Jargon Buster

Jargon:
Ab initio
Busted:

from the start of something.

Jargon:
Abandonment
Busted:

giving up a legal right.

Jargon:
Abatement
Busted:

cancelling a writ or action;
stopping a nuisance;
reducing the payments to creditors in proportion, if there is not enough money to pay them in full; or reducing the bequests in a will, in proportion, when there is not enough money to pay them in full.

Jargon:
Abovementioned
Busted:

describing something which has been referred to before in the document.

Jargon:
Abscond
Busted:

when a person fails to present themselves before the court when required, such as when they have been released on bail and not returned to court.

Jargon:
Absolute
Busted:

complete and unconditional.

Jargon:
Absolute discharge
Busted:

someone who has been convicted of an offence being released without any penalty.

Jargon:
Absolute owner
Busted:

the only owner of property such as equipment, buildings, land or vehicles.

Jargon:
Abstract of title
Busted:

a document, drawn up by the seller, summarising the title deeds to a property and proving ownership

Jargon:
Abuse of process
Busted:

when criminal proceedings are brought against a person without there being any good reason and with malice, or where someone deliberately uses court processses to try and confuse or delay matters

Jargon:
Abuttals
Busted:

the parts of the boundaries of a piece of land which touch (abut) pieces of land alongside.

Jargon:
Acceptance
Busted:

when an offer is accepted unconditionally and a legally binding agreement is created.

Jargon:
Acceptance of service
Busted:

when a solicitor accepts a writ or document on behalf of a client.

Jargon:
Accessory
Busted:

someone who encourages or helps another person to commit a crime.

Jargon:
Accomplice
Busted:

someone who takes part with another person to commit a crime.

Jargon:
Accordingly
Busted:

a word used in legal documents which means therefore or so, or as a result

Jargon:
Accounts
Busted:

the record of an organisation's income, spending and financial situation, or a person's recollection of an event such as a coversation

Jargon:
Accumulation
Busted:

reinvesting income generated by a fund back into the fund.

Jargon:
Accused
Busted:

the person charged with a criminal offence.

Jargon:
Acknowledgement
Busted:

admitting that someone has a claim or admitting that a debt exists.

Jargon:
Acknowledgement of Service
Busted:

when a defendant agrees that a claim has been received. The defendant fills in, signs and sends back the acknowledgement of service to confirm in writing that the documents were received.

Jargon:
Acquit
Busted:

when a court lets a person go without any penalty. If a court decides that a person is not guilty of a crime, or the case has not been proved, it will acquit the person.

Jargon:
Acquittal
Busted:

the court's decision that a person is innocent of the crime they were charged with.

Jargon:
Act of bankruptcy
Busted:

an act which, if carried out by a person with debts, could have led to bankruptcy proceedings against that person.

Jargon:
Act of God
Busted:

an extreme naturally occurring event (such as an earthquake, avalanche or flood) that could not have been anticipated.

Jargon:
Action
Busted:

using the law to make a claim.

Jargon:
Active trust
Busted:

a trust where the trustees have other responsibilities rather than to just let the beneficiaries have the trust's assets when they ask for them.

Jargon:
Actual bodily harm
Busted:

hurting another person but less severely than would amount to grievous bodily harm.

Jargon:
Actual loss
Busted:

the true loss than someone has suffered eg to replace something

Jargon:
Actuary
Busted:

an expert on pension scheme assets and liabilities, life expectancy and probabilities (the likelihood of things happening) for insurance purposes. An actuary works out whether enough money is being paid into a pension scheme to pay the pensions when they are due.

Jargon:
Actus reus
Busted:

an act which is illegal, such as theft, as opposed to the mental state of mind which may be connected with it

Jargon:
Ad hoc
Busted:

for a particular purpose. For example, a committee set up to deal with a particular situation is an ad hoc committee.

Jargon:
Ad idem
Busted:

in agreement.

Jargon:
Ad infinitum
Busted:

endlessly or forever.

