Consensual sexual relations by a married person with someone other than the person’s spouse. In states that still allow fault grounds for divorce, adultery is always sufficient grounds for a divorce. In addition, some states factor in adultery when dividing property between divorcing spouses.
Discharge of defendant following verdict or direction of not guilty.
A barrister or solicitor representing a party in a hearing before a Court
Admission of Guilt
Admission by someone that he/she has committed acts that amount to a criminal offense.
A crime in which someone has not only used force against the victim, but did so using extreme force (such as a deadly weapon). Aggravated battery may also be charged based on the seriousness of the victim’s injuries.
A defense that asserts that the defendant could not have committed the crime because the defendant was somewhere else when the crime took place.
Includes North American and South American countries.
Friend of the court. A person who is not engaged in the case, but who brings to the court’s attention a point which has apparently been overlooked.
Arab Regional Forum
Working alongside national bars, lawyers’ active in, or with an interest in the region, are provided with a forum to establish contact and exchange information.
The Arbitration Committee focuses on laws, practice and procedures relating to the arbitration of transnational disputes. This is a committee of the Dispute Resolution Section.
The crime of physically attacking another person and causing serious bodily harm; or assault with a deadly or dangerous weapon such as a gun, knife, axe, or blunt instrument. Aggravated assault is usually a felony, punishable by a term in state prison.
A statement by a party in a pleading describing what that party’s position is and what that party intends to prove. Certain allegations are required for a plaintiff to maintain a lawsuit
A pardon extended to a group or class of individuals by the government, usually before any trial or conviction and often follow wars.
When a lawyer responds when a client’s case has been called, that lawyer has appeared on behalf of the client. When an attorney makes a “general appearance,” the lawyer will represent the client in all aspects of the case. An attorney may instead make a “special appearance” when the lawyer is appearing only for what is before the court that day, if the judge is told of the limited nature of the appearance.
A higher court that reviews the decision of a lower court when a losing party files an appeal.
A written petition to a higher court to modify or reverse a decision of a lower court (either a trial court or intermediate level appellate court). An appeal begins when the loser at trial (called the appellant) files a notice of appeal within strict time limits (often 30 days from the date of judgment). The appellant and the appellee (the winner at trial) submit written arguments and often make oral arguments explaining why the lower court’s decision should be upheld or overturned.
Any written document in which the signer swears under oath, before a notary public or someone authorized to take oaths that the statements in the document are true. In many places, a declaration under penalty of perjury, which does not require taking an oath, is the equivalent of an affidavit.
Approach the witness
A request by an attorney to the judge for permission to go up to a witness on the witness stand to a document or exhibit. “May I approach the witness?” is the request, and granted.
A person or entity that has the legal authority to decide disputes.
Based on individual discretion, not supported by fair or substantial cause or reason, such as discriminating against someone simply because they have a beard or other personal characteristic; often used about a judge’s ruling in a court case.
Money that a party fails to pay when due. Often the sum of multiple unpaid amounts, such as rent, instalments on an account or promissory note, or monthly child support. A person who has failed to make payments is “in arrears” for the amount due.
A document issued by a judge that authorizes the police to arrest someone. Warrants are issued when law enforcement personnel present evidence to judges that convince them that it is likely a crime has taken place and the person named in the warrant is responsible for that crime.
The act of watching someone sign a legal document, such as a will or power of attorney, and then signing your own name as a witness. When you witness a document in this way, you are attesting — that is, stating and confirming — that the person whom you watched sign the document in fact did so. Attesting to a document does not mean that you are vouching for its accuracy or truthfulness. You are only acknowledging that you watched it being signed by the person whose name is on the signature line.
An agent or someone authorized to act for another. Or a person authorized to practice law by a state following a bar examination and the meeting of other qualifying requirements.
Includes East Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Australasia, states in Pacific Ocean (Oceania).
Result of an arbitration hearing or the amount of damages assessed by a Court.
Banking Law Committee
The Banking Law Committee provides a worldwide forum for banking lawyers and other legal professionals within the banking community. This is a committee of the Financial Services Section.
The collective term for barristers.
A professional body of lawyers.
Bar Vocational Course (BVC)
A graduate course that is completed by those wishing to be called to the Bar, i.e. to practice as a barrister in England and Wales.
A member of the bar: a lawyer entitled to represent clients in all the courts.
Business Crime Committee
The Business Crime Committee’s primary objective is to promote awareness within the business community and among transactional lawyers of the growing significance of legal compliance. This is a committee of the Criminal Law Section.
By-law or Bye-law
An ordinance affecting the public or some portion of the public imposed by some authority clothed with statutory powers, ordering something to be done or not to be done and accompanied by some sanction or penalty for its non-observance.
An action, suit or claim in a court of law. It can also mean the arguments put forward by parties in a court of law.
That part of the law dealing with matters such as those arising from monopolies and mergers, restrictive trading agreements, resale price maintenance, and agreements involving distortion of competition affected by EU rules.
Common Practice Examination (CPE)
A postgraduate law course in England and Wales taken by non-law graduates (graduates who have a degree in a discipline that is not law or not a qualifying law degree for legal practice) wishing to become either a solicitor or barrister in the United Kingdom.
Coercion exists when an individual is forced to behave in a way, by threats of violence, for example. The person concerned does not act freely.
Any institution, corporate or not, which is established for charitable purposes and is subject to the control of the High Court in the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction with respect to charities.
A trust by the terms of which the income is to be applied exclusively for purposes of a charitable nature.
The practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is generally accepted to denote responsibly grounded business decision-making that considers its impact on people, communities and the environment.
Consumer Litigation Committee
The aim of the Consumer Litigation Committee is to consider international aspects of liability and the consumer’s rights. This is a committee of the Dispute Resolution Section.
