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Foreign legal terms - synonyms or related words

ab initio

adjective

starting from the very beginning

actus reus

noun

the act or or acts that constitute the physical elements of a crime

a fortiori

adjective

used for saying that something that is true for one case is even more true in another case

amicus curiae

noun

a person who is not a party to a legal dispute but who offers helpful information on that case. This Latin phrase literally means "a friend of the court."

a posteriori

adjective

very formal using knowledge, evidence, or experience to make a judgment or decision about something that has already happened

a priori

adjective

very formal using knowledge or experience that you already have in order to make a judgment or decision

autrefois acquit

noun

the principle that a person cannot be tried again for a crime of which they have previously been acquitted

audi alteram partem

noun

the principle that nobody should be judged by a court without being heard. This Latin phrase means "listen to the other side."

autrefois convict

noun

the principle that a person cannot be tried again for a crime of which they have previously been convicted

bona fides

noun

formal evidence or proof that someone has sincere feelings or is who they claim to be

corpus delicti

noun

the principle that a crime must be proven to have been committed before someone can be convicted of that crime

consensus ad idem

noun

agreement between the parties of a contract that they understand the meaning of the contract and want to enter into it. This Latin phrase literally means "agreement to the same thing."

de jure

adverb

very formal legally

de jure

adjective

very formal legally accepted

ex turpi causa non oritor actio

noun

the principle that a claimant in a legal case cannot be successful if they were acting illegally at the time the event for which they wish to claim took place, for example if they were injured while committing a crime. This Latin phrase means "no action can arise from a dishonorable cause."

ex parte

adverb

without all parties to a case being present in court or aware of the hearing. Ex parte is sometimes referred to as without notice.

doli incapax

adjective

not old enough or having the mental capacity to be legally responsible for committing a crime

doli capax

adjective

old enough and having the mental capacity to be legally responsible for committing a crime

ex post facto law

noun

a law that changes the consequences of actions that occurred before the law existed, for example making illegal an action that was legal at the time it was committed

ejusdem generis rule

noun

a rule used in statutory interpretation that allows judges to interpret a group of words in a law or other text in a way that is less general than their meaning in everyday speech

de minimis

noun

the principle that the law does not bother with small and insignificant matters. The full phrase is de minimis non curat lex.

force majeure

noun

legal an unexpected event that stops you from doing something that you promised to do in a contract

locus standi

noun

the right of a person to be a party in a legal case because it affects them sufficiently

ne bis in idem

noun

the principle that someone cannot be tried more than once for the same crime

inter vivos

adjective

done while alive

the onus probandi

noun

the onus of proof

novus actus interveniens

noun

an event that breaks the chain of legal causation and may result in the defendant not being blamed for the consequences of their original action

parens patriae

noun

a principle that allows a court to act as the parent of a child or other person who needs protection

in rem

adjective

relating to rights in an object or property as opposed to rights in a person

obiter dictum

noun

a persuasive but not binding comment or reason given by a judge in his or her decision

in personam

adjective

relating to rights in a person as opposed to rights in an object or property

per incuriam

adverb

without due reference to other laws, judgments, or facts that may have been relevant

mens rea

noun

the ability of someone to understand that an act is criminal that constitutes part of the crime

intra vires

adjective

within someone's legal power or authority

nemo iudex in causa sua

noun

the principle that judges should not have any personal connection with or interest in the case they are hearing. This Latin phrase means "nobody shall be judge in his own case."

nolle prosequi

noun

a formal statement that a prosecutor, or in a civil case the claimant, has decided to drop a case

pro bono

adjective

done without the usual payment that a lawyer charges

quantum meruit

noun

a principle in contract law that states that someone who does not entirely fulfill a contract deserves payment for the work they have completed

ratio decidendi

noun

the main reason or reasons contained in a judge's decision

restitutio ad integrum

noun

the principle that damages paid to a claimant should restore the claimant to the financial position they had before the legal wrong was done

res judicata

adjective

if a legal case is res judicata, a final decision has been made and cannot be appealed against or the case started again

res ipsa loquitor

noun

a principle used to demonstrate that the fact of an accident is sufficient proof that negligence has occurred. This Latin phrase means "the thing speaks for itself."

sine die

adverb

formal without arranging a date for another meeting or court hearing

stare decisis

noun

a principle of case law by which judges have to follow earlier decisions called precedents in certain situations. This Latin phrase means "stand by the decisions."

sub judice

adjective

a legal case or piece of evidence that is sub judice is being considered by a judge or in a court and some details of it cannot be discussed in public

terra nullius

noun

in Australia, the legal idea that when the first Europeans arrived in Australia the land was owned by no one and therefore they were free to live there. This idea is not now part of Australian law.

in camera

happening in a judge's private rooms, without other people knowing what is said

ultra vires

adjective

beyond or exceeding someone's legal power or authority

virgo intacta

noun

a woman or girl who has never had sexual intercourse

voetstoots

adjective

South African at the buyer's risk

volens

adjective

having voluntarily accepted a risk. This is a short form of the phrase volenti non fit injuria.

volenti non fit injuria

noun

a defense in a legal dispute that means that if a person voluntarily accepted a risk then their claim should not succeed. This term is sometimes shortened to volenti.

volens

noun

a defense in a legal dispute that means that if a person voluntarily accepted a risk then their claim should not succeed. This is a short form of the phrase volenti non fit injuria.

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