Legalspeak - Some basic legal terms

A simple dictionary for those starting out on the road of understanding Australian law: Note: If you are interested in acronyms = Click here

ab initio = from the beginning

abate = reduce (noise or nuisance)

abet = assist in committing a criminal offence

abrogate = cancel (responsibility), repeal, rescind, annul

abscond = disappear, flee, go away

absolute = without question

absolute liability = liable without question, independent of fault

absolute privilege = privilege provided by limited conditions/circumstances (such as parliamentary rules/processes) to provide information without fear of action against the informer for defamation etc.

accept = the correct response to an offer to create a binding legal agreement

acceptance = the response to a current offer that will upon the meeting of the minds of the offerer and the acceptor create a binding legal agreement

acceptor = drawee (bill of exhange)

accused = a person or persons charged with an indictable offence; See defendant

acquittal = termination of a criminal charge, generally by a verdict of not guilty in favour of the person accused

Act = a Bill presented to Parliament and enacted into law (approval by both houses of parliament and receiving Royal Assent)

Act of God = natural event; to occur without human intervention to set it off; would have happened whatever human intervention occurred before the event

Act of Parliament = a law or statute (generally introduced as a Bill) made by the parliament or Commonwealth of Australia

action = formal proceedings in a civil court often referred to as civil proceedings

ad hoc = temporary; for this purpose only

ad idem = on the same matter

adjournment = upon application by either party, a Judge or magistrate suspends a hearing until a given date

ad valorem = on the value of the thing

administrative law = body of law regulating the powers of government and government decision making

administrator = a person appointed by the court to take care of your estate if you die intestate

admissible = evidence fits within the rules of evidence and therefore is considered to be admissible evidence

admissible evidence = this evidence is allowed because it fits within the rules of evidence

admissibility = of evidence in a hearing or a trial; See admissible; See rules of evidence

advance = loan by partner to partnership

advance directive = a document you can write to describe your wishes if you become unable to make decisions; similar to enduring power of attorney but not legally binding

advocate = to speak for others in a court of law; a barrister is a special advocate lawyer; a solicitor often performs this function in the Local Court; some specialist courts and arbitration and conciliation may allow other specialists to perform the role of advocate

affidavit = a written statement sworn or affirmed to be true, similar to a statutory declaration but prepared for a court

affirmation = a declaration that the statement is true, usually defined by a State law such as the Oaths Act, often used by a person who chooses not to make an oath because of its religious connotations. Like an oath, an affirmation is made under possible penalty for perjury.

arraignment = an appearance in a higher court (such as a District Court or a Supreme Court) of one charged with an indictable offence to hear the charge being read and to enter their plea

agency = authority to create a legal relationship between a principal and a third party given to an agent by an agency agreement. Related to special statutory requirements and licensing, such as those for solicitors, auctioneers, real estate agents, finance brokers, farm produce agents, travel agents, etc.

agency agreement = contract between principal and agent

agent = person who has the authority to create a legal relationship between his/her principal and a third party given to him/her by an agency agreement between him/her and the principal

agreement = often the contract is called an agreement; but legally the agreement occurs when there is a meeting of the minds of the offerer and the acceptor and this is necessary to create the contract

alibi = a form of defence that the accused was elsewhere at the time of the act, thus could not have committed the crime

alienate = separate property from other property for the purpose of transfer or disposal

allegation = assertion by one party against the other, without proof

amend = change (a document or a statement, a word or a sentence) with a view to making it current or correct

amendment = update, change, correction

anticipatory breach = the party indicates in advance of their future obligation that they will fail to perform their commitment or obligation under contract; see also breach, fundamental breach

appeal = a reconsideration/transfer of a case from a lower court to a higher court; or a review of a decision by a Judge/officer

appellant = appealing party who makes an appeal to a superior court from an inferior court

apply (for bail) = an accused may apply for bail at each court appearance, or if refused appeal to the Supreme Court

apportion = divide and assign to each party in proportion

appropriate = divide and set aside a part or parts of the whole for some purpose

aquittal = a ruling of the court; not guilty; innocent

arbitration = submission of a dispute to an impartial person or group other than the court in order to determine the case

arraignment = appearance in court

arson = crime of wilfully setting fire to a property

assign = transfer benefit and/or responsibility to the assignee under contract

assignee = the recipient of transfer

assignor = the transferor

assign = transfer benefit and/or responsibility to the assignee under contract

attest = bear witness

attestation clause = a clause in your will signed by the witness to say they saw you sign it and you did it in their presence and in the presence of the other witness, and similar declarations

attorney under power = an agent authorised by power of attorney

Australian Bar Association = information about the association and the role it plays in the Australian legal system

