The person charged. The person who has allegedly committed the offence

Discharge of defendant following verdict or direction of not guilty

Law, as an act of parliament

Adjourned generally or sine die
Temporary suspension of the hearing of a case by order of the Court (maybe for a short period, e.g. to next day or sine die).

the postponing of the hearing of a case until a later date.

Administrative Court
the Administrative Court is part of the High Court. It deals with applications for judicial review.

Administration order
An order by a County Court directing a debtor to pay a specified monthly installment into Court in respect of outstanding debts. The Court retains the payments made and at intervals distributes it between the creditors on a pro-rata basis

A barrister or solicitor representing a party in a hearing before a Court

Arrangements designed to bring out the truth of a matter, through adversarial (conflict based) techniques such as cross-examination.

(see Statement) A written statement of evidence confirmed on oath or by affirmation to be true and taken before someone who has authority to administer it

Declaration by a witness who has no religious belief, or has religious beliefs that prevent him/her taking the oath. They declare by affirmation that the evidence he/she is giving is the truth

The process by which corrections to court documents, such as statements of case, can be made. A statement of case can be amended at any time, before it is served or with permission of all other parties or the court, (once served). The court may reject the amendment, even if the party concerned has permission of other parties to the case

Amount offered in satisfaction
An amount of money offered by a defendant to pay a debt or to settle another type of claim, for example in a personal injury case

To declare no longer valid

Application to a higher court or other body for review of a decision taken by a lower court or tribunal. The higher court may overturn or uphold (i.e. reject) the lower court’s decision. Often, permission (leave) is required, to for an appeal to occur.

A person appealing to a higher court or body against a decision made in a lower court or body

Appraisement or appraisal
Valuation of goods seized under warrant of execution prior to sale

To place or assign

Assisted person (legally)
A party to legal proceedings who is receiving legal aid

Attachment of earnings order
An order that instructs an employer to deduct a regular amount, fixed by the court, from a debtor’s earnings and to pay that money into court. The court pays the money to the person or people to whom it is owed

Automatic transfer
Providing that a number of criteria are met, proceedings must be transferred automatically to the court nearest to the defendant’s home.


Release of a defendant from custody, until his/her next appearance in Court, subject sometimes to security being given and/or compliance with certain conditions

Bailiffs and enforcement officers are people authorised to remove and sell possessions in order to pay the money a debtor owes to a person or an organisation. They may also conduct evictions, and arrest people.

A bailiff can also serve (deliver) court documents on people

The collective term for barristers

(see Counsel; Silk) A member of the bar: a lawyer entitled to represent clients in all the courts

Bench warrant
A warrant issued by the judge for an absent defendant to be arrested and brought before a Court

Bill of costs
(see Taxation of costs, Summary assessment and Detailed assessment.

Bill of indictment
A written statement of the charges against a defendant sent for trial to the Crown Court, and signed by an officer of the Court

Bind over
In the Crown Court or (more usually) the Magistrates Court, and signed by an officer of the Court

Bind over for sentence
An order which requires the defendant to return to Court on an unspecified date for sentence. Failure to observe this order may result in a forfeit or penalty to be enforced

Bound / binding
A binding decision is one that must be obeyed by the people concerned. For example, it is not possible to go to court after a binding decision has been issued by an arbitrator

Written instructions to counsel to appear at a hearing on behalf of a party prepared by the solicitor and setting out the facts of the case and any case law relied upon

Bulk Centre
See Northampton Bulk Centre

Business address
Premises or place from which business activities take place


An action, suit or claim in a court of law. It can also mean the arguments put forward by parties in a court of law

Case disposal
The case is taken out of the court process (see Disposal).

