Inquiry – A seeking of information; an examination or investigation


1. Int’l law.  FACT-FINDING (2). 

2. Parliamentary law. A request for information, either procedural or substantive.  See REQUEST; POINT (2). [1]

1. A seeking of information.  An examination or investigation.  See court of inquiry; diligent inquiry; judicial inquiry; writ of inquiry.  [2]

1. A judicial or other legal examination or investigation.

2. Any seeking after information. [3]


1. Int’l law. The gathering of information for purposes of international relations, including the peaceful settlement of disputes and the supervision of international agreements.  *  Examples of fact-finding include legislative tours to acquire information needed for making decisions at an international level. — aka inquiry. [1]

     Excerpt from Thomas M. Franck & H. Scott Fairley’s Procedural Due Process in Human Rights Fact-finding by International Agencies (1980):

     “[F]act-finding must be as impartial and as fair to the parties as procedural and evidentiary rules can render it without making the inquiry’s task impossible, not merely for ethical reasons, but in order to maximize the credibility and impact of the facts found.  To this end, fact-finders must develop procedures that sharply distinguish them from those bodies that assemble prosecutorial evidence. [4]

parliamentary inquiry:

1. An inquiry that asks a question about procedure.

diligent inquiry:

1. Such inquiry as a motivated person, desiring o determine a fact, would usually and ordinarily make; inquiry made with diligence and in good faith, to learn the truth.


1. Active attention to a matter; perseverance; the application of energy.  “Diligence” is incapable of precise definition unrelated to the context in which it is used because its meaning depends upon the particular circumstances of the case.  The concept of diligence is closely related to the concept of care and, like care, it is important as a standard for determining negligence.  The law prescribes various degrees of diligence, ranging from slight diligence to extraordinary diligence. 

slight diligence:

1. A very minimal degree of diligence; the lease degree of diligence.

due diligence:

1. Amount of diligence that a reasonable and prudent person would exercise under the same circumstances. — aka reasonable diligence; ordinary diligence.


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition by Jack Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: Thomas M. Franck & H. Scott Fairley, Procedural Due Process in Human Rights Fact-finding by International Agencies, 74 Am. J. Int’l L. 308, 310 (1980).


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