Jargon:
Ad valorem
Busted:

in proportion to the value. An ad valorem duty goes up as the value of the goods, shares and so on that it is charged on rises. (This term is Latin.)

Jargon:
Additional voluntary contribution (AVC)
Busted:

extra money people in occupational pension schemes can pay in to increase their pension benefits.

Jargon:
Ademption
Busted:

when a gift in a will cannot be made because the item no longer exists.

Jargon:
Adjourned sine die
Busted:

when a court case has no date fixed for it to continue.

Jargon:
Adjournment
Busted:

postponing a court hearing.

Jargon:
Adjudge/adjudicate
Busted:

to give an official judgement about something. For example, if someone cannot pay their debts a court may adjudge them bankrupt.

Jargon:
Adjudication order
Busted:

the former name for a court order which made someone bankrupt. It has now been replaced with the term bankruptcy order.

Jargon:
Administration order
Busted:

an order made by a county court when a person or a company cannot pay their debts. Normally the court orders that the debts are repaid by instalments and as long as the debtor keeps to the order the creditors cannot do anything else to recover their money.

Jargon:
Administrator
Busted:

someone who has been appointed:to manage the affairs of a bankrupt business; or to manage the estate of someone who has died without leaving a will.

Jargon:
Admissibility of evidence
Busted:

which evidence can be presented in court. Evidence must be relevant to the case but even some relevant evidence cannot be presented, such as hearsay or evidence of little value. The judge decides whether or not evidence can be used in the case.

Jargon:
Admission
Busted:

one side in a case agreeing that something the other side has alleged is true.

Jargon:
Admonition
Busted:

reprimanding of a defendant by a judge even though the case against the defendant has been discharged (dropped).

Jargon:
Adoption
Busted:

the system which people use to become parents, even though they are not the child's natural parents.

Jargon:
Adoptive child
Busted:

a child who has been legally adopted.

Jargon:
Adoptive parent
Busted:

a person who has legally adopted a child.

Jargon:
Adverse possession
Busted:

intentionally occupying land to prevent the rightful owner or tenant using it.

Jargon:
Adverse witness
Busted:

a witness who gives evidence which damages the case of the side which asked the witness to testify for them.

Jargon:
Advocate
Busted:

the lawyer who speaks in court for a client; or

Jargon:
Affidavit
Busted:

a written statement which is sworn to be true by the person signing it. It is sworn before someone authorised by the court.

Jargon:
Affirm
Busted:

to:
solemnly promise to tell the truth in court;
solemnly promise to tell the truth in an affidavit;
confirm a decision made by a lower court; or
allow a contract to continue even though it could have been cancelled because it was fundamentally breached.

Jargon:
Affirmation
Busted:

solemnly promising to tell the truth when giving evidence. It is an alternative to swearing an oath when the person giving evidence does not wish to.

Jargon:
Affray
Busted:

fighting unlawfully. It is a criminal offence.

Jargon:
Aforementioned
Busted:

describing something referred to previously in the document.

Jargon:
Aforesaid
Busted:

describing something which has been said or referred to before in the document.

Jargon:
Age of consent
Busted:

the age when a person can consent to have sexual intercourse. In the UK it is 16.

Jargon:
Agency
Busted:

the relationship between a principal and an agent.

Jargon:
Agent
Busted:

someone appointed to act for a principal.

Jargon:
Aggravated assault
Busted:

a more serious type of assault such as one leading to actual bodily harm.

Jargon:
Aggravated burglary
Busted:

entering premises armed with a weapon, intending to steal goods.

Jargon:
Aggravated damages
Busted:

extra damages awarded because the defendant has caused the victim anguish, loss of self-respect or shame.

Jargon:
Aggravated vehicle taking
Busted:

stealing a vehicle, driving it dangerously and as a result injuring someone or damaging property.

Jargon:
Agricultural holding
Busted:

a type of tenancy agreement for someone doing agricultural work. The tenant has special rights including, when the tenancy finishes, the right to compensation for improvements to the land. If the land has deteriorated the tenant must compensate the landlord.

