Jargon Buster - A
from the start of something.
giving up a legal right.
cancelling a writ or action;
stopping a nuisance;
reducing the payments to creditors in proportion, if there is not enough money to pay them in full; or reducing the bequests in a will, in proportion, when there is not enough money to pay them in full.
describing something which has been referred to before in the document.
when a person fails to present themselves before the court when required, such as when they have been released on bail and not returned to court.
complete and unconditional.
someone who has been convicted of an offence being released without any penalty.
the only owner of property such as equipment, buildings, land or vehicles.
a document, drawn up by the seller, summarising the title deeds to a property and proving ownership
when criminal proceedings are brought against a person without there being any good reason and with malice, or where someone deliberately uses court processses to try and confuse or delay matters
the parts of the boundaries of a piece of land which touch (abut) pieces of land alongside.
when an offer is accepted unconditionally and a legally binding agreement is created.
when a solicitor accepts a writ or document on behalf of a client.
someone who encourages or helps another person to commit a crime.
someone who takes part with another person to commit a crime.
a word used in legal documents which means therefore or so, or as a result
the record of an organisation's income, spending and financial situation, or a person's recollection of an event such as a coversation
reinvesting income generated by a fund back into the fund.
the person charged with a criminal offence.
admitting that someone has a claim or admitting that a debt exists.
when a defendant agrees that a claim has been received. The defendant fills in, signs and sends back the acknowledgement of service to confirm in writing that the documents were received.
when a court lets a person go without any penalty. If a court decides that a person is not guilty of a crime, or the case has not been proved, it will acquit the person.
the court's decision that a person is innocent of the crime they were charged with.
an act which, if carried out by a person with debts, could have led to bankruptcy proceedings against that person.
an extreme naturally occurring event (such as an earthquake, avalanche or flood) that could not have been anticipated.
using the law to make a claim.
a trust where the trustees have other responsibilities rather than to just let the beneficiaries have the trust's assets when they ask for them.
hurting another person but less severely than would amount to grievous bodily harm.
the true loss than someone has suffered eg to replace something
an expert on pension scheme assets and liabilities, life expectancy and probabilities (the likelihood of things happening) for insurance purposes. An actuary works out whether enough money is being paid into a pension scheme to pay the pensions when they are due.
an act which is illegal, such as theft, as opposed to the mental state of mind which may be connected with it
for a particular purpose. For example, a committee set up to deal with a particular situation is an ad hoc committee.
endlessly or forever.
in proportion to the value. An ad valorem duty goes up as the value of the goods, shares and so on that it is charged on rises. (This term is Latin.)
extra money people in occupational pension schemes can pay in to increase their pension benefits.
when a gift in a will cannot be made because the item no longer exists.
when a court case has no date fixed for it to continue.
postponing a court hearing.
to give an official judgement about something. For example, if someone cannot pay their debts a court may adjudge them bankrupt.
the former name for a court order which made someone bankrupt. It has now been replaced with the term bankruptcy order.
an order made by a county court when a person or a company cannot pay their debts. Normally the court orders that the debts are repaid by instalments and as long as the debtor keeps to the order the creditors cannot do anything else to recover their money.
someone who has been appointed:to manage the affairs of a bankrupt business; or to manage the estate of someone who has died without leaving a will.
which evidence can be presented in court. Evidence must be relevant to the case but even some relevant evidence cannot be presented, such as hearsay or evidence of little value. The judge decides whether or not evidence can be used in the case.
one side in a case agreeing that something the other side has alleged is true.
reprimanding of a defendant by a judge even though the case against the defendant has been discharged (dropped).
the system which people use to become parents, even though they are not the child's natural parents.
a child who has been legally adopted.
a person who has legally adopted a child.
intentionally occupying land to prevent the rightful owner or tenant using it.
a witness who gives evidence which damages the case of the side which asked the witness to testify for them.
the lawyer who speaks in court for a client; or
a written statement which is sworn to be true by the person signing it. It is sworn before someone authorised by the court.
solemnly promise to tell the truth in court;
solemnly promise to tell the truth in an affidavit;
confirm a decision made by a lower court; or
allow a contract to continue even though it could have been cancelled because it was fundamentally breached.
solemnly promising to tell the truth when giving evidence. It is an alternative to swearing an oath when the person giving evidence does not wish to.
fighting unlawfully. It is a criminal offence.
describing something referred to previously in the document.
describing something which has been said or referred to before in the document.
the age when a person can consent to have sexual intercourse. In the UK it is 16.
the relationship between a principal and an agent.
someone appointed to act for a principal.
a more serious type of assault such as one leading to actual bodily harm.
entering premises armed with a weapon, intending to steal goods.
extra damages awarded because the defendant has caused the victim anguish, loss of self-respect or shame.
stealing a vehicle, driving it dangerously and as a result injuring someone or damaging property.
a type of tenancy agreement for someone doing agricultural work. The tenant has special rights including, when the tenancy finishes, the right to compensation for improvements to the land. If the land has deteriorated the tenant must compensate the landlord.
helping someone to commit a crime.
the space in the atmosphere directly above a piece of land. If you own a piece of land you also own the airspace above the land.
a false name.