Australian Capital Territory Bar Association = voluntary association of independent practising barristers

Australian Law - Selected Websites (National Library of Australia) = resources for information regarding Australian Law

bail = process by which an accused person is released from the time of their arrest to the time of their trial, involves a promise by the accused to ensure their presence at trial and may be unconditional or have conditions attached

bailee = the recipient of the bailor's goods under bailment agreement

bailiff = an officer of the court who serves court notices and executes court rulings

bailment agreement = contract between bailor and bailee in which the goods of the bailor are delivered to the bailee on condition that when certain terms are satisfied (the terms of bailment) the goods shall be returned

bailment contract = bailment agreement

bailor = the lodger of own goods with the bailee under bailment contract

bar = section legal profession constituted by barristers

barrister = lawyer who specialises in appearing in court, admitted to plead at the bar

beneficial owner = the owner of a legal interest, the real owner

beneficiary = see trust

beneficiary = a person who benefits from a gift, devise or bequest in a Last Will & Testament

bequeath = to make a bequest in a Last Will & Testament

bequest = personal property (money) left to a beneficiary in a Last Will & Testament

best evidence = preferred evidence; direct is preferred over indirect, first hand is preferred over second-hand, witness is preferred over hear-say, etc.; See rules of evidence

Bill (for an Act) = proposed Act for a new statute or a change to an existing statute presented to Parliament but not yet enacted into law

bill of exhange = unconditional order (by drawer) in writing to (the drawee) (acceptor) to pay a specified amount to a specified person (or person specified by the specified person) (or bearer) at a specified moment in time

Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) = an agreement between partners about to marry (in the past referred to as a pre-nuptial agreement) or divorce (in the past referred to as a post-nuptial agreement) which says, in effect: the two of us will agree to do certain things with our property, and we don?t want the Family Court to order otherwise, even though one of us might later change our mind. (The BFA attempts to "oust the jurisdiction of the Family Court", although the Court retains a limited power to interfere with property relations in limited circumstances.)

black letter law = refers to basic elements in detail which are generally known, technical law

blackmail = crime of unlawful threatening to reveal information about a person unless that person meets demands

bona fide = in good faith, honestly, at fair market value, without deceit or fraud

breach = the party fails to perform their commitment or obligation under contract; see also anticipatory breach, fundamental breach

brief = instructions and background information prepared by the solicitor and given to the barrister or advocate

briefing =

Calderbank Offer =

call over = mention

Cash Management Unit Trust = See legal entity

cause = civil proceeding or action

caveat = an attachment legal document warning of an interest that must be taken into account such as an agreement by a third person because of an encumbrance before a legal step can be taken

caveat emptor = let the buyer beware

caveat venditor = let the seller beware

Certificate of Title = official document that describes or is evidence of ownership of real property

certiorari = to certify

chamber registrar = a court registrar

chambers = office of Judge or barrister

Character Reference = useful in the sentencing procedure of a criminal court in Australia

Change of Name = documents to make a change of name easier

charge = something offered in security

chattels = property (not freehold)

chattels personal = interest in tangible personal property

chattels real = interest in real property (not freehold)

chose = thing

choses in action = interest in intangible personal property

choses in possession = interest in tangible personal property, includes personal chattels

circumstantial evidence = collection of facts, Judge or jury can infer an unknown conclusion

civil = not criminal

civil action = action undertaken in a civil court; commencement of civil litigation; civil litigation; lawsuit

civil barrister = barrister who takes his/her briefings from a civil solicitor

civil litigation = a legal proceeding in a court related to claims in contract or claims in tort claims in

civil proceedings = action in the court that is not criminal

civil solicitor = solicitor who specialises in civil matters

claim =

claims in contract =

claim in tort =

codicil = an attachment legal document attached to the Last Will & Testament that changes some wording or meaning or impact of the Will; not recommended, make a new Will if you can

collateral contract = a contract entered into by two parties, the consideration for which is the entering into another contract by the two parties

collection = of evidence; when/how etc. may increase admissibility

committal proceedings = a preliminary hearing; action in the court for the purpose of deciding whether a person charged with an indictable offence should be committed for trial or sentence

common law = unwritten law known by judicial ruling, comment, interpretation, explanation and legal precedence