Case number
A unique reference number allocated to each case by the issuing Court

i) Notice given to the Land Registry by any person with an interest in particular land to ensure that no action is taken in respect of the land without the person’s knowledge
ii) Warning, given by a Police Officer, to a person charged with an offence
iii) Warning, given by a Police Officer, instead of a charge

A notice given to the registrar that effectively prevents action by another party without first notifying the party entering the caveat

Certificate of Legal Aid Costs
A certificate of costs allowed following taxation by a judicial or taxing officer (Previously referred to as an Allocatur)

A grant of representation of limited duration which has ceased and expired

i) Private room, or Court from which the public are excluded in which a District Judge or Judge may conduct certain sorts of hearings
ii) Offices used by a barrister

A formal accusation against a person that a criminal offence has been committed (see also Charging order)

Charging Order
A court order directing that a charge be put on the judgment debtors’ property, such as a house or piece of land to secure payment of money due. This prevents the debtor from selling the property or land – without paying what is owed to the claimant

Circuit Judge
A judge between the level of a High Court Judge and a District Judge, who sits in the County Court and/or Crown Court

Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB)
A charity which can offer free legal and financial advice to the general public.

Claim Production Centre (CPC)
See Northampton Bulk Centre

An addendum signed and executed which amends or adds something to a will

Coercion exists when an individual is forced to behave in a particular way, by threats of violence, for example. The person concerned does not act freely

Collaboration / collaborative
Working together to solve a problem

Commissioner of Oaths
Solicitors authorised by the Lord Chancellor to administer oaths and affirmations to a statement of evidence

i) Committal for trial: Following examination by the Magistrates of a case involving and indictable or either way offence, the procedure of directing the case to the Crown Court to be dealt with
ii) Committal for Sentence: Where the Magistrates consider that the offence justifies a sentence greater than they are empowered to impose they may commit the defendant to the Crown Court for sentence to be passed by a judge
iii) Committal Order: An order of the Court committing someone to prison
iv) Committal Warrant (see WARRANT OF COMMITTAL)

Common Law
The law established, by precedent, from judicial decisions and established within a community

A person who makes a complaint

Expressing discontent for something

Concurrent Sentence
A direction by a Court that a number of sentences of imprisonment should run at the same time

Concurrent Writ
A duplicate of the original writ bearing the same date and expiring at the same time as the original

Conditional Discharge
A discharge of a convicted defendant without sentence on condition that he/she does not re-offend within a specified period of time

Conduct Money
i) 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 paid to a debtor to cover the costs of traveling to Court

Consecutive Sentence
An order for a subsequent sentence of imprisonment to commence as soon as a previous sentence expires. Can apply to more than two sentences

Contempt of Court
Disobedience or wilful disregard to the judicial process.

In civil cases, for example, failing to appear as a witness without informing the court or the party that called you. A person found to be in civil contempt of court could be fined.

Contents of trial (civil)
see trial contents

Evidence by one person confirming that of another or supporting evidence, for example forensic evidence (bloodstain, fibres etc) in murder cases

A Barrister or solicitor in legal proceedings

An individual offence set out in an indictment

County court judgment (CCJ)
A judgment of the county court that orders a defendant to pay a sum of money to the claimant. CCJs are recorded on the Register of County Court Judgments for six years and can affect a defendant’s ability to borrow money

Body with judicial powers (see also Courtroom)

Court of Appeal
Divided into:

  • civil and
  • criminal divisions and hears appeals:
  • from decisions in the High Court and county courts and,
  • against convictions or sentences passed by the Crown Court, (see also Public trustee Monies held in Court, in the name of the Accountant General, for suitors, minors, Court of Protection patients etc)

The room in which cases are heard

Court sanction
See sanction

A formal agreement or a contract constituting an obligation to perform an act

Person who has been found guilty of a criminal offence

The questioning of a witness for the other side in a case.

Crown Court
The 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 also acts as an appeal Court for cases heard and dealt with by the Magistrates. The Crown Court can also deal with some civil and family matters.

The Crown Court is divided into tiers, depending on the type of work dealt with.

First Tier

Defended High Court Civil work.
All classes of offence in criminal proceedings.
Committals for sentence from the Magistrates’ Court.
Appeals against convictions and sentences imposed at Magistrates’ Court.

Second Tier

All classes of offence in criminal proceedings.
Committals for sentence from Magistrates’ Court.
Appeals against convictions and sentences imposed at Magistrates’ Court.

