Abandonment – A procedure by which a party gives up civil proceedings or an appeal.
Absolvitor – The judgment pronounced when a court decides in favour of a party against whom an action has been raised.
ACAS – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service; which offers a conciliation service for employment disputes.
Accountant in Bankruptcy – The administrative supervisor of sequestrations and personal insolvency. See also Bankruptcy.
Accountant of Court – An officer of court who formerly supervised the conduct of judicial factors and persons appointed as guardians of adults with incapacity. See now Accountant in Bankruptcy; Public Guardian.
Acknowledgement of service – When the particulars of a claim form (outlining details of the claim) are served on (delivered to) a defendant, they receive a response pack including a form which they must use to acknowledge they have received the claim. The defendant must file (return) the acknowledgment form within 14 days of receiving the particulars of the claim. The particulars can be served with, or separately from the claim form.
Act and warrant – The interlocutor in sequestration proceedings which confirms the appointment of the trustee.
Action – Proceedings raised by a person in a civil court seeking enforcement of a legal right against another (the defender). See also Summons and Petition
Acts of Sederunt Rules – passed by the Lords of Council and Session (the judges of the Court of Session) relating to civil procedure.
Ad factum praestandum – For the performance of a certain act.
Ad fundandam jurisdictionem – For the purpose of founding jurisdiction.
Ad hoc. – Referring only to a particular case or to a specified set of circumstances.
Ad infinitum – Without limit.
Ad interim – In the meantime, e.g. in an action for an interdict, an order may be made ad interim before a final or
perpetual order is made.
Adjournment – postponing a fixed hearing date
Adjudication – An action used to take possession of heritable property, i.e. where a seller of land refuses to give a conveyance to the buyer, or as a means of taking a debtor’s land to satisfy his creditor’s claim for debt. This procedure has now been abolished.
Adjust – To alter the written pleadings of an action or its defence in its early stages.
Ad longum – At length.
Administrative Court – the Administrative Court is part of the High Court. It deals with applications for judicial review.
Administration order – A Court order appointing an administrator for a company in financial difficulties.
Admiralty Court – Part of the High Court. An admiralty claim is a claim for the arrest of a ship at sea to satisfy a debt.
Adversarial – Arrangements designed to bring out the truth of a matter, through adversarial (conflict based) techniques such as cross-examination.
Advising – The occasion when a judgment of the High Court of Justiciary or the Court of Session is delivered.
Advocate – A member of the Scottish Bar.
Advocate General – A UK Government Minister and the UK Government’s chief Scottish legal adviser.
Advocate, Lord – See, Her Majesty’s Advocate, Lord Advocate.
Affidavit – A signed statement made on oath. Some cases or evidence may be dealt with by affidavit evidence.
Affirmation – The undertaking and propose by a witness, who does not wish to swear an oath, to tell the truth when giving evidence in court.
Age Discrimination – unfavourable treatment on the grounds of someone’s age; or a provision or practice which disadvantages a particular person because of their age and which would tend to disadvantage others in that particular age group.
Aggravated Damages – Are often awarded by the tribunal in discrimination cases, where it can be shown that the discriminatory behaviour has been particularly offensive.
Allocation – The process by which a judge assigns a defended civil case, to one of three case management tracks, the small claims track, the fast track or the multi-track
Allocation questionnaire – A case (claim) is allocated to a case management track, when an allocation questionnaire has been returned completed by the people involved (parties) in the case. Reponses to the questionnaire provide a judge with information on case value and other matters, to assist him or her to allocate the case to the correct track
Alternative dispute resolution – These are schemes such as arbitration and mediation which are designed to allow parties to find a resolution to their problem, without legal action. A party’s refusal to consider ADR could lead to sanctions (penalties) against that party, by a judge, even if the party wins the case
Amendment – 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
Ancillary relief – Additional claims (e.g. in respect of maintenance) attached to the petition for divorce/judicial separation/nullity
Animus – Will or intention.
Annul – To declare no longer valid
Answers – A statement setting out the factual and legal response of a party to proceedings raised against him or her.
Appeal – An appeal is a re-hearing of a case by a higher court than the court which first heard the case. A re-hearing means re-consideration by the appellate court of the evidence led and the legal issues considered by the court below.
Appellant – A person appealing to a higher court or body against a decision made in a lower court or body
Applicant – Person making the request or demand, e.g. person who issues an application
Application – The act of applying to a civil court to ask it to do something, for example to start proceedings
Appraisement or appraisal – Valuation of goods seized under warrant of execution prior to sale
Apportioning – To place or assign
Arbitrator or Arbitration – A process in which both sides agree to use an independent arbitrator (an impartial person) who gives a binding decision in the matter. The person making the claim (claimant) has to choose between going to arbitration and court – it is not usually possible to take a claim to court after it has been through arbitration
Appearance – The formal act whereby the defender in an action intimates his intention to defend.
Arrestment – Legal attachment of money or moveable property in the hands of a third party.
Articles of group – Conditions of sale by auction.
Assignation – The transfer of a right from one party to another.
Assisted person (legally) – A party to legal proceedings who is receiving legal aid
Assured tenancy – A tenancy defined by the Housing Act 1996 where the tenant enjoys security of tenure
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
Assoilzie – In civil law it means to find for the defender or respondent in respect of the claim(s) made by the pursuer.
Auditor of Court – A person responsible for examining legal accounts. The Auditors of the Court of Session and sheriff courts, Respectively, examine and “tax” accounts of expenses incurred by parties in civil actions in the respective courts.
Automatic transfer – Providing that a number of criteria are met, proceedings must be transferred automatically to the court nearest to the defendant’s home.
Aver – To state or allege.
Avizandum – To be considered. Judgment is deferred, an oral or written decision to be given later.
Award – Result of an arbitration hearing or the amount of damages assessed by a Court
Bailiff – 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
Bankrupt – Insolvent – unable to pay creditors and having all goods/effects administered by a liquidator or trustee and sold for the benefit of those creditors; as a result of an order under the Insolvency Act 1986
Bankruptcy – Where a person is unable to pay his or her debts, a creditor may apply to the court for that person’s sequestration, that is to have that person declared bankrupt.
Bar – The collective term for barristers
Barrister – (see Counsel; Silk) A member of the bar: a lawyer entitled to represent clients in all the courts
Basic Award – is calculated by taking an employee’s age, years of service and average weekly pay to arrive at a figure. The weekly pay figure is limited to a maximum of £380 per week and the number of year’s service is capped at a maximum of 20 years.
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
Bond of caution – Where the court appoints a party or other person to find caution (a sum of money as security), this may be done by depositing cash, or by arranging a bond with an insurance company. It ensures that money is available in the event that the security is required. Note ‘Caution’ is pronounced to rhyme with station. See also Caution.
Books of Council and Session – A popular title for the Registers of Deeds and Probative Writs in which, according to the directions they contain, deeds, etc., may be registered for preservation or preservation and execution.
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
Books of Sederunt – Records of the Acts of Sederunt in the Court of Session.
Breach of Contract – Occurs when either an employer or employee breaks one of the terms of an employment contract. For example, if an employer does not pay an employee’s wages, or if an employee does not work the agreed hours.
Not all the terms of a contract are written down. The breach may relate to a verbally agreed term, a written term, or an ‘implied’ term of a contract.
Brief – 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
Brevitatis causa – For the sake of brevity.
Bulk Centre – See Northampton Bulk Centre
Bumping – ‘Bumping’ occurs where an employee whose job is redundant ‘bumps’ another employee out of their job so that the one who is ‘bumped’ is the one who is actually made redundant.
This tends to happen when a more senior employee is prepared to take a more junior role to avoid redundancy.
Business address – Premises or place from which business activities take place
By order – A hearing of a case put out for the hearing at the instance of the court and not on the motion of a party.
Calling list – The list of cases calling in the Court of Session on a particular day.
Case – 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 Management Conference (CMC) – This is a meeting between all parties to a case and the Judge to check the progress of the case, with regards to costs and other matters. The numbers of CMCs held depend on the complexity of the case
Case management tracks – Civil cases are allocated to one of three case management tracks, depending on financial value, issues of law and the likely duration (length) of the case. The three tracks are (i) the small claims track in which cases to the value of five thousand pounds can be considered and the claimant does not have to have legal representation (ii) the fast track for cases of value between five and fifteen thousand pounds and (iii) the multi- track for cases of value over fifteen thousand pounds. Legal representation is advisable in the fast and multi-tracks
Case number – A unique reference number allocated to each case by the issuing Court
Case value – The financial value of a case – known as case value – is one of the factors used to asses which track a case (claim) should be allocated to. See also case management tracks
Cause – A case before a court.