Company Ltd Listed = See legal entity

Company Ltd UnListed = See legal entity

Company Large Pty = See legal entity

Company Small Pty = See legal entity

Company Limited By Guarantee = See legal entity

condition = a requirement under contract that if it is not satisfied allows the innocent party to consider the contract as discharged and/or sue for damages

condition precedent = a moment in time, a happening, an event or achievement that brings into existence a new contract or requirement to perform under an existing contract

condition subsequent = a moment in time, a happening, an event or achievement that brings to an end an existing contract or requirement to perform under an existing contract

consensus = agreement

consensus ad idem = agreement on the same matter

consent = term of agreement

consideration = something of value given to the other party in return for their promise

contra = against

contra proferentem = an ambiguity in a contract is resolved in the favour of the party who will suffer not the party who will benefit

contract = a agreement between two or more parties formed at a moment by the meeting of the minds of the parties regarding something of value that is material and enforceable in a court of law

contract under seal = deed

convey = transfer ownership of real property from one owner to another

conveyance = usually means the action of a lawyer to cause the conveyance (convey) but could mean the instrument used

Cooperative Ltd = See legal entity

coroner = a magistrate or other person or clerk of the court appointed to investigate deaths that are sudden or suspicious

corpus = the body

corroboration = evidence that supports or proves the truth of evidence

counterpart = true copy

court registrar = See registrar;

covenant = a solemn undertaking contained within the deed to do something

creditor = person to whom something of value is owed under contract (usually money under a contract of sale)

crime = an offence under a 'Crimes Act' or considered an offence against the state at Common Law

criminal = understood or judged to be a crime

criminal = person who commits or is found guilty in a court of law of committing a crime

criminal action = commencement of committal proceedings for a criminal offence

Criminal Bar Association of Victoria = peak body for barristers in Victoria practising in the criminal law

criminal barrister = barrister who takes his/her briefings from a criminal solicitor

criminal charge = a charge that can be heard in a criminal court; a charge brought by the state seeking punishment for committing a crime

criminal court = Magistrates' Court, Intermediate (District/County) Court, Supreme Court

criminal law = that body of law that relates to committing a crime such as the Crimes Act and related Acts

criminal offence = a crime; an offence against the state

criminal solicitor = solicitor who specialises in criminal matters

criminal trial = proceedings in a criminal court in relation to a criminal charge

cross-examination = See witness cross-examination; See also witness examination, examination-in-chief, witness re-examination

crown = prosecution or government

de facto = from fact; in fact; as a result of a matter of fact

de novo = anew; from the beginning

debenture = certificate of agreement, acknowledging a debt

debt recovery =

debtor = person who owes something of value under contract (usually money under a contract of sale)

Deceased Estate = See legal entity

deceit = practice of dishonesty to gain or cause loss

decri = court order

decri nisi = order nisi (unless) becomes absolute after the passage of time

decri absolute = order absolute

deed = contract under seal; an agreement or a declaration that is signed in a particular way and, because of this is, treated in a special way by the courts

deed poll = a deed by one party only

default = failure to satisfy a duty or obligation or to carry out a court order

defendant = a person or persons charged with a summary offence; See accused

delegated legislation = law enacted by other parties (usually a government agency or the Minister) delegated by Parliament to make subordinate legislation, such as Regulations

deponent = the maker of the affidavit

deposition = testimony taken down in writing; affidavit or statement

devise = to separate and dispose of real estate property in a Last Will & Testament

disbursement = money paid out of the available cash for claimable charges and proper expenses incurred

disclaimer = a warning that I will not accept a particular responsibility that may be usually associated with this

discharge = to get rid of an obligation, responsibility, liability, or debt (usually by performing or paying it but could be by express agreement between the parties to discharge; or breach of condition by the other party etc.)

discretion = power or right (e.g. of magistrate or judge to decide, accept, reject, etc.)

discretion to exclude = a magistrate or judge may decide to exclude evidence that is relevant and admissible because it was obtained unfairly or unlawfully

Discretionary Trust - Investment = See legal entity

Discretionary Trust - Service = See legal entity

Discretionary Trust - Trading = See legal entity

dismissal = a charge is dismissed in the Local Court; at this point an application may be made to the Magistrate for an order for costs

dissenting judgement = judgement by member of the court ruling opposite the majority

domestic relationship =

due process = a long-established agreed process that needs to be followed in order to guarantee agreed rights

domicile = defines someone?s permanent home

drawee = acceptor; a party ordered (by drawer) to pay; See (bill of exhange)

drawer = a party who orders payment by the drawee; See (bill of exhange)

duplicity = defining a phrase as being twofold, phrase or charge that outlines more than one offence

duress = some pressure or coercion brought to bear on one person by another to perform some act or favour

duty of care = legal obligation (usually as a result of accepting a job, a particular undertaking, a responsibility or a title or position in which risks are known and/or implied) to understand the risks to others and to do everything that can be reasonably expected to avoid those risks