Third Tier

Class 4 offences only in criminal proceedings.
Committals for sentence from Magistrates’ Court.
Appeals against convictions and sentences.


Debt recovery after judgment
See Enforcement

A person who owes money to someone or to an organisation

An order of the Court in proceedings commenced by petition

Court order setting out the rights of a party in the form of a statement

A legal document which sets out the terms of an agreement, which is signed by both parties

Defendant (criminal)
Person standing trial or appearing for sentence

Person giving evidence by affidavit

A statement of evidence written down and sworn on oath, or by affirmation

Detailed Assessment (of costs)
When a court makes a costs order it may make a detailed assessment of costs, usually at the conclusion of proceedings. A costs officer would carry out the assessment. See also Summary assessment.

Determination (criminal)
Act of scrutinising a bill of costs in criminal proceedings to see if the work done and amount claimed is reasonable

The inability of a person to handle their own affairs (e.g. through mental illness or a minor under 18 years of age) which prevents involvement in civil legal proceedings without representation

Parties to a civil case must disclose (show to the other party) documents they intend to rely on in court to support their case

Discovery of documents
(see INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS) Mutual exchange of evidence and all relevant information held by each party relating to the case

To make order or decision that a claim be ceased

See Case disposal

District Judge
A judicial officer of the Court whose duties involve hearing applications made within proceedings and final hearings subject to any limit of jurisdiction Previously known as Registrars

District Registry
see High Court

Enclosure in criminal Court for the defendant on trial


Either-way Offence
(see Indictable Offence, Summary Offence) An offence for which the accused may elect the case to be dealt with either summarily by the magistrates or by committal to the Crown Court to be tried by jury

Method of pursuing a civil action after judgment has been made in favour of a party. Process carried out by Magistrates Court to collect fines and other monetary orders made in the Crown Court

Enforcement / enforcing a judgment
When a judgment/order has not been paid or terms obeyed with, enforcement proceedings can be issued to ensure compliance. A court can order such action as the seizure of a defendant’s property for sale

Entering judgment on admission
The claimant can ask the court to enter judgment on admission when the defendant has admitted all or part of the case and offered payment or other restitution

Entry of Judgment
Decision of the Court in favour of one or other of the parties

Documentary or other material which is used to support a person’s case in a court of law

(see Levy) Seizure of debtors goods following non payment of a Court order

To be freed from liability or allegiance

Item or document referred to in an affidavit or used as evidence during a Court trial or hearing

Expert Witness
Person employed to give evidence on a subject in which they are qualified or have expertise


Fees and costs
see Court fees

A decree or command

Fieri-Facias (FI-FA)
(see Sheriff) High Court version of warrant of execution in County Court. A directive by a High Court to a sheriff to seize sufficient goods of a debtor to satisfy judgment debt

The process of delivering or presenting forms and other documents to a court. For example a claim or a defence to a claim must be filed


A person appointed to safeguard/protect/manage the interests of a child or person under mental disability (see Next Friend)


A hearing is the trial of the case. Hearings are usually held in public

High Court Enforcement Officers
An enforcement officer appointed by the Lord Chancellor to enforce High Court judgments and orders

High Court Judge
see Judge and High Court

Home court (civil)
The court nearest to the defendant’s home or place of business


Not having or showing any favouritism to one side in a dispute

Person or organisation not connected to any of the parties in a dispute or legal case

Indictable Offence
A criminal offence triable only by the Crown Court. The different types of offence are classified 1, 2, 3 or 4. Murder is a class 1 offence

Also known as a minor: A person under 18 years of age which prevents them from acting on their own behalf in legal proceedings (see Next Friend)

A court order which either restrains a person from a course of action or behaviour, or which requires a person to follow another course of action.

see Bankrupt

Inspection of Documents
(see Disclosure of documents) Arrangements made by the parties to allow mutual exchange and copying of documents

A method of paying a debt in several parts at intervals. Payment by instalments is agreed to make the burden of repayment lighter

A charge for borrowed money, a percentage of the sum borrowed

Interim order
An order made during proceedings which is not a final order

Issue / issuing
To initiate legal proceedings in pursuit of a claim


An officer appointed to administer the law and who has authority to hear and try cases in a court of law

