Popular keywords

A

AccusedA person who is charged with breaking the law. Also known as a defendant.
AcquittalA decision of a judge that an accused person is not guilty or a case is not proven.
AdjournWhen a case is postponed to a later date.
AdmissibilityDescribes evidence that is accepted and allowed to be considered by the court.
AffidavitA signed statement made under oath that explains what you know or belief based on a particular set of facts.
AffirmationA declaration to tell the truth in court; one that does not involve taking a religious oath.
AllegationAn accusation that has been made but not yet proven to be true.
Ancillary mattersIssues regarding the children, property and maintenance in a divorce case.
AntecedentsAn accused person’s previous criminal record.
AsynchronousDescribes events that do not occur at the same time.
In this case, it describes the situation where parties to the legal action will not be required to appear before the judge at the same time, or where the judge will issue orders and directions without requiring the applicant to appear before them.

B

BailTemporary release of an accused person awaiting trial or a hearing, usually on the condition that a sum of money is lodged to guarantee their appearance in court.
BailorA person who is willing to provide security for the amount of money ordered by the court for the bail amount, so that an accused person may be released from remand. A bailor
is also known as a "surety".
Balance of probabilitiesIn civil cases, this is the standard of proof and it is the way a judge makes decisions. It means that the court is satisfied that an event occurred if, based on the evidence, the occurrence of the event was more likely than not.
BondAn undertaking in writing to perform a certain act.

C

ChamberThe private office of a judge or judicial officer where they deal with matters outside of a court session.
ChargeThe crime that an accused person is thought to have committed.
CitationThe letter or form that tells a witness when and where to go to court.
Claim trialWhen an accused person claims trial, it means they do not admit that they are guilty and wish to defend
themself against the charges at trial.
CommissionerA judge, lawyer, sheriff or other suitable person who hears evidence at a different place and time to the actual court case. This evidence can then be used during the court case.
ComplaintA statement accusing a person of breaking the law.
ConfiscationProperty or money taken from an offender who benefited from crime.
ConvictionA pronouncement of guilt by the judge against the accused.
If an accused person is convicted of an offence, this means the accused is formally declared to have committed that crime.
Cross-examinationBeing questioned by the lawyers of the opposing party.

D

Default sentenceAn imprisonment term served by an accused person when they fail to pay the fine imposed by
the court.
DisbursementA payment made by the lawyer on behalf of their client, and then usually claimed back from the client.
DiscoveryStating the documents, under one party's control, which are relevant to the case and making them available to
the other party) so that there are no surprises when the trial starts.

E

Enter an appearanceWhen the plaintiff or defendant comes to court, either in person or through a lawyer, to state or defend a claim.
EstateThe money and property owned by a particular person (such as cash, real estate, financial securities, possessions and other assets), as well as their liabilities (such as debts).
Ex parteThis means on behalf of or from one side only. An ex parte application would mean no other party has to be served with the application.

F

ForeclosureThe legal process in which a lender tries to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower by forcing the sale of the asset which was used as security for the loan.
Forensic evidenceScientific evidence collected from a crime scene such as DNA or fingerprints.

G

GroundsReasons specified by the law that can serve as a basis for an application to the court.

H

Habitual residenceCases show that the courts have considered length of stay in a particular place, parents' shared intention, the child's acclimatisation, and the parents' acclimatisation to determine this term.

I

Immovable propertyIncludes land, the benefits arising out of land and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth.
IncapacitatedAn incapacitated person who is wholly or partially incapacitated or infirm, by reason of physical or mental disability or ill-health or old age
Incapacitated husbandAn incapacitated husband means a husband who, during a marriage, becomes incapacitated from earning a livelihood by any physical or mental disability or illness, becomes unable to maintain himself and continues to be unable to maintain himself.
IndictmentA court document that sets out the charges that an accused person faces.
InferenceAn opinion or a guess based on information that the person has.
InquiryA request for information.
InterlocutoryThe intermediate stage between the start and the conclusion of a legal action. A judicial decision at this stage provides a temporary or interim decision on an issue, and not on the main subject matter of the legal action.
Inter parteOne or more parties have to be served with an application which is usually a summons or Originationg Summons
Intestate successionThe term used when a person dies without making a will.