E&O = errors and omissions

E&OE = errors and omissions excepted

easement = a burden placed on the land such as the grant of a right of way

encumbrance = a weight around my neck; a responsibility that needs to be satisfied in the future; a liability; a charge; a burden such as an easement on the land

endorse = to make clear your support or agreement by signing and writing your name on a document

entity = a 'thing' that has a real existence, an essential nature, independent of other 'things', and that is treated in a distinct way in the eyes of the law. In Australia, each legal entity has a special character, because of the laws (usually Commonwealth and/or State) that bring them into existence and/or dictate how they can and must operate. See legal entity

entrapment = lured into a compromising situation or forced to commit a crime by a law officer

equity = body of law dealing with matters affecting conscience that fall outside the Common Law

errors and omissions excepted (E&OE) = generally understood as an expression (included, say, at the end of a document such as an invoice or a document purporting to be a transcript or a true and complete written record of a conversation) that has a particular meaning, viz. as a disclaimer against clerical error; NOTE: it is also generally agreed that E&OE on its own is of no meaning, as only a lawyer or an insurance agent would understand its meaning, so if you are thinking of using it, spell it out!

estate = assets belonging to the deceased at the time of death

estoppel = legal principle that bars a party from going back on what the party has previously said if the other party relies on that statement

euthanasia = (another person) acts to deliberately end a person's life to benefit that person

euthanasia (active) = (another person) acts to deliberately end a person's life by acting

euthanasia (passive) = (another person) acts to deliberately end a person's life by failing to act

evidence (active) = any matter that proves or disproves a fact

evidence (rules of) = rules to determine ; See rules of evidence

ex gratia = gratuity

ex gratia payment = a payment made for which there is no reciprocal obligation

ex nuptial = outside of the marriage

ex officio = outside of the office

ex parte = in the absence of one party (one party is not present)

ex tempore = at the time

examination = See witness examination; See also examination-in-chief, witness cross-examination, witness re-examination

examination-in-chief = crucial or chief part of the case; See also witness examination, witness cross-examination, witness re-examination

exclude = evidence; See prejudice; See admissibility

exclusion clause = clause in an agreement that removes one party's liability in the event of a breach

execute = complete and activate a legal document (make it current) by signing it; a company does this by the affixation of the company's common seal witnessed by a director and company secretary

executor = the person given the role and responsibility of performing the duties given him/her by the testator/testatrix in a Last Will & Testament and making sure that the wishes of the testator/testatrix are respected and satisfied to the greatest extent possible

executrix = an executor who is a woman; old-fashioned: a woman can be called an executor these days

exhibit = tangible evidence presented to a court

extradition = transfer of an accused by one government to another, seeking trial

false imprisonment = unlawfully detaining an individual against his or her will

fee simple = ownership outright

felony = a serious offence (more serious than a misdemeanour); an offence which you have a legal obligation to report to the police and for which you can be charged as an accomplice

fiduciary = others' interests, not my own

fieri facias = writ of execution

finding = a finding by the court

Fixed Trust = See legal entity

Fixed Unit Trust = See legal entity

fixtures = something that has been attached to the land and is regarded as part of the property, not removable

force majeure = law of insurance; referring to a cause that is outside the control of the parties; an act of God

foreclose = to take up a clause in the contract which allows the lender to take possession and force the sale early because of a failure of the owner/borrower to meet his/her obligations under contract

forgery = creation or alteration of a document so that it is false

fraud = false representation by words or conduct with intention of financial gain

freehold = describes interest of the landlord vs. interest of the tenant

friend = an un-represented accused may at the permission of the Judge be allowed to be advised and/or assisted by a friend but usually not to act as advocate

frustration = an event causing a discharge

fundamental breach = a term or a condition of such importance that a breach is not a viable course of action; that is to say that the party suffering the breach would not have entered into contract if he/she could have anticipated a possible breach

garnishee = an individual who is owed money may apply to the court for payment

gift = personal property (real estate property, money or other item of value) given by one person to another who is not providing, and is not required to provide, anything in return

gift = personal property (other than real estate property or money) left to a beneficiary in a Last Will & Testament

gift = gratuity

glossary = a list of words that have special meaning because of their context of use and an explanation of the special definitions assigned to them

gratuitous = a gift; free, not requiring payment or consideration

gratuitous gift = transfer of money/property etc. of future worth or value not requiring payment or consideration (usually unenforceable because of its gratuitous nature)

gratuitous promise = promise of action, transfer, etc., not requiring payment or consideration (usually unenforceable because of its gratuitous nature)

gratuity = gratuitous; a gift; free, not requiring payment or consideration

guarantee = an agreement in which one party (the guarantor) agrees with the other party (the creditor) to take responsibility for another's (the debtor's) debt entered into by the debtor in a separate contract should (s)he fail to meet the terms of that other contract

