Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Declaration

What is the dictionary definition of Declaration?

Dictionary Definition

n. 1) any statement made, particularly in writing. 2) a written statement made “under penalty of perjury” and signed by the declarant, which is the modern substitute for the more cumbersome affidavit, which requires swearing to its truth before a notary public.

Full Definition of Declaration

In law, a declaration ordinarily refers to a judgment of the court or an award of an arbitration tribunal is a binding adjudication of the rights or other legal relations of the parties which does not provide for or order enforcement. Where the declaration is made by a court, it is usually referred to as a declaratory judgment. Less commonly, where declaratory relief is awarded by an arbitrator, it is normally called a declaratory award.

Declaratory relief is most commonly seen in two particular circumstances:

  • applications for declarations of legitimacy, in family and probate legal proceedings; and
  • under insurance policies, for a determination of whether a peril is covered by a particular policy.

However, applications for declaratory relief in other areas have become more widespread, particularly in Europe. A key feature in relation to this development have been the Brussels and Lugano Conventions on civil jurisdiction and judgments relating to members of the EEA. In certain circumstances, jurisdiction is awarded under the conventions to the courts first seised of the matter. This has led to a rise in defendants taking pre-emptive action by seeking “declarations of non-liability” in a race to the courthouse to ensure that they choose the court first seised rather than waiting for the claimant to do so.

Other Legal Uses

Declaration is used (as a verb or a noun) in other ways in certain legal systems.

  • In some legal systems, a declaration is an alternative term for a sworn affidavit.
  • In relation to companies, a declaration is the first step in relation to the distribution and payment of dividends.
  • In trust law, a settlor who declares that he holds certain property on trust is said to make a declaration of trust.
  • Dying declarations are an exception to the rule against hearsay in many legal systems.
  • Declarations against interest are also an exception to the rule against hearsay in many legal systems.
  • A formal declaration of default is required to enforce creditors’ security rights in some legal systems.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Declaration. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 28, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Declaration. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: September 28, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Declaration. Retrieved September 28, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Declaration are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 27th April, 2020 | 2 Views.