abandonment n. 1. The act of giving up a legal right, particularly a right of
ownership of property. Property that has been abandoned is res nullius(a thing
belonging to no one), and a person taking possession of it therefore acquires a
lawful title. An item is regarded as abandoned when it can be established that the
original owner has discarded it and is indifferent as to what becomes of it: such an
item cannot be the subject of a theft charge. However, property placed by its owner
in a dustbin is not abandoned, having been placed there for the purpose of being
collected as refuse. In marine insurance, abandonment is the surrender of all rights
to a ship or cargo in a case of *constructive total loss. The insured person must do
this by giving the insurer within a reasonable time a notice of abandonment, by
which he relinquishes all his rights to the ship or cargo to the insurer and can treat
the loss as if it were an actual total loss. 2. In civil litigation, the relinquishing of
the whole or part of the claim made in an action or of an appeal. Any claim is now
considered to be abandoned once a *notice of discontinuance is served, according to
rule 38(1) of the *Civil Procedure Rules. 3. The offence of a parent or guardian
leaving a child under the age of 16 to its fate. A child is not regarded as abandoned
if the parent knows and approves steps someone else is taking to look after it. The
court may allow a child to be adopted without the consent of its parents if they are
guilty of abandonment.
abatement n. 1. (of debts) The proportionate reduction in the payment of debts
that takes place if a person's assets are insufficient to settle with his creditors in
full.  2. (of legacies) The reduction or cancellation of legacies when the estate is
insufficient to cover all the legacies provided for in the will or on intestacy after
payment of the deceased's debts. The Administration of Estates Act 1925provides
that general legacies, unless given to satisfy a debt or for other consideration, abate
in proportion to the amounts of those legacies; specific and demonstrative legacies
then abate if the estate is still insufficient to pay all debts, and a demonstrative
legacy also abates if the specified fund is insufficient to cover it. For example, A's
estate may comprise a painting, £300 in his savings account, and £700 in other
money; there are debts of £100 but his will leaves the painting to B,£500 from the
savings account to C. £800 to D, and £200 to E. Bwill receive the painting, C's
demonstrative legacy abates to £300, and after the debts are paid from the
remaining £700, D's and E's general legacies abate proportionately, to £480 and £120
respectively. When annuities are given by the will, the general rule is that they are
valued at the date of the testator's death, then abate proportionately in accordance
with that valuation, and each annuitant receives the abated sum. All these rules are
subject to any contrary intention being expressed in the will. 3. (in land law) Any
reduction or cancellation of money payable. For example a lease may provide for an
abatement of rent in certain circumstances, e.g. if the building is destroyed by fire,
and a purchaser of land may claim an abatement of the price if the seller can prove
his ownership of only part of the land he contracted to sell. 4. (of nuisances) The
termination, removal, or destruction of a *nuisance. A person injured by a nuisance
has a right to abate it. In doing so, he must not do more damage than is necessary
and, if removal of the nuisance requires entry on to the property from which it
emanates, he may have to give notice to the wrongdoer. A local authority can issue
an abatement notice to control statutory nuisances. 5. (of proceedings) The
termination of civil proceedings by operation of law, caused by a change of interest
or status (e.g. bankruptcy or death) of one of the parties after the start but before
the completion of the proceedings. An abatement did not prevent either of the
parties from bringing fresh proceedings in respect of the same cause of action. Pleas
in abatement have been abolished; in modern practice any change of interest or
status of the parties does not affect the validity of the proceedings, provided that
the cause of action survives.
abduction n. The offence of taking an unmarried girl under the age of 16 from
the possession of her parents or guardians against their will. It is no defence that
the girl looked and acted as if she was over 16 or that she was a willing party. No
sexual motive has to be proved. It is also an offence to abduct an unmarried girl
under the age of 18 or a mentally defective woman (married or unmarried) for the
purpose of unlawful sexual intercourse. In this case a defendant can plead that he
had reasonable grounds for believing that the girl was over 18,or that he did not
know the woman was mentally defective, respectively. It is also an offence to abduct
any woman with the intention that she should marry or have unlawful sexual
intercourse with someone, if it is done by force or for the sake of her property. It is
also an offence for a parent or guardian of a child under 16 to take or send him out
of the UK without the consent of the other parent or guardians. Belief that the
other person has or would have consented is a defence. It is also an offence for any
other person to remove or keep such a child, without lawful authority or reasonable
excuse, from the person with lawful control of him. Proof of belief that the child
was 16 is a defence here. See also KIDNAPPING.
abet vb.   See AID AND ABET.
abortion n. The termination of a pregnancy: a miscarriage or the premature
expulsion of a foetus from the womb before the normal period of gestation is
complete. It is an offence to induce or attempt to induce an abortion unless the
terms of the Abortion Act 1967and the Abortion Regulations 1991 are complied with.
The pregnancy can only be terminated by a registered medical practitioner, and two
registered medical practitioners must agree that it is necessary, for example because
(1) continuation of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life or physical or
mental health of the pregnant woman (or of other children of hers) that is greater
than the risk of terminating the pregnancy, or (2)that there is a substantial risk
that the child will be born with a serious physical or mental handicap. However,
doctors are not obliged to perform abortions if they can prove that they have a
conscientious objection to so doing. A husband cannot prevent his wife having a
legal abortion if she so wishes. Compare CHILD DESTRUCTION.
absconding n. The failure of a person to surrender to the custody of a court in
order to avoid legal proceedings. See alsoSURRENDER TO CUSTODY.
absence n. (in court procedure) The nonappearance of a party to litigation or a
person summoned to attend as a witness.
absent-mindedness n. See AUTOMATISM.
absolute assignment See ASSIGNMENT.
absolute discharge See DISCHARGE.
absolute privilege The defence that a statement cannot be made the subject of
an action for *defamation because it was made in Parliament, in papers ordered to
be published by either House of Parliament, in judicial proceedings or a fair and
abstract of title
accurate newspaper or broadcast report of judicial proceedings, or in an official
communication between certain officers of state. Under the Defamation Act 1996,
the defence is also available for those reporting proceedings of the European Court
of Justice. Under certain circumstances defined by the 1996 Act the absolute
privilege accorded to statements or proceedings in Parliament may be waived
(waiver of privilege) to permit evidence to be adduced III an action for defamation.
absolute right  Aright set out in the European Convention on Human Rights that
cannot be interfered with lawfully, no matter how important the public interest in
doing so might be. Absolute rights include *freedom of thought, conscience, and
religion and the prohibitions on *torture, *inhuman treatment or punishment, and
*degrading treatment or punishment. Compare QUALIFIED RIGHT.
absolute title   Ownership of a *legal estate in registered land with a guarantee by
the state that no one has a better right to that estate. An absolute title to freehold
land is equivalent to an estate in fee simple in possession in unregistered land.
Absolute leasehold title, unlike *good leasehold title, guarantees that the lessor
has title to grant the lease. (Compare POSSESSORY TITLE; QUALIFIED TITLE.) The title may
be subject to (1) *encumbrances and other entries noted on the register by means of
substantive registration (e.g. a registered legal charge or land charge); (2)minor
interests, such as that of a beneficiary under a trust, which may be protected by
means of "entry" on the register rather than by substantive registration; and (3)
*overriding interests (which by their nature do not appear on the register and must
be ascertained by search and enquiry). See also LAND REGISTRATION.
abstracting electricity The *arrestable offence, punishable with up to five years'
imprisonment and/or a fine, of dishonestly using, wasting, or diverting electricity.
This offence may be committed by someone who bypasses his electricity meter or
reconnects a disconnected meter or who unlawfully obtains a free telephone call
(though there is a more specific and potentially less serious offence to deal with
this). Bypassing a gas or water meter could constitute *theft of the gas or water.
Joyriding in a lift (or some similar abuse) might also constitute wasting electricity.
Computer hackers were formerly charged with offences of abstracting electricity
until the Computer Misuse Act 1990made *hacking a specific criminal offence.
abstraction of water  The taking of water from a river or other source of
supply. It normally requires a water authority licence but there are exceptions; for
example when less than 1000 gallons are taken, when the water is for domestic or
agricultural use (excluding spray irrigation), or when it is removed in the course of
fire-fighting or land drainage. It has been held not to include gravitational loss from
a canal replacing water drawn from a connecting outfall channel.
abstract of title Written details of the *title deeds and documents that prove an
owner's right to dispose of his land or an interest in this. An abstract generally deals
only with the *legal estate and any equitable interests that are not *overreached. An
owner usually supplies an abstract of title before *completion to an intending
purchaser or mortgagee, who compares it with the original title deeds when these
are produced or handed over on completion of the transaction. An abstract of title
to registered land consists of *office copies of the entries in the register (together
with an *authority to inspect the register) and details of any other documents
necessary to prove the owner's title, such as a marriage certificate proving a
woman's change of surname. For unregistered land, the abstract of title must
usually trace the history of the land's ownership from a document at least 15 years
old (the *root of title) and give details of any document creating encumbrances to
abuse of a dominant position
which the land is subject. An abstract of title formerly comprised extracts, often in
abbreviated note form, but now generally comprises duplicate copies of the relevant
documents (an epitome of title). An abstract or epitome, with each copy document
marked as examined against the original, may be sufficient in itself to deduce title;
for instance, when a title is split into lots, the purchaser of each lot may be required
to accept an examined abstract or epitome in lieu of the original title deeds,
accompanied by an *acknowledgment and undertaking.
abuse of a dominant position Unlawful activities by large businesses, i.e.
usually those having a market share of at least 40% in at least one EU state.
Examples of such activities, which are contrary to *Article 82 of the Treaty of Rome
and the UK Competition Act 1998, include refusing to supply an existing customer
and engaging in *predatory pricing. The European Commission and the Office of
Fair Trading can fine businesses up to 10%of annual worldwide turnover for breach
of Article 82. The record individual fine, of 102M ECUs(now euros), was against
Volkswagen in 1998; it was upheld on appeal in July 2000.Under the UK Competition
Act 1998a £3.21M penalty was imposed on Napp Pharmaceuticals. See ANTICOMPETITIVE
abuse of process  A tort where damage is caused by using a legal process for an
ulterior collateral purpose. (See alsoMALICIOUS PROSECUTION.) Actions that are
obviously frivolous, vexatious, or in bad faith can be stayed or dismissed by the
court as an abuse of process.
abusive behaviour  See THREATENING BEHAVIOUR.
ABWOR Advice by way of representation: assistance formerly given to a person by
taking on his behalf any step in the institution or conduct of any proceedings
before a court or tribunal under the provisions of the legal advice and assistance
scheme. The legal aid scheme under which ABWOR was created was replaced by the
"Community Legal Service from 1 April 2000.Under the new scheme, the
authorization of legal representation for the purposes of a particular hearing is now
in a form called help at court.
ACAS  Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service: a statutory body that was
established under the Employment Protection Act 1975; the composition and
functions of ACAS are now governed by Parts IV and VI of the Trade Union and
Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.ACAS was set up to promote the
improvement of industrial relations and the development of *collective bargaining.
In its conciliation function it may intervene, with or without the parties' consent. in
a *trade dispute to offer facilities and assistance in negotiating a settlement. It
employs conciliation officers who may assist parties to an application to an
employment tribunal to reach a settlement. Earlier legislation removed the necessity
for binding settlements of employment disputes to involve an ACAS conciliation
officer: settlements can now be made when the invididual has had independent legal
advice from a qualified lawyer.