a claim that a person was elsewhere when a crime was committed. If someone is accused of a crime their alibi is:
evidence that the person was somewhere else when the crime was committed; or
an attempt to prove that the person was somewhere else when the crime was committed.
someone from a foreign country.
transferring the ownership of property from one person to another.
words used in a conveyance to introduce the description of the property which is being conveyed.
an unproved statement declaring that something has happened.
to lessen or reduce.
the proportion of money left to be invested after charges have been taken off when money is paid into a fund (such as a pension fund). For example, if the charges were 2%, the allocation rate would be 98%.
shares allocated to a buyer. An allotment of shares in a company gives the owner (of the allotment) an unconditional right to buy the shares at a fixed price.
a person appointed by a director to take the director's place.
a person being found guilty of a less serious crime than the one they were charged with. If a more serious charge has not been proved and the defendant has been found not guilty, the defendant may be found guilty of a less serious crime instead. For example, there may not be enough evidence to convict someone of a murder but there may still be enough for a manslaughter conviction. This is known as an alternative verdict.
two or more companies combining.
capability of more than one meaning. When a statement's meaning is not clear because it is capable of more than one meaning, it contains an ambiguity.
a will which can be revoked or changed while the person who made it is still living.
not punishing a person for an offence they have committed and removing details of the offence from the court's records is giving the person an amnesty.
the right not to have the light you receive from a neighbour's land blocked.
the summary of an organisation's financial transactions during the year covered by their accounts, and a 'snapshot' of the assets and liabilities at the end of the year.
the yearly meeting of the members of an organisation which must be held to meet legal conditions. The annual accounts are presented for approval at this meeting.
a return which must be sent by companies to the Registrar of Companies. Each year the officers of a company have to fill in an annual return with details of the members, officers, shares issued and other information about the company. The return is then sent to Companies House for filing and is available for inspection by members of the public.
the person who gets paid an annuity.
an amount paid out every year to someone. The money usually comes from an insurance policy. It can be split up into smaller amounts and be paid out more frequently, such as monthly. It is usually paid for the rest of the beneficiary's life.
an invalid marriage; or
a bankruptcy order.
details about the past of a defendant or a person found guilty of a crime. The information about previous crimes, background and bad behaviour is given to the court before the sentence is given.
a legal agreement between two people who are about to get married. The agreement sets out how the couple's assets will be divided between them if they later divorce.
an order by the High Court. It gives the applicant permission to search the defendant's premises for evidence, inspect it and take it away. It is intended to prevent evidence being destroyed or hidden which would be relevant to the case. (Since April 1999, this has been known as a 'search order'.)
asking a court to overturn a lower court's decision. If the decision of a court is disputed it may be possible to ask a higher court to consider the case again by lodging an appeal.
the person who is appealing to a court against a decision of a lower court.
the authority a court has to hear an appeal against a decision made by a lower court.
the person asking a court to do something.
the person who gets the benefit of the use of a power of appointment.
the person who uses a power of appointment.
minor rights in land such as a right to do something on the land.
borrowing money at a low rate of interest to lend out again at a higher rate; or
buying and selling in different markets to make profits out of the price differences.
settling a dispute by using a referee. If a dispute goes to arbitration it is settled by an independent referee. It avoids having to use the courts to settle the dispute.
the independent referee who settles a dispute without the need to use the courts.
to seize someone, usually because they are suspected of committing a crime, and take them into custody.
a crime for which a person may be arrested without a warrant being needed.
setting fire to something to cause damage to it.
the clauses in a document. A company's articles set out its rules. The articles form part of the memorandum and articles of association.
documents which set out a company's rules.
when someone threatens another person with physical harm. Words on their own do not amount to assault but threatening gestures do, even if the person threatened is not touched.
a document used by personal representatives to transfer property to a beneficiary.
something owned such as a building, a vehicle or money in the bank.
to formally transfer something, such as when ownership of property is transferred from one person to another.
the formal transfer of the rights to something. An example would be a bank customer assigning to the bank the right to receive the benefits from a life insurance policy to give the bank security for a loan.
insurance cover for an event which will definitely happen, such as death.
to transfer the ownership of something.
the person whose life is insured or who is entitled to receive the benefit from the assurance cover.
a type of tenancy agreement under which the landlord has the right to take the property back at the end of the tenancy agreement.
a court order that deductions be made from a person's earnings. The employer pays the money collected to the court and the court pays the money to the people it is owed to.
to sign to witness a signature on a document.
a person appointed to act for another person (such as when someone cannot look after their own affairs). A formal document called a power of attorney is used to appoint the attorney. It is also the name used for a US lawyer.
the chief legal adviser to the Government. He or she must be a Member of Parliament (or have a seat in the House of Lords) and must be a barrister.
an independent examination of an organisation's records and financial statements (report and accounts) to make sure that:
the financial statements show a fair reflection of the financial position at the accounting date;
the income and spending is shown accurately;
the financial statements meet any legal conditions; and
the financial statements are drawn up clearly.
a report and opinion, by an independent person or firm, on an organisation's financial records.
investments in which a trustee is permitted to invest trust money, under an Act of Parliament.
the highest amount of share capital that a company can issue. The amount is set out in the company's memorandum of association.
an examination of a dead body to find the cause of death.