Jargon:
Aiding and abetting
Busted:

helping someone to commit a crime.

Jargon:
Airspace
Busted:

the space in the atmosphere directly above a piece of land. If you own a piece of land you also own the airspace above the land.

Jargon:
Alias
Busted:

a false name.

Jargon:
Alibi
Busted:

a claim that a person was elsewhere when a crime was committed. If someone is accused of a crime their alibi is:
evidence that the person was somewhere else when the crime was committed; or
an attempt to prove that the person was somewhere else when the crime was committed.

Jargon:
Alien
Busted:

someone from a foreign country.

Jargon:
Alienation
Busted:

transferring the ownership of property from one person to another.

Jargon:
All that
Busted:

words used in a conveyance to introduce the description of the property which is being conveyed.

Jargon:
Allegation
Busted:

an unproved statement declaring that something has happened.

Jargon:
Alleviate
Busted:

to lessen or reduce.

Jargon:
Allocation rate
Busted:

the proportion of money left to be invested after charges have been taken off when money is paid into a fund (such as a pension fund). For example, if the charges were 2%, the allocation rate would be 98%.

Jargon:
Allotment
Busted:

shares allocated to a buyer. An allotment of shares in a company gives the owner (of the allotment) an unconditional right to buy the shares at a fixed price.

Jargon:
Alternate director
Busted:

a person appointed by a director to take the director's place.

Jargon:
Alternative verdict
Busted:

a person being found guilty of a less serious crime than the one they were charged with. If a more serious charge has not been proved and the defendant has been found not guilty, the defendant may be found guilty of a less serious crime instead. For example, there may not be enough evidence to convict someone of a murder but there may still be enough for a manslaughter conviction. This is known as an alternative verdict.

Jargon:
Amalgamation
Busted:

two or more companies combining.

Jargon:
Ambiguity
Busted:

capability of more than one meaning. When a statement's meaning is not clear because it is capable of more than one meaning, it contains an ambiguity.

Jargon:
Ambulatory will
Busted:

a will which can be revoked or changed while the person who made it is still living.

Jargon:
Amnesty
Busted:

not punishing a person for an offence they have committed and removing details of the offence from the court's records is giving the person an amnesty.

Jargon:
Ancient lights
Busted:

the right not to have the light you receive from a neighbour's land blocked.

Jargon:
Annual accounts
Busted:

the summary of an organisation's financial transactions during the year covered by their accounts, and a 'snapshot' of the assets and liabilities at the end of the year.

Jargon:
Annual general meeting
Busted:

the yearly meeting of the members of an organisation which must be held to meet legal conditions. The annual accounts are presented for approval at this meeting.

Jargon:
Annual statement
Busted:

a return which must be sent by companies to the Registrar of Companies. Each year the officers of a company have to fill in an annual return with details of the members, officers, shares issued and other information about the company. The return is then sent to Companies House for filing and is available for inspection by members of the public.

Jargon:
Annuitant
Busted:

the person who gets paid an annuity.

Jargon:
Annuity
Busted:

an amount paid out every year to someone. The money usually comes from an insurance policy. It can be split up into smaller amounts and be paid out more frequently, such as monthly. It is usually paid for the rest of the beneficiary's life.

Jargon:
Annul
Busted:

to cancel:
an invalid marriage; or
a bankruptcy order.

Jargon:
Ante
Busted:

before.

Jargon:
Antecedents
Busted:

details about the past of a defendant or a person found guilty of a crime. The information about previous crimes, background and bad behaviour is given to the court before the sentence is given.

Jargon:
Antenuptial agreement
Busted:

a legal agreement between two people who are about to get married. The agreement sets out how the couple's assets will be divided between them if they later divorce.

Jargon:
Anton Piller order
Busted:

an order by the High Court. It gives the applicant permission to search the defendant's premises for evidence, inspect it and take it away. It is intended to prevent evidence being destroyed or hidden which would be relevant to the case. (Since April 1999, this has been known as a 'search order'.)