ACAS does not itself arbitrate in trade disputes, but with the consent of both
parties it may refer a dispute to the *Central Arbitration Committee or to an
independent arbitrator. ACAS may give free advice to employers, employees, and
their respective representatives on matters of employment or industrial relations. It
issues *codes of practice giving guidance on such matters as disciplinary procedures
and *disclosure of information to trade unions. It may also conduct inquiries into
industrial relations problems, either generally or in relation to particular businesses,
and publish the results after considering the views of parties directly affected. ACAS
can charge for its services when it considers that this is appropriate. The law on
conciliation generally is contained in the Employment Tribunals Act 1996.
acceleration n. The coming into possession of a *future interest in any property
at an earlier stage than that directed by the transaction or settlement that created
the interest. For example, a landlord's interest in *reversion is accelerated if the
tenant surrenders the lease before it has expired. When a will bequeaths an interest
for life that lapses (e.g. because the legatee dies before the testator), the interest of
the person entitled in *remainder is accelerated and takes effect immediately the
testator dies.
acceptance n. Agreement to the terms of an *offer that, provided certain other
requirements are fulfilled. converts the offer into a legally binding contract. If the
method by which acceptance is to be signified is indicated by the offeror, that
method alone will be effective. If it is not, acceptance may be either express (by
word of mouth or in writing) or inferred from the offeree's conduct; for example, if
he receives goods on approval and starts to make use of them. The acceptance must
always, however, involve some action on the part of the person to whom the offer
was made: the offeror cannot assert that his offer will be treated as accepted unless
the offeree rejects it. The validity of an acceptance is governed by four principal
rules. (1) It must take place while the offer is still in force, i.e. before it has lapsed
(see LAPSE OF OFFER) or been revoked (see REVOCATION OF OFFER). (2)It must be on the
same terms as the offer. An acceptance made subject to any variation is treated as a
counteroffer. (3) It must be unconditional, thus an acceptance subject to contract is
not a valid acceptance. (4)It must be communicated to the offeror. Acceptance by
letter is treated as communicated when the letter is posted, but telex is equated
with the telephone, so that communication takes place only on receipt. However,
when the offer consists of a promise to confer a benefit on whoever may perform a
specified act, the offeror waives the requirement of communication as a separate
act. If, for example. he offers a reward for information, a person able to supply the
information is not expected to accept the offer formally. The act of giving the
information itself constitutes the acceptance. the communication of the acceptance,
and the performance of the contract.
acceptance of a bill  The written agreement by the person on whom a *bill of
exchange is drawn (the drawee) that he will accept the order of the person who
draws it upon him (the drawer). The acceptance must be written on the bill and
signed. The signature of the drawee without additional words is sufficient, although
generally the word "accepted" is used as well. Upon acceptance the drawee becomes
the acceptor and the party primarily liable upon the bill. See alsoQUALIFIED
acceptance supra protest (acceptancefor honour) A form of *acceptance of a
bill of exchange to save the good name of the drawer or an endorser. If a bill of
exchange has been either the subject of a *protest for dishonour by nonacceptance
or protested for better security, and it is not overdue, any person who is not already
liable on the bill may. with the consent of the holder. accept the bill supra protest.
Such an acceptance must be written on the bill. indicate that it is an acceptance for
honour, and be signed. The acceptor for honour engages that he will pay the bill on
due presentment if it is not paid by the drawee, provided that it has been duly
presented for payment and protested for nonpayment and that he receives notice of
these facts. He is liable to the holder and to all parties to the bill subsequent to the
party for whose honour he accepted.
access n. Formerly. the opportunity to visit a child that was granted (at the
discretion of the court) to its parent when the other parent had the care and control
of the child after divorce or when a custodianship order was in force. Since the
Children Act 1989came into force the concept of access has been replaced by that of
*contact. See also SECTION 8 ORDERS.
accession n. 1. The formal agreement of a country to an international *treaty.
The term is applied to the agreement of a country to become a member state of the
European Union. Member states accede to the Treaty of Rome or any other EU
treaty by signing accession agreements. 2. The process of a member of the royal
family succeeding to the throne, which occurs immediately on the death or
abdication of the previous sovereign.
access land  Land to which the public will have access for the purposes of open-air
recreation under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. It includes land
shown as open country (mountain, moor, heath, or down) on a map in conclusive
form issued by an appropriate countryside body (the Countryside Agency or the
Countryside Council for Wales) or as common land, or land situated more than 600
metres above sea level, or land that has been dedicated as access land.
accessory n. One who is a party to a crime that is actually committed by someone
else. An accessory is one who either successfully incites someone to commit a crime
(counsels or procures)or helps him to do so (*aids and abets). The accessory is
subject to the same punishments and orders as the principal (see alsoCOMMON
DESIGN). It is an offence to assist a person whom one knows has committed an
arrestable offence with the intention of impeding his apprehension or prosecution.
accessory liability If a stranger knowingly and dishonestly assists a trustee in a
breach of trust he will be liable as an accessory. He will not usually have received
any trust assets; however, in assisting in the breach he will be personally liable to
account to the trust for any losses arising from his actions.
accident record book A record kept by the police of details of the accidents they
have investigated. Access to this is usually requested by solicitors acting in
subsequent litigation relating to *road traffic accidents. The Association of Chief
Police Officers Traffic Committee has issued guidelines on charges for such reports.
accommodation bill A bill of exchange accepted by an accommodation party,
i.e. a person who signs without receiving value and for the purpose of lending his
name (i.e. his credit) to someone else. An accommodation party is liable on the bill to
a *holder for value.
accomplice n. One who is a party to a crime, either as a *principal or as an
*accessory. See alsoCORROBORATION.
accord and satisfaction The purchase by one party to a contract of a release
from his obligations under it when the other party has already performed his side
of the bargain. A release of this one-sided nature constitutes a unilateral discharge
of the contract; unless granted by deed, it can at common law be effected only by
purchase, i.e. by a fresh agreement (accord) for which new consideration
(satisfaction) is given. If, for example, A is due to pay £1000on a particular date to B
for contractual services rendered, B might agree to accept £900 paid on an earlier
date, the earlier payment constituting satisfaction. Compare BILATERAL DISCHARGE. See
account n. A right at common law and later (more importantly) in equity,
requiring one party to a relationship (e.g. a partnership) to account to the other or
others for moneys received or due. An account may be: (1) open or current, where a
balance has not been agreed or accepted by all parties; (2)stated, where a balance
has been accepted as correct by all parties; or (3) settled, where a balance has been
accepted and discharged.
accounting records   See BOOKS OF ACCOUNT.
account of profits  Aremedy that a claimant can claim as an alternative to
damages in certain circumstances, e.g. in an action for breach of *copyright. A
successful claimant is entitled to a sum equal to the monetary gain the defendant
has made through wronging the claimant.
accounts pl. n. A statement of a company's financial position. All registered
companies must present accounts (inthe form prescribed by the Companies Act
1985) annually at a *general meeting. These consist of a *balance sheet and a *profit-
and-loss account with *group accounts (if appropriate) attached. They are
accompanied by a directors' report and an auditor's report. All limited companies
must deliver copies of their accounts to the *Companies Registry (where they are
open to public inspection) but companies that are classified (on the basis of
turnover, balance sheet total, and number of members) as "small" or "medium-sized"
enjoy certain exemptions. Members are entitled to be sent copies of the accounts. See
accretion n.  The process by which new land formations are legally assimilated to
old by a change in the flow of a water channel. In contrast to *avulsion, this process
involves a very slow, near imperceptible, natural action of water and other elements.
It would include, for example, the natural diversion of a boundary river leaving an
island, sandbank, or dry land where it previously flowed, the formation of islands at
a river mouth, and additions to a delta by the deposit of sand and soil upon the
shoreline. Accretion will allow the beneficiary state to legitimately claim title to the
new land so created. See alsoTHALWEG, RULE OF THE.
accumulation n.  The continual addition of the income of a fund to the capital, so
that the fund grows indefinitely. Before the Accumulation Act 1800 accumulation
was permitted for the length of the perpetuity period (i.e. lives in being plus 21
years: see RULE AGAINST PERPETUITIES). The periods for which accumulation is now
permitted are shorter; they are listed in the Law of Property Act 1925 and the
Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 1964 and include a period of 21 years from the
date of the disposition, the period of the life of the settlor, and the duration of the
minority of any person mentioned in the disposition. Income is often directed to be
accumulated if (for example) the beneficiary is a minor, or the interest in his favour
is protected or contingent, or if the terms of a trust are discretionary.
accusatorial procedure (adversary procedure) A system of criminal justice in
which conclusions as to liability are reached by the process of prosecution and
defence. It is the primary duty of the prosecutor and defence to press their
respective viewpoints within the constraints of the rules of evidence while the
judge acts as an impartial umpire, who allows the facts to emerge from this
procedure. Common-law systems usually adopt an accusatorial procedure. See also
acknowledgment n. 1. The admission that a debt is due or a claim exists. Under
the Limitation Act 1980, a written acknowledgment by a debtor or his agent causes
the debt to be treated as if it had accrued on the date of the acknowledgment,
provided that the limitation period is still current at that date. The result is that the
acknowledgment and undertaking
limitation period of six years for bringing an action to recover the debt runs from
the date of acknowledgment, rather than the date on which the debt in fact arose.
See also LIMITATION OF ACTIONS. 2. Confirmation by the signatory to a document that
the signature on the document is his own. For example, the Wills Act 1837requires
that the testator's signature on the will be made or acknowledged in the presence of
at least two witnesses present at the same time. Since January 1983 it has also been
possible for a witness to acknowledge his signature in the presence of the testator.
acknowledgment and undertaking  Confirmation in a *title deed that a
person may see and have copies of relevant deeds not in his possession
(acknowledgment), with a promise from the holder of them to keep them safely
(undertaking). Thus when part of an owner's land is sold, he keeps his deeds to the
whole but in the conveyance gives this acknowledgment and undertaking to the
purchaser, who can then prove his title to the part from copies of the earlier deeds
and by calling for production of the originals. In the majority of cases the vendor
gives the purchaser all title documents relating solely to the land conveyed, and an
acknowledgment and undertaking is only necessary when this does not happen. Note
that personal representatives and fiduciary owners will normally give only an
acknowledgment, no undertaking. Breach of an undertaking gives rise to an action
in damages.
acknowledgment of service Aresponse by a defendant to a claim. A defendant
who intends to contest proceedings brought against him by a claimant must
respond to the claim by filing an acknowledgment of service and/or by filing a
*defence. Acknowledgments of service are used if the defendant is unable to file a
defence within the required time or if the defendant intends to dispute the
jurisdiction of the court, By acknowledging service a defendant is given an extra 14
days for filing the defence. In effect this means that the defendant has a 28-day
period after service of the claim before the defence must be served. Once the
defendant has returned the relevant section of the acknowledgment of service form,
the court must notify the claimant in writing.
ACP states   The African, Caribbean, and Pacific states that are associated with the
European Union through the Lomé Convention. This convention, which was signed
at Lomé (Togo)in 1975, provides for cooperation in matters of commerce between
ACP states and EU states, including access to the EUmarketfor products from the
ACPcountries. The Convention also provides for cooperation in industrial and
financial matters.
acquiescence n. Express or implied *consent. In law, care must be taken to
distinguish between mere knowledge of a situation and positive consent to it. For
example, in the defence of *volentinonfit injuria an injured party will not be
regarded as having consented to a risk simply because he knew that the risk existed.
acquired rights   See RELEVANT TRANSFER.
acquis communautaire  [French] The body of *Community legislation by which
all EUmember states are bound.
acquittal n.  A decision by a court that a defendant accused of a crime is innocent.