The decision or sentence issued by a court in legal proceedings

Judgment set aside
A judgment or order can be set aside (made void) at the request of a party to the case in certain circumstances, for example if they were too ill to attend court on the day of the judgment

Judgment on liability
See Default judgment

i) Relating to the Administration of justice or to the judgment of a Court ii) A judge or other officer empowered to act as a judge

Judicial directions
See directions

Judicial review
The High Court can review decisions of inferior (lower) courts, public bodies and other bodies to ensure that the decision making process has been lawful

Junior Counsel
(see Counsel; Silk) A member of the bar: the branch of the legal profession which has rights of audience before all Courts

A statement contained at the conclusion of an affidavit which states the name of the person giving the evidence, the name of the person before whom and the place where the oath or affirmation was taken

The area and matters over which a court has legal authority

(see Jury) A person who has been summoned by a Court to be a member of the jury

Body of jurors sworn to reach a verdict according to the evidence in a Court

Justice of the Peace
A lay magistrate – person appointed to administer judicial business in a Magistrates Court. Also sits in the Crown Court with a judge or recorder to hear appeals and committals for sentence

The area and matters over which a Court has legal authority

Person under 17 years of age


The system made up of rules established by an act of parliament, custom or practice enjoining or prohibiting certain action (see also Common Law)

Law Lords
Describes the judges of the House of Lords who are known as the Lords of Appeal in ordinary

The legal profession in the UK is divided into two branches. Barristers have the right to represent clients in higher courts whereas most solicitors are restricted to represent their clients in the lower courts

Lay representative
A person, not legally qualified, who accompanies another during a court hearing. The person may be a colleague, friend or spouse.

Leading junior counsel
A senior barrister who deals with more serious cases, but not a QC.

Leave means ‘permission’. Some steps in legal action require the permission of the court. For example a losing party may be granted leave to appeal.

Legal advice
Advice about the law and your options from a qualified legal representative or advice centre

Legal Aid / Public Funding
State funded assistance, for those on low incomes, to cover legal fees.

Legal counsel
See Counsel, Barrister, Solicitor

Legal representation
See Counsel, Barrister, Solicitor

Legal Personal Representative
The person to whom a grant of probate or letters of ADMINISTRATION has been issued

Person to whom personal estate is given by will

(see Execution and Fi-Fa) A duty carried out by a bailiff or sheriff under the authority of a warrant or writ of fi-fa, for a sum of money whereby goods of value belonging to the debtor are claimed with a view to removal and sale at a public auction in an attempt to obtain payment

Responsibility or obligation. For example, a debt is a liability or responsibility.

A written and published statement/article which infers damaging remarks on a persons reputation

Permission to carry out an act that would otherwise be considered illegal

A legal right to withhold the goods/property of another until payment is made

Listing Questionnaire
This form is used to ensure that all issues are resolved and that the parties are ready for trial. Used for Fast track and Multi track claims only

Litigant in person
A person who starts or defends a case without legal representation. Such a person is entitled to be accompanied by another person who may advise them, but may not address the court

Legal proceedings or court action. Litigation can be either civil or criminal proceedings.

Litigation friend
A person who conducts legal proceedings on behalf of a child or a mentally incapacitated person

The process of filing (delivering) documents to a court. See also filing

Long Vacation
Period between 1 August and 30 September in each year during which there are only restricted High Court sittings for urgent matters

Lord Chancellor
The cabinet minister who acts as speaker of the House of Lords and oversees the hearings of the Law Lords. Additional responsibilities include supervising the procedure of Courts other than Magistrates or Coroners Courts and selection of judges, magistrates, queens counsel and members of tribunals

Lord Chief Justice
Senior judge of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) who also heads the Queens Bench Division of the High Court of Justice)

Lord Justice of Appeal
Title given to certain judges sitting in the Court of Appeal


Magistrates Court
A Court where criminal proceedings are commenced before justices of the peace who examine the evidence/statements and either deal with the case themselves or commit to the Crown Court for trial or sentence. Also has jurisdiction in a range of civil matters (see also Stipendiary Magistrate)

Maladministration is administration that leads to injustice because of such factors as excessive delay, bias or arbitrary decision-making.