Jargon:
Appeal
Busted:

asking a court to overturn a lower court's decision. If the decision of a court is disputed it may be possible to ask a higher court to consider the case again by lodging an appeal.

Jargon:
Appellant
Busted:

the person who is appealing to a court against a decision of a lower court.

Jargon:
Appellate jurisdiction
Busted:

the authority a court has to hear an appeal against a decision made by a lower court.

Jargon:
Appertaining to applicant
Busted:

the person asking a court to do something.

Jargon:
Appointee
Busted:

the person who gets the benefit of the use of a power of appointment.

Jargon:
Appointor
Busted:

the person who uses a power of appointment.

Jargon:
Appurtenances
Busted:

minor rights in land such as a right to do something on the land.

Jargon:
Arbitrage
Busted:

is:
borrowing money at a low rate of interest to lend out again at a higher rate; or
buying and selling in different markets to make profits out of the price differences.

Jargon:
Arbitration
Busted:

settling a dispute by using a referee. If a dispute goes to arbitration it is settled by an independent referee. It avoids having to use the courts to settle the dispute.

Jargon:
Arbitrator
Busted:

the independent referee who settles a dispute without the need to use the courts.

Jargon:
Arrest
Busted:

to seize someone, usually because they are suspected of committing a crime, and take them into custody.

Jargon:
Arrestable offence
Busted:

a crime for which a person may be arrested without a warrant being needed.

Jargon:
Arson
Busted:

setting fire to something to cause damage to it.

Jargon:
Articles
Busted:

the clauses in a document. A company's articles set out its rules. The articles form part of the memorandum and articles of association.

Jargon:
Articles of association
Busted:

documents which set out a company's rules.

Jargon:
Assault
Busted:

when someone threatens another person with physical harm. Words on their own do not amount to assault but threatening gestures do, even if the person threatened is not touched.

Jargon:
Assent
Busted:

a document used by personal representatives to transfer property to a beneficiary.

Jargon:
Asset
Busted:

something owned such as a building, a vehicle or money in the bank.

Jargon:
Assign
Busted:

to formally transfer something, such as when ownership of property is transferred from one person to another.

Jargon:
Assignment
Busted:

the formal transfer of the rights to something. An example would be a bank customer assigning to the bank the right to receive the benefits from a life insurance policy to give the bank security for a loan.

Jargon:
Assurance
Busted:

insurance cover for an event which will definitely happen, such as death.

Jargon:
Assure
Busted:

to transfer the ownership of something.

Jargon:
Assured
Busted:

the person whose life is insured or who is entitled to receive the benefit from the assurance cover.

Jargon:
Assured shorthold tenancy
Busted:

a type of tenancy agreement under which the landlord has the right to take the property back at the end of the tenancy agreement.

Jargon:
Attachment of earnings
Busted:

a court order that deductions be made from a person's earnings. The employer pays the money collected to the court and the court pays the money to the people it is owed to.

Jargon:
Attest
Busted:

to sign to witness a signature on a document.

Jargon:
Attorney
Busted:

a person appointed to act for another person (such as when someone cannot look after their own affairs). A formal document called a power of attorney is used to appoint the attorney. It is also the name used for a US lawyer.

Jargon:
Attorney General
Busted:

the chief legal adviser to the Government. He or she must be a Member of Parliament (or have a seat in the House of Lords) and must be a barrister.

Jargon:
Audit
Busted:

an independent examination of an organisation's records and financial statements (report and accounts) to make sure that:
the financial statements show a fair reflection of the financial position at the accounting date;
the income and spending is shown accurately;
the financial statements meet any legal conditions; and
the financial statements are drawn up clearly.

Jargon:
Auditor's report
Busted:

a report and opinion, by an independent person or firm, on an organisation's financial records.

Jargon:
Authorised investments
Busted:

investments in which a trustee is permitted to invest trust money, under an Act of Parliament.

Jargon:
Authorised share capital
Busted:

the highest amount of share capital that a company can issue. The amount is set out in the company's memorandum of association.

Jargon:
Autopsy
Busted:

an examination of a dead body to find the cause of death.