Deposition is any affidavit, or solemn affirmation in lieu thereof; but the term is more commonly applied to a statement written down by an officer of the court, such as an examiner in the High Court, embodying the substance of the answers obtained from the deponent in the course of his examination. It is competent for either party to a suit to examine his own unwilling witness in this way, but only upon notice to the other side, who then and there may cross-examine the deponent, the side who has called him in that case re-examining him. Depositions are also taken before justices of the peace for the purpose of a criminal prosecution; and in case the deponent should die before the trial, or be too ill to attend, these depositions may be used in evidence, subject to certain legislative restrictions. This term is also used in ecclesiastical law, being the censure by which a clergyman is removed from the ministry - i.e. deprived of holy orders.