Caution – Security (pronounced ‘Kayshun’; it rhymes with station). (1) A party or other person may be required to find caution, that is security, against the occurrence of a certain event, e.g., for the expenses of an action or for the protection of an estate.
(2) A sum of money ordered to be lodged by an offender convicted of a criminal offence as security for good behaviour for a specified period of time. If the offender is of good behaviour the money is returned.
Caveat – “Warning”. A legal document lodged in court by a party so that no order or ruling affecting him or her passes in his or
her absence or without receiving prior notice and an opportunity to be heard by the court before any order is made.
Centralised Attachment of Earnings Payments (CAPS) – A computer system that manages attachments of earnings orders in bulk.
Certificate of Legal Aid Costs – A certificate of costs allowed following taxation by a judicial or taxing officer (Previously referred to as an Allocatur)
Certificate of service – A document stating the date and manner in which the parties were served (given) a document. For example where a claim form is served by the claimant court rule requires the claimant to file a certificate of service within seven days of service of the claim form otherwise he may not obtain judgment in default.
Cessate – A grant of representation of limited duration which has ceased and expired
Chambers – 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
Chancery Division – The Chancery Division is part of the High Court It deals with cases involving land law, trusts and company law.
Charge – 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
Cite / Citation – (1) To summon to court a party, witness or juror. (2) To refer in argument to some authority such as a statute or decided case.
Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) – A charity which can offer free legal and financial advice to the general public.
Civil – Matters concerning private rights and not offences against the state
Civil case or claim – A civil dispute that involves court action. See claim
Civil Justice or civil law – A branch of the law which applies to the rights and dealings of private citizens, (including such matters as unpaid debts, negligence and the enforcement of contracts). It does not include criminal, immigration, employment or family matters
Civil Justice Reforms – The result of the Access to Justice report by Lord Woolf The aim is to provide more effective access to Justice through quicker, cheaper and more proportionate justice for defended cases It introduced a unified set of Rules and Practice Directions for the County and High Courts, and Judicial Case Management The reforms came into effect on 26 April 1999
Civil Procedure – The rules and procedures to be followed for civil cases in the county courts and High Court
Civil Procedure Rules – The rules and procedures for proceedings in civil courts England and Wales. An important feature is active case management by the courts.
Claim – Proceedings issued in the County or High Court. Previously know as an Action. See also Civil case or claim
Claimant – The person issuing the claim. Previously known as the Plaintiff
Claim form – Proceedings in a civil court start with the issuing of a claim form. The form, which is issued by the court (after the claimant has filed the form in court), includes a summary of the nature of the claim and the remedy (compensation or amends) sought
Claim Lodged – When a Claim form has been received by the employment tribunal office.
Claim Production Centre (CPC) – See Northampton Bulk Centre
Codicil – An addendum signed and executed which amends or adds something to a will
Collaboration / collaborative – Working together to solve a problem
College of Justice – Created in 1532, it consisted of the Lords of Council and Session (the judges of the Court of Session) who are the Senators of the College of Justice, the Faculty of Advocates, the clerks to the Signet (later the Writers to HM Signet, a Society of solicitors) and the macers (the court officer who carried a mace before the judges). It may now be said to consist of the senators, Advocates, Writers to the Signet, Solicitors to the Supreme Courts, Macers and Supreme Courts staff.
Commercial action – Civil proceedings defined in rules of court heard in a Commercial Court in the Court of Session or a specified Sheriff Court.
Commercial Court – Part of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court.
Commissioner of Oaths – Solicitors authorised by the Lord Chancellor to administer oaths and affirmations to a statement of evidence
Commissary – Relating to establishing the succession rights and disposal of a deceased person’s estate.
Commissary Court – The court which grants a title to executors or administrators of a deceased persons’ estate.
Commissioner of Justiciary, Lord – See, Lord Commissioner of Justiciary.
Common Law – The law established, by precedent, from judicial decisions and established within a community
Compensation – Usually a sum of money offered in recompense (to make amends) for an act, error or omission that harmed someone. The harm suffered may have been loss, personal injury or inconvenience
Compensatory Award – The maximum an employee can be awarded is set by legislation annually. This award is intended to compensate the employee for financial loss relating to their dismissal, including expenses and loss of benefits. When calculating a Compensatory Award the employment tribunal considers the following: Loss of wages, future loss of wages, loss of perks, how the employee was dismissed, loss of employment protection and loss of pension rights.
Compensation order – An order requiring an offender convicted of an offence to pay compensation to a person for personal injury, loss, or damage caused directly or indirectly, or alarm or distress caused directly against whom or against whose property the acts constituting the offence were directed.
Complainant – A person who makes a complaint
Compearance – The appearance of a defender or respondent in civil proceedings.
Compromise Agreement – Replaced by settlement agreements.
Conciliator – the ACAS officer who mediates between both parties in an attempt to negotiate settlement before the final hearing.
Conclusion – The statement of the precise order sought in a civil action in the Court of Session.
Concurrent Writ – A duplicate of the original writ bearing the same date and expiring at the same time as the original
Condescendence – A written statement in an action setting out the factual and legal grounds of action of the pursuer in a civil action.
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
Confirmation – The authority obtained from a sheriff authorising a person (an executor) to gather and distribute the estate of a deceased person.
Consignation – The deposit in court or with a third party under court authority of money or an article in dispute.
Consistorial Relating – to certain family matters, including actions of divorce , nullity of marriage, and legitimacy.
Contact order – A formal order of the court allowing one person to see a child for residential or non-residential access. Formerly called access.
Continued diet – A hearing in a case which has been continued from an earlier date.
Constructive Dismissal – Constructive Dismissal is where an employer has acted in such a way towards the employee that allows them to leave their job and treat themselves as dismissed. Whilst the employer has not actually fired the employee, they may have brought the employment to an end by their behaviour.
Consultation – If an employer fails to consult employees (and their representatives if applicable) in a redundancy situation, the redundancy dismissals may be deemed unfair.
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.
Contributory Negligence – Partial responsibility of a claimant for the injury in respect of which he/she claims damages
Costs (civil) – In civil proceedings the general rule is the person who wins the case is entitled to his or her costs. The court may decide to reduce the costs to be paid by the losing side if it feels that the winner has behaved unreasonably. The award of costs is at the court’s discretion
COT3 – The agreement used by ACAS and signed by all parties to record a settlement once it has been agreed.
Counsel – A member of the Faculty of Advocates practising at the Scottish Bar. An advocate has the right to appear before any court in Scotland or the UK Supreme Court.
Counterclaim – A claim made by a defender against a pursuer in a civil action raised against him or her.
County Court – County courts deal with civil matters such as disputes over contracts, unpaid debts and negligence claims. County courts deal with all monetary claims up to £50,000. There are 218 county courts in England and Wales. The county court is a court of the first instance – where civil cases start
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
Court fees – The County Court will charge to issue a claim in a civil case and to launch enforcement proceedings if the defendant ignores the judgment of the court. You will also be charged if you make applications to the court
Court of Protection – The branch of the High Court with jurisdiction over the estates of people mentally incapable of handling their own financial affairs
Court sanction – See sanction
Court of Session – The supreme civil court. The judges of the Court of Session are also the judges of the High Court of Justiciary, the supreme criminal court.
Court of summary jurisdiction – This is a court sitting without a jury hearing summary criminal proceedings on summary complaint. The courts are the sheriff court when hearing criminal proceedings on summary complaint, a stipendary magistrate or a Justice of the Peace Court.
Covenant – A formal agreement or a contract constituting an obligation to perform an act
Crave – The statement of the precise order sought in a civil proceedings in the sheriff court.
Creditor – A person to whom another person (or debtor) is obliged in some monetary or other obligation.
Cross-examination – Questions asked of a witness on behalf of a party who has not led the witness are referred to as cross-examination.
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.
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.
All classes of offence in criminal proceedings.
Committals for sentence from Magistrates’ Court.
Appeals against convictions and sentences imposed at Magistrates’ Court.
Class 4 offences only in criminal proceedings.
Committals for sentence from Magistrates’ Court.
Appeals against convictions and sentences.
Curator – (not ‘curaytor’) A person either entitled by law or appointed by the court or an individual to administer the estate of another, as of a young or a person with mental incapacity. See now Guardian.
Curator ad litem – A person appointed by the court to look after the interests of a party to proceedings who is under legal disability but has no guardian.
Curator bonis – The person formerly appointed by the court to manage the estate of a young person in place of his legal guardian or to manage the estate of an adult suffering from a mental disorder.