(see Registrar) Judicial officer of the High Court in the Royal Courts of Justice who normally deals with preliminary matters before trial

Master of the Rolls
Senior judge of the Court of Appeal (Civil Division)

(see Originating Application) Proceedings commenced by way of originating application

Someone below 18 years of age and unable to sue or be sued without representation, other than for wages. A minor sues by a next friend and defends by a guardian

Reasons submitted on behalf of a guilty party in order to excuse or partly excuse the offence committed in an attempt to minimise the sentence

An application by one party to the High Court for an order in their favour


Next Friend
(see GUARDIAN) A person representing a minor or mental patient who is involved in legal proceedings

An order within an injunction to prevent one person physically attacking another

Proceedings where the plaintiff has failed to establish to the Court’s satisfaction that there is a case for the defendant to answer

Northampton Bulk Centre
Bulk users in court actions are businesses and local authorities. Their claims are issued by this centre in the name of Northampton County Court. This centre deals with administrative casework on a larger scale than most courts. For example, they will issue debt recovery and hire purchase claims in multiples for businesses

Notary Public
Someone who is authorised to swear oaths and certify the execution of deeds


To call upon God to witness that what you say at the hearing is the truth or binding. (see affirmation)

Disagreement with an argument or set out by another at the hearing

Official Solicitor
A solicitor or barrister appointed by the Lord Chancellor and working in the Lord Chancellor’s Department. The duties include representing, in legal proceedings, people who are incapable of looking after their own affairs i.e. children/persons suffering from mental illness

Independent ‘referees’ who consider complaints against public and private organisations in a wide range of fields including housing, health and banking. They are often used as a last resort when complaints cannot be resolved through an organisation’s own complaints procedure. Ombudsman services are free to use. Recommendations made by ombudsmen are not binding on the person making the complaint (complainant). They can still go to court even if the ombudsman decided against them

Oral evidence
Evidence given to a court, verbally rather than in writing

Oral Examination
A method of questioning a person under oath before an officer of the Court to obtain details of their financial affairs

A direction by a Court

Oral evidence
Evidence given to a court, verbally rather than in writing


Party / parties
People involved in court proceedings either as the defendant(s) or claimant(s)

A person who is deemed incapable of handling his/her own affairs by reason of mental incapacity and who is under the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection

Penal Notice
Directions attached to an order of a Court stating the penalty for disobedience may result in imprisonment

See leave

Personal Application
Application made to the Court without legal representation

Personal Service
Personal delivery (i.e. not by mail) of a claim, summons or notice

Personal Support Unit (PSU) Royal Courts of Justice and Wandsworth County Court
A charity based at the Royal Courts of Justice and Wandsworth County Court. They give guidance and support for litigants in person, but not legal advice

A person who presents the petition


Plaint Note

A defendant’s reply to a charge put to him by a court; i.e. guilty or not guilty

Power of Arrest
An order attached to some injunctions to allow the police to arrest a person who has broken the terms of the order

Practice Directions
These are steps to be followed by parties to a dispute prior to legal action. The aim of the to increase co-operation between parties and therefore the chances of an early settlement

Pre-action protocols
These are steps to be followed by parties to a dispute prior to legal action. The aim is to increase co-operation between parties and therefore the chances of an early settlement

The decision of a case which established principles of law that act as an authority for future cases of a similar nature

Preliminary hearing
A hearing in which the Judge ensures that the parties understand what they must do to comply with any directions and offers guidance on such matters as the use of an expert witness. This hearing is before the final hearing

Pre-trial checklist
A pre-trial checklist is completed before the trial. The checklist is for the parties and the Judge, as a reminder of the issues to be considered. The checklist will then be reviewed at a pre-trial review just before the final hearing.

