Translation glossary: Law - Courts

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ClaimProceedings issued in the County or High Court. Previously know as an Action 
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Claim formThe form that a claim is issued on. Previously known as a Summons 
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ClaimantThe person issuing the claim. Previously known as the Plaintiff 
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Co-respondentA person named as an adulterer (or third person) in a petition for divorce 
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CodicilAn addendum signed and executed which amends or adds something to a will 
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Commissioner of OathsSolicitors authorised by the Lord Chancellor to administer oaths and affirmations to a statement of evidence 
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Committali) Committal for trial: Following examination by the Magistrates of a case involving and indictable or either way offence, the procedure of directing 
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Common LawThe law established, by precedent, from judicial decisions and established within a community 
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CompensationSum of money to make up for or make amends for loss, breakage, hardship, inconvenience or personal injury caused by another 
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Concurrent SentenceA direction by a Court that a number of sentences of imprisonment should run at the same time 
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Concurrent WritA duplicate of the original writ bearing the same date and expiring at the same time as the original 
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Conditional DischargeA discharge of a convicted defendant without sentence on condition that he/she does not re-offend within a specified period of time 
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Conduct Moneyi) Money paid to a witness in advance of the hearing of a case as compensation for time spent attending Court ii) Commonly used to describe expenses p 
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Consecutive SentenceAn order for a subsequent sentence of imprisonment to commence as soon as a previous sentence expires. Can apply to more than two sentences 
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Contempt of CourtDisobedience or wilful disregard to the judicial process 
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Contributory NegligencePartial responsibility of a claimant for the injury in respect of which he/she claims damages 
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CorroborationEvidence by one person confirming that of another or supporting evidence, for example forensic evidence (bloodstain, fibres etc) in murder cases 
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CounselA Barrister 
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CountAn individual offence set out in an indictment 
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CounterclaimA claim made by a defendant against a claimant in an action. There is no limit imposed on a counterclaim, but a fee is payable according to the amount 
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County CourtSometimes inaccurately referred to as the Small Claims Court, County Courts deal with civil matters including all monetary claims up to £15,000. Many 
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CourtBody with judicial powers (see also Court room) 
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Court of AppealDivided into: 
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Court of ProtectionThe branch of the High Court with jurisdiction over the estates of people mentally incapable of handling their own financial affairs 
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Court roomThe room in which cases are heard 
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CovenantA formal agreement or a contract constituting an obligation to perform an act 
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CreditorA person to whom money is owed by a debtor 
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CriminalPerson who has been found guilty of a criminal offence 
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Crown CourtThe Crown Court deals with all crime committed for trial by Magistrates Courts. Cases for trial are heard before a judge and jury. The Crown Court als 
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DamagesAn amount of money claimed as compensation for physical/material loss, eg personal injury, breach of contract 
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DebtorPerson owing money to another party 
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DeclarationCourt order setting out the rights of a party in the form of a statement 
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DecreeAn order of the Court in proceedings commenced by petition 
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Decree AbsoluteA final certificate, resulting from an application, dissolving a marriage 
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Decree NisiOrder for divorce unless cause to contrary is shown within a set period 
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DeedA legal document which sets out the terms of an agreement, which is signed by both parties 
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Default JudgmentObtained by the claimant as a result of the failure of a defendant to comply with the requirements of a claim ie reply or pay within a 14 day period a 
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DefendantPerson sued; person standing trial or appearing for sentence 
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DeponentPerson giving evidence by affidavit 
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DepositionA statement of evidence written down and sworn on oath, or by affirmation 
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Designated Civil JudgeA Judge designated to deal with the Civil Justice Reforms for a group of courts 
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Detailed Assessment (of costs)Where costs are dealt with by the drawing of a bill of costs 
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DeterminationAct of scrutinising a bill of costs in criminal proceedings to see if the work done and amount claimed is reasonable 
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DeviPerson to whom freehold land is given by a will 
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DisabilityThe inability of a person to handle their own affairs (eg through mental illness or a minor under 18 years of age) which prevents involvement in civil 
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DiscontinuanceNotice given by the Court, on instruction by the claimant, that they no longer wish to proceed with the case 
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Discovery of documents(see INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS) Mutual exchange of evidence and all relevant information held by each party relating to the case 
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DismissalTo make order or decision that a claim be ceased 
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District JudgeA judicial officer of the Court whose duties involve hearing applications made within proceedings and final hearings subject to any limit of jurisdict 
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District Registrarsee District Judge 
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