Curatory – Where a person was too young, or infirm, to look after his or her own (financial) affairs, a curator or judicial factor was appointed to do so (a curator or judicial factor). See now, Guardian.
Custody order – Now known as a ‘residence order’ by which a court states with whom a child will live.
Damages – A sum of money awarded by a court as compensation for a wrong or injury.
Date of service (civil claims) – The date of service of the claim is the date upon which the defendant receives the claim form issued by the court on behalf of the claimant. If the ‘particulars of claim’ section is completed or the particulars of claim are attached, the defendant must acknowledge receipt within 14 days
Debt recovery after judgment – See Enforcement
Debtor – A person who owes money to someone or to an organisation
Decree – An order of the Court in proceedings commenced by petition
Decree Absolute – A final certificate, resulting from an application, dissolving a marriage
Decree Nisi – Order for divorce unless cause to contrary is shown within a set period
Declaration – Court order setting out the rights of a party in the form of a statement
Deduction from Wages – If an employer reduces or fails to pay wages without agreement in writing this amounts to an unlawful deduction from wages even if the employee owes money to the employer. The law does not of course remove an employer’s right to recover money properly due to him from an employee (e.g. typically to recover an overpayment of expenses or wages). It does however, save in a few special cases, mean that the employer is not allowed to recover the money by taking the law into his own hands and deducting it from future wages without the consent of the employee.
Deed – A legal document which sets out the terms of an agreement, which is signed by both parties
Defence or defending a claim (civil) – When the defendant disputes the claim made by the claimant
Defendant (civil) – The person who has a claim made against them. They can defend (dispute the claim) or admit liability, in part or in full
Demotion – is a reduction in rank, often accompanied with a lower pay status. Most people view a demotion as a punishment, as it implies that the individual was incapable of performing at a higher rank.
Deponent – Person giving evidence by affidavit
Deposition – A statement of evidence written down and sworn on oath, or by affirmation
Designated Civil Judge – A Judge designated to deal with the Civil Justice Reforms for a group of courts
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 (civil) – If the defendant offers to pay to the claimant an amount by instalments and the claimant refuses the offer, an officer of the court will make an assessment of what would be reasonable for the defendant to pay
Devi – Person to whom freehold land is given by a will
De facto – According to the fact; in point of fact.
De fideli administratione – Of faithful administration. This phrase is used to describe an oath taken, for example, by an interpreter for a witness.
De jure – According to law.
De novo – Of new.
De plano – Immediately, summarily, without attention to forms. A decree de plano is one in which the court grants a decree or order in the terms sought.
Debate – Intermediate step in procedure when legal points are considered in a civil action before the facts are determined, and which can result in the conclusion of a case or a part of it without evidence being led. The word is sometimes used for a hearing on a preliminary legal issue in criminal proceedings.
Debtor – A person obliged to pay some monetary or other obligation to another (the creditor).
Decern – A formal word meaning to give (final) decree or judgment and authorises an extract of the decree or order.
Declarator – An order declaring that some right exists or does not exist which has legal consequence.
Decree – The common term for a final judgment. (The word is accented on the first syllable).
Decree by default – A final order granted to a party against another party who has failed to appear, to lodge a document or do something required by the court or rules of court.
Decree in absence – A final order granted to the pursuer in a civil action where the defender has not lodged a notice of intention to defend or has not lodged defences.
Defences – The statement by way of defence lodged by a defender in a civil action, being the party against whom a civil action is raised.
Defender – A person against whom a civil action is raised. The word “defendant” is not used in Scotland.
Delict – A civil wrong.
Diet – The date fixed by the court for hearing a case for any one of a variety of purposes.
Diligence Procedure – for enforcing an order of the court, or for recovering documents from an opponent or other person; or for obtaining the evidence of witnesses before a commissioner. It also applies to an order to preserve money or property of a party until civil proceedings have been concluded.
Directions (civil) – case management instructions given by the judge which give a time-table for pre-trial procedures. In cases allocated to the small claims track the judge will usually give standard directions, in cases allocate to the multi-track, there may be several hearings on directions
Disability – 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
Disability Discrimination – It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the grounds that they have a disability by either treating them less favourably than they otherwise would (e.g. by demoting or dismissing them) or by failing to make reasonable adjustments.
Discharge – Release from an order or obligation.
Disciplinary proceedings – If an employer is concerned or unhappy about an employee’s work, they may look to take disciplinary action against them. Examples of why an employer may be concerned or unhappy include the standard of work or behaviour at work. They may also be concerned about the level of absence from work.
Disclosure – 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
Discontinuance – Notice given by the Court, on instruction by the claimant that they no longer wish to proceed with the case
Dismissal – To make order or decision that a claim be ceased
Disposal – See Case disposal
Dispute – A civil problem not dealt with in court, (a civil dispute which comes to court is called a civil case); challenging the views of the opposing party in a civil case
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
Divisional Court – As well as having an original jurisdiction of their own, all three divisions of the High Court have appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals from lower Courts and tribunals. The Divisional Court of the Chancery Division deals with appeals in bankruptcy matters from the County Court. The Divisional Court of the Queen’s Bench Division deals largely with certain appeals on points of law from many Courts. The Divisional Court of the Family Division deals largely with appeals from Magistrates Courts in matrimonial matters a ‘next friend’ or ‘guardian ad litem’
Dock – Enclosure in criminal Court for the defendant on trial
Domicile – Where a person lives or a company or body has its registered address or seat.
EAT – Abbreviation for Employment Appeals Tribunal. The EAT is the court where any appeals from the employment tribunal are heard.
Employment Tribunal (ET) – The main forum in which employment disputes are heard.
Enforcement – 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
Eodem die (eo die) – The same day.
Equal Pay – Equal Pay Claims can be brought by both employees and self-employed people who have been contracted to execute work personally. If a person is considering making an equal pay claim they must have a real life comparator of the opposite sex who is earning more than them, but is doing (i) like work, (ii) work related as equivalent or (iii) work of equal value.
Estate – The rights and assets of a person in property
ET1 Claim form – Employment Tribunal Claim Form. Standard form on which the claimant MUST submit their claim.
ET3 Response – Standard form on which the respondent MUST submit their response.
Et sequentes paginate (Et seq) – And the following pages.
Execution – (see Levy) Seizure of debtors goods following non payment of a Court order
Executor – A person or persons specified to carry out the provisions of a will
Exempt – To be freed from liability or allegiance
Ex Gratia Payment – Sum of money paid where there is no obligation or liability to pay it.
Exhibit – 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
Ex facie – On the face of it; evidently.
Ex officio – As holder of a particular office or appointment.
Ex parte – Proceedings are ex parte when the party against whom they are raised does not have to be heard, e.g. in an application for interim interdict where the defender has not lodged a caveat which entitles him or her to be heard before the interim order can be granted.
Ex proprio motu – On the court’s own initiative.
Ex tempore – At the time. For example, an ex tempore judgment given there and then.
Executor dative – A person appointed by the court to gather and distribute a the estate or property of a deceased person.
Executor nominate – The person named in the will of the deceased to gather and distribute the estate or property of a deceased person. .
Exoner – To discharge from liability. Thus, a judicial factor may seek exoneration and discharge by the court.
Expenses – The costs of the proceedings that the court may order a successful party to recover from an unsuccessful party to proceedings.
Extra Division – A Division of the Inner House of the Court of Session other than the First or Second Division.
Extract/extract decree – A written instrument signed by a clerk of court containing a statement of a decree or order of the court and, if necessary, a warrant to charge the debtor and to execute all competent diligence against person or property.
Extrajudicial settlement – This refers to an agreement between the parties to settle the case without the court having to decide the case.
Fast Track – The path to which defended claims of not more than £15,000 are allocated. See also: Allocation; Case Management tracks
Fatal accident inquiry – An inquiry before a sheriff into the circumstances of a death of a person. Such an inquiry must be held where the person died at work or in legal custody.
Fees and costs – see Court fees
Fiat – A decree or command
Filing – 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
First deliverance – This is the first order in petition proceedings such as lpetitions for liquidation of a company and sequestrations (personal bankruptcy).
First Division – The Division of the Inner House of the Court of Seesion presided over by the Lord President.
First hearing – The first time a case calls in court.
Fixed costs – Costs in civil cases that are set at a certain level and can be claimed in specific circumstances. For example, if a defendant does not acknowledge a claim, the claimant can obtain judgment and an order for fixed costs to offset the cost of beginning the claim
Fixed diet – A date fixed by the High Court of Justiciary for a trial to proceed.
Fixed Term Contract – a fixed-term contract is one which either:
lasts for a specified time, set in advance
ends with the completion of a specified task
ends when a specified event does or does not take place
Unless there are special circumstances that can be justified, fixed-term employees must be treated in the same way as comparable permanent employees.
