Jargon Buster: Court F – S

Following on from our earlier jargon buster, this one will cover letters F – S, to help you gain a little more understanding of courtroom jargon.

Filing – The process of presenting documents to a court

Guarantor – A person who promises to make a payment on behalf of another should that person fail to make an agreed repayment

Hearing – The trial of a case in court

Injunction – A court order which restraining a person from a certain behaviour or action

Jurisdiction – The area of which a court legally holds authority

Jury – Members of the public sworn in to reach a verdict using the evidence heard in court

Juvenile – Someone under the age of 17

Liability – Something that is a responsibility, i.e. debt

Minor – Someone under the age of 18

Mitigation – A factor associated with a case that can be used to excuse actions. Used in order to minimise sentencing

Next Friend – A representative of a minor or someone who is mentally ill and unable to represent themselves during legal proceedings

Oath – A vow to God (or other religious figure) that what you’re saying during the hearing is true

Objection – A disagreement with an argument or question posed by another during a trial

Order – An instruction given by the court

Party – Individuals involved in a court hearing, e.g. defendant, claimants etc.

Plaintiff – Now known as the ‘claimant’ and refers to the person who has made the claim

Plea – The reply, from the defendant, to a claim made against them in court, i.e. guilty/ not guilty

QC – Queen’s Counsel

Quash – To declare something invalid

Remand – When the accused is kept in court or put on bail pending another court appearance

Settlement – The settlement of a case due to the voluntary agreement of the claimant and defendant

Slander – Words that are spoken and could have a negative effect on an individual’s reputation.

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