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Latin terms

 

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A

 

Actus Reus

GUILTY ACT

The offence of which the defendant is accused

Ad Colligenda Bona

TO COLLECT THE GOODS

A temporary order for the administration of an estate of a deceased person used when the estate is of a perishable nature

Ad Hoc

FOR THIS PURPOSE

Ad Hoc decisions are made as and when a situation demands:- Ad Hoc committees are formed to address a particular issue - Ad Hoc meetings would take place to discuss specific matters

Ad Idem

OF SAME MIND

ie as one; agreed eg the parties are ad idem on this point

Ad Infinitum

WITHOUT LIMIT

Describes an event apparently continuing without end

Ad Litem

FOR THE SUIT

Denotes a temporary appointment which continues during legal proceedings ie Guardian Ad Litem

Amicus Curiae

A FRIEND OF THE COURT

A neutral party who does not represent any individual party in the case who will be asked by the Court to make representations from an independent viewpoint

Ante

BEFORE

An indication within text to refer to an earlier passage


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B

 

 

Bona Fide

IN GOOD FAITH

A Bona Fide Agreement is one entered into genuinely without attempt to fraud

Bona Vacantia

 

Denotes the absence of any known person entitled to the estate of a deceased person


 

C

 

 

Caveat

BEWARE/TAKE CARE

An entry in the court records that effectively prevents action by another party without first notifying the party entering the Caveat

Compos Mentis

OF SOUND MIND

Legally fit to conduct/defend proceedings

Cor (Coram)

IN THE PRESENCE OF

 

certiorari

to be informed of, or to be made certain in regard to

The U.S. Supreme Court still uses the term certiorari in the context of appeals


 

D

 

 

De Bonis Non Administratis

OF GOODS NOT ADMINISTERED

A person appointed to administer an estate following the death of the original administrator

De Facto -

IN FACT

"As a matter of fact"

De Jure

BY RIGHT

 

Doli Incapax

 

Incapable of crime

Duces Tecum

BRING WITH YOU

Order to produce document to court


 

E

 

 

Erratum

AN ERROR

 

Exempli Gratia (eg)

FOR EXAMPLE -

Used when qualifying a statement by explaining through a relevant example

Ex Gratia

AS A MATTER OF FAVOUR

An Ex Gratia payment would be awarded without the acceptance of any liability or blame

Ex Officio

BY VIRTUE OF HIS OFFICE

A magistrate sitting with a judge at the Crown Court would appear ex officio in a case where no judicial function is to be exercised by the magistrate eg case committed to Crown Court for sentence only

Ex Parte

BY A PARTY

An ex parte application is made to the Court during proceedings by one party in the absence of another or without notifying the other party

Ex Post Facto

BY A SUBSEQUENT ACT

Something that occurs after the event but having a retrospective effect


 

F

 

 

Forum Conveniens

AT A CONVENIENT PLACE

A Court having jurisdiction in a particular case

Functus Officio

HAVING DISCHARGED DUTY

A judicial or official person prevented from taking a matter further because of limitation by certain regulations


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H

 

 

Habeas Corpus

PRODUCE THE BODY

A writ which directs a person to produce someone held in custody before the court


 

I

 

 

Ibid

IN THE SAME PLACE

Used in text to refer to a page previously mentioned

Id Est (ie) -

THAT IS TO SAY

Used as a description to explain a statement

Ignorantia Juris non excusat -

IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE

If committing an offence a guilty party cannot use as a defence the fact that they did so without knowledge that they were breaking the law

In Camera

IN THE CHAMBER

The hearing of a case in private without the facts being reported to the public

In Curia

IN OPEN COURT

The hearing of a case before a court sitting in public

In Personam

AGAINST THE PERSON

Proceedings issued against or with reference to a specific person - an admiralty action in personam would be issued against the owner of a ship

In Re

IN THE MATTER OF

A heading in legal documents which introduces the title of the proceedings

In Rem

AGAINST THE MATTER

Proceedings issued or directed against property as opposed to a specific person - an admiralty action in rem would be issued against the ship itself

Inter Alia

AMONG OTHER THINGS

Indicates that the details given are only an extract from the whole

In Situ

IN ITS ORIGINAL SITUATION

 