A court must acquit a defendant following a verdict of *not guilty or a successful
plea of *autrefois acquit or *autrefois convict. Once acquitted, a defendant cannot be
retried for the same crime on fresh evidence, but an acquittal in a criminal court
does not bind civil courts (for example, in relation to a libel charge against someone
alleging the defendant's guilt).
act of state
action n. A proceeding in which a party pursues a legal right in a civil court. See
active trust (special trust) A trust that imposes duties on the trustee other than
that of merely handing over the trust property to the person entitled to it (compare
BARE TRUST). These duties may impose a specific obligation on the trustee or confer a
discretion on him.
act of God  An event due to natural causes (storms, earthquakes, floods, etc.) so
exceptionally severe that no-one could reasonably be expected to anticipate or guard
against it. See FORCE MAJEURE.
Act of Parliament (statute) A document that sets out legal rules and has
(normally) been passed by both Houses of *Parliament in the form of a *Bill and
agreed to by the Crown (see ROYAL ASSENT). Under the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949,
however, passing of public Bills by the House of Lords can be dispensed with, except
in the case of Bills to extend the duration of Parliament or to confirm provisional
orders. Subject to these exceptions, the Lords can delay Bills passed by the House of
Commons; it cannot block them completely. If the Commons pass a money Bill (for
example, one giving effect to the Budget) and the Lords do not pass it unaltered
within one month, it may be submitted direct for the royal assent. Any other Bill
may receive the royal assent without being passed by the Lords if the Commons pass
it in two consecutive sessions and at least one year elapses between its second
reading in the first session and its third reading in the second.
Every modern Act of Parliament begins with a long title, which summarizes its
aims, and ends with a short title, by which it may be cited in any other document.
The short title includes the calendar year in which the Act receives the royal assent
(e.g. The Competition Act 1998). An alternative method of citation is by the calendar
year together with the Chapter number allotted to the Act on receiving the assent
or, in the case of an Act earlier than 1963,by its regnal year or years and Chapter
number. Regnal years are numbered from the date of a sovereign's accession to the
throne, and an Act is attributed to the year or years covering the session in which it
receives the royal assent. (See alsoENACTING WORDS.) An Act comes into force on the
date of royal assent unless it specifies a different date or provides for the date to be
fixed by ministerial order.
Acts of Parliament are classified by the Queen's Printer as public general Acts,
local Acts, and personal Acts. Publicgeneral Acts include all Acts (except those
confirming provisional orders) introduced into Parliament as public Bills. LocalActs
comprise all Acts introduced as private Bills and confined in operation to a
particular area, together with Acts confirming provisional orders. PersonalActs are
Acts introduced as private Bills and applying to private individuals or estates. Acts
are alternatively classified as public Actsor private Acts according to their status
in courts of law. A public Act is judicially noticed (i.e. accepted by the courts as a
matter of general knowledge). A private Act is not, and must be expressly pleaded
by the person relying on it. All Acts since 1850are public unless they specifically
provide otherwise. The printed version of an Act, rather than the version set out on
the HMSOwebsite, is the authentic text, although there are current proposals (2001)
to alter this rule under the Electronic Communications Act 2000.
act of state An act, often involving force, of the executive of a state, or
committed by an agent of a sovereign power with its prior approval or subsequent
ratification, that affects adversely a person who does not owe allegiance to that
power. The courts have power to decide whether or not particular conduct
actual bodily harm
constitutes such an act, but if it does, they have no jurisdiction to award any
actual bodily harm Any hurt or injury calculated to interfere with the health or
comfort of the victim. *Assault causing actual bodily harm is a summary or
indictable offence carrying a maximum punishment of five years' imprisonment.
The hurt need not be serious or permanent in nature, but it must be more than
trifling. It is enough to show that pain or discomfort has been suffered, even
though no bruising is evident. Hysteria brought on as a result of assault is sufficient
for the offence to be proved.
actual military service See PRIVILEGED WILL.
actual notice Knowledge that a person has of rights adverse to his own. If a
purchaser of unregistered land has actual notice of an interest that is not required
to be registered as a land charge, and which will not be overreached on the sale to
him, he will be bound by it. The doctrine of notice plays no part in registered land,
where it has been replaced by the rules of registration. See also CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE;
actual total loss (in marine insurance) A loss of a ship or cargo in which the
subject matter is destroyed or damaged to such an extent that it can no longer be
used for its purpose, or when the insured is irretrievably deprived of it. If the ship
or cargo is the subject of a *valued policy, the measure of indemnity is the sum
fixed by the policy; if the policy is unvalued, the measure of indemnity is the
insurable value of the subject insured. Compare CONSTRUCTIVE TOTAL LOSS.
actus reus [Latin: a guilty act] The essential element of a crime that must be
proved to secure a conviction, as opposed to the mental state of the accused (see MENS
REA). In most cases the actus reuswill simply be an act (e.g.appropriation of property
is the act of theft) accompanied by specified circumstances (e.g.that the property
belongs to another). Sometimes, however, it may be an *omission to act (e.g. failure
to prevent death may be the actus reusof manslaughter) or it may include a
specified consequence (death resulting within a year being the consequence required
for the actus reusof murder or manslaughter). In certain cases the actus reusmay
simply be a state of affairs rather than an act (e.g. being unfit to drive through
drink or drugs when in charge of a motor vehicle on a road).
actus reus non tacit reum nisi mens sit rea  [Latin: an act does not make a
person guilty of his crime unless his mind be also guilty] The maxim that forms the
basis for defining the two elements that must be proved before a person can be
convicted of a crime (see ACTUS REUS; MENS REA).
ad colligenda bona [Latin] To collect the goods. The court may grant *letters of
administration ad colligenda bonato any person to deal with specified property in an
estate when that property might be endangered by delay. For example, if part of the
estate consists of perishable goods the court may grant administration ad colligenda
bona to any suitable person to allow him to sell or otherwise deal with those goods
for the benefit of the estate. This is a limited grant only and ceases on the issue of a
full grant of representation to the persons entitled to deal with the whole estate. In
one case, such a grant was issued to the Official Solicitor on an application by the
Inland Revenue when the executors of the deceased's will delayed applying for
additional voluntary contribution (AVq An additional payment that may be
made by an employee to a pension scheme in order to increase the benefits available
from their pension fund on retirement. AVCs can be paid into an employer's scheme
or into a scheme of the employee's choice (a free-standing AVe); they can be made
free of tax within Inland Revenue limits (see PENSION).
address for service The address, which a party to court proceedings gives to the
court and/or the other party, to which all the formal documents relating to the
proceedings should be delivered. Notices delivered at that address (which may be, for
example, the address of his solicitors) are binding on the party concerned.
ademption n. The cancellation or reduction of a specific *legacy because the
subject matter of the gift is no longer part of the testator's estate at his death, or
the testator no longer has power to dispose of it, or there is nothing conforming to
the description of it in the will. For example, if the will bequeaths a particular
house that the testator sold during his lifetime, or if after making a will giving a
legacy to his child the testator gives the child property constituting a *portion, the
legacy is in each case adeemed. The gift of the house is cancelled and the child's
legacy is reduced by the amount of the portion (see alsoSATISFACTION). Ademption
need not occur by the testator's own deed; for example, an Act of Parliament that
nationalized a company in which the testator had shares would cause a legacy of
those shares to adeem.
ad idem [Latin: towards the same] Indicates that the parties to a transaction are in
agreement. See CONSENSUS AD IDEM.
adjective law The part of the law that deals with practice and procedure in the
courts. Compare SUBSTANTIVE LAW.
adjournment n. (in court procedure) The postponement or suspension of the
hearing of a case until a future date. The hearing may be adjourned to a fixed date
or sinedie (without day), i.e. for an indefinite period. If an adjournment is granted at
the request of a party the court may attach conditions, e.g. relating to the payment
of any *costs thrown away.
adjudication n. 1. The formal judgment or decision of a court or tribunal. 2. A
decision by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue as to the amount (if any) of
*stamp duty payable on a written document.
adjudication order Formerly, a court order that made a debtor bankrupt. See
adjustment n. 1. The determination of the amount due under a policy of
insurance. 2. The working out by an average adjuster of the rights and liabilities
arising in a case of general *average.
ad litem [Latin] For the suit. A grant ad litem is the appointment by a court of a
person to act on behalf of an estate in court proceedings, when the estate's proper
representatives are unable or unwilling to act. For example, the Official Solicitor
may be appointed administrator ad litem when a person wishes to claim under the
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975(see FAMILY PROVISION) but
the personal representatives are not willing to act, or nobody is entitled to a grant,
or the only person entitled to a grant is the litigant himself. A guardian ad litem is
the former name for a *children's guardian.
administration n. 1. The collection of assets, payment of debts, and distribution
to the beneficiaries of property in the estate of a deceased person. See also GRANT OF
REPRESENTATION.  2. The granting of *letters of administration to the estate of a
administration action
deceased person to an *administrator, when there is no executor under the will.
3. The process of carrying out duties imposed by a trust in connection with the
property of a person of unsound mind or a bankrupt.
administration action Proceedings instituted in court by a personal
representative or any other person interested in the estate of a deceased person to
obtain a *grant of representation.
administration bond A guarantee by a third party, often an insurance company,
to make good any loss arising if a person to whom letters of administration have
been granted fails to deal properly with the estate. The court usually requires an
administration bond as a condition of granting letters of administration only when
the beneficiaries are considered to need special protection, e.g. when the
administrator lives abroad or where there has been a dispute as to who should
administer the estate.
administration of poison See POISON.
administration order 1. An order made in a county court for the administration
of the estate of a judgment debtor. The order normally requires the debtor to pay
his debts by instalments: so long as he does so, the creditors referred to in the order
cannot enforce their individual claims by other methods without the leave of the
court. Administration orders are issued when the debtor has multiple debts but it is
thought that his bankruptcy can be avoided.
2. An order made by the court under the Insolvency Act 1986,directing that, during
the period for which it is in force, the affairs, business, and property of a company
shall be managed by a person appointed by the court (known as the administrator).
In order for the court to grant such an order it must be satisfied that the company
cannot or is unlikely to be able to pay its debts when due and that the order is likely
to allow (1) the survival of the company, or (2) the approval of a *voluntary
arrangement, or (3)a more favourable realization of its assets than would be
possible under a *winding-up or through an arrangement with creditors.
The Insolvency Act does not specify a period for the duration of the order: it
remains in force until the administrator is discharged, by the court, having achieved
the purpose(s) for which the order was granted or having decided that the purpose
cannot be achieved.
While the order is in force the company may not be wound up; no steps may be
taken to enforce any security over the company's property or to repossess goods in
the company's possession, except with the leave of the court, and no other
proceedings or other legal processes may be initiated or continued, against the
company or its property, except with the court's leave.
administration pending suit Administration of a deceased person's estate by a
person appointed by the High Court (the administrator pending suit) when legal
proceedings are pending concerning the validity of the will or for obtaining,
recalling, or revoking any grant. An administrator pending suit has all the rights,
powers, and duties of a general administrator except that he may not distribute any
part of the estate without the leave of the court.
administrative letter See COMFORT LETTER.
administrative powers Discretionary powers of an executive nature that are
conferred by legislation on government ministers, public and local authorities, and
other bodies and persons for the purpose of giving detailed effect to broadly
defined policy. Examples include powers to acquire land compulsorily, to grant or
refuse licences or consents, and to determine the precise nature and extent of
admissibility of records
services to be provided. Administrative powers are found in every sphere of public
administration, including town and country planning, the regulation of public
health and other environmental matters, the functioning of the welfare services,
and the control of many trades, professions, and other activities. Their exercise is
subject to judicial control by means of the doctrine of *ultra vires.
administrative receiver A *receiver who, under the terms of a debenture
secured by floating *charge, takes control of all (or substantially all) of a company's
administrative tribunal A body established by or under Act of Parliament to
decide claims and disputes arising in connection with the administration of
legislative schemes, normally of a welfare or regulatory nature. Examples are
*employment tribunals and *rent assessment committees. They exist outside the
ordinary courts of law, but their decisions are subject to judicial control by means
of the doctrine of *ultra vires and in cases of *error of law on the face of the record.
administrator n. 1. A person appointed by the court to collect and distribute a
deceased person's estate when the deceased died intestate, his will did not appoint an
executor, or the executor refuses to act. An administrator's authority to deal with
the estate does not begin until the court has granted *letters of administration. The
Administration of Estates Act 1925lays down the order in which people are entitled
to a grant of representation. Compare EXECUTOR.  2. See ADMINISTRATION ORDER.
