Glossary

 

Glossary


 


 

a

Acquittal

Discharge of defendant following verdict or direction of not guilty.

Acquittal

Advocate

A barrister or solicitor representing a party in a hearing before a Court

Advocate

Admission of Guilt

Admission by someone that he/she has committed acts that amount to a criminal offense.

Admission of Guilt

Adultery

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.

Adultery

Affidavit

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.

Affidavit

Aggravated Battery

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.

Aggravated Battery

Alibi

A defense that asserts that the defendant could not have committed the crime because the defendant was somewhere else when the crime took place.

Alibi

Americas

Includes North American and South American countries.

Americas

Amicus Curiae

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.

Amicus Curiae

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.

Arab Regional Forum

Arbitration Committee

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.

Arbitration Committee

Aggravated Assault

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.

Aggravated Assault

Allegation

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

Allegation

Amnesty

A pardon extended to a group or class of individuals by the government, usually before any trial or conviction and often follow wars.

Amnesty

Appearance

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.

Appearance

Appellate Court

A higher court that reviews the decision of a lower court when a losing party files an appeal.

Appellate Court

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.

Appeal

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.

Approach the witness

Arbiter

A person or entity that has the legal authority to decide disputes.

Arbiter

Arbitrary

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.

Arbitrary

Arrears

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.

Arrears

Arrest Warrant

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.

Arrest Warrant

Attestation

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.

Attestation

Attorney

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.

Attorney

Asia Pacific

Includes East Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Australasia, states in Pacific Ocean (Oceania).

Asia Pacific

Award

Result of an arbitration hearing or the amount of damages assessed by a Court.

Award

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b

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.

Banking Law Committee

Bar

The collective term for barristers.

Bar

Bar Associations

A professional body of lawyers.

Bar Associations

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.

Bar Vocational Course (BVC)

Barrister

A member of the bar: a lawyer entitled to represent clients in all the courts.

Barrister

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.

Business Crime Committee

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.

By-law or Bye-law

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c

Case

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.

Case

Competition 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.

Competition Law

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.

Common Practice Examination (CPE)

Coercion

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.

Coercion

Charity

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.

Charity

Charitable Trusts

A trust by the terms of which the income is to be applied exclusively for purposes of a charitable nature.

Charitable Trusts

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.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

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.

Consumer Litigation Committee

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d

Death Penalty or Capital punishment

Death by hanging, firing squad, lethal injection or electrocution

Death Penalty or Capital punishment

Decree

A law.

Decree

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.

Discrimination Law Committee

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e

Extraordinary rendition (and irregular rendition)

Term used to describe the apprehension and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one state to another.

Extraordinary rendition (and irregular rendition)

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f

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.

Fact-finding and Rapid Response

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.

Family Law Committee

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

FAQ

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g

Genocide

The deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.

Genocide

Governance

Relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance.

Governance

Government

Defined as the body within an organization that has authority and function to make and the power to enforce laws, regulations, or rules.

Government

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h

Habeas corpus

A legal action, or writ, through which a person can seek relief from the unlawful detention of him or herself, or of another person.

Habeas corpus

Human Resources (HR)

Describes the combination of traditionally administrative personnel functions with acquisition and application of skills, knowledge and experience.

Human Resources (HR)

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i

IBA Council

The IBA Council is the governing body of the International Bar Association.

IBA Council

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.

Immigration and Nationality Law Committee

Impunity

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.

Impunity

Insolvency

Insolvent – unable to pay creditors and having all goods/effects administered by a liquidator or trustee and sold for the benefit of those creditors

Insolvency

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 Criminal Court (ICC)

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.

International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

Internships

A temporary position with an emphasis on on-the-job training rather than merely employment, making it like an apprenticeship.

Internships

Interventions

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.

Interventions

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j

Judge

An officer appointed to administer the law and who has authority to hear and try cases in a court of law.

Judge

Judges Forum

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.

Judges Forum

Judicial/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.

Judicial/Judiciary

Jurisdiction

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.

Jurisdiction

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c

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.

Criminal Law Committee

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.

Crimes against humanity

Counsel

A Barrister or solicitor in legal proceedings.

Counsel

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j

Jurisprudence

The theory and philosophy of law.

Jurisprudence

Justice

The concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, fairness and equity.

Justice

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l

Lawyer

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.

Lawyer

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.

Legal Practice Course (LPC)

Leisure Industries Section

The section comprises of more than 250 international lawyers practicing in travel, tourism, hospitality, sports and gaming law.

Leisure Industries Section

Litigation Committee

The Litigation Committee focuses on the legal, practical and procedural issues involved in conducting litigation. This is a committee of the dispute resolution section.

Litigation Committee

LL.M

Master of Laws. An advanced academic degree, or research degree.

LL.M

LPD

See Legal Practice Division

LPD

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m

MDP

Multi-Disciplinary Practice.

MDP

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.

Members of the legal profession

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n

National Organization

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.

National Organization

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m

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.

Middle East/North Africa

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p

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.

Professional Ethics Committee

Pro Bono

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.

Pro Bono

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r

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.

Responsibility to Protect

Ratification

Confirmation; approval.

Ratification

Rule of Law

Government based on the general acceptance of the law.

Rule of Law

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s

Solicitor

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.

Solicitor

Statute

An act of the Parliament.

Statute

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t

Task Force (TF)

A temporary unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity.

Task Force (TF)

Torture

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.

Torture

Treaty

An agreement under international law entered by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations.

Treaty

Trial

A public hearing in which the evidence in a case, and the law which applies, are examined.

Trial

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w

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.

Women Lawyers’ Interest Group

Working Group

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.

Working Group

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t

Tribunal

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.

Tribunal