Floating sheriff – A full-time or permanent sheriff who is not resident at a court but may sit at more than one sheriff court. See also Resident sheriff.
Forum non conveniens – The court, although having jurisdiction is not the appropriate court for the matter in dispute.
Fund in medio – The property or money in the hands of the holder of the Fund (money or property) in an action of multiplepoinding.
Garden Leave – Garden leave is the term given to a situation whereby an employee is required to serve out a period of notice at home. During this period the employee continues to receive all salary and benefits but is prohibited from commencing employment with new employers until the gardening leave period has expired.
Garnishee – A summons issued by a plaintiff, against a third party, for seizure of money or other assets in their keeping, but belonging to the defendant
Grievance – Put simply, a grievance is a complaint. If an employee is having a problem at work, is concerned about an issue that has arisen at work, or wishes to make a complaint about a colleague or a manager, then they can raise a “grievance”.
Employers should have formal grievance procedures in place to address the handling of such complaints.
Gross Misconduct – Conduct so serious as to justify summary dismissal of an employee. Acts deemed to be classed as gross misconduct are often listed in an employer’s disciplinary procedure and can include theft, fighting, serious negligence, breaches of health and safety indecent behaviour, dishonesty and offensive behaviour.
Group Litigation Orders – A Group Litigation Order can be made in a claim in which there are multiple parties or claimants. The order will provide for the case management of claims which give rise to common or related issues of fact or law
Guarantor – Someone who promises to make payment for another if payment is not made by the person responsible for making the repayments of a loan or hire purchase agreement
Guardian – A person appointed by a parent or a court to act as the legal representative of the child in the event of the parent’s death, or a person appointed by a court to act as guardian in relation to the property, financial affairs or personal welfare of a person with incapacity.
Harassment – Is a term that is often linked to discrimination claims. Harassment can be claimed if it can be shown that certain actions violate the person’s dignity, or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
Haver – The person in possession of a document or property from whom a party to proceedings wishes to obtain it for the purposes of the proceedings. See also Recovery of documents and Specification of documents.
Hearing – Any proceedings called before a judge.
Health and Safety – is an area concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. The goal of all occupational health and safety programmes is to foster a safe work environment. In the UK employees are given protection under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Her Majesty’s Advocate – The senior Law Officer responsible for the prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths and the principal legal adviser to the Scottish Government. Referred to as “Her Majesty’s Advocate” in criminal matters and the “Lord Advocate” in civil matters.
Heritable estate/property – The term for property in the form of land and houses,as distinct from moveable property such as jewelry or an animal.
High Court – A civil Court which consists of three divisions:- i) Queen’s Bench (can be known as King’s Bench Division if a King is assuming the throne) – civil disputes for recovery of money, including breach of contract, personal injuries, libel/slander;
ii) Family – concerned with matrimonial maters and proceedings relating to children, e.g. wardship; iii) Chancery – property matters including fraud and bankruptcy
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
Holiday Pay – Most workers have the right to take a minimum amount of paid holiday. This is called statutory holiday. The rules about statutory holiday apply regardless of how long an employee has worked and regardless of their age. All employees’ are entitled to take 5.6 weeks’ pro rate paid holiday a year. A contract of employment may give additional rights to paid holiday, called contractual holiday, but it cannot give less.
Home court (civil) – The court nearest to the defendant’s home or place of business
Housing claim – The procedure that a landlord may use in a county court to recover land or property (and money for arrears of rent or damage to property, if applicable). See also Possession Claim Online (PCOL)
Impartial – Not having or showing any favouritism to one side in a dispute
Independent – Person or organisation not connected to any of the parties in a dispute or legal case
Indirect Discrimination – Indirect discrimination is where an employer has applied a provision or practice which disadvantages an employee and which would tend to disadvantage others of the same race, sex, age, etc. It is not unlawful if an employer can justify the provision or practice by showing that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
Ibidem (Ibid) – In the same place.
In for – As applied to a decree of the court signifies that it has been granted against a party for whom defences or answers have been lodged, as opposed to decree in absence.
In hoc statu – For the time being, at this stage.
In litem – In the case or action.
In meditatione fugae – About to leave the country.
Incapax – As applied to a person, signifies legal, mental, or physical incapacity. The term now used is “adult with incapacity”.
In praesentia dominorum – In the presence of the Lords. Usually abbreviated to “IPD” after the signature of the chairman of the court where more than one judge of the court is sitting. The “Lords” refers to the Lords of Council and Session, or Lords Commissioners of Justiciary, i.e. the judges of the Supreme Courts, the senators of the College of Justice.
In retentis – Evidence taken to lie in retentis is evidence laid aside until the proper time arrives for putting it before a court.
Inhibition – A procedure which prohibits a debtor from burdening his heritable property or parting with it, or part of it, to the detriment of a creditor.
Initial writ – The document by which civil proceedings in the sheriff court are normally initiated. See also Petitions; Small claims; Summary applications; Summary causes.
Injunction – 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.
Injury to Feelings – Compensation for injury to feelings can be awarded by the tribunal in discrimination claims.
In general terms, the employment tribunal will consider the hurt and distress caused to the employee and make an appropriate award. There is currently no cap on the amount that a tribunal can award for injury to feelings.
Inner House – The appellate division of the Court of Session (one of the Supreme Courts of Scotland). Originally so called on the historical and topographical ground that their courts lay further from the entrance to the court house than did the Outer House.
Insolvency – The state of being unable to pay one’s debts.
Insolvency practitioner – An accountant or solicitor, qualified in terms of the Insolvency Act 1986 to act as liquidator or supervisor in relation to a company unable to payts debts, or as trustee or supervisor in relation to an individual unable to pay his or her debts.
Instance – The part of a summons, writ, or other document initiating proceedings in court in which the parties to the proceedings are identified and designed.
Inspection of Documents – (see Disclosure of documents) Arrangements made by the parties to allow mutual exchange and copying of documents
Instalments – A method of paying a debt in several parts at intervals. Payment by instalments is agreed to make the burden of repayment lighter
Interest – A charge for borrowed money, a percentage of the sum borrowed
Interlocutor – A formal order made by a court containing its decision.
Intermediate diet – A hearing in summary criminal proceedings which allows the court to check whether the case is likely to proceed on the date assigned for trial. A purpose is to minimise inconvenience to witnesses etc. if the trial is adjourned.
Inter alia – Among other things.
Interdict – A judicial prohibition or court order preventing someone from doing something. In an emergency, interim interdict can be obtained in the absence of the person against whom the order is sought (i.e ex parte).
Interim – In the meantime. A temporary court order made until a final order is made.
Interrogatories – Written questions adjusted by the court, to be put to witnesses examined under a commission to take that
witness’s evidence instead of the witness coming to court.
Interpleader – A claim by a third party to ownership of goods levied upon under a warrant of execution which is disputed by a creditor. The Court then issues an interpleader summons for the parties to attend Court to adjudicate on rightful ownership
Intestate – Without leaving a will
Interim order – An order made during proceedings which is not a final order
Issue / issuing – To initiate legal proceedings in pursuit of a claim
Investigative Meeting – Employers should carry out a reasonable investigation, adhering to the Acas code, if they are considering taking disciplinary action against an employee. Any investigatory meeting should not result in disciplinary action without a disciplinary hearing having taken place. If paid suspension is necessary during the investigation, this should be as brief as possible and kept under review. The employer should make clear that this is not in itself a form of disciplinary action.
Inter vivos – Between living persons.
Inventory of deceased’s estate – A list of a deceased person’s estate or property, heritable and moveable.
Inventory of process – A list of the documents in a court process.
Ipso facto – By that very fact.
Ipso jure – By the law itself.
Judge – The judicial office holder who presides over proceedings, i.e. a senator of the College of Justice (a Lord Commissioner of Justiciary in the High Court, a Lord Ordinary in the Court of Session or a sheriff). A judge is addressed as “My Lord” or “My Lady”, as the case may be.
Judgment (Not judgement.) – The decision of a court setting out its reasons for the decision. In the High Court of Justiciary and the Court of Session it is called an “Opinion”. In the Sheriff Court it is called a “Note” attached to the interlocutor.
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
Judicial Factor – Usually a solicitor or accountant appointed by the court in specific matters.