guarantor = individual that is responsible for another?s performance under contract, someone giving a guarantee

guilty party = a person who pleads to or is found "Guilty" by a court; See sentencing; See penalty; See mitigating evidence

habeas corpus = a writ used to emphasise the liberty of the subject in the administration of justice in Australia; a court must decide if a person in custody is lawfully in custody and if not order their immediate release

habendum = to have

hansard = official published report of parliament proceedings

hearing = a hearing of a charge in a lower court before a magistrate; See trial

hearsay = any hearsay (apart from a confession) is not admitted of proof of the truth of the statement, only that the statement was heard

homicide = a killing of one human being by another (accidental, murder or manslaughter)

hostile witness = a witness who testifies for the opposing party; subject to cross-examination by the party to whom that witness is opposed

House of Lords = Upper House of the English parliament

Hybrid Trust = See legal entity

impanel = primary process of selecting a list of prospective jurors

in camera = in chamber; in a closed court; in a session in which the public is refused access

informant =

in futuro = in the future

in loco parentis = in the stead of the parent of the child

in pari materia = in a similar case; upon the same subject

in perpetuum = perpetual; continuous into the future

in personam = distinguished from in rem, a lawsuit against a specific person

in re = regarding; concerning; in the matter of

in situ = in place; in their original place

in toto = in total; in all; as a whole

indemnity = sum paid from one person to another; compensation for a loss

indenture = legal contract between two parties, form of deed

indictable offence = a more serious offence that may be prosecuted before a Judge in a criminal court; See summary offence

individual contractor = See legal entity

individual person = See legal entity

inferior = a court from which a party may make an appeal to a higher (superior) court

injunction = an order by the court requiring a person to refrain from committing an act that they are presently performing or may or will or intend to in the future

instrument = a formal, written legal document

insurance agreement = contract between insurer and insured

insured = a person who enters in to agreement with the insurer and pays fees under insurance contract

insurer = one who agrees to make good a loss in return for fees paid by insured

inter alia = among other things

inter vivos = between those alive

interlocutory = legal term given to a step taken in proceedings: between the commencement and final judgement

intellectual property (IP) = the property of your mind or intellect. Types of IP include patents, trade marks, designs, confidential information/trade secrets, copyright, circuit layout rights, plant breeder's rights, etc.

intestate = without a current, legally valid Last Will and Testament; see testate

IP = Intellectual Property = legally recognised rights to copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets etc.

IP Australia = IP Australia = government agency providing advice, registration etc. re legally recognised rights to copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets etc. See

ipso facto = deriving from the fact itself; as a necessary consequence of the fact or deed

ipso jure = deriving from the law itself; as a necessary consequence of the law

joint tenancy = a form of co-ownership in which when the tenant dies the ownership automatically passes to the other tenant who is still alive, regardless of what the will says; see tenancy in common

Judge = District Court

judgement = a determination, decri or order of the court

judgement in debt = an order to a debtor to pay a debt

judgment = judgement

judicial = related to the court

judicial review = review of the lawfulness of government decision or action by the court

jurat = (s)he swears; jurat clause at the end of an affidavit, sworn, by whom, date and place

jurisdiction = extent or boundary of the court's authority to decide and enforce that decision limited by its relation to other courts and geographical boundaries

Justice = Supreme Court; High Court

Law Council of Australia = National council of Australian Lawyers

Law Institute of Victoria = professional association for Victorian solicitors

Law Link NSW = Government portal website to law and justice agencies and services

Law Society of (the) Australian Capital Territory represents legal profession in the ACT=

Law Society of New South Wales = the professional association responsible for the registration of legal practitioners in NSW

Law Society Northern Territory = the professional association responsible for the registration of legal practitioners in Northern Territory

Law Society of Queensland = Queensland Law Society

Law Society of South Australia = the professional association responsible for the registration of legal practitioners in South Australia

Law Society of Tasmania = the professional association responsible for the registration of legal practitioners in Tasmania

