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Cases and Materials - Glossary of Legal Terms  print
Legal Terms Explanation
Administrator/Administratrix The person appointed by a court to administer the estate of the deceased who died without will.
Appellant The party who having lost part or all their claim in a lower court decision is appealing to a higher court to have their case reconsidered (eg High Court decision is being appealed to Court of Appeal).
Appellate The court that hears appeal from lower court and has the right to review and revise the lower court’s decision. (eg Court of Appeal).
Beneficiary A person or party who benefits from a will.
Certiorari It is a public law relief (i.e. something for which you ask the court in order to deal with an action of the Government, council or other (quasi)-governmental organisation.) . An order of certiorari is given by a higher court to quash a decision of a lower court or other (quasi)-governmental organisation.
Decree A decision or order of the court. A final decree is one, which fully and finally disposes off the litigation. An interlocutory decree is a preliminary decree that is not final.
Defendant The accused in a criminal case; the person from whom money or other recovery is sought in a civil case.
Estate All a person’s asset and liabilities.
Ex-parte By or for one party only. Ordinarily, courts are not allowed to engage in communication with one party only (ex-parte communications). Both parties must be heard.
Executor The person named by the Testator to administer and distribute the estate.
Fiduciary A person who has assumed a special relationship to another person or another person’s property, such as trustee, administrator, executor, lawyer, or guardian. The fiduciary must exercise the highest degree of care to maintain and preserve the person’s rights and/or property which are within his/her charge.
Good Faith One who takes a negotiable instrument in good faith, takes it without knowledge of any defect in the title of the person transferring it, or without reason to doubt the validity of such title.
Habeas Corpus A writ or order from the court to compel.
Hearsay Evidence A second hand knowledge. Generally admissible subjected to special statutory provision.
Injunction A court order prohibiting and forbidding commencing of certain action.
In personam Action or proceeding instituted by serving notice to the affected party, and/or for the purpose of obtaining a judgement against the other party.
Intestate A person who dies without leaving a will.
Interlocutory This is a judgement that cannot be questioned, but can be considered if appealed. It is to determine an immediate issue raised during procedure.
Judgement A person who has assumed a special relationship to another person or another person’s property, such as trustee, administrator, executor, lawyer, or guardian. The fiduciary must exercise the highest degree of care to maintain and preserve the person’s rights and/or property which are within his/her charge.
Lien A claim against property for payment of a debt, such as mortgage lien.
Order of prohibition A prerogative writ issued from a higher court, forbidding a lower court hearing a case which has been brought before the latter, on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.
Plaintiff A person who filed the lawsuit.
Pre-emption right Where a company proposes to issue new shares, existing shareholders may have the right to be offered a pro-rata part of the new shares before they are offered to a new shareholder.
Precedent A rule of law that is established by an appellate court in an earlier case serves as a binding precedent in all subsequent similar cases.
Prima facie Literally means "on its face". A fact presumed to be true unless disproved by some other evidence. In a criminal case, when the prosecution rests, his case is said to be prima facie, if the evidence so far introduced is sufficient to convict.
Probate A probate means a grant under the seal of the Court authorizing the executor or executors named in a will to administer the testator’s estate.
Power of Attorney Is a legal document whereby one person gives another person or persons the power to act on his or her behalf with regard to his or her property and financial affairs.
Quash To overthrow, vacate, annul or void a summons, indictment, bindover order or subpoena.
Respondent The party to an appeal in which a lower court decision is in its favor.
Testator The person making the will and must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind. The "will", will only take effect upon the death of the testator.