Judicial directions – See directions
Judicial discretion (civil) – Judges have the power to decide how best to manage the case on the individual facts. They do not necessarily have to look at how similar cases are managed. The judge has very wide case management powers under Rule 3 of the civil procedure rules to decide on the evidence parties produce how best to manage their case
Judicial review – A remedy whereby the Court of Session may review and if necessary set aside or rectify the decision of public officials or bodies where no other form of appeal is available. 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
Jurat – 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
Juror – (see Jury) A person who has been summoned by a Court to be a member of the jury
Jurisdiction – The power of a court to entertain particular cases as determined by factors such as location or district, or the value or type of the case, or the residence or domicile of a person. The area and matters over which a Court has legal authority
Jury – A group of lay persons chosen to decide upon issues of fact in legal proceedings. In criminal proceedings, a jury has 15 jurors; in civil proceedings, a jury has 12 jurors. Body of jurors sworn to reach a verdict according to the evidence in a Court
Jus relictae/relicti – The right of a widow/widower to one third or one half, as the case may be, of her deceased husband’s/his deceased wife’s personal estate.
Just and Equitable – a tribunal has a discretion to allow certain tasks, for example, to extend a time limit if they are convinced that it is “just and equitable” to do so.
Justice of the Peace – A justice of the peace is a lay magistrate (ie. not a professional judge) who sits in the Justice of the Peace Court. A justice is addressed as “Your Honour”. A 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
Justiciary Appeal Court – The High Court of Justiciary sitting as an appellate court hearing appeals from trials heard in summary cases (cases heard on summary complaint). See also Summary procedure; Summary complaint.
Justice Clerk – Lord See, Lord Justice Clerk.
Justice General – Lord See, Lord Justice General of Scotland.
Juvenile – Person under 17 years of age
Landlord – A person or organisation which owns land and / or buildings which are leased to tenants
Landlord and Tenant Act – Act which empowers applications (seeking extension of a lease or some other action concerning tenancy
Land Register – The register of interests in land under the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979 which supercedes the recording of deeds constituting or transferring rights in land under the Register of Sasines. See also Register of Sasines.
Law – 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
Lawyer – 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 off – is the temporary suspension or permanent termination of employment of an employee.
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.
Lease – The letting of land or tenements, e.g. rent etc, for property for a prescribed period
Leave – 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 Personal Representative – The person to whom a grant of probate or letters of ADMINISTRATION has been issued
Legal representation – See Counsel, Barrister, Solicitor
Legal right – The rights of spouses, children, civil partners, to certain property of a deceased person.
Legitim – The legal share (one half or one third, as the case maybe) of a parent’s free moveable estate due on death to the children.
Legatee – Person to whom personal estate is given by will
Less favourable treatment – Occurs when an employee or worker does not receive conditions or benefits granted to others.
Examples of less favourable treatment would include not being given a bonus or receiving fewer paid holidays than comparable employees.
Letters of Administration – Authority granted by a Probate Registry to someone interested in the estate of a person who has died without leaving a will. The order allows the ‘administrator’ to carry out the duties relating to the estate
Levy – (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
Liability – Responsibility or obligation. For example, a debt is a liability or responsibility.
Libel – A written and published statement/article which infers damaging remarks on a persons reputation
Licence – Permission to carry out an act that would otherwise be considered illegal
Lien – A legal right to withhold the goods/property of another until payment is made
Liferent – The right of a person during his or her life to use and enjoy property.
Limitation – The specific time-limit in which you must issue proceedings in your claim
Liquidation – The procedure for winding up and dissolving a limited company.
Liquidator – The person appointed to collect the assets, adjust and settle claims of creditors of a company in liquidation.
Listing – When a hearing date has been fixed for a case
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
Litigation – 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
Litigation Risk – The risk that all parties face in the possibility of losing their case.
Loco parentis – In place of a parent.
Loco tutoris – In the place of a tutor.
Locus – Place.
Lodging – 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
Lord Advocate – The senior Law Officer responsible for the prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths in Scotland, and the principal legal adviser to the Scottish Government. Referred to as “Her Majesty’s Advocate” in criminal matters and the “Lord Advocate” in civil matters.
Lord Commissioner of Justiciary – The formal title of a judge of the High Court of Justiciary. The judges of the High Court of Justiciary are also the judges of the Court of Session.
Lord Justice Clerk – The second senior judge in Scotland. He or she presides over the Second Division of the Court of Session.
Lord Justice General of Scotland – The most senior criminal judge, president of the High Court of Justiciary. The position is, in modern times, held by the Lord President of the Court of Session.
Lord of Council and Session – The formal title of a judge sitting as a judge in the Court of Session. The judges of the Court of Session are also the judges of the High Court of Justiciary.
Lord Ordinary – The title of a judge sitting in the Outer House of the Court of Session hearing a case at first instance.
Lord President of the Court of Session – The most senior civil judge, president of the Court of Session and the head of the judiciary. Also holds the position of Lord Justice General.
Mace – An ornamental staff of authority borne by a macer before a judge of the Court of Session or High Court of Justiciary and displayed in his or her court while it is sitting.
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)
Maintenance Pending Suit – A temporary order for financial provision made within divorce proceedings until such time as the proceedings are finalised (i.e. by issue of the Decree Absolute)
Mal-administration – Maladministration is administration that leads to injustice because of such factors as excessive delay, bias or arbitrary decision-making.
Mandatory – (1) A person within the jurisdiction ordered by the court to be responsible for the conduct of a cause on behalf of a party who is not resident in Scotland. (2) A requirement or provision that must be complied with.
Master – (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)
Maternity Leave – Employees who are expectant mothers have the statutory right to a minimum amount of maternity leave. Employers may also offer their own maternity leave scheme in addition to this.
Statutory Maternity Leave is for 52 weeks. Employees may also be entitled to receive Statutory Maternity Pay for up to 39 weeks of the leave.
Matter – (see Originating Application) Proceedings commenced by way of originating application
Matrimonial home – The home provided by one or both spouses or civil partners and forming a family residence.
Mediation – A process for resolving disagreements in which an impartial third party (the mediator) helps people in dispute to find a mutually acceptable resolution. If mediation fails court proceedings can be initiated or re-activated
Medical Evidence – In certain cases, such as disability discrimination claims, medical evidence may be required. This can be in the form of simply providing medical records, obtaining a medical report or calling an expert witness.
Mesne Profits – Sum of money claimed by the owner of property against someone not legally entitled to be in possession. Calculated from the date the notice to quit expires until the date possession is given up
Messengers-at-Arms – Officers appointed by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, whose function is to execute civil warrants of the Court of Session, certain warrants of the High Court of Justiciary and warrants of the Court of the Lord Lyon.
Minor – 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
Misconduct – Term often used when referring to wrongful, improper or unlawful actions taken by an employee. An employee can be dismissed on the grounds of misconduct if they have received previous warnings for misconduct.
Dismissals on the grounds of misconduct would have to be with notice pay.
Missives – Letters passing between seller and purchaser setting out terms of agreement of the sale of property.
Mitigation – 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
Money Claim – A claim for money only in the county court. The claim can be for a fixed on unspecified amount. See also unspecified amount of money
Money Claim Online (MCOL) – An online Service that allows claimants to start legal proceedings which relate to money. Defendants can use the service to respond to a claim against them also
Mortgage – A loan of money advanced to purchase property. The transfer of the property is withheld as security for payment
Mortgagor – The party obtaining the loan
Mortgagee – The party that advances the loan
Mora – Undue delay.
Mortis causa – Deeds made in contemplation of death.
Motion – An application made in court for an order during the course of court proceedings.
Moveable Estate – Personal estate.
Multiplepoinding – An action to determine the rights of parties to a fund or property in dispute and to release the holder of the fund from any claim.
Multi Track – The path that defended claims over £15000 are allocated to
Mutatis mutandis – With the necessary alterations. For example, applying one provision to another set of circumstances.
My Lord/My Lady – The proper form of address in court of a judge of the High Court of Justiciary, the Court of Session and the Sheriff Court.
Negotiation – The engagement in discussions between parties in an attempt to resolve disputes that have arisen.
Next Friend – (see GUARDIAN) A person representing a minor or mental patient who is involved in legal proceedings
Next of kin – The person(s) nearest in degree to another person; e.g., the nearest ascendant or descendant of a deceased person.
Nobile officium – The noble office or duty of the Court of Session. An equitable jurisdiction in virtue of which the court may, within limits, mitigate the strictness of the law and provide a legal remedy where none exists.
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
Notice of Issue – Notice sent by a Court to the claimant giving notification of the case number allocated to their action and details of fees paid. Confirms date of service
Notary Public – Someone who is authorised to swear oaths and certify the execution of deeds
Notice period – should be given by whichever party is bringing the employment relationship to an end. Notice periods can be either statutory or contractual. An employer must give at least the statutory minimum period of notice, which is calculated from the length of employment.