Admiralty Court A court forming part of the *Queen's Bench Division of the
High Court whose jurisdiction embraces civil actions relating to ships and the sea.
*Puisne judges hear cases with the assistance of nautical assessors. The court's work
includes cases about collisions, damage to cargo, prizes (see PRIZE COURT), and salvage,
and in some cases *assessors may be called in to sit with the judge. The distinctive
feature of the court's procedure is the action *in rem, under which the property
that has given rise to the cause of action (usually a ship) may be "arrested" and held
by the court to satisfy the claimant's claim. In practice, it is usual for the owners of
the property to give security for its release while the action is proceeding. If the
claim is successful, the property held or the sum given by way of security is
available to satisfy the judgment. Until 1971 the Admiralty Court was part of the
*Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court. Since the Access to
Justice Act 1999, all Admiralty proceedings will be allocated to the *multi-track.
admissibility of evidence The principles determining whether or not particular
items of evidence may be received by the court. The central principle of
admissibility is *relevance. All irrelevant evidence is inadmissible, but evidence that
is legally relevant may also be inadmissible if it falls within the scope of one of the
*exclusionary rules of evidence. See also CONDITIONAL ADMISSIBILITY; MULTIPLE
admissibility of records In civil cases documents containing information
(records) are admissible as evidence of the facts stated in them. Before the
introduction of the Civil Evidence Act 1995, such documents and records were
admissible only if they came within an exception to the rules prohibiting the use of
hearsay evidence. Since 1995the hearsay rules in civil cases have been abolished and
accordingly these records are admissible. In criminal cases the hearsay rules in
relation to business documents have been relaxed, although not completely
abolished, by the Criminal Justice Act 1988.Under these provisions, such records are
admissible if they have been compiled by someone acting in the course of a duty to
do so.
admission n. 1. In civil proceedings, a statement by a party to litigation or by his
duly authorized agent that is adverse to the party's case. Admissions may be
informal (i.e. in a document or by word of mouth) or formal (i.e. made in a
statement of case or in reply to a request for further information). An admission
may be related to the court by someone other than the person who made it under
an exception to the rule against *hearsay evidence. 2. In criminal proceedings, a
statement admitting an offence or a fact that constitutes legally acceptable evidence
of the offence or fact. Admissions may be informal or formal. An informal
admission is called a *confession. A formal admission may be made either before or
at the hearing, but if not made in court, it must be in writing and signed by the
defendant or his legal adviser. An admission may be made in respect of any fact
about which *oral evidence could be given and is *conclusive evidence of the fact
admitted at all criminal proceedings relating to the matter, although it may be
withdrawn at any stage with the permission of the court. A plea of guilty to a
charge read out in court is a formal admission. See also CAUTION.
admonition n. A reprimand from a judge to a defendant who has been discharged
from the further prosecution of an offence.
adoption n. 1. The process by which a parent's legal rights and duties in respect of
an unmarried minor are transferred to another person or persons. Adoption can
only take place by means of an adoption order made by a magistrates' court (in the
family proceedings court), county court, or the High Court (in the Children Branch
of the Family Division). Adoption differs from fostering in that it affects all the
parents' rights and duties and it is a permanent change. After adoption the natural
parents are (except for the rules relating to *affinityand *incest) no longer
considered in law to be the parents of the child, who is henceforth regarded as the
legal child of the adoptive parents (see alsoADOPTIVE RELATIONSHIP). However, the
court may make a contact order (see SECTION 8 ORDERS) at the time the adoption
order is made. Contact after adoption is becoming a contentious issue and recently
the court has allowed a natural parent to seek permission to apply for a contact
order in respect of an adopted child.
The first (but not the only) consideration in deciding whether or not a child
should be adopted is whether the adoption would safeguard and promote the
welfare of the child. The court must, if possible, try to ascertain the child's wishes
and in addition take account of all the circumstances. This may involve consulting
expert opinion (e.g.of psychiatrists or social workers). The court may also appoint a
"children's guardian to act in the child's interests. There are many provisions in the
Adoption Act 1976 as amended by the Children Act 1989 designed to make sure that
an adoption would be in the child's best interests. Every local authority must set up
an *adoption service, and *adoption societies are carefully controlled; in addition,
the government is anxious to increase the adoption of children who are currently in
the care of the local authority. There are rules as to who may adopt and who may be
adopted and provisions for a probationary period, during which the child lives with
the would-be adopter(s) and the court assesses whether he gets on well with them.
One of the ways in which a commissioning couple may attain the legal status of
parents in relation to a child born to a surrogate mother is by adopting the child;
however, this is becoming less common now that the couple can apply for a *section
30 order (parental order) under the Human Embryology and Fertilization Act 1990.
Normally a child cannot be adopted without the consent of each of its parents or
ad referendum
guardians, but in some cases the court may make an adoption order without the
parents' consent (e.g. if they cannot be found or have ill-treated the child). If the
court thinks that the parents are refusing unreasonably to agree to an adoption that
would be in the child's best interests, it may make an adoption order against the
parents' wishes. A parent may consent either to a specific adoption or to an order
*freeing for adoption by whomever the court eventually decides is best suited to
adopt the child. Since the Children Act 1989 the courts now have the option of
making a section 8 order either instead of an adoption order, so that parental
responsibility may be shared (e.g. a residence order), or in addition to it (e.g. a contact
order). Adoption law is currently under review and there are recommendations to
malee it a duty of the court, when considering whether to make an adoption order,
to consider alternative orders available under the Children Act, and to bring
adoption law in line with the principles of the Act by making the child's welfare of
paramount importance in adoption proceedings. In addition, a court will be able to
dispense with parental consent if the welfare of the child demands this.
The Registrar General must keep a register containing details of all adoption
orders, which any member of the public may consult. An adopted child over the age
of 18 has a right to see a copy of his original birth certificate in order to find out
who his natural parents are. Although natural parents can register their interest in
contacting their children who have been adopted, they have no corresponding right
to trace these adopted children.
2.  Reliance by a court on a rule of international law that has not been expressly
made part of the law of the land but is not inconsistent with it.
3.  The decision of a local authority or similar body to bring into force in their area
an Act of Parliament conferring powers on them at their option.
adoption. agency. A local authority or an approved *adoption society. Usually
only adoption agencies may make arrangements for adoption.
Adoption Contact Register A register, maintained by the Registrar General.
containing the names and addresses of all adopted persons who are over the age of
18, have a copy of their birth certificate, and wish to contact a relative, together
WIth details of relatives who wish to make contact with an adopted person.
adoption order See ADOPTION.
adoption service Under the Adoption Act 1976, the different services, collectively,
that local authorities must provide within their area in order to meet the needs of
"adoption. These services include provision of accommodation for pregnant women
and mothers, making arrangements for placing children with prospective adopters,
and advising people with adoption problems.
adoption society A group of people organized to make arrangements for the
*adoption of children. Adoption societies must be approved by the Secretary of State
before acting as such.
adoptive leave  See PARENTAL LEAVE.
adoptive relationship  A legal relationship created as a result of an adoption
order (see ADOPTION). Amale adopter is known as the adoptive father, afemale
adopter as the adoptive mother, and other relatives as adoptive relatives. The
laws of *affinity are, however, not altered by the new adoptive relationship.
ad referendum   [Latin: to be further considered] Denoting a contract that has
been signed although minor points remain to be decided.
adulteration n. The mixing of other substances with food. It is an offence of
*strict liability under the Food Act 1984 to sell any food containing a substance that
would endanger health. It is also an offence to mix dangerous substances into food
with the intention of selling the mixture.
adultery ti. An act of sexual intercourse between a male and female not married
to each other, when at least one of them is married to someone else. Intercourse for
this purpose means penetration of the vagina by the penis; any degree of
penetration will suffice (full penetration is not necessary). Adultery is one of the
five facts that a petitioner may rely on under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973as
evidence to show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. However, in
addition to the adultery, the petitioner must show that she or he finds it intolerable
to live with the respondent. See DIVORCE.
advance corporation tax (ACT) A form of *corporation tax payable by a
company on its qualifying distributions from April 1973until April 1999, when it
was abolished.
advancement n. 1. The power, in a trust, to provide capital sums for the benefit
of a person who is an infant or who may (but is not certain to) receive the property
under a settlement. The term is a shortened form of advancement in the world
and has the connotation of providing a single or lump sum from the trust fund for
a specific purpose of a permanent nature; examples include sums payable on
marriage, to buy a house for the beneficiary, or to establish the beneficiary in a
trade or profession. Before 1926,a power of advancement had to be specifically
included in any settlement; since 1925a statutory power exists, subject to contrary
intention. No person may receive by way of advancement more than half that to
which he could ever become entitled. 2. A presumption, arising in certain
circumstances, that if one person purchases property in the name of another, the
property is intended for the advancement of that other person and will be held
beneficially by that person and not on *resulting trust for the person who
purchases it. The presumption of advancement arises when a father or other person
in the position of a parent purchases property for a child. The presumption does not
automatically arise in the case of a mother because until 1882 a married woman
could not, during marriage, own property; her automatic exclusion from the
presumption now seems nonsensical (especially as a mother now has a statutory
duty to maintain her children), although she will in many cases be found to be "in
the position of a parent". A similar presumption has been held to exist when a
husband purchases property for his wife (though not viceversa), and occasionally a
man for his mistress, but the strength (and perhaps even the existence) of this
presumption is doubtful. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that
advancement was not intended. This evidence may be parol evidence (i.e, given
adversary procedure  See ACCUSATORIAL PROCEDURE.
adverse occupation Occupation of premises by a trespasser to the exclusion of
the owner or lawful occupier. *Trespass in itself is not usually a criminal offence,
but if the premises are residential and were being occupied, the trespasser (whether
or not he used force in order to enter) is guilty of an offence under the Criminal
Law Act 1977if he refuses to leave when asked to do so by the displaced *residential
occupier or a protected intending occupier (or by someone acting on behalf of
them). A protected intending occupier includes a purchaser, someone let in by the
local authority, Housing Corporation, or a housing association with written evidence
of his claim to the premises, or someone holding a lease, tenancy, or licence with
advisory jurisdiction
two years to run. Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, such a
person may obtain an interim possession order. This differs from an ordinary
possession order in that it is much quicker, may be heard in the absence of those on
the property, and involves the police in enforcement. It is only available for
buildings and ancillary land and not against those, such as gypsies and New Age
Travellers, who occupy open land. Once the proper procedure has been followed and
the applicant has shown a good case for possession, an order will require those on
the land to leave within 24 hours. Remaining on the premises or re-entry within 12
months is a *summary offence, punishable by a *fine on level 5 and/or six months'
imprisonment. A uniformed constable has a power of *arrest, It is also an offence to
make false or misleading statements in making or resisting such an order. Similar
penalties apply on summary conviction, but on *indictment a maximum of two
years' imprisonment and/or a fine may be imposed.