Intra

WITHIN

 

Intra Vires (See Ultra Vires)

WITHIN THE POWER OF

An act that falls within the Jurisdiction of the Court

Ipso Facto

BY THE FACT

The reliance upon facts that together prove a point


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L

 

 

Locus in quo

THE PLACE IN WHICH

during proceedings may be used as reference to subject matter ie scene of accident


 

M

 

 

Mens Rea

GUILTY MIND

The intention to commit an offence whilst knowing it to be wrong

Mutatis Mutandis -

THE NECESSARY CHANGES BEING MADE

Denotes that instructions should not be followed verbatim but by amending where necessary


 

N

 

 

Non Compos Mentis

NOT SOUND IN MIND

A person classed as unfit to conduct/defend legal proceedings

Nota Bene (nb)

NOTE WELL

An abbreviation denoting that the reader of an article should make a particular note of the article mentioned.

Nulla Bona

NO EFFECTS

A return entered by a Sheriff to a High Court writ of execution which indicates the defendant had no goods of any value to remove

Nolo Contendre

"no contest"

A plea of no contest allowing a conviction to be found without trial or admission of guilt


 

O

 

 

Obiter Dictum

A SAYING BY THE WAY

Words said in passing by a Judge on a legal point but not constituting part of the evidence or judgment


 

P

 

 

Per

AS STATED BY

 

Per Capita

BY HEADS

eg the cost is 50 per capita - 50 each person

Per Pro (pp)

THROUGH ANOTHER

A person delegated to act for another

Per Se

BY ITSELF

Denoting that the topic should be taken alone

Post

AFTER

An indication to refer to something to be found further on

Prima Facie

FIRST SIGHT

Prima Facie evidence would be considered sufficient to prove a case unless disproved - if no Prima Facie evidence can be offered there is no case to answer

Pro Forma

A MATTER OF FORM

Pro Forma procedure is performed subject to and following an agreed manner

Pro Rata

IN PROPORTION

Dividends distributed on a Pro Rata basis would be according to the amount of investment

Pro Tempore (Pro Tem)

FOR THE TIME BEING -

Temporarily


 

Q

 

 

Quasi

AS IF

Any person exercising powers similar to those of a judge would be sitting in a Quasi-Judicial capacity


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R

 

 

Ratio Decidendi

 

The principles of law applied by a Court upon which a judicial decision is based

Res Judicata

A THING ADJUDGED

Once a case has been finally decided upon by a Court the same parties cannot attempt to raise the issue by or during further proceedings

Res Ipsa Loquitur

THE THING SPEAKS FOR ITSELF

An event that has occurred which, if the subject of litigation, would not require an onus of proof by the plaintiff because of the obvious negligence of the defendant


 

S

 

 

Semble

IT APPEARS

 

Sine Die

WITHOUT A DAY

A hearing adjourned sine die stands open indefinitely without a further hearing having been allocated

Sub Judice

IN THE COURSE OF TRIAL

Whilst a court case is under consideration. Proceedings are sub-Judice and details cannot be disclosed

Subpoena ad Testificum

TO PRODUCE EVIDENCE

A writ directed to a person commanding him/her, under a penalty, to appear before a Court and give evidence

Subpoena Duces Tecum

"UNDER PENALTY" "TO BRING WITH YOU"

A type of subpoena, usually issued at the request of a party, by which a court orders a witness to produce certain documents at a deposition or trial. However, when one party wants an opposing party to produce documents, a different discovery device, called a Request for Production of Documents, is often used instead

Stare Decisis .

"To abide by decided cases"

The doctrine compelling courts to honor the prior decision of courts on the same issue


 

U

 

 

Ultra Vires (See Intra Vires)

BEYOND THE POWER

An act that falls outside or beyond the jurisdiction of the court


 

V

 

 

Videlicet (Viz)

NAMELY

Used in text to indicate examples

Voir dire

 

"to speak the truth."

French for "to speak the truth." The process through which potential jurors are questioned by either the judge or a lawyer to determine their suitability for jury service. Also the preliminary questioning of witnesses to determine their competence to testify. See, e.g. Peretz v. United States, 501 U.S. 923 (1991).