Glossary

Acronyms and initialisms in legal writing

Glossary

An acronym is a word or name composed of the first letters of each word of a title or description. For example, NATO is an acronym for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. An initialism is an abbreviated name or description composed of the first letters of the full name or description, pronounced as a set of Continue reading

Arbitration

Glossary

A system of alternative dispute resolution (ie resolution of a dispute otherwise than by a court) in which the disputing parties refer the matter to an arbitrator or a tribunal of arbitrators (usually 3) selected by a process determined in the arbitration agreement. An agreement to arbitrate (or arbitration clause) is often included in a Continue reading

Autrefois acquit, autrefois convict

Glossary

“Autrefois acquit” roughly translates as “previously acquitted”, and “autrefois convict” as  “previously convicted”. These expressions, in medieval law French, are used to describe pleas by a defendant in criminal proceedings asking the court to halt the proceedings on the ground that they have already been tried and acquitted (or convicted) in respect of the same Continue reading

Catchwords

Glossary

Also known as Keywords. Descriptive words or phrases used to categorise the subject matter of a case for indexing purposes. Usually presented at the top of the report in the form of a main, second and third heading, which may be followed by additional words or phrases, separated by dashes, describing the critical issues in Continue reading

Caveat emptor

Glossary

Latin maxim, meaning “let the buyer beware”. It refers to the idea that the onus is on the purchaser to check the quality of the goods or property which are the subject of a sale transaction, not on the seller to volunteer information. On its own, the word “caveat” refers to a warning or exception. Continue reading

Common law marriage

Glossary

The mistaken belief that cohabiting couples enjoy legal rights similar to those who are formally married or in a civil partnership. They don’t. There is no such thing as a “common law” wife or husband or marriage, no matter how long a couple may “live together as man and wife” or however one wants to Continue reading

Conflicts of laws

Glossary

Where there is a dispute over whether a case should be litigated in one jurisdiction or another, there is said to be a conflict of laws. Continue reading

Consolidated Index

Glossary

A printed index and digest of case names, subject matter, and judicial considerations of other cases and legislation, published by ICLR in cumulative volumes of up to five or ten years coverage. See Products for purchasing details. Continue reading

Crown

Glossary

Alternative name for the prosecution in criminal cases brought in the name of the Queen or King, under the title Regina or Rex. Thus a case cited as R v Brown may be spoken about orally as “The Crown against Brown”. Most public criminal prosecutions in England and Wales are brought by the Crown Prosecution Continue reading

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)

Glossary

Independent public body headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and  charged with the management of criminal prosecutions in England and Wales. The CPS decides which cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations should be prosecuted. It determines the appropriate charges in more serious or complex cases, and advises Continue reading