Law Society of Victoria =

Law Society of Western Australia = the professional association responsible for the registration of legal practitioners in Western Australia

lawsuit = civil litigation; civil action

lease agreement = contract between lessor and lessee

laches = failure to perform a legal duty

larceny = theft

legacy = a gift of personal property

legal briefing =

legal entity = in Australia legal entities include 32 business types as per : docDownload's SME Model

legatee = beneficiary of legacy

lessee = tenant (under lease)

lessor = landlord (of property under lease)

license = a legal document giving authority to do something, permission

lien = a right to ownership of property

limited partnership = See legal entity

litigation = a legal proceeding in a court

loan agreement = contract between debtor and creditor

Local Court = a Magistrate hears summary offences and committals for indictable offences

locum standi = permanent office

locum tenens = temporary office

maintenance = unlawful conduct in a legal suit by assisting another person to conduct legal proceedings

maintenance = payment that one family member must pay another for support

Magistrate = Local Court

mandamus = writ issued by court where official is ordered to do something

manslaughter = form of homicide, unintended killing, without expression

mareva injunction = court order freezes assets of an individual against whom there is a claim so their assets cannot deplete

mediation = parties to a dispute agree to negotiate with a view to resolving the dispute with the help of an agreed neutral third party trusted by both sides rather than rely on adversarial litigation which can lack flexibility, be costly and can involve delay, damage to future relations and serious expense

mens rea = guilty mind, necessary element in Common law

mention = callover; details of the case appear on the list of the court promoting interaction with the court to discover pleading(s) and to plan a hearing, etc;

misdemeanour = a less serious offence (less serious than a felony, that is); an offence for which you can be charged with aiding and abetting but not actually as an accomplice; you do not have a legal obligation to report a misdemeanour to the police (or anyone else)

misrepresentation = false statement made by one party to another

mitigating evidence = sentencing usually allows evidence provided by a guilty party to seek the penalty to be reduced or minimised; evidence may include character reference

murder = unlawful malicious killing of a human being

mutatis mutandis = after you have made the changes

name change = by reputation and common usage

neighbour principle = a person owes his/her neighbour a duty of care; to avoid harming or injuring a neighbour by an act of negligence. This may apply to a neighbouring landowner but might also be applied to negligence on the road, someone falling down the stairs, occupier's liability, negligent advice, etc.

New South Wales Bar Association =

nisi = unless; see decri nisi

nolle prosequi = unwilling to prosecute (insufficient evidence; jury is unlikely to convict; age of the accused etc.)

non est factum = it is not a fact

non profit organisation = See legal entity

non sequitor = it does not necessarily follow from the fact

non suit = , plaintiff releases defendant from liability, no case for judgement

Northern Territory Bar Association =

nota bene = take note; note well

notary = notary public

notary public = a legal practitioner who has the role of authenticating deeds and documents for certain purposes, including use in other countries and use as evidence in the courts

notice = method used to bring this to someone's attention; usually a formal written document entitled "notice of ..."

novation = a new agreement; usually one that replaces another

nulla bona = there was nothing to sell

nunc pro tunc = now and then

oath = a declaration that the statement is true, usually defined by a State law such as the Oaths Act, has religious connotations as it represents a swearing on the person's applicable religious text, such as the Christian Bible for a christian, the Hebrew Bible or the Septuagint for a jew, the Koran for a muslim, etc. See also affirmation. An oath is made under possible penalty for perjury.

oath = a promise to tell the truth sworn on the bible or other religious text, see also affirmation

offence = a criminal breaking of the laws of the State or the Commonwealth (including a common law offence)(which may include conspiracy or incitement to commit an offence) which may include actions prescribed as offences under the Act such as prescribed sexual offence, prescribed summary offence, etc.

offer =

Ombudsman = government person appointed to receive and consider complaints or explain problems

order = a direction by the court that a directive or an action will be undertaken/carried out/followed (or else); see decri, care order, consent order, parenting order, specific issue order

order for costs = upon dismissal of a criminal charge in the Local Court, an application may be made to the Magistrate for an order for costs; the Magistrate has a discretion to order the informant to pay just and reasonable costs

panel = official list of available people who can serve as jurors

pari passu = with equal step; in equal share

partner = party who has agreed to a partnership agreement with (an)other party/parties

partnership = See legal entity

partnership = two or more persons come together to carry on a business with a view to profit; they usually have a formal partnership agreement. A partnership may be dissolved by agreement or court order. There are Partnership Acts in the various States and Partnership matters are dealt with in the Supreme Court.

Partnership Act 1892 (NSW)

Partnership Act 1891 (SA)

Partnership Act 1891 (Tas.)

Partnership Act 1895 (WA)

Partnership Act 1891 (QLD)

Partnership Act 1958 (Vic.)