Pre-trial Review
A meeting at which the Judge considers the issues before the timetable for the trial /final hearing date is finalised

The institution or conduct of criminal proceedings against a person

Person who prosecutes (see PROSECUTION)

Puisne Judge
(Pronounced Puny) High Court judge. Any judge of the High Court other than the heads of each division. The word puisne means junior and is used to distinguish High Court judges from senior judges sitting at the Court of Appeal


See Queen’s Counsel

To annul; i.e. to declare no longer valid

Quasi-judicial functions
A quasi-judicial function is an executive function that involves the exercise of discretion (judgment). Court staff perform quasi-judicial executive functions such as managing the issuing of claims, serving court documents and deciding what would be reasonable for the defendant to pay – for example, see determination.

Queen’s Counsel
Barristers of at least ten years standing may apply to become queen’s counsel. QCs undertake work of an important nature and are referred to as ‘silks’ which is derived from the Courts gown that is worn. Will be known as king’s counsel if a king assumes the throne


Person appointed by the Court of Protection to act on behalf of a patient

An undertaking before the Court by which a person agrees to comply with a certain condition, e.g. keep the peace/appear in court. A sum of money is normally pledged to ensure compliance

(also Assistant Recorder) Members of the legal profession (barristers or solicitors) who are appointed to act in a judicial capacity on a part time bases. They may progress to become a full time judge

Redetermination (criminal)
An application by a solicitor or counsel for amounts assessed by determination to be reconsidered

Register of judgments, orders and fines
A public register containing details of county court and High Court judgments, fines enforced by magistrates’ courts and county court administration orders

(see DISTRICT JUDGE) Registrars and deputy registrars were renamed DISTRICT Judges and Deputy DISTRICT Judges respectively in the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990

A witness is released (freed from an obligation or duty) by the court, when he or she has given evidence in a case

To order an accused person to be kept in custody or placed on bail pending further Court appearance

See Legal representation

Respondent (Civil & Crime)
The defending party (person) in an appeal or in a petition to the courts. See also Appellant

Right of Audience
Entitlement to appear before a Court in a legal capacity and conduct proceedings on behalf of a party to the proceedings


A penalty imposed on a person involved in a case if he or she, for example, fails to comply with directions or refuses to consider an alternative to court. Even though a person wins a case, the judge may order them to pay the other party’s costs

Security of tenure
A period in which something is held

Delivery by post, or in person, of the claim form, or other court documents

Set aside judgment
See judgment set aside

An officer of the Crown whose duties, amongst other things, consist of the enforcement of High Court writs of execution

Skeleton argument
A written summary of the main points of a case to be heard by an appeal court.

Queens Counsel, a senior barrister sometimes referred to as a leader or leading counsel

Spoken words which have a damaging effect on a person’s reputation

Member of the legal profession chiefly concerned with advising clients and preparing their cases and representing them in some Courts. May also act as advocates before certain Courts or tribunals

Specified amounts of money
A specific and easily calculable amount of money, such as a debt owed to a claimant

Standard directions
See directions

A written account by a witness of the facts of details of a matter

Statement of case
The statement of case contains the outline of the claimant’s case and includes: (i) a claim form, (ii) the particulars of claim – where these are not included in the claim form; (iii) the defence and (iv) a reply to the defence (v) any counterclaim

Statement of truth
Every statement of case must be verified by a statement of truth, signed by the parties involved. A statement of truth is a statement that says that a party believes the facts they have written down are true

Statutory Instrument
A document issued by the delegated authority (usually a Government Minister or committee) named within an act of parliament which affects the workings of the original Act, e.g. The County Courts Act 1984 confers authority on to the County Court Rule Committee to make rules relating to the operation of the County Courts act

A suspension of court proceedings. This remains in effect until an order has been followed. No action may be taken in the case other than an application to have the stay lifted. A case can also be stayed when an offer of payment is accepted or if the court feels it is necessary

Stay of Execution
An order following which judgment cannot be enforced without leave of the court

Striking a case out (striking out)
The court can strike out a case (prevent all further proceedings) if a party fails to comply with a rule, practice direction or court order. It can also happen if it appears there are no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending a claim. Either party (the defendant or the claimant) can ask the court to strike a case out

A summons issued to a person directing their attendance in Court to give evidence