Usually it is a summary offence for a stranger or the landlord to use violence to
gain entry to premises when it is known that there is someone on those premises
opposed to such an entry. However, a displaced residential occupier or a protected
intending occupier who has asked the person to leave may call on the police for
assistance. A police constable may arrest anyone who refuses to leave for the
*summary offence of adverse occupation of residential premises. Furthermore, it is
not an offence if a constable, a displaced residential occupier, or a protected
intending occupier (or their agents) uses force to secure entry. See FORCIBLE ENTRY.
adverse possession The occupation of land to which another person has title
with the intention of possessing it as one's own. The adverse possessor must occupy
the land as if he were entitled to it to the exclusion of all others, and must intend
to occupy it as his own. Both these factors must be evidenced by the use made of the
land; for example, cultivation, fencing, etc. Equivocal acts, such as use of the land for
grazing animals from time to time or allowing children to play on the land, will not
be sufficient. After 12 years' adverse possession, the original owner's title becomes
statute-barred by the Limitation Act 1980,and he cannot recover his land from the
adverse possessor. The adverse possessor becomes the lawful owner (a squatter's
title), and is entitled to be registered as such. The law on adverse possession is
frequently used to cure small discrepancies in the plan attached to a transfer of
land, and the actual position of boundaries on the ground, but it can also be used to
obtain ownership of large areas of land. See also POSSESSORY TITLE.
adverse witness A witness who gives evidence unfavourable to the party who
called him. If the witness's evidence is merely unfavourable he may not be
impeached (i.e. his credibility may not be attacked) by the party calling him, but
contradictory evidence may be called. If, however, the witness is *hostile he may be
impeached by introducing evidence that shows his untruthfulness.
advice on evidence The written opinion of counsel, usually prepared after
*disclosure and inspection of documents, identifying the issues raised in the
statements of case and advising counsel's instructing solicitor what evidence it will
be necessary to call at the trial.
advisory jurisdiction  The jurisdiction of the INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
under which it can render legal opinions, similar in kind to declaration (see
DECLARATORY JUDGMENT) under English municipal law. In contrast to the contentious
jurisdiction of the Court, states are not parties to the proceedings and there is no
claimant or defendant to the action. The Court proceeds by inviting states or
international organizations to provide information to assist the Court in its
determination of point of law at issue.
advocacy qualification
The authority of the International Court of Justice to give advisory opinions is
found under Article 96 of the UN Charter. Under this Article the Court is
empowered to give such opinions on legal questions at the request of the UN
Security Councilor the General Assembly. Moreover, the power to request advisory
opinions on legal questions arising within the scope of their activities also resides in
other organs of the United Nations and its specialized agencies if they have been
authorized by the General Assembly to do so.
advocacy qualification A qualification authorizing a person to act as an
*advocate under the provisions of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. There are
separate qualifications for different levels of the court system, but the rights of
those already entitled to appear as advocates at any level of the system at the time
when the Act came into force are preserved.
advocate n. 1. One who exercises a *right of audience and argues a case for a
client in legal proceedings. In magistrates' courts and the county courts both
*barristers and *solicitors have the right to appear as advocates. In most Crown
Court centres, the High Court, the Court of Appeal, and the House of Lords
barristers have exclusive rights of audience. However, the provisions of the Courts
and Legal Services Act 1990allows solicitors with appropriate experience to qualify
for rights of audience similar to those of barristers and acquire *advocacy
qualifications for the Crown Court, High Court, and Supreme Court. In many
tribunals there are no rules concerning representation, and laymen may appear as
advocates. Advocates no longer enjoy immunity from law suits for negligence in
relation to civil or criminal litigation. 2. In Scotland, a member of the Faculty of
Advocates, the professional organization of the Scots Bar.
Advocate General  An assistant to the judge of the *European Court of Justice
whose function is to assist the court by presenting opinions upon every case
brought before it. The Advocate General acts as an *amicus curiaein putting forward
arguments based upon his own view of the interests of the European Union,
although it is not open to any of the parties to the legal action to submit
observations on his opinion.
advowson n. A right of presenting a clergyman to an ecclesiastical living. The
advowson is an incorporeal *hereditament that gives the owner (or patron) the right
to nominate the next holder of a living that has fallen vacant. It may exist in gross
(i.e. independently of any ownership of land by the person entitled) or may be
appendent (i.e. annexed to land so that it may be enjoyed by each owner for the
time being). The right is usually associated with the lordship of a manor.
aequitas est quasi aequalitas See EQUALITY IS EQUITY.
affidavit n. A sworn written statement used mainly to support certain
applications and, in some circumstances, as evidence in court proceedings. The
person who makes the affidavit must swear or *affirm that the contents are true
before a person authorized to take oaths in respect of the particular kind of
affiliation order Formerly, an order of a magistrates' court against a man alleged
to be the father of an illegitimate child, obliging him to make payments towards
the upkeep of the child. Affiliation proceedings have been abolished by the Family
Law Reform Act 1987and financial provision for illegitimate and legitimate children
is now the same (see CHILD SUPPORT MAINTENANCE).
affinity n. The relationship created by marriage between a husband and his wife's
blood relatives or between a wife and her husband's blood relatives. Some categories
of people related by affinity are forbidden to marry each other (see PROHIBITED
DEGREES OF RELATIONSHIPS). The relationship of blood relatives is known as
*consanguinity. See also INCEST.
affirm vb.  1. To confirm a legal decision, particularly (of an appeal court) to
confirm a judgment made in a lower court. 2. To promise in solemn form to tell the
truth while giving evidence or when making an *affidavit. Under the Oaths Act
1978, any person who objects to being sworn on *oath, or in respect of whom it is
not reasonably practicable to administer an oath, may instead affirm. Affirmation
has the same legal effects as the taking of an oath. 3. To treat a contract as
continuing in existence, instead of exercising a right to rescind it for
*misrepresentation or other cause (see VOIDABLE CONTRACT) or to treat it as discharged
by reason of repudiation or breach (see BREACH OF CONTRACT). Affirmation is effective
only if it takes place with full knowledge of the facts. It may take the form of an
express declaration of intention to proceed with the contract; alternatively, that
intention may be inferred from conduct (if, for example, the party attempts to sell
goods that have been delivered under a contract voidable for misrepresentation).
Lapse of time without seeking a remedy may be treated as evidence of affirmation.
affirmative pregnant An allegation in a statement of case implying or not
denying some negative. Compare NEGATIVE PREGNANT.
affirmative resolution  See DELEGATED LEGISLATION.
affray n. The offence of intentionally using or threatening, other than by words
alone, unlawful violence. The conduct must be such as would have caused a
reasonable person to fear for his safety, though no such person need be present. The
offence is found in the Public Order Act 1986,though it can be committed in private
as well as in public places. It replaces the common-law offence of affray and is
punishable on indictment with up to three years' imprisonment and/or a fine or, on
summary conviction, by imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or by a
fine. A constable may arrest without warrant anyone he reasonable suspects is
committing affray. See alsoASSAULT; RIOT; VIOLENT DISORDER.
affreightment n. A contract for the carriage of goods by sea (the consideration
being called freight and the carrier the freighter). It can be either a *charterparty
or a contract whose terms are set out in the *bill of lading.
agency n. 1. The relationship between an *agent and his principal. 2. The business
carried on by an agent.
agent n. 1. A person appointed by another (the principal) to act on his behalf,
often to negotiate a contract between the principal and a third party. If an agent
discloses his principal's name (or at least the existence of a principal) to the third
party with whom he is dealing, the agent himself is not normally entitled to the
benefit of, or be liable on, the contract. An undisclosedprincipal is one whose
existence is not revealed by the agent to a third party; he may still be entitled to the
benefit of, and be liable on, the contract, but in such cases the agent is also entitled
and liable. However, an undisclosed principal may not be entitled to the benefit of a
contract if the agency is inconsistent with the terms of the contract or if the third
party shows that he wished to contract with the agent personally.
A general agent is one who has authority to act for his principal in all his
business of a particular kind, or who acts for the principal in the course of his (the
agent provocateur
agent's) usual business or profession. A special agent is authorized to act only for a
special purpose that is not in the ordinary course of the agent's business or
profession. The principal of a general agent is bound by acts of the agent that are
incidental to the ordinary conduct of the agent's business or the effective
performance of his duties, even if the principal has imposed limitations on the
agent's authority. But in the case of a special agent, the principal is not bound by
acts that are not within the authority conferred. In either case, the principal may
ratify an unauthorized contract. An agent for the sale of goods sometimes agrees to
protect his principal against the risk of the buyer's insolvency. He does this by
undertaking liability for the unjustifiable failure of the third-party buyer to pay
the price of the goods. Such an agent is called a del credere agent. See also
2. (in criminal law) See BUGGERY.
agent provocateur A person who actively entices, encourages, or persuades
someone to commit a crime that would not otherwise have been committed for the
purpose of securing his conviction (see ENTRAPMENT). In such a case the agent
provocateur will be regarded as an accomplice in any offence that the accused
commits as a result of this intervention.
age of consent The age at which a girl can legally consent to sexual intercourse,
or to an act that would otherwise constitute an indecent assault. This age is 16. This
minimum age limit does not apply to girls married under a foreign law that is
recognized in English law. See alsoBUGGERY.
aggravated assault See ASSAULT.
aggravated burglary See BURGLARY.
aggravated damages  *Damages that are awarded when the conduct of the
defendant or the surrounding circumstances increase the injury to the claimant by
subjecting him to humiliation, distress, or embarrassment, particularly in such torts
as assault, false imprisonment, and defamation.
aggravated trespass See TRESPASS.
aggravated vehicle-taking An offence concerning joyriding, which was
enacted in 1992.The offence arises when the accused has unlawfully taken a motor
vehicle, driven it in a dangerous manner on a public road, and caused an accident
resulting in injury to another person or to property. Any passenger in the vehicle
who knows that it has been taken without the owner's consent is also guilty of the
aggression n. (in international law) According to the General Assembly Resolution
(3314) on the Definition of Aggression 1975, the use of armed force by one state
against the sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence of another
state or in any way inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations. The
Resolution lists examples of aggression, which include the following. (1) Invasion,
attack, military occupation, or annexation of the territory of any state by the armed
forces of another state. (2)Bombardment or the use of any weapons by a state
against another state's territory. (3)Armed blockade by a state of another state's
ports or coasts. (4) The use of a state's armed forces in another state in breach of the
terms of the agreement on which they were allowed into that state. (5) Allowing
one's territory to be placed at the disposal of another state, to be used by that state
for committing an act of aggression against a third state. (6)Sending armed bands
agricultural land tribunal
or guerrillas to carry out armed raids on another state that are grave enough to
amount to any of the above acts.
The first use of armed force by a state in contravention of the UN Charter is
prima facie evidence of aggression, although the final decision in such cases is left
to the Security Council, who may also classify other acts as aggression. The
Resolution declares that no consideration whatsoever can justify aggression, that
territory cannot be acquired by acts of aggression, and that wars of aggression
constitute a crime against international peace. See alsoHUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION;
agreement n. (in international law) See TREATY.
agreement for a lease  A contract to enter into a *lease. Special rules govern the
creation of such a contract. Before 27 September 1989,a contract to grant a lease was
unenforceable unless it was evidenced in writing, or evidenced by a sufficient act of
*part performance (such as entering onto the property and paying rent). Since 27
September 1989, a contract to grant a lease for not more than three years may be
made orally or by any kind of written agreement. A contract to grant a longer lease
must be in writing, incorporating all the terms of the agreement, and signed by the
parties. A contract that does not comply with these requirements is wholly void and
can no longer be evidenced by part performance.
agrement n. The formal diplomatic notification by a state that the diplomatic
agent selected to be sent to it by another state has been accepted, i.e. is persona grata
and can consequently become accredited to it. The agrement is the reply to a query
by the sending state, which precedes the sent diplomat's formal nomination and
accreditation. This type of mutual exchange by two states over their diplomatic
representation is called agreation. See also PERSONA NON GRATA.
agricultural dwelling-house advisory committee (ADHAC) A committee
that advises the local authority in its area on the agricultural need for *tied
cottages. An owner of a tied cottage can apply to a local authority to rehouse a
former worker who is occupying the cottage. The local authority has a duty to do
this if the committee advises that possession is needed in the interests of efficient
agricultural holding A tenancy of agricultural land. Tenants have special
statutory protection and there is a procedure to fix rent by arbitration if the parties
cannot agree. The landlord normally has to give at least one year's notice to quit.