Notice to Quit – Gives prior notice, when served in possession proceedings, of termination of a tenancy
Note – (1) A form of application to the court in existing proceedings. (2) A form of appeal. (3) The reasons for a decision attached to an interlocutor in the Sheriff Court.
Note of appeal – The formal document by which an application to appeal is made from a decision of a judge to an appellate court. See also Stated Case.
Nullity – Non-existent or lacking legal force as applied to acts or writings which are null and void. Also applies to a marriage / civil partnership affected by an inherent defect such as existence of a prior marriage/civil partnership or relationship within a prohibited degree.
Oath – In court proceedings the sworn undertaking by a witness to give truthful evidence, to call upon God to witness that what you say at the hearing is the truth or binding. See also Affirmation
Objection – Disagreement with an argument or set out by another at the hearing
Obiter dictum – Opinion given incidentally. In other words, the opinion or comment is not the reason for the decision in the case.
Obtemper – To obey, usually of the decree or order of a court.
Off the record – When an advisor is assisting you behind the scenes, but will not communicate with the other party and/or represent you at a hearing.
Official Receiver – A civil servant who works for the Department of trade and Industry and is appointed by the Court to act as; i) a liquidator when a company is being wound up; ii) a trustee when an individual is made bankrupt. The duties of an official receiver will include examining the company/bankrupt’s property which is available to pay the debts and distributing the money amongst the creditors
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
Ombudsman – 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
On the record – Your advisor is officially representing you. They are likely to write and receive letters on your behalf and represent you at any hearings (unless they have specifically stated otherwise).
Opinion – A statement by a court or judge of reasons for the decision in a case. In the Sheriff Court it is called a “Note” and is attached to the interlocutor containing the decision.
Options hearing – A hearing in an ordinary action in the sheriff court to decide the next stage in the case. That could be a continuation of the hearing for up to a month to adjust the pleadings, the fixing of a debate on the law or a proof of the facts.
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
Order – A direction by a Court
Ordinary cause – All sheriff court civil actions other than small claims, summary causes and summary applications, are ordinary actions subject to the Ordinary Cause Rules 1993 in the First Schedule to the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907. A claim for £5,000 or more must be by an ordinary action.
Ordinary, Lord – The judge who hears cases at first instance in the Court of Session.
Originating Application – (see MATTER) A method of commencing proceedings under the authority of a specific act of parliament, e.g. Landlord and Tenant Act, whereby the applicant asks the Court to grant an order in their favour
Outer House – The part of the Court of Session which exercises a first instance jurisdiction. The supreme civil court, the Court of Session is divided into the Inner House (which deals mainly with appeals) and the Outer House. The udges in the Outer House deal with cases at first instance, that is cases started in the Court of Session, and also with some appeals from some tribunals. See also Inner House.
Pari passu – To share and share alike or ranking equally, e.g. in the case of claims or security rights.
Parole evidence – Oral evidence of witnesses, as distinct from with documentary evidence including affidavit evidence. See also Affidavit.
Part 8 Claim – An alternative procedure for issuing a claim to the court
Part admission – See admission
Particulars of claim – This document contains details of the claimant’s claim which must be contained in the claim form or served shortly after the claim form has been served. The particulars should be a concise statement of the facts of the claim
Party / parties – People involved in court proceedings either as the defendant(s) or claimant(s)
Party and Party – Costs that one party must pay to another
Part-time sheriff – A lawyer appointed to act as a sheriff on a part-time basis.
Patient – 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
Per incuriam – Through negligence, mistake or error.
Per stirpes – By descent, i.e. through a parent and not in one’s own right. (Where per stirpes the share which would have fallen to the predeceasing parent if alive is divided equally among the children).
Perjury – The crime committed by a witness in court proceedings by lying on oath or on an affirmation. See Affirmation and Oath.
Petition – (1) A writ by which civil court proceedings are initiated in which some administrative order of the court is required for something to be done which requires judicial authority. It is distinct from a summons in an action which is to enforce a legal right against a person (the defender). In the Court of Session civil causes are raised at first instance as either a summons or a petition as the case may be. In the sheriff court all civil proceedings are raised in same way, whether petitions or not, that is by initial writ. See also Summons.
Permission – See leave
Personal Application – Application made to the Court without legal representation
Personal injury claim – A civil claim, which relates to physical or mental harm suffered by a claimant, due to the defendant’s alleged negligence
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
Petition – A method of commencing proceedings whereby the order required by the petitioner from the Court is expressed as a prayer, e.g. the petitioner therefore prays that the marriage be dissolved (divorce proceedings)
Petitioner – A person who presents the petition
Petition and complaint – The procedure in the Court of Session where the remedy sought is a punishment for failure to obtemper a decree.
P.I.L.O.N. – PILON stands for Pay In Lieu of Notice. Instead of placing an employee on gardening leave or making them work their notice, an employer can end the contract of employment earlier by making a payment to the employee that is equivalent to the amount they would have received had they worked their notice.
Plaintiff – see CLAIMANT
Plaint Note – see NOTICE OF ISSUE
Plaint Number – Old-fashioned term for Claim Number
Pleading – Documents setting out claim/defence of parties involved in civil proceedings
Plea-in-law – A short proposition at the end of a written case showing exactly the legal remedy sought.
Possession Claim Online (PCOL) – An online Service which allows claimants to start legal proceedings related to property online. Defendants can use the service to respond to a claim against them also
Possession Proceedings – Legal proceedings by a landlord to recover land or property such as a house or flat.
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
Precedent – The decision of a case which established principles of law that act as an authority for future cases of a similar nature
Precognition – A formal statement of a witness taken or written by another person.
Precognosce – To take a precognition.
Pre – Hearing Review (PHR) – Are in effect mini hearings held at the Employment Tribunal. They are as formal as a final hearing and all necessary documents and witness statements must be disclosed before the hearing takes place. It is also important that all witnesses are in attendance. Further the held to decide any preliminary issues in a case, decide whether the claim or response should be struck out, decide questions of entitlement to bring or defend a claim or decide if either party’s case has no reasonable prospect of success.
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
Preliminary plea – A plea-in-law that raises a legal issue that does not relate to the merits of the proceedings but if sustained could result in the proceedings or a part of them being dismissed
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
Pre-proof hearing – A hearing in civil action proceedings to determine whether parties are ready for the proof, whether more or fewer days for proof are required and to establish what the issues are or whether they can be reduced.
President, Lord – The head of the judiciary. He or she presides over the First Division of the Inner House of the Court of Session, the supreme civil court. As Lord Justice General of Scotland he or she is the senior judge of the High Court of Justiciary.
Privitative jurisdiction – All civil proceedings of £5,000 in monetary value exclusive of interest and expenses must be brought in the Sheriff Court. The civil jurisdiction of the Sheriff Court is not restricted to such causes; its jurisdiction extends to causes of any value. Certain types of action are competent only in one or other of the Court of Session or Sheriff Court.
Probate – The legal recognition of the validity of a will
Procedure roll – In the Court of Session, where the legal issues in a civil action are to be considered before proof of the facts, the case is appointed to a debate on the Procedure Roll.
Process – The document commencing a claim or subsequent action, or the court papers relating to a cause.
Procurator fiscal – Literally, the procurator for the fiscal or treasury; now the style and title of the public prosecutor in the sheriff court.
Production – An article produced and lodged as evidence in court.
Pro forma – A document used as a form or style.
Pro indiviso – In an undivided state, usually in relation to property held by several persons.
Pro loco et tempore – Without place and time.
Pro non scripto – As not written, that is something is treated as if it had not been written.
Proof – In addition to its general meaning, this word has the formal sense of a hearing of a case by a judge at which evidence is led orally or by affidavit.
Proof before answer – Where evidence is heard on the facts before questions of law are determined, there may be a “proof before answer”.
Prorogate – Continue or extend. Where further time is allowed to do something required by the court before the time limit has expired, the time limit is prorogated.
Protective measure – An order preserving money or property in civil proceedings before the case is concluded.
Public guardian – The official responsible for supervising powers and orders in relation to adults with incapacity under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.
Public trustee – A person (usually a barrister or solicitor) appointed by the Lord Chancellor as; i) trustee for trusts managed by the Public trust Office; ii) Accountant General for Court Funds; iii) Receiver (of last resort) for Court of Protection patients.
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
Pursuer – The person suing in a civil action seeking an order against a defender.
Putative Father – The alleged or supposed father of an illegitimate child
Quam primum – Forthwith or as soon as possible.
Quantum – How much, the extent. The amount of money sought in a claim for damages.
Quantum valeat – For as much as it is worth.
Quasi – As if; as though.
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.