J

JudgeA law expert in charge of all court proceedings while ensuring legal rules are followed.
Judicial managementWhere an independent judicial manager is appointed by the court to manage the operations, business and property of a company which is under financial distress.
Judicial salesThe forced sale of any property by an official appointed by the court to satisfy a judgment or implement another order of the court. Such sales require public notice of time, place and a description of the goods to be sold.

L

LiableTo be legally obligated or responsible.

M

MaintenanceThe provision of support (usually financial in nature) for family members.
Making representationsRepresentations are letters or emails where an accused person (or their lawyer) sets out clearly the circumstances of the case, other facts which are relevant to how the case may be handled, and the accused's request regarding the charge.
MitigationA chance for an accused person to convey relevant facts (such as reasons or explanations)
to the judge for leniency to be shown to the accused during sentencing.
Movable propertyAnything that is capable of being owned by a person or an entity that is not an immovable property.

N

Newton HearingAn additional hearing also known as an “ancillary hearing”, convened during the sentencing
process when there is a dispute as to facts which may materially affect the sentence to
be imposed on an accused following his conviction.
Next of kinClosest relative.
Notes of EvidenceA word-for-word transcript of what had been said by the different people in court.

O

OathA swearing to tell the truth in court, usually according to religious beliefs, failing which the oath-taker could be prosecuted for lying.
OffenderSomeone who has committed an offence.

P

PleaThe answer that an accused person gives to the court at the start of a trial when asked if guilty or not.
Plead guiltyIf an accused person pleads guilty, they admit to committing the offences as stated in the
charges.
PleadingA document in which a party states the facts on which they rely for their claim or defence.

A Statement of Claim, Memorandum of Appearance, defence (or defence and counterclaim) and reply are types of pleadings.
PrayerA specific request for the court to do something.
ProsecutionProsecutors conduct criminal proceedings against an accused on behalf of the State.

Q

Question of lawA question about the law rather than facts of a court case.

R

Recalcitrant offenderAn individual who has been sentenced to imprisonment or corrective training multiple times.
ReceiverA third party appointed by the court to take charge of the assets of a party to a lawsuit while the right to the assets is in dispute.
ReceivershipThe process of the court appointing a receiver to take control of the assets of a party to a lawsuit pending a final decision by the court.
ReconyevanceThe transfer of title to the property, which was used as security for a loan, back to the borrower when the debt is fully paid.
RedemptionThe act of buying back the property after paying the full amount due to the lender.
ReliefAny benefit the court gives a party to a lawsuit, including a monetary award, the return of property, alimony, etc.
RemandWhen an accused person is kept in prison or police cell pending investigations or when
the accused cannot raise bail.
RemedyThe enforcement of a legal right which a party to a lawsuit claims has been infringed upon and has caused harm.

S

SentenceThe judge's decision on what should happen when an accused person is found guilty of breaking the law.
Statement of factsA statement of facts prepared by the prosecution which contains relevant facts of the
offence.
Stood down chargeA charge that is temporarily put on hold, but which the prosecution may at a later stage
(1) apply to take-into-consideration (TIC) for the purpose of sentencing, (2) apply to
proceed with it or (3) withdraw it.
Summary of factsThe document containing an accused person's version of facts that gave rise to their defence.
Summons to a WitnessA document issued by the court to a person ordering him to come to court on a
stipulated date and time to give evidence as a witness in a criminal case.

T

Take-into-consideration (TIC) chargesCharges considered by the judge in determining the punishment. An accused person is not
punished separately for the TIC charges, although the overall punishment imposed on
the accused may be increased as a result of the TIC charges.
TortThe law of tort is concerned with civil wrongdoings between private individuals. What is allowed between private individuals is determined by common law as determined by the courts. To some extent, this is supported by statutes.
TrialA judicial determination and examination of legal issues and facts arising between parties in a criminal, civil or family case.

U

UndertakingThe document signed by a person who was arrested and released on bail after promising to return to court when required. This person may have to abide by certain conditions while on bail.
Unliquidated damagesThe amount of damages decided by the court when the parties to a contract had not specified how much the damages would be for breaching the terms of the contract.

V

Vacate a hearingTo remove from the court calendar the hearing that was scheduled on the date set aside for it.
VerdictThe decision reached at the end of a trial on whether an accused person is guilty or not.

W

WarrantA court document that allows the police to take certain actions, such as searching premises or arresting someone.
WitnessA person who gives evidence at a trial. A witness has to formally give an oath or affirmation to tell the truth before being allowed to give evidence.