The tenant can usually appeal to an *agriculturalland tribunal to decide whether
the notice to quit should operate. The landlord is entitled to compensation at the
end of the tenancy if the holding has deteriorated and the tenant is at fault; the
tenant can claim compensation at the end of the tenancy for disturbance and for
improvements he has made. The Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 gives the security of
tenure. Tenancies and licences to those working the land may give security of
tenure under the Housing Act 1988if the tenants are qualifying workers (working
on the land as defined in the Act) and otherwise qualify. See ASSURED AGRICULTURAL
agricultural land tribunal A tribunal having statutory functions in relation to
tenancies of agricultural holdings. It normally consists of a legally qualified
chairman, a representative farmer, and a representative landowner. Notice to quit a
holding is in certain circumstances inoperative without a tribunal's consent, and on
the death of a tenant the tribunal has power to direct that a qualifying member of
aid and abet
his family is entitled to a new tenancy. Application may also be made to the tribunal
for a certificate of bad husbandry.
aid and abet To assist in the performance of a crime either before or during (but
not after) its commission. Aiding usually refers to material assistance (e.g.providing
the tools for the crime), and abetting to lesser assistance (e.g.acting as a look-out or
driving a car to the scene of the crime). Aiders and abettors are liable to be tried as
*accessories. Mere presence at the scene of a crime is not regarded as aiding and
abetting. It is unnecessary to have a criminal motive to be guilty of aiding and
abetting: knowledge that one is assisting the criminal is sufficient. See also IMPEDING
Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) A zone, which can extend in some
cases up to 300 miles beyond the territorial sea, established for security reasons by
some states off their coasts. When entering the ADIZ all aircraft are required to
identify themselves, report flight plans, and inform ground control of their exact
position. See also AIRSPACE.
air-force law See SERVICE LAW.
air pollution See POLLUTION.
airspace n. In English law and international law, the ownership of land includes
ownership of the airspace above it, by application of the maxim cujus est solum ejus
est usque ad coelum (whose is the soil, his it is even to heaven); outer space, however,
is not considered to be subject to ownership.
In English law an owner has rights in as much of the airspace above his land as is
necessary for the ordinary use of his land and the structures on it. Within these
limits a projection over one's land (such as a signboard) can be a trespass and
pollution of air by one's neighbour can be a nuisance. Pollution of air is also
controlled by various statutes. There is no natural right to the free flow of air from
neighbouring land, but *easements for the flow of air through a defined opening
(such as a window or a ventilator) can be acquired. Civil aircraft flying at a
reasonable height over land do not commit trespass, but damages can be obtained if
material loss or damage is caused to people or property.
In international law, national airspace, including airspace above the internal
waters and the territorial sea, is under complete and exclusive sovereignty of the
subjacent state. As a result, apart from aircraft in distress, any use of national
airspace by non-national aircraft requires the official consent of the state concerned.
This can be granted unilaterally or more commonly (in respect of commercial
flights) through a bilateral treaty, usually on conditions of reciprocity. See
alderman n. A senior member of a local authority, elected by its directly elected
members. Active aldermanic rank now exists only in the *City of London, having
been phased out elsewhere by the Local Government Act 1972.County, district, and
London borough councils can, however, appoint past members to honorary rank in
recognition of eminent service. The term was originally synonymous with 'elder'
and is of Anglo-Saxon derivation.
alibi n. [from Latin: elsewhere] A defence to a criminal charge alleging that the
defendant was not at the place at which the crime was committed and so could not
have been responsible for it. If the defendant claims to have been at a particular
place at the time of the crime, evidence in support of an alibi may only be given if
the defendant has supplied particulars of it to the prosecution not later than seven
allocation questionnaire
days after committal, unless the Crown Court considers that there was a valid
reason for not supplying them.
alien n.  Aperson who, under the law of a particular state, is not a citizen of that
state. Aliens are usually classified as resident aliens (domiciled in the host country)
or transient aliens (temporarily in the host country on business, study, etc.). They
are normally subject to certain civil disabilities, such as being ineligible to vote. For
the purposes of UK statute law an alien is defined by the British Nationality Act 1981
(in force from 1 January 1983)as a person who is neither a Commonwealth citizen,
nor a British protected person, nor a citizen of the Republic of Ireland. At common
law, a distinction is drawn between friendly and enemy aliens. The latter comprise
not only citizens of hostile states but also all others voluntarily living in enemy
territory or carrying on business there; they are subject to additional disabilities. See
alienable adj. Capable of being transferred: used particularly in relation to real
alienation n.  The transfer of property (particularly real property) from one person
to another. See also RESTRAINT ON ALIENATION.
alienijuris   [Latin: of another's right] Describing the status of a person who is not
of full age and capacity. Compare SUIJURIS.
alimentary trust See PROTECTIVE TRUST.
alimony n.  Formerly, financial provision made by a husband to his wife when they
are living apart. Alimony is now known as *maintenance or *financial provision.
allegation n.  Any statement of fact in a statement of case, *affidavit, or
*indictment. In civil cases it is the duty of the party who makes an allegation to
adduce evidence in support of it at trial, under the principle of "he who asserts
must prove".
allegiance   n. The duty of obedience owed to a head of state in return for his
protection. It is due from all citizens of that state and its dependencies and also
from any *alien present in the state (including enemy aliens under licence; for
example, internees). A person who is declared by the British Nationality Act 1981 not
to be an alien but who has a primary citizenship conferred by a state other than the
UK is probably governed by the same principles as aliens so far as allegiance is
allocation n.  The stage in civil litigation when a decision is made as to how the
case is to be dealt with. After each of the parties has completed and filed an
*allocation questionnaire, allocation is made to one of three tracks: (1) the *small
claims track for cases worth less than £5000;(2)the *fast track for cases worth
between £5000 and £15,000; and (3)the *multi-track for cases worth more than
£15,000. After allocation has taken place, the court will proceed to give standard
directions as to how the case should proceed. This stage was formerly (before the
introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules in 1999) referred to as setting down for
trial. See also CASE MANAGEMENT.
allocation questionnaire  A questionnaire that (except in certain circumstances)
IS served on both parties in civil litigation when the defendant has filed a defence.
The completion of this document enables the court to allocate the case to the most
appropriate track (see ALLOCATION). The completed form will contain such
mformation as the monetary value of the claim, the complexity of the case, the
number of litigants involved, whether there are any counterclaims, the parties'
track of choice, whether time is needed to allow for settlement (known as a 'stay'),
and whether all or any applicable *pre-action protocols have been observed.
Failure to complete the questionnaire and return it to the appropriate place by
the date specified may lead to the claim being struck out. On receipt, the court will
allocate the case to a track, primarily based on the value of the claim but also
considering the other information supplied in the questionnaire.
allotment n. Amethod of acquiring previously unissued shares in a *Iimited
company in exchange for a contribution of capital. An application for such shares
will often be made after the issue of a *prospectus on the *flotation of a *public
conlpany or on the privatization of a state-owned industry. The company accepts the
application by dispatching a letter of allotment to the applicant stating how many
shares he has been allotted; he then has an unconditional right to be entered in the
*register of members in respect of those shares. If he has been allotted fewer shares
than he has applied for, he receives a cheque for the unallotted balance (an
application must be accompanied by a cheque for the full value of the shares
applied for). See alsoAUTHORIZED CAPITAL; RETURN.
alteration n.  Achange that, when made in a legal document, may affect its
validity. An alteration in a will is presumed to have been made after execution and
will therefore be invalid. However, it will be valid if it is proved to have been made
before execution or if it was executed in the same way as the will itself. If the
alteration is duly attested by the testator and the witnesses placing their initials or
signatures by it, it is presumed to be valid. If an invalid alteration completely
obliterates the original words, it is treated as a blank space. If the original words can
still be read, they remain effective. Alterations in deeds are presumed to have been
made before execution. Alterations made after execution do not affect the validity
of the deed If their purpose ISto correct an obvious error. If, however, a material
alteration is made to a deed after execution without the consent of the parties, the
deed may become void in part. See alsoAMENDMENT.
alteration of share capital  An increase, reduction (see REDUCTION OF CAPITAL), or
any other change in the *authorized capital of a company. If permitted by the
*articles of association, a limited company can increase its authorized capital as
appropnate. It can also rearrange its existing authorized capital (e.g.by consolidating
100 shares of £1 mto 25 shares of £4 or by subdividing 100 shares of £1 into 200 of
50p) and cancel unissued shares. These are reserved powers (see GENERAL MEETING),
exercised - unless the articles of association provide otherwise - by an *ordinary
alternative dispute resolution (ADR) Any of a variety of techniques for
resolving civil disputes without the need for conventional litigation. It may include
mini-trial (ashortened and simplified form of court hearing), informal methods of
*arbitration, and structured forms of conciliation using a specially trained mediator
actmg as a go-between (see MEDIATION).
Alternative Investment Market (AIM)  See STOCK EXCHANGE.
alternative verdict A verdict of not guilty of the offence actually charged but
guilty of some lesser offence not specifically charged. Such a verdict is only
permitted when there is insufficient evidence to establish the more serious offence
but the evidence given is sufficient to prove the lesser offence. If, for example, in a
murder case there is evidence that the defendant lacked *maIice aforethought, an
alternative verdict of manslaughter may be returned.
ambiguity n. Uncertainty in meaning. In legal documents ambiguity may be
Amsterdam Treaty
patent or latent. A patent ambig.uity is obvious to anyone looking at the document;
for example, when a blank space IS left for a name. A latent ambiguity at first
appears to be an unambiguous statement, but the ambiguity becomes apparent in
the light of knowledge gamed other than from the document. An example is "I give
my gold watch to X", when the testator has two gold watches. In general, *extrinsic
evidence can be used to clarify latent ambiguities, but not patent ambiguities.