Queens Bench Division – A division of the High Court. The QBD has jurisdiction (reasonability for) civil disputes involving the recovery of money, including breach of contract; personal injuries; libel and slander
Queen’s counsel/QC – A senior and experienced lawyer on whom the Queen has conferred this honour.
Questionnaires – Written form requesting the employer for information in a discrimination case.
Quoad ultra – As regards everything else. In pleadings, after the averments for the other party have been admitted or dealt with as not know and not admitted, the rest of those pleadings are dealt with. This is usually done by the statement “Quoad ultra, denied.” There then follows an explanation as to why the rest of the other party’s pleadings are denied.
Re-allocation – Transferring the case from one allocated track to another. This can happen if the value of the case increases
Receiver – A person appointed to enforce the rights and remedies of the holders of a floating charge over the assets of a company which is in default in relation to the claim or debt which the charge secures.
Record – (The accent is on the second syllable.) The pleadings, that is the averments or statements, of the respective claims and answers by parties ion civil proceedings lodged in court. When finally adjusted between the parties it is closed by order of the court and becomes the Closed Record; up to then it is an “open” record.
Recognisance – 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
Recorder – (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
Recovery of documents – Where documents are sought to be used to prove a case and are in the possession of another party in the case or some person who is not a party, they may be sought to be recovered by that other person on application to the court. The person who is said to be in possession of the document is called a “haver”. A motion for recovery of documents must be accompanied by a document called a specification of documents which sets out the documents or categories of documents sought to be recovered. See also Specification of documents.
Redetermintaion (civil) – If the defendant or claimant objects to the rate of repayment set by a court officer, the judge will decide on the matter. See Determination.
Reduction – To annul or set aside a decision or document by legal process.
Redundancy – Redundancy is a form of dismissal, caused by an employer needing to reduce their workforce.
Register of Inhibitions and Adjudications – (Now just called the Register of Inhibitions, adjudiciations having been abolished.) The Register of Notices of personal diligence which affect the voluntary conveyance of real property.
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
Registrar – (see DISTRICT JUDGE) Registrars and deputy registrars were renamed DISTRICT Judges and Deputy DISTRICT Judges respectively in the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990
Registry Trust Limited (RTL) – The company contracted to the Ministry of Justice to maintain the Register of Judgments Orders and Fines. You can find out if an individual or a company at a particular address has unsatisfied (unpaid) court judgments against them by searching the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines. There is a small fee for this. You can get further information about searching the Register from: Registry Trust Ltd, 73-75 Cleveland Street, London, WT 6QR
Register of Sasines – The Register of deeds constituting or transferring rights in land and heritable property. See also Land Register.
Relict – A formal term used to refer to a widow or widower in relation to succession to a deceased’s estate. .
Remedies – Compensation or any other award that the tribunal can make.
Remedies hearing – Separate tribunal hearing to consider how much compensation the tribunal should award.
Remit – The transfer of some matter by one judge to another judge or court; or to a person named as, e.g. to an expert “a man of skill”, in order that the latter may inquire and report.
Repel – A court does not overrule a plea or an objection, it repels it. The opposite is to sustain (or uphold).
Repone – To repone a defender is to restore him to his position as a litigant when decree in absence has been given against him. Also competent in, e.g. case of failure to lodge documents in appeal to Court of Session.
Reporter – (1) A person appointed to conduct a public inquiry. (2) A person, usually a lawyer or other professional person appointed by a court to investigate an aspect of a case. (3) The officer responsible for bringing cases before children’s hearings and proceedings from hearings before this sheriff. (4) A person who compiles the published report of a case decided by the courts.
Representation – See Legal representation
Residence Order – A formal order by a court stating with whom a child of a relationship should stay.
Resident sheriff – A sheriff who holds a commission to sit as a full-time or permanent sheriff at a particular sheriff court.
Res ipsa loquitur – The thing done or the transaction speaks for itself. Proof of an event raises a rebuttable presumption of liability.
Res judicata – A question decided in competent legal proceedings, which cannot again be raised.
Respondent – (1) A person who enters the process of a petition to oppose it. (2) The person against whom an appeal to a higher court from a lower court is made.
Respondent (Family) – The person on whom a petition or originating application is served
Respondent (Civil & Crime) – The defending party (person) in an appeal or in a petition to the courts. See also Appellant
Response pack – A response pack is sent to the defendant in a civil claim with the claim form or with the particulars of claim (if they were served separately). The pack contains all the forms needed to reply to the claim
Restitution – Where a defendant who has been evicted by a bailiff illegally re-enters the property the claimant must issue a warrant of restitution with the court in order to regain possession
Review – Revision by a higher court on appeal.
Right of Audience – Entitlement to appear before a Court in a legal capacity and conduct proceedings on behalf of a party to the proceedings
Rolls – Official lists of cases as set down for hearing, depending on the type of case or the stage of the proceedings. For example, the Motion Roll, Single Bills, Summar Roll, Options hearing.
ROLO – See Restriction of liberty order.
Roup – Public auction.
Rubric – A chapter heading.
Sanction – 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
Satisfaction – Paying a debt or settling an obligation by an act or deed
Schedule of Loss – A claimant’s opportunity to detail what they want to claim by way of monetary compensation in their tribunal claim.
Scottish statutory instrument (S.S.I.) – The form in which subordinate legislation, that is orders, rules and regulations etc under an Act of Parliament are made by the Scottish Parliament. See also Statutory instrument.
Second Division – One of the Divisions of the Inner House of the Court of Session presided over by the Lord Justice Clerk.
Security of tenure – A period in which something is held
Section 76 indictment/letter – An accused person charged with a serious offence may give notice in writing that he intends to
plead guilty to an indictment under section 76 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.
Senator of the College of Justice – Judges of the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary, the supreme courts of Scotland, are appointed by HM Queen as senators of the College of Justice created in 1532. See also College of Justice.
Separatim – Apart from anything already advanced or pleaded.
Sequestration – (1) To render bankrupt. Strictly, it is a person’s estate which is sequestrated or set aside for the use of his creditors.
(2)To sequestrate for rent is to take the furniture, etc., on leased premises to satisfy a claim for rent.
Service – Delivery by post, or in person, of the claim form, or other court documents
Service of heir – The court process by which an heir proves and acquires a right or title to real estate of an ancestor.
Set aside judgment – See judgment set aside
Settlement – A voluntarily agreement by the claimant and defendant to settle their civil case.
Settlement agreements – It is a binding contract that records the terms and payments to be made from an employer to a current or a former employee in return for a waiver by the employee of any defined contractual and statutory employment law claims, for example unfair dismissal. For a settlement agreement to be legally binding an employee must seek independent legal advice on its terms.
Sex Discrimination – Unfavourable treatment on the grounds of a person’s gender; or a policy or a criterion which has an adverse effect due to a person’s sex or marital status.
Sexual Orientation Discrimination – Unfavourable treatment on the grounds of a person’s sexual orientation, or perceived sexual orientation.
Sheriff – The judge who presides in the sheriff court. There are 49 sheriff court houses.
Sheriff officer – An officer of the sheriff court responsible for serving documents and executing orders if the sheriff court.
Sheriff principal – A judge appointed to be in charge, and responsible for the speedy and efficient disposal of business, of a
sheriffdom. He or she is also a judge to whom a litigant may appeal a decision from a sheriff.
Signet – A summons in the Court of Session, the writ by which an action is raised in that court as distinct from a petition, must have the signet or seal of the Sovereign bearing the Royal Court of Arms embossed upon it to authorise execution, that is service of the writ on a defender. The Keeper of the Signet is the Lord Clerk Register who on 3rd May 1976 granted a commission to the Principal Clerk of Session (and clerks authorised by him) to signet summonses which was formerly done by members of the Society of Writers to HM Signet.
SILK – Queens Counsel, a senior barrister sometimes referred to as a leader or leading counsel
Sine die – Indefinitely; without a day being fixed.
Sine qua non – Without which nothing can be effectually done.
Single Bills – A Roll for motions and some civil reclaiming motions or appeals in the Inner House of the Court of Session.
Sist – (1) To stay or stop proceedings from continuing in the meantime.
(2) To summon or call someone as a party, e.g,sisting a mandatory, or a person seeking to become a party to civil proceedings.
Skeleton argument – A written summary of the main points of a case to be heard by an appeal court.
Slander – Spoken words which have a damaging effect on a person’s reputation
Small Claims Track – The path that defended claims of no more than £10,000 (and personal injury and housing disrepair claims of no more than £1,000) are allocated to
Small claim – Civil proceedings for payment, delivery, repossession, implement of obligation where the monetary claim does not exceed £3000.