Partnership Act 1963 (ACT)

Partnership Act (NT)

partnership agreement = usually a formal partnership agreement in writing and executed; however some partnerships have an agreement that is not written nor signed but is still a legal agreement and subject to the Partnership Act and dealt with in the Supreme Court.

partnership limited = See legal entity

party = the person, legal grouping, company, partnership, organisation, etc. involved in the contract as one party

penalty = a punishment for an offence or a crime

pendente lite = while the case is pending

per capita = by the (number of) heads; according to the number of people (affected) (present) etc.

per incuriam = through lack of care

per se = by itself alone

per stirpes = by the fundamentals; by the roots/branches; (family rights)

personal property = property other than land, such as personal belongings, movables (not affixed to land and buildings), goods of future value, contractual rights (and maybe even statutory rights)

plaintiff = a party who brings an action to the court

plea = a party who is charged with an offence enters a plea "Guilty" or "Not guilty" at an arraignment

post nuptial = after the marriage has ended; See Binding Financial Agreement

power of attorney = a deed signed by a principal authorising another person to act as his/her agent. Generally speaking, whatever you can do yourself you can do by an agent; does not apply to making a will or swearing affidavit. See enduring power of attorney

pre nuptial = prior to the marriage; See Binding Financial Agreement

prejudicial = (evidence) presented not to prove but to prejudice and therefore should be excluded

prerogative = feudal law, power of the Crown not found in statute

prima facie = upon initial impression

principal =

pro = for; on behalf of; in favour of

pro forma = in a particular form

pro rata = in proportion to

probate = registering the last valid will of a deceased individual

probative = provides proof of evidence

proof = in a criminal trial the reponsibility for proof lies with the prosecution and must be "beyond reasonable doubt"

prothonotary = chief court clerk

Public Unit Trust (Listed) = See legal entity

Public Unit Trust (Unlisted) = See legal entity

puisne = inferior in rank, not Chief Justice or Senior Judge

qua = as

quaere = enquiry

quantum = amount

quantum meruit = amount based on merit or entitlement

Queensland Bar Association =

Queensland Law Society =

quid pro quo = something for something

quiet enjoyment = the right to use without interruption

quo warranto = by what warrant

quorum = amount of whom; number required

ratio = ration; argument; reason

ratio decidendi = reason for the decision or finding

re-examination = see witness re-examination; See also examination-in-chief, witness examination, witness cross-examination

real property = land (and buildings)

recitals = beginning of a deed that gives a detailed account of background

reddendum = to be rendered (say, invoice)

reddendum clause = amount (of rent) payable

registrar = a chamber registrar; a full time officer of the court who can assist in the preparation of court documents

regulation = law enacted by other parties (usually a government agency or the Minister) delegated by Parliament to make legislation that is additional and subordinate to the Act

release = lift an obligation from another

remedy = an obligation that must be performed in the stead of another obligation not being fulfilled

relevance = one of the rules of evidence; to be considered admissible, evidence must be relevant to the matter before the hearing or the court

repudiate = cancel

res ipsa loquitur = the thing speaks for itself (no court would ask you to prove it to be true)

rescind = terminate, repudiate, revoke

respond = answer an appeal

respondent = a party called upon to answer an appeal lodged against it in a superior court

restituto in integrum = go back to the original position; complete and total restitution; return to pre-contract position

revocation = the withdrawal of an offer

revoke = to withdraw an offer

Royal Assent = the final event that will bring a Bill presented to Parliament, passed both houses, and signed into law by the Governor of the State or by the Governor-General of Australia

rules of evidence = rules that determine if evidence is admissible and therefore may be admitted into a hearing or a trial: relevance, probative; legally obtained, fairly obtained, fair circumstance, crediblity of witness, self-servance; etc.; See best evidence; See collection

satisfy = pay; discharge an obligation

SCR = Supreme Court Rules

seal = (used to be) the signed attachment of the official seal or common seal, (but now) usually refers to a formal process of sign-off

security = a right that can be executed upon failure to satisfy

self-serving (evidence) = self-serving evidence is usually excluded; See rules of evidence

sentencing = following a "guilty" plea or finding a penalty may be decided by the court (a sentence); See mitigating evidence

serve = deliver a document in a manner legally accepted as delivery

sheriff = officer of the court

silk = a barrister who has been awarded a recognition as Queens Counsel (QC) or Senior Counsel (SC)

sine die = to a date to be fixed (no set date)

solicitor =

South Australian Bar Association =

special damages = compensation one receives after lose is proven

specific issue order = a direction by the Family Court that a particular person will deal with a particular issue in relation to the matter before the Court in a particular way or else

statute = a Bill enacted into law; an Act (of Parliament)

status quo = as they are; as they were; as things were in a prior period

statute barred = no legal action permitted, ceased to be permitted

statutory declaration = a written statement made and declared to be true by a declarant and signed by the declarant before witnesses who are authorised to be witnesses by Cth, ACT, NSW (oath), NSW (affirm), A person who tells a lie in the form of a stat dec can be prosecuted for perjury.

stay (permanent) = a stay of proceedings in a criminal court, for example, because it will always be impossible to find enough unbiased persons to form a jury that could result in a fair trial

stay (temporary) = a stay of proceedings in a criminal court, for example, because to hear the case at present would result in an abuse of rights or may result in another current trial being abandoned as an unfair trial

