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.