Solatium – The damages sought and awarded in actions for personal injuries or death of a relative primarily for pain and suffering.
Solicitor – 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
Specified Claim – A type of claim which is issued for a fixed amount of money allegedly owing. Previously known as a liquidated claim
Specific implement – An order of court requiring a person to carry out an obligation under contract or at common law.
Specification of documents – Where documents are sought to be used to prove a case and are in the possession of another party in the case or some person who is not a party, they may be sought to be recovered by that other person on application to the court. A motion for recovery of documents must be accompanied by a document called a specification of documents which sets out the particular documents or categories of documents sought to be recovered. See also Recovery of documents.
Squatter – A person occupying land or property without the owners consent
Squatting – The occupation of land or property without the owner’s consent
Starred motion – A motion in the Court of Session for which appearance is required by or for a party to the proceedings.
Standard directions – See directions
Statement – 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
Statute An Act of Parliament. – Statutory instrument (S.I.) The form in which subordinate legislation, that is orders, rules and regulations etc made under a UK Act of Parliament are made superseding, since 1947, statutory rules and orders (S.R.& O.). See also Scottish statutory instrument which is a statutory instrument made by the Scottish Parliament.
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
Stay – 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
Style – A form of a document used as a model for similar documents.
Subpoena – A summons issued to a person directing their attendance in Court to give evidence
Subordinate legislation – This is an order, rule, regulation, etc., made under an Act of Parliament. See also Statutory instrument; and Scottish statutory instrument.
Suit – Legal proceedings commenced by petition
Suitor – Person bringing a suit before the Courts
Summary Roll – A roll in the Inner House of the Court of Session for the hearing of reclaiming motions and civil appeals.
Summary Assessment (of costs) – When a court makes a cost order it may make a summary assessment of costs immediately after it has made the order. The court will usually make a summary assessment
Summary application – This is form of application in the sheriff court for a variety of statutory applications, including certain kinds of statutory appeal to the sheriff as distinct from an initial writ, small claim or summary cause.
Summary cause – This is the form of simplified procedure applicable to civil cases in the sheriff court with a limit of £5000 in the case of monetary claims. Certain actions for the recovery of heritable property must also be by summary cause.
Summary Dismissal – Is the termination of a worker’s employment due to a serious incident (usually gross misconduct) that can justify not providing any notice before the termination or any payment in lieu of notice.
Summary decree – A final decision on part or all of a defence to an action or defence to a counterclaim on the basis that the defence does not in fact disclose a defence.
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 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
Summary warrant – This is a warrant issued by the sheriff to, e.g, a local authority authorising diligence for the recovery of arrears of council tax.
Summing-up – A review of the evidence and directions as to the law by a judge immediately before a jury retires to consider its verdict
Summons – The form of writ initiating an action in the Court of Session. It is issued in name of the sovereign, containing a royal mandate to messengers-at-arms to cite the defender to the court. 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
Supra citatum (Sup cit or supra) – Above cited.
Supreme Court of Judicature – Collective name encompassing – High Court of Justice, Crown Court and Court of Appeal
Surety – A person’s undertaking to be liable for another’s default or non-attendance at Court
Taxation – As applied to solicitors’ or advocates’ fees, including those incurred in court proceedings, means the scrutiny of the account by the Auditor of Court to exclude or amend items unjustifiably included or excessively charged.
Taxation of Costs – (see SUMMARY ASSESSMENT and DETAILED ASSESSMENT) An examination of a solicitor’s bill in civil proceedings by a Court to ensure that all charges against the legal aid fund are fair and reasonable (see also PARTY AND PARTY COSTS which are also examined by a Court)
Technology and Construction Court – A specialist court which deals with disputes in the construction industry. It is part of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court.
Teinds Tithes – the tenth part of the annual produce of land out of which a minister’s wage was originally payable.
Telephone hearing – Hearings which can be conducted by telephone unless otherwise ordered are:
all allocation hearings
case management hearings
and interim applications.
They are under an hour. Any other application, requires the consent of all the parties and the agreement of the court
Temporary judge – A lawyer, sheriff principal or sheriff appointed to sit as an additional judge on a temporary basis in the High Court of Justiciary or the Court of Session.
Tenant – A person which holds land or property under a lease
Terce – The widow’s legal right of dower in real estate.
Testor – A person who makes a will
Third party – (1) The name of a party brought into civil proceedings by a defender because that third party may be liable in addition to or instead of the defender to the pursuer. (2) Someone other than the parties to a transaction.
Third party debt order – An order issued by a Claimant, against a third party, to seize money or other assets in their keeping, but belonging to the debtor. Orders can be granted preventing a defendant from withdrawing money from their bank or building society account. The money is paid to the claimant from the account. A third party debt order can also be sent to anyone who owes the defendant money
Tipstaff – An officer of the Supreme Court whose duties involve the enforcement of High Court arrest warrants
Tort – An action in tort is a claim for damages to compensate the claimant for harm suffered. Such claims arise from cases of personal injury, breach of contract and damage to personal reputation. As well as damages, remedies include an injunction to prevent harm occurring again
Track allocation – See Allocation Case management tracks Allocation questionnaire
Trade Union – is an organisation of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts (collective bargaining) with employers.
Trial (civil) – Civil trials are generally held before one or more judges without a jury. The form and length of a civil trial will depend on the track to which the case has been allocated
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
Tribunal – A person or body of persons other than a court of law, having power to determine claims or disputes of some particular nature.
Trust – Property legally entrusted to a person with instructions to use it for another person (or persons benefit)
Trustee – A person who holds or administers property in a trust for another (or others)
TUPE – when a business is transferred from one owner to another, The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) protects employees’ terms and conditions of employment.
Employees of the previous owner when the business changes hands automatically become employees of the new employer on the same terms and conditions. Employers are required to inform and consult employees affected directly or indirectly by the transfer.
Tutor or tutrix – The former title of the guardian of an infant.
Ultimus haeres – Last heir. The Crown is ultimus haeres.
Ultra vires – Without authority.
Undertaking – A promise, which can be enforced by law, made by a party (person) or their legal representative during legal proceedings
Unfair Dismissal – An Unfair Dismissal occurs when an employer dismisses an employee for an unfair reason and/or the employer does not follow the correct procedure for the dismissal.
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
Unspecified Claim – A claim where the amount to be awarded is left to the Court to determine, e.g. damages to be assessed for personal injuries. Previously known as an unliquidated claim
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
Vitious intromission – The taking of possession of property of a deceased without authority. A person who does this is liable for all the debts of the deceased.
Verdict – The decision of a jury on the matter or matters submitted to it by the court.
Vest (seised) – A person is seised or vested in property when it becomes that person’s property by legal right or authority.
Vexatious litigant – A person who takes proceedings primarily for the annoyance or embarrassment of the defender and whose activities in raising actions may be restrained by the Court of Session. In England 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)
Victimisation – is a specific term used in discrimination law. A person is victimised if they are treated less favourably because they have complained of discrimination.
Volenti non fit injuria – Accepting the risk of injury.
Warrandice – Absolute warrandice is a warranting or assuring of property against all claims whatever.
Voluntary – Something is voluntary when it is entered into without compulsion, as a result of the free choice of the person(s) concerned
Wages – Wages can include fees, bonuses, commissions, holiday pay, statutory sick pay, maternity pay etc.
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
Wardship – 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.
Warrant of Restitution – A remedy available following illegal re-entry of premises by persons evicted under a warrant of possession. The bailiff is authorised to evict all occupants found on the premises and re-deliver the premises to the plaintiff
Warrant – A written authority, e.g. from court, authorising certain actions such as an arrest of a person, a search of premises or an eviction of occupiers. Also used to signify a document evidencing a right of some kind, e.g. in a title to heritable property. Also the formal authority by the court to cite a person to appear before it.
Will – A declaration of a person’s intentions to distribute his/her estate and assets
Winding up – The voluntary or compulsory closure of a company and the subsequent realisation of assets and payment to creditors
Without Prejudice – Phrase often used in settlement negotiations meaning “off the record”.
Witness – A person who gives evidence in Court, called to give evidence because they witnesses an event (see also Expert witness)
Witness order – A Tribunal order forcing an unwilling witness to come to the tribunal.
Witness statement – Written statement containing a witness’s tribunal evidence.
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
Writs – (1) Documents of title to heritable property. (2) Initiating documents in court proceedings are sometimes called writs, e.g., the initial writ by which certain civil actions are raised in the sheriff court.
Written evidence / statement – A written statement of relevant facts, which is submitted to the court.
Your Honour – The proper form of address in court of a stipendiary magistrate or justice of the peace.