Strata Title Corporate Body = See legal entity

strict liability = liability is a fact or is dependent upon existing contractual obligations and not dependent upon fault

sub judice = under a Judge; incomplete; still in the hands of the court

summary offence = less serious charge heard in a lower court before a magistrate; See indictable offence

superior = a court to which a party may make an appeal from a lower (inferior) court

subordinated legislation = law enacted by other parties (usually a government agency or the Minister) delegated by Parliament to make subordinate legislation, such as Regulations

subpoena = under penalty; court order to give evidence (or else)

sue = initiate legal proceedings

sui juris = of legal competence

suit = legal proceedings

summarily = dealt with immediately, directly, promptly, without the need for the due process or full proceedings (of other jurisdictions)

summary jurisdiction = a jurisdiction given responsibility for the trying of minor criminal charges that do not require a jury; Local Court

summary offence = an offence that may be prosecuted before a Magistrate in the Local Court; See indictable offence

summons = document that initiates legal proceedings

surrender = give up a legal right

swearing = an oath; a statement of truth purported to be made in the presence or omniscience of a god, see also affirmation

taxable association = See legal entity

taxable club = See legal entity

taxable organisation = See legal entity

taxable society = See legal entity

tenancy in common = a form of co-ownership in which each owner has separate share; the deceased's share will pass to their beneficiary; see joint tenancy

tenant = holder of land from a landlord under lease for a term (of months/years); periodical tenant; tenant at will; tenant under sufferance; tenant for life

tendendum = holding; ownership

testamentary = as outlined in the Will

testate = with a current, legally valid Last Will and Testament; see intestate

testator = a person (man) who has made a testament; the person making gift, devise and bequest in the form of a Last Will and Testament; See testatrix

third party = another party not party to the contract; named in or impacted by but not party to the contract

title = ownership of property recognised in formal documentation or official written proof of ownership

testatrix = a testator who is a woman; old-fashioned: a woman can be called a testator these days

tort = a civil wrong, brought to seek compensation/damages from the tortfeasor

tortfeasor = wrongdoer, committer of a tort

transcript = official written account of (evidence, depositions, proceedings, etc.)

transfer = assignment

transferee = recipient, assignee

transferor = assignor

traverse = denial or contradiction of matter made by the opposing party

trial = a hearing in a higher court before a judge and a jury

trust = fiduciary relationship in which a person or persons (the trustee(s)) holds the title of property for the benefit of another (the beneficiary); could include a bare trust, a constructive trust, a discretionary trust, an executed or executory trust, an express trust, a precatory trust, a private trust, a public trust, a resultant trust, a secret trust, a testamentary trust, a voluntary trust, etc.

trust agreement = contract between trustee and beneficiary

trustee = a person holding property in trust for another

trustworthy = can be relied upon for truth, correctness, accuracy

uberrimae fidei = in utmost good faith; tell the truth, the whole truth

UCPR = Uniform Court Procedure Rule(s)

ultra vires = in excess of power

unenforceable = legal right or obligation that will not be recognised as a right by the court because of the implication of some other legal matter

v. = versus

vendor = seller

verballed = the police forced a fabricated confession to obtain a conviction

versus = against; in contest with

vest = confer legal rights on another

vexatious litigant = the Plaintiff in a legal proceeding in a court which has no foundation except to harass the Defendant

vexatious litigation = a legal proceeding in a court with no foundation except to harass an adversary; upon finding it to be vexatious the court will prohibit further action

void = no legal effect

voir dire = the Judge permits a hearing without the jury present to discuss the admissability of particular evidence

volenti non fit injuria = to a willing person, no injury is done

Victorian Bar Association =

Western Australian Bar Association =

witness cross-examination = the asking of questions of a witness by counsel for the other side after they have been questioned by counsel for their side, that is, the defence counsel (barrister) asks questions of a witness for the presecution, whilst the prosecuting counsel asks questions of a witness for the defendant, in a civil or criminal trial, under Rules of Evidence before a Judge; See also examination-in-chief, witness examination, witness re-examination

witness examination = the asking of questions of a witness in a civil or criminal trial by counsel (barristers) of both sides under Rules of Evidence before a Judge; See also examination-in-chief, witness cross-examination, witness re-examination

witness re-examination = a witness is examined (and cross-examined) again; See also examination-in-chief, witness examination, witness cross-examination

writ = a solemn legal document used in court proceedings, in parliament, in legal proceedings, etc.

writ of execution = a writ used by the sheriff or bailiff to seize the debtor's property and sell it with a view to satisfying a judgement in debt