Extrinsic evidence cannot be used to give a different meaning to words capable of
ordinary interpretation.
ambulatory adj. (of a will) Taking effect not from when it was made but from the
death of the testator. Thus descriptions of property bequeathed or of beneficiaries
are taken to refer to property or persons existing at that time. The will remains
revocable until death.
ameliorating waste Alterations made by a tenant that improve the land he
leases. See WASTE.
amendment n. 1. Changes made to legislation, for the purpose of adding to,
correcting, or modifying the operation of the legislation. 2. Changes made to the
*statement of case used in civil litigation. Changes in the parties' knowledge of the
case as it proceeds may require alterations in the claim form, defence, or other
documents. For example, an amendment will be necessary in order to add the name
of a second defendant to the claim. On occasion, errors need to be corrected. The
Civil Procedure Rules make clear that amendments may be allowed (1) with the
consent of all parties, (2)with the permission of the court, or (3)in the absence of
consent and without the court's permission, provided the amendment is made
before the claim is served. The court may impose the penalty of costs on the party
seeking the amendment if this has been made necessary by negligence. Not every
minor development in the litigation, however, needs to be reflected in an
amendment, only those changes that will have a real effect on the litigation. 3. An
alteration of a *treaty adopted by the consent of the *high contracting parties and
intended to be binding upon all such parties. An amendment may involve either
individual provisions or a complete review of the treaty.
a mensa et thoro   [Latin] From board and bed. A decree of divorce a mensa et thoro
was the forerunner of the modern judicial separation order. See also AVINCULO
amicus curiae   [Latin; friend of the court] Counsel who assists the court by putting
arguments in support of an interest that might not be adequately represented by
the parties to the proceedings (such as the public interest) or by arguing on behalf
of a party who is otherwise unrepresented. In modern practice, when a court
requires the assistance of an amicuscuriaeit is customary to invite the *Attorney
General to attend, either in person or by counsel instructed on his behalf, to
represent the public interest, but counsel have been permitted to act as amicus
curiae on behalf of professional bodies (e.g. the Law Society).
amnesty n.  An act erasing from legal memory some aspect of criminal conduct by
an offender. It is most frequently granted to groups of people in respect of political
offences and is wider than a *pardon, which merely relieves an offender of
Amsterdam Treaty The EU treaty signed in Amsterdam in 1997(in force from 1
May 1999), which amended provisions of the *Treaty of Rome (European Community
Treaty) and the *Maastricht Treaty (Treaty on European Union). Among other
effects, the Amsterdam Treaty increased the powers of the European Parliament by
ancient lights
extending the *codecision procedure to all areas covered by qualified majority
voting and enabled the *Social Chapter to be incorporated into the Treaty of Rome.
ancient lights  An *easement acquired by lapse of time (see PRESCRIPTION) resulting
from 20 years' continuous enjoyment of the access of light to the claimant's land
without any written consent from the owner of the land over which the easement
is claimed.
ancillary credit business Abusiness involved in credit brokerage, debt
adjusting, debt counselling, debt collecting, or the operation of a credit-reference
agency. Credit brokerage includes the effecting of introductions of individuals
wishing to obtain credit to persons carrying on a *consumer-credit business. Debt
adjusting is the process by which a third party negotiates terms for the discharge
of a debt due under *consumer-credit agreements or *consumer-hire agreements
with the creditor or owner on behalf of the debtor or hirer. The latter may also pay
a third party to take over his obligation to discharge a debt or to undertake any
similar activity concerned with its liquidation. Debt counselling is the giving of
advice (other than by the original creditor and certain others) to debtors or hirers
about the liquidation of debts due under consumer-credit agreements or consumer-
hire agreements. In debt collecting, someone other than the creditor takes steps to
procure the payment of debts owing to him. A creditor may engage a debt collector
for this purpose. A credit-reference agency collects information concerning the
financial standing of individuals and supplies this information to those seeking it.
The Consumer Credit Act 1974provides for the licensing of ancillary credit
businesses and regulates their activities.
ancillary probate A grant of probate to an executor appointed under a foreign
jurisdiction to enable him to deal with assets of the deceased in the UK.
ancillary relief Acourt order incidental to another order or application. It
usually refers to a *financial provision order or a *property adjustment order made
in the course of proceedings for divorce, separation, or nullity under the
Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.Such orders are made on or after granting the decree.
ancillary restraint Arestriction that is imposed as part of a larger transaction. In
relation to the EU *merger rules, there is a notice setting out for how long and on
what terms ancillary restraints are permitted in the context of such arrangements.
angary n. The right of belligerent states to make use of (or destroy if necessary)
neutral property on their own or on enemy territory or on the open sea, for the
purpose of offence and defence. Traditionally, the right (jus angariae) was restricted
to the belligerent laying an *embargo on and seizing neutral merchant ships in its
harbours and compelling them and their crews to transport troops, ammunition,
and provisions to certain places on payment of freight in advance. However, all sorts
of neutral property, including vessels or other means of transport, arms,
ammunition, provisions, or other personal property, may be the object of the
modern right of angary, provided the articles concerned are serviceable to military
ends and wants.
animus n.   [Latin] Intention. The term is often used in combination; for example,
animus furandi - the intention to steal; animus manendi - the intention to remain
in one place (for the purposes of the law relating to <domicile],
annexation n.  (in international law) The acquisition of legal sovereignty by one
state over the territory of another, usually by *occupation or conquest. Annexation
is now generally considered illegal in international law, even when it results from a
legitimate use of force (for example, in self-defence). It may subsequently become
legal, however, by means of *recognition by other states. The annexing state is not
bound by pre-existing obligations of the state annexed.
annual general meeting (AGM) A meeting of company members required by
the Companies Act 1985to be held each calendar year. Not more than 15months
should elapse between meetings, and 21 days' written notice (specifying the meeting
as the annual general meeting) must usually be given. AGMsare concerned with the
accounts, directors' and auditor's reports, dividends, the election of directors, and the
appointment and remuneration of the auditor. Other matters are treated as *special
annual return A document that registered companies are required by law to send
to the *Companies Registry, usually each year. It includes information concerning
the type of company and its business activities, the registered office, directors,
company members, and certain company debts. It is open to public inspection.
Failure to file the return is a criminal offence and may lead to the company being
removed from the register and fined. See REGISTRATION OF A COMPANY.
annual value of land The annual rent that might reasonably be expected from
letting land or buildings, if the tenant pays all usual rates and taxes while other
expenses (including repairs) are borne by the landlord. It is used in assessing *rates.
The Inland Revenue carries out the valuation.
annuity n. A sum of money payable annually for as long as the beneficiary
(annuitant) lives, or for some other specified period (e.g. the life of another person
(pur autre vie) or the minority of the annuitant). An annuity left by will is treated as
a pecuniary legacy. An annuity may be charged on, or directed to be paid out of, a
particular fund or it may be unsecured. A joint annuity, in which money is payable
to more than one annuitant, terminates on the death of the last survivor. See also
annulment n. 1. A declaration by the court that a marriage was never legally
valid. In all cases of nullity except nonconsummation, a decree of annulment will
only be granted within three years after the celebration of the marriage. See also
NULLITY OF MARRIAGE. 2. The cancellation by a court of a *bankruptcy order, which
occurs when it considers that the debtor was wrongly made bankrupt, when all the
debts have been paid in full, or when the court approves a *voluntary arrangement.
The power of annulment is discretionary. Annulment does not affect the validity of
any sale of property or other action that has already taken place as a result of the
bankruptcy order. 3. The cancellation of *delegated legislation by resolution of
either House of Parliament. 4. The setting aside of legislation or other action by the
*European Court of Justice.
annus et dies [Latin] A year and a day. At common law, the Crown was entitled to
take possession of the lands of a person convicted of felony and to exploit them
without reserve for a year and a day. This was known as the right of year, day, and
answer n. 1. A reply to a request for further information (see INTERROGATORY). 2. A
statement of case served by the respondent to a petition, e.g. an answer to a divorce
petition. It is equivalent to the *defence served by the defendant in response to a
claim form.
antecedents pl. n. An accused or convicted person's previous criminal record or
applicable law
track claim or in specialist proceedings or (2) an appeal itself from a county court
judge. Where two or more High Court judges sit as a Divisional Court, appeals are
permitted. In the Chancery Divisional Court, appeals may be heard from certain
tribunals, e.g. the Inland Revenue Commissioners, and from the county courts for
such matters as bankruptcy appeals. In the Family Divisional Court, appeals may be
heard from the magistrates' courts and the county courts, typically in respect of
financial provision under the Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates' Court Act 1978.
In the Queen's Bench Divisional Court, appeals may be heard, when circumstances
demand, from the magistrates' courts, the Crown Court, and various tribunals by
way of case stated and in matters of *judicial review and *habeas corpus. The Court
of Appeal (Civil Division) is able to hear appeals from the county courts (except in
bankruptcy cases) by way of the leapfrog procedure (Court of Appeal), and appeals
from the High Court and various tribunals. The House of Lords will hear appeals
primarily from the Court of Appeal but can hear appeals from the High Court
under the *leapfrog procedure (House of Lords).
applicable law The laws of a jurisdiction that apply to a particular transaction or
agreement. Many countries are signatories of the international Rome Convention
(1980; in force from 1 April 1991), which provides that the parties' choice of law will
be respected and, in the absence of a term in the relevant agreement, the country's
laws with the closest connection with the contract will apply.
applicant n. A person who applies for something, especially court relief.
applying the proviso See PROVISO.
appointed day The date specified in an Act of Parliament (or in a
commencement order) for its coming into force.
appointee n. 1. A person in whose favour a *power of appointment is
exercised.  2. A person selected for a particular purpose.
appointment n. See POWER OF APPOINTMENT.
appointor n. A person given a *power of appointment to exercise.
approbate and reprobate To accept and reject. A person is not allowed to
accept the benefit of a document (e.g.a deed of gift) but reject any liabilities
attached to it.
appropriation n. 1. (in administrative law) The allocation of a sum of money to a
particular purpose. The annual Appropriation Act authorizes the issue from the
Consolidated Fund of money required to meet government expenditure and
allocates it between departments and by reference to itemized heads of
expenditure. 2. (in criminal law) See THEFT.
appropriation of payments The allocation of one or more payments to one
particular debt out of several owed by a debtor to the same creditor. The power of
allocation belongs in the first instance to the debtor, but if he does not make an
appropriation at the time of payment, then the creditor may do so. In the case of
current accounts, in the absence of an express appropriation, payments are normally
appropriated to the oldest outstanding debt.
appropriations in aid Day-to-day revenue received by government departments
and retained to meet expenditure instead of being paid into the Consolidated Fund.
approximation of laws The process by which member states of the EU change
their national laws to enable the free market to function properly. It is required by
the Treaty of Rome. Compare HARMONIZATION OF LAWS.
arbitration clause
appurtenant adj.  Attached or annexed to land and enhancing the land or its use.
An *easement must be appurtenant to a *dominant tenement but a *profit á
prendreneed not. Thus a right of way over land in Yorkshire granted to a Sussex
landowner does not benefit his Sussex property and is not an easement, but a right
to shoot game over the Yorkshire land could give a man in Sussex (whether
landowner or not) a valid profit a prendre.
a priori [Latin: from the previous (i.e. from cause to effect)] Describing or relating
to reasoning that is based on abstract ideas, anticipates the effects of particular
causes, or (more loosely) makes a presumption that is true as far as is known, i.e.
deductive reasoning. Compare A POSTERIORI.
arbitrary punishment See PUNISHMENT.
arbitration n. The determination of a dispute by one or more independent third
parties (the arbitrators) rather than by a court. Arbitrators are appointed by the
parties in accordance with the terms of the *arbitration agreement or in default by
a court. An arbitrator is bound to apply the law accurately but may in general adopt
whatever procedure he chooses and is not bound by the *exclusionary rules of the
law of evidence; he must, however, conform to the rules of *natural justice. In
English law, arbitrators are subject to extensive control by the courts, with respect
to both the manner in which the arbitration is conducted and the correctness of the
law that the arbitrators have applied, although this control was loosened to some
extent by the Arbitration Act 1996. The judgment of an arbitrator is called his
award, which can be the subject of an *appeal to the High Court on a question of
law under the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996. A 1979Arbitration Act
abolished the old *special case procedure. In some types of arbitration it is the
practice for both parties to appoint an arbitrator. If the arbitrators fail to agree
about the matter in dispute, they will appoint an umpire, who has the casting vote
in making the award. English courts attach great importance to arbitration and will
normally stay an action brought in the courts in breach of a binding arbitration
The modern origins of international arbitration can be traced to the Jay Treaty
(1784) between the USAand the UK,which provided for the determination of legal
disputes between states by mixed commissions. The *Hague Conventions of 1899and
1907contained rules of arbitration that have now become part of customary
international law. The 1899 Conventions created the Permanent Court of Arbitration,
which was not strictly speaking a court but a means of providing a body of
arbitrators on which the parties to a dispute could draw. Consent to arbitration by a
state can be given in three ways: (1) by inclusion of a special arbitration clause in a
treaty; (2) by a general treaty of arbitration, which arranges arbitration procedures
for future disputes; and (3)by a special arbitration treaty designed for a current
arbitration agreement A contract to refer a present or future legal dispute to
*arbitration. Such agreements are of two kinds: those referring an existing dispute
to arbitration and those relating to disputes that may arise in the future. The second
type is much more common. No particular form is necessary, but the agreement
should name the place of arbitration and either appoint the arbitrator or arbitrators
or (more usually) define the manner in which they are to be appointed in the
absence of agreement between the parties. The agreement should also set out the
procedure for appointing an umpire if two arbitrators are involved and they fail to
arbitration clause   An express term of a contract in writing (usually of a
commercial nature) constituting an agreement to refer disputes arising out of the
contract to *arbitration.
archipelago n. A collection of islands (including parts of islands, interconnecting
waters, and other natural features) so closely interrelated that they form an
intrinsic geographical, economic, and political entity, or which historically have been
regarded as such. An example is the Galapagos Islands. In contrast, an archipelagic
state has been defined by the Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982) as a state
comprising one or more archipelagos; it may also include other islands. An example
of an archipelagic state is the Bahamas. See also TERRITORIAL WATERS.
