Copy of `Judicial Communications Office - Judicial glossary`

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Judicial Communications Office - Judicial glossary
Category: Business and Law
Date & country: 11/12/2007, UK
Words: 31


Adjournment
A temporary postponement of legal proceedings.

ADR
Alternative Dispute Resolution. Methods of resolving disputes which do not involve the normal trial process.

Alibi
A defence that someone accused of a crime was not there at the time and could not have committed the offence.

Appeal
A formal request to a higher court that the verdict or ruling of a court be changed.

Case law
The body of law created by judges' decisions on individual cases.

Circuit judge
A judge who normally sits in the county court and/or Crown Court.

Civil court
A court that deals with matters concerning private rights and not offences against the state.

Contempt of court
An offence that can lead to a fine and even imprisonment because of a lack of respect or obedience by an individual in a court of law. You are also in contempt of court if you disobey an injunction or court order.

Counsel
A barrister.

Crown Court
The Crown Court deals with all crime committed for trial by magistrates' courts. Cases for trial are heard before a judge and jury. The Crown Court also acts as an appeal court for cases heard and dealt with by magistrates.

Culpability
Blame.

Custodial sentence
Where an offender is confined to a prison or young offenders' institution for a set period of time.

Disclosure
A three-tiered system in criminal proceedings which ensures vital information on both sides of a court case can be seen by all parties:

Draft Bill
An early version of a proposed Bill before it is introduced into Parliament.

Hearing
Proceedings held before a court.

JP
Justice of the Peace. The official title of a magistrate.

Judicial
Of the judiciary (see below).

Law Commission
Independent body set up by Parliament to review and recommend reform of the law in England and Wales.

Lay justice member
Another term for a magistrate.

Mediation
Process taking place outside a court to resolve a dispute.

Mr-Mrs Justice
The correct form of address for a High Court judge.

Pre-trial hearing
A short court hearing at which a judge considers how ready all parties in a case may be for the trial and fixes a timetable where necessary.

Preferment
Advancing to a higher rank; another term for promotion.

Privilege
The right of a party to refuse to disclose a document or produce a document or to refuse to answer questions on the ground of some special interest recognised by law.

Probate
The legal recognition of the validity of a will.

Prosecution
The beginning or conduct of criminal proceedings against a person.

Statutory law
A law that has been passed by an Act of Parliament.

Summary trial
Trial taking place in a magistrates court.

The Bench
Judges or magistrates sitting in court are collectively known as 'the Bench'.

Uphold-upheld
Where an appeal against a judicial decision ends with the original ruling being maintained.

Wardship
A High Court action making a minor a ward of court.