Friday, July 25, 2008

Some latin terms

Abatement = Removal or stopping of a nuisance.
Ab initio = Latin phrase meaning ‘from the beginning’.
Abjure = To swear not to bear allegiance to another country.
Abscond = To go away without permission or not to return to the court after being
released on bail or to escape from prison.
Actus Reus= Latin phrase meaning ‘Guilty Act’, Act which is forbidden by the Criminal
Law, one of the two elements of a crime.
Ad Idem = Latin phrase meaning ‘in Agreement.’
Adjourn = To stop a meeting for a period, to put off a legal hearing to the later date.
Ad Litem = Latin phrase meaning ‘referring to the case at Law’
Guardian ad Letem = Person who acts on behalf of a minor who is a
defendant in a court case.
Ad valorem = Latin phrase meaning ‘according to value’.
Alieni Juris= Latin phrase meaning ‘of another’s right’. A person (such as minor) who
has a right under the authority of a guardian.
Amicus Curiae = Latin phrase meaning ‘friend of the court’: Lawyer who does not
represent a party in a case but who is called upon to address the court
to help clear up a difficult legal point or to explain something which is
in the public interest.
Ante = Latin adverb meaning ‘which has taken place earlier’ or ‘before’.
Status Quo Ante = the situation as it was before.
A posteriori = Latin phrase meaning ‘from what has been concluded afterwards’.
A posteriori argument = Argument based on observation.
Affidavit = written statement which is signed & sworn before a solicitor and which can
then be used as evidence in court hearings.
Animus = Intention.
Animus cancellandi = the intention to cancel.
Animus Furandi = Intention to steal.
Animus Manendi = Intention to stay (in a place)
Animus Revocandi = Intention to revoke (A will)
Annul = To cancel or to stop something having a legal effect.
Appeal = Asking a higher court to change a decision of a lower court.
Arson = Notifiable offence of setting fire to a building.
Audi Alteram Partem = Latin phrase meaning ‘Hear the other side’: A rule in natural
justice that everyone has the right to speak in his own defence
and to have the case against him explained to him.
Automatism = Defence to a criminal charge whereby the accused states he acted
Autopsy = Examination of a dead person to see what was the cause of death.
Autrefois Acquit = French phrase meaning ‘previously acquitted’. Plea that an accused
person has already been acquitted of the crime with which he is
Autrefois Convict = French phrase meaning ‘previously convicted’. Plea that an accused
person has already been convicted of the crime with which he is now
charged .
Aver = To make a statement or an allegation in pleadings.
Attorn = To transfer.
Asylum = Hospital for people who are mentally ill.
Arm’s length = Not closely connected, to deal with someone at arm’s length = To deal
as if there were no connections between the parties.
Appurtenant = To or belonging to.
Antedate = To put an earlier date o a document.
Amnesty = Pardon, often for political crimes, given to several people at he same
Alimony = Money which a court orders a husband to pay regularly to his separated or
divorced wife.
Adjoin = To touch another property.
Accretion = Enlargement of a piece of land by natural causes.
Accredited = (Agent) who is appointed by a company to act on its behalf.
Alienation = Transfer of property to someone else.
A fortiori = Latin phrase meaning ‘for a stronger reason
Affray = Public fight which frightens other people

Aggrieved = Who has been damaged/ harmed by a defendant’s actions
Autarchy = Situation where a state has total power over itself & rules itself without
outside interference
Autarky = Situation where a state is self-sufficient & can provide all its needs without
outside help.

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