Monday, 8 July 2013

ASSIGNMENT - Definition of legal terms from an interaction with a legal practitioner(name withheld).

   LEGALESE-le·gal·ese (l g -l z , -l s ). n. The specialized vocabulary of the legal profession, especially             when considered to be complex or abstruse.

1. Murder: illegally and unlawfully taking another humans life deliberately by a sane person.
2. Manslaughter: the unlawful killing of a human being without deliberation, it may be either voluntary or involuntary.
3. Rape: forcefully having sexual relations with an adult without her consent.
4. Conjugal Rights: a spouse’s rights to the comforts(including sexual relations) and companionship from his/her partner.
5. Assault: to verbally attack and threaten an individual with bodily harm.
6. Battery: an unlawful, intentional, physical attack on another person.
7. De-facto: a state of affairs which must be accepted for all practical purposes, but is illegal or illegitimate.
8. Ex-parte: making an application or motion in court without the other party of the case.
9. Misdemeanor: a minor criminal offence compared to a felony and usually punished by fines and minor jail times e.g. petty theft, traffic violations e.t.c.
10.             Felony: a serious offence such as rape, murder, treason e.t.c.
11.             Defilement: illegally and unlawfully having sexual relations with a minor.
12.             Acquittal: when a trial has run its full course and the accused is declared innocent by the court.
13.             Mens rea: the motive/intention with which an action or crime is committed.
14.             Indictment: a written accusation with evidence of the crime with which the accused is charged.
15.             Injunction: a court order by which an individual is either required to perform an act or restrained from performing an act.
16.             Certiorari: it is used to quash or kill proceedings going on where there is lack of fairness in the lower courts or false judgements.
17.             Prosecution Witness: a witness brought into a trial by the prosecution to help establish the guilt of the accused.
18.             Writ of Summons: is a document issued by a court which orders a person to respond/answer to a legal complaint within a specified time. The writ also commands a person to appear in court.
19.             Libel: to publish false information with aims to tarnish the reputation of an individual.
20.             Mandamus: it is issued by a superior court and commands an inferior body or an individual to perform or refrain from performing a particular act.
21.             Actus Reus: The actions that comprise the physical components of a crime.   It is an element of criminal responsibility along with mens rea.        
22.             Sovereign: having one’s own authority or being exempt from external authority.
23.             Prohibition: when you are barred or stopped from performing or not performing an act.
24.             Specific Performance: when you are held by a court to perform your obligations under a contract.
25.             Plaintiff: the person who sues, the complainant, prosecution e.t.c.  The person who brings the matter to court, the party who believes he or she has been wronged and comes to the court for justice.
26.             Guilty but Insane: the person has committed a crime and has been found guilty by a court but the person is not responsible for his/her actions as a result of mental health problems.
27.             Alternate Dispute Resolution (A.D.R): using other resolution methods or approaches other than the courts such as mediation, negotiation and conciliation to resolve a dispute/conflict.
28.             Self Cognizance Bail: in criminal cases where an accused person stands as surety for themselves or is granted bail in a case as a result of what the individual might stand to lose as a result of absconding.
29.             Affidavit: a written statement of facts made under oath and administered by a person authorized to do so by law e.g. commissioner of oath or notary public.

30.             Statement of Claim: a document used in civil cases written to make allegations against the accused and filed in court.

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