Glossary

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

BAILLI

Glossary

The British and Irish Legal Information Institute or BAILII is a free legal information research database covering case law, legislation and other materials from the jurisdictions of the United Kingdom, England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, plus Ireland, the Channel Islands, the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights. Incorporated and established Continue reading

Bona vacantia

Glossary

Latin for “vacant goods”, used to refer to ownerless property, which by law passes to the Crown. It mainly refers to unclaimed estates (ie the property of deceased persons, where it is not clear to whom it should pass, if anyone) or the assets of dissolved companies. The Bona Vacantia Division (BVD) is a subdivision Continue reading

Burden and standard of proof

Glossary

The standard of proof is the degree to which a party must prove its case to succeed. The burden of proof, sometimes known as the “onus”, is the requirement to satisfy that standard. In criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution, and the standard required of them is that they prove the Continue reading

Cafcass

Glossary

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) represents children in family court cases in England. Cafcass was formed on 1st April 2001 as part of the Government’s commitment to supporting families and children. It brought together the services previously provided by the Family Court Welfare Service, the Guardian ad Litem Services and the Children’s divisions Continue reading

CanLII

Glossary

The Canadian Legal Information Institute or CanLII is a free legal information research database covering case law from all Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, federal courts, and the courts in all Canada’s provinces and territories, plus federal legislation and consolidated statutes and regulations of every jurisdiction in Canada. A companion website, CanLII Connects, 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

Certiorari

Glossary

Latin for “to be made more certain”. A writ of certiorari is a prerogative remedy or order issued by the court in judicial review proceedings, bringing up and quashing the decision of a lower court or tribunal, by reason of an error of law “on the face of the record” (ie readily apparent from the Continue reading

Cestui que trust

Glossary

Another word for a beneficiary of a trust: the person entitled to an equitable, as opposed to a legal, ownership of trust assets. The full law French description is cestui a que use le feoffment fuit fait. Alternative short forms are cestui que use or cestui que vie. Continue reading