Death Penalty or Capital punishment
Death by hanging, firing squad, lethal injection or electrocution
Discrimination Law Committee
The committee is concerned with discrimination and gender equality issues which arise in the profession and under the general law. This is a committee of the Human Resources Section.
Extraordinary rendition (and irregular rendition)
Term used to describe the apprehension and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one state to another.
Fact-finding and Rapid Response
Investigations in which a high-level delegation is sent to a country where there are signs of a deterioration of the rule of law, which is followed by a subsequent report including recommendations.
Family Law Committee
The Family Law Committee provides a unique forum for members from different countries and different legal systems to exchange views, meet during conferences and debate issues concerning the substantive and procedural aspects of family law. This is a committee of the Law and Individual Rights Section.
Frequently asked questions
The deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.
Relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance.
Defined as the body within an organization that has authority and function to make and the power to enforce laws, regulations, or rules.
A legal action, or writ, through which a person can seek relief from the unlawful detention of him or herself, or of another person.
Letters issued by the IBAHRI to governments and authorities on situations such as the persecution of lawyers, judges or other working to defend the rule of law; or on specific legislation such as the death penalty.
An officer appointed to administer the law and who has authority to hear and try cases in a court of law.
The Judges’ Forum offers an opportunity for judges from all jurisdictions to meet and discuss issues that are of common and current interest to members of the judiciary.
I.) Relating to the Administration of justice or to the judgment of a Court
ii) A judge or other officer empowered to act as a judge.
Criminal Law Committee
The Criminal Law Committee provides a forum for members from many countries and criminal justice systems to meet regularly, exchange views, and monitor developments in substantive and procedural criminal law.
Crimes against humanity
Classified under Statute of International Criminal Court 1998 as comprising any of the following acts when committed systematically against civilians: murder; extermination; enslavement; deportation; imprisonments; torture; rape and sexual slavery; persecution on racial, religious grounds; apartheid.
A Barrister or solicitor in legal proceedings.
Human Resources (HR)
Describes the combination of traditionally administrative personnel functions with acquisition and application of skills, knowledge and experience.
The IBA Council is the governing body of the International Bar Association.
Immigration and Nationality Law Committee
The committee is concerned with all aspects of immigration and nationality law on a worldwide basis, including business-related immigration, family reunion policies, refugees and compassionate cases.
Exemption from punishment or loss. In the international law of human rights, it refers to the failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice and, as such, itself constitutes a denial of the victims’ right to justice and redress.
Insolvent – unable to pay creditors and having all goods/effects administered by a liquidator or trustee and sold for the benefit of those creditors
International Criminal Court (ICC)
Governed by the Rome Statute, is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
International Humanitarian Law (IHL)
The legal corpus “comprised of the Geneva and The Hague Conventions, as well as subsequent treaties, case law, and customary international law.
A temporary position with an emphasis on on-the-job training rather than merely employment, making it like an apprenticeship.
The theory and philosophy of law.
The concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, fairness and equity.
The legal profession in the UK is divided into two branches. Barristers have the right to represent clients in higher courts whereas most solicitors are restricted to represent their clients in the lower courts.
Legal Practice Course (LPC)
Also known as the Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice, is the vocational stage for becoming a solicitor in England and Wales.
Leisure Industries Section
The section comprises of more than 250 international lawyers practicing in travel, tourism, hospitality, sports and gaming law.
The Litigation Committee focuses on the legal, practical and procedural issues involved in conducting litigation. This is a committee of the dispute resolution section.
Master of Laws. An advanced academic degree, or research degree.
See Legal Practice Division
Members of the legal profession
Practitioners of the law, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, attorneys, counsellors, judges, solicitors, barristers, advocates, members of the judiciary, Professors of law and other persons versed or practicing law.
Any Federation or other organization of members of the legal profession or of a branch of the legal profession co-extensive in territorial scope with any country which can, in the opinion of the Council, reasonably claim to be substantially representative in that country of the members of the profession or of the branch concerned.
Middle East/North Africa
Includes all the Arab Middle East and North Africa countries, extending from Morocco in northwest Africa to Iran in southwest Asia.
Professional Ethics Committee
Professional ethics involves an area that all lawyers must be familiar with regardless of their field of practice. The Committee promotes the highest standards of professional conduct and ethics on a global basis.
Pro bono publico (shortened to pro bono) is a Latin phrase meaning “for the public good”. The term is used for professional work undertaken voluntarily, without any payment or remuneration as a public or charitable service.
Responsibility to Protect
An emerging international norm which sets forth that states have the primary responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, but that when the state fails, the responsibility falls to the international community.
Rule of Law
Government based on the general acceptance of the law.
Member of the legal profession chiefly concerned with advising clients, preparing cases and representing them in some Courts. They may also act as advocates before Courts or tribunals.
An act of the Parliament.
Task Force (TF)
A temporary unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity.
An offence committed where a public official or person acting in an official capacity, intentionally inflicts severe pain or suffering on another in the performance of his official duties.
An agreement under international law entered by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations.
A public hearing in which the evidence in a case, and the law which applies, are examined.
Women Lawyers’ Interest Group
The Women Lawyers’ Interest Group of the International Bar Association offers a forum for women members from Australia to Zambia to discuss topics of global significance to women practitioners.
Also referred to as task groups or technical advisory groups. An interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers working on new research activities that would be difficult to develop under traditional funding mechanisms.
A tribunal is a body outside of the court structure. They hear disputes relating to specific areas such as immigration, employment and some tax matters and adjudicate on them. Tribunals are thought to be cheap and fast and allow expert knowledge to be applied.