Legal Terminology




The process by which a Magistrate, Judge or another authorized judicial An Adjudication officer makes a decision or imposes a sentence upon a party or parties based on information presented before said judicial officer.


An Affidavit is a sworn written statement made under oath or an affirmation before an authorised officer of the Court.


Asking a higher court to review the decision or sentence of a trial court because the lower court made an error.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

is the resolving of conflict between parties without the use of litigation proceedings and the court.


Submitting a case or dispute to designated parties for a decision, instead of using a judge.



The release, prior to trial, of a person accused of a crime, under specified conditions designed to assure that person’s appearance in court when required. Also can refer to the amount of bond money posted as a financial condition of pretrial release.


A legal procedure for dealing with debt problems of individuals and businesses; specifically, a case filed under one of the chapters of title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code).

Bankruptcy codeBail Commissioner

A state-appointed person who may set the amount of bond for persons detained at a police station prior to arraignment in court, and who recommends to the court the amount of bond that should be set for the defendant on each criminal case.



A legal document that tells the court what you want, and is served with a summons on the defendant to begin the case.


Is a legally enforceable agreement between two or more persons or parties.


A court order deciding where a child will live and how decisions about the child will be made. Parents may ask for any custody arrangement that they believe is in the best interest of their child.



In civil cases, the person who is given court papers also called a respondent. In criminal cases, the person who is arrested and charged with a crime.


Where a person publishes information damaging to the reputation of another to a third party in either writing (libel) or orally (slander).

Deed Poll

Is a legal document that binds one person or several persons acting jointly to express an intention. It is distinguishable from a contract, which binds two or more parties and expresses a promise.

Decree Absolute

Is a court order that becomes binding upon the execution of a condition.


First Instance Hearing

When a matter is heard by the Court for the first time. It is only at the first instance hearing that the evidence is analysed to determine the facts of the matter analysed unless there is a procedural error relating to evidence.



A legal document stating the terms under which a security is issued.


An order made by the court upon application of a party against another party to discontinue, continue or commence particular conduct that the court seems justly favourable for the party so applying.

International Tribunal

A judicial institution qualified to hear matters relating to and apply international law, i.e. law governing the relations between States as opposed to national law that governs nationals, residents and legal persons acting within a State.



Parties involved in a Court matter. The litigant initiating proceedings is referred to as the Plaintiff or Claimant/Petitioner while the litigant against whom the action is brought is referred to as the Defendant or Respondent.



A method of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party assists and facilitates two parties is resolving conflict.



The certifying or attesting to the validity of a document.



A method of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party assists and facilitates two parties is resolving conflict.