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

A temporary postponement of legal proceedings.

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

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

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.

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.


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

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.

Proceedings held before a court.

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

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.

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.

Advancing to a higher rank; another term for promotion.

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.

The legal recognition of the validity of a will.

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'.

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

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