at 154 (1996).


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Carl, Chinese legal translator, specializes in translating legal documents pertaining to complex business disputes.