A career in the legal industry is undoubtedly one of the most interesting, but it’s one of the most complicated also. It’s not just cases and laws themselves that you need to remember, one of the most confusing things about law is the specialist terminology involved.
A court is perhaps the most jargon-heavy location, with specialist terminology banded around all over the place. If you’re going to understand exactly what’s going on and be successful in your legal role, you’ll need to know what’s going on.
Here we’ve put together an essential glossary of terms that will help you bust the jargon and understand a whole new industry.
Accused: Someone who’s been charged with an offence
Alleged: A term used when someone is suspected of committing an offence, but this has not yet been proved
Appeal: This is a form of review. It’s used when either party is not happy with a court judgement, the case can then be taken to a superior court for review
Bail: If someone is released from custody under the agreement to return to court at a certain date and time, they are released on bail
Breach: Used to describe the breaking of a contract, law, duty or right
Contract: A legally enforceable written or verbal agreement between two people or more
Court Order: A direction in court, issued by a judge, ordering a person to do or not do something
Custody: The legal confinement of a criminal
Damages: A sum of money awarded to a party because of harm caused by the negligence of another
Detention: When taken into custody for a period of time, it’s known as detention
Dismissal: When a case is dismissed there is no trial. This usually happens when a defendant pleads guilty or whenever there’s not enough evidence to bring a case to court