Legal proceedings commenced by petition

Person bringing a suit before the Courts

Summary Judgment
A judgment obtained by a claimant where there is no defence to the case or the defence contains no valid grounds. A summary judgment can be obtained without a trial or hearing. A defendant can also obtain summary judgment if he or she can establish that the claimant has no real prospect of succeeding on the claim. You have to apply to the court for a summary judgement hearing to take place

Summary Offence
(see INDICTABLE, EITHER WAY OFFENCE) A criminal offence which is triable only by a Magistrates Court

Summary procedure
A procedure by which the court when making an order about costs, orders payment of a sum of money instead of fixed costs or detailed assessment

A review of the evidence and directions as to the law by a judge immediately before a jury retires to consider its verdict

Order to appear or to produce evidence to a court

Summons (Jury)
Order to attend for jury service

Summons (Witness)
Order to appear as a witness at a hearing

Supreme Court of Judicature
Collective name encompassing – High Court of Justice, Crown Court and Court of Appeal

A person’s undertaking to be liable for another’s default or non-attendance at Court

Suspended Sentence
A custodial sentence which will not take effect unless there is a subsequent offence within a specified period


Third party
Person who is not party to a legal case, but may be relevant because he or she owes the defendant money. In that case the defendant can issue a third party notice against such a party

An officer of the Supreme Court whose duties involve the enforcement of High Court arrest warrants

A public hearing in which the evidence in a case, and the law which applies, are examined

Trial bundles
These are the documents that are likely to be referred to in a trial or tribunal hearing. Identical bundles are prepared for the judge and the parties to the case

Trial contents
The contents of the trial include any written statements and documents in trial bundles

Trial Window
A period of time within which the case must be listed for trial


A promise, which can be enforced by law, made by a party (person) or their legal representative during legal proceedings

Unspecified amount of money
An unspecified amount of money is one which is not precise. For example, if you are claiming damages (compensation) for loss or injury, you might not be able to work out exactly what those damages are


Varied order
If a defendant has been ordered to pay an amount in full or by instalments, which they cannot afford, they can ask the court to vary the order to allow payment by instalments or by reduced instalments

The finding of guilty or not guilty by a jury

Vexatious litigant
A person who regularly brings court cases which have little chance of succeeding. The Attorney General can apply to the High Court for an order to prevent such as person form starting legal proceedings without permission.

Vice Chancellor
Senior judge and head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice (although the Lord Chancellor is the nominal head)

Something is voluntary when it is entered into without compulsion, as a result of the free choice of the person(s) concerned


Walking Possession
A signed agreement by a debtor not to remove goods levied by a bailiff under the authority of a warrant of execution and to allow the bailiff access at any time to inspect the goods, in consideration of which the bailiff leaves the goods in the possession of the debtor

Ward of Court
The title given to a minor who is the subject of a wardship order. The order ensures that custody of the minor is held by the Court with day to day care of the minor being carried out by an individual(s) or local authority. As long as the minor remains a ward of Court, all decisions regarding the minors upbringing must be approved by the Court, e.g. transfer to a different school, medical treatment etc

High Court action making a minor a ward of court

Warrant of Committal
Method of enforcing an order of the Court whereby the penalty for failing to comply with its terms is imprisonment; the bailiff is authorised to carry out the arrest and deliver the person to prison (or in some instances the Court)

Warrant of Delivery
Method of enforcing a judgment for the return of goods (or value of the goods) whereby a bailiff is authorised to recover the goods (or their value) from the debtor and return them to the creditor

Warrant of Execution
A method of enforcing a judgment, The bailiff is authorised to remove goods belonging to a defendant from their home or business for sale at public auction.

Warrant of Possession
This gives court bailiffs the authority to take possession of a property and evict the defendant in cases, where an order for possession has been granted by a court.

A person who gives evidence in Court, called to give evidence because they witnesses an event (see also Expert witness)

Witness summons
A document issued by a court which requires a person to give evidence in court or to produce a report or other documentation for the court

Written evidence / statement
A written statement of relevant facts which is submitted to the court.

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