Area Child Protection Committee A committee that advises and reviews local
practice and procedure for inter-agency cooperation and training with regard to
children in need of protection by local authorities. It is made up of representatives
from the various professions and agencies concerned with children.
argumentative affidavit An *affidavit containing not only allegations of fact
but also arguments as to the bearing of those facts on the matter in dispute.
armchair principle A rule applied in the *interpretation of wills, enabling
circumstances existing when the will was made to be used as evidence to elucidate
the meaning of words appearing in the will. For example, such evidence may
establish the identity of a beneficiary referred to in the will only by a nickname.
The phrase originates from a well-known judicial observation that one may, when
construing a will, "place [oneself] in the testator's armchair and consider the
circumstances by which he was surrounded when he made his will".
arraign vb.  To begin a criminal *trial on indictment by calling the defendant to
the bar of the court by name, reading the indictment to him, and asking him
whether he is guilty or not. The defendant then pleads to the indictment, and this
completes the arraignment.
arrangement n. 1. (in commercial and company law) See DEED OF ARRANGEMENT;
arrest n. The apprehension of a person suspected of criminal activities. Most
arrests are made by police officers, although anybody may, under prescribed
conditions. effect an arrest. In some cases the constable must have a *warrant of
arrest signed by a magistrate, which must be shown to the accused (though not
necessarily at the time of arrest). However, a warrant is not required for *arrestable
offences. Further, a constable who reasonably suspects that a nonarrestable offence
has been or is being committed may arrest the suspect if (1) he thinks that service of
a *summons is impracticable or inappropriate because a "general arrest condition" is
satisfied (for example, if he reasonably believes that arrest is necessary to prevent
the suspect causing injury) or (2) he has specific statutory power to make the arrest
without warrant (e.g. for *drunken driving or *soliciting) or common-law power (see
BREACH OF THE PEACE). When an arrest is made, the accused must be told that he is
being arrested and given the ground for his arrest. A policeman has power to search
the person he is arresting for any property that may be used in evidence against
him. Anyone making or assisting in an arrest may use as much force as reasonable
in the circumstances. Resisting lawful arrest may involve the crime of *assault or
*obstructing a police officer. A person who believes he has been wrongfully arrested
may petition for *habeas corpus and may sue the person who arrested him for
*false imprisonment. See also BAIL; CAUTION; DETENTION; REMAND.
Article 82
arrestable offence An offence for which there is a fixed mandatory penalty or
which carries a sentence of at least five years' imprisonment (e.g. theft). There are
also some crimes that are specified to be arrestable offences even though they do
not fulfil the usual conditions. For example, taking someone else's motor car for
temporary use is arrestable even though it carries a maximum of only three years'
imprisonment. Inciting, attempting, or conspiring to commit, or being an accessory
to, an arrestable offence is also an arrestable offence. All other crimes are termed
nonarrestable offences. Anyone may lawfully *arrest, without a *warrant, a
person who is in the act of committing an arrestable offence or whom he
reasonably suspects to be in the act of committing it. If an arrestable offence has
been committed, anyone may subsequently arrest, without warrant, a person who is,
or whom he reasonably suspects is, guilty of the offence. A constable who reasonably
suspects that an arrestable offence has been committed may arrest anyone he
reasonably suspects to be guilty of it. He may also arrest someone who is about to
commit (or whom he reasonably suspects is about to commit) such an offence. A
police officer may also enter and search any place he suspects is harbouring a person
who may be arrested for an arrestable offence.
There are also special offences of *impeding apprehension or prosecution of
persons guilty of an arrestable offence or concealing (for gain) information relating
to such offences.
arrested development For the purposes of the Mental Health Act 1983,a form
of *mental disorder comprising mental impairment and severe mental impairment.
Mental impairment implies a lack of intelligence that does not amount to severe
mental impairment but that nevertheless requires or will respond to medical
treatment. Severe mental impairment is a lack of intelligence and social
functioning associated with aggressive or severely irresponsible conduct.
arrest of judgment A motion by a defendant in criminal proceedings on
indictment, between the conviction and the sentence, that judgment should not be
given on the ground of some objection arising on the face of the *record, such as a
defect in the indictment itself. Such motions are extremely rare in modern practice.
arrived ship  See LAY DAYS.
arson n. The intentional or reckless destruction or damaging of property by fire
without a lawful excuse. There are two forms of arson corresponding to the two
forms of *criminal damage in the Criminal Damage Act 1971. Arson carries a
maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
article n. A clause in a document. The plural, articles, is often used to mean the
entire document, e.g. *articles of association.
Article 81  A provision of the Treaty of Rome that prohibits anticompetitive
agreements the aim or effect of which is to restrict, prevent, or distort competition
in the EU (see also COMPETITION LAW). Article 81 (formerly 85) applies directly in all
member states (see COMMUNITY LEGISLATION) and is often used against *cartels; it only
applies when the agreement affects trade between member states. Agreements that
infringe the Article are void and unenforceable; third parties have the right to bring
actions for damages if they have suffered loss through the operation of such
agreements. Infringement of the Article may result in EUfines of up to 10%of
annual worldwide turnover. In the UK there are very similar provisions in the
Competition Act 1998, which prohibit anticompetitive agreements under Chapter I
of that Act. See alsoBLOCK EXEMPTION.
Article 82   A provision of the Treaty of Rome, with direct effect throughout the
Article 234 Reference
EU (see COMMUNITY LEGISLATION), that prohibits *abuses of a dominant position by
businesses in the ED. Examples of breaches of Article 82 (formerly 86) include
refusing to supply an existing customer (for example, when it has begun to operate
in competition with the dominant company), selectively reducing prices to stop
competition from competitors (see PREDATORY PRICING), unfair or excessive prices,
tying clauses, and refusing to license *intellectual property rights. Article 82 only
prohibits such conduct if the business is dominant, i.e. if it enjoys a market share of
40% or more in the EU (or a substantial part of it). The rules only apply when the
conduct affects trade between member states. There is a very similar prohibition in
the Chapter II prohibition of the Competition Act 1998,which holds that abuse of a
dominant position will breach UK law if it has effects in the UK.
Article 234 Reference A provision of the Treaty of Rome entitling national
courts to refer matters of EU law to the European Court of Justice for a
determination. The case ultimately returns to the national court for a final
judgment. Such a procedure is known as a "234 reference". Article 234 (formerly 177)
is a provision of the Treaty that empowers the Court of Justice to decide such issues
as how the Treaty of Rome should be interpreted and whether or not the European
Commission or other bodies have acted properly.
articles of association Regulations for the management of registered companies
(see TABLE A). They form, together with the provisions of the *memorandum of
association, the company's constitution.
artificial insemination  See HUMAN ASSISTED REPRODUCTION.
artificial person  See JURISTIC PERSON.
ascertained goods  See UNASCERTAINED GOODS.
assault n. An intentional or reckless act that causes someone to be put in fear of
immediate physical harm. Actual physical contact is not necessary to constitute an
assault (for example, pointing a gun at someone is an assault), but the word is often
loosely used to include both threatening acts and physical violence (see BATTERY).
Words alone cannot constitute an assault. Assault is a form of *trespass to the
person and a crime as well as a tort: an ordinary (or common) assault, as described
above, is a *summary offence punishable by a *fine at level 5 on the standard scale
and/or up to six months' imprisonment. Certain kinds of more serious assault are
known as aggravated assaults and carry stricter penalties. Examples of these are
assault with intent to resist lawful arrest (two years), assault occasioning *actual
bodily harm (five years), and assault with intent to rob (life imprisonment). See also
Assembly of the European Communities See EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT.
assent n. A document by which personal representatives transfer property to a
beneficiary under a will or on intestacy. Under the Administration of Estates Act
1925 they may transfer *real estate (including leaseholds) to beneficiaries by an
assent in writing, which must be signed by the personal representatives. A
beneficiary's title to the property is not complete until the assent has been effected.
Personal representatives may also use an assent to vest land in trustees. An assent,
once executed, relates back to the death of the deceased. Where an assent is made
after 1998, it triggers registration of the land. If the land is already registered, the
assent must be completed by registration. See LAND REGISTRATION.
assent procedure A procedure introduced by the Single European Act 1986 that
gives greater powers to the *European Parliament over the unelected European
Commission. It applies when there is one reading of a new legislative measure in the
Parliament: Parliament either assents by an absolute majority to the measure as
presented to it or rejects it; it does not have a power to amend the measure. Compare
assessment of costs   The method by which the amount of costs payable by one
party to another, or payable by a client to his solicitor, is determined by an officer
of the court. Before the introduction of the *Civil Procedure Rules in 1999, this was
called taxation of costs. Assessments may be summary or detailed. In a summary
assessment, the court determines the amount payable immediately at the end of
the hearing. In this instance, the court can call for whatever evidence is available at
the time (e.g.brief fee) to determine the amount. This is the preferred method of
assessment in *fast track trials. In contrast, a detailed assessmentinvolves the
quantification of costs to a *costs officer, who considers the amount at some stage
after the hearing. Detailed assessments are mostly carried out by district judges in
the county courts but there is a dedicated office, the Supreme Court Costs Office,
for the High Court.
assessor n.  Aperson called in to assist a court in trying a case requiring
specialized technical knowledge. The High Court and the Court of Appeal have wide
powers to appoint assessors to assist them in any action, but this power is rarely
exercised except in Admiralty cases. Assessors will not give oral evidence and will
not be open to cross-examination or questioning. In cases involving questions of
navigation and seamanship, it is the invariable practice to appoint assessors who are
Elder Brethren of Trinity House. In proceedings to review an *assessment of costs a
practising solicitor and a *costs officer are usually appointed to assist the judge.
assets pl. n. Physical property and/or rights that have a monetary value and are
capable of being those of a *juristic person or a natural person (i.e. a human being).
They can comprise real assets (real property) and personal assets (personal property).
In respect of a juristic person, such as a corporation, assets include fixed or capital
assets (those identified as being held and used on a continuing basis in the business
activity, e.g. machinery) and current or circulating assets (those not intended to be
used on a continuing basis in the business activity but realized in the course of
In respect of a natural person who is deceased, assets comprise all real and
personal property that forms part of the deceased's estate and is available for the
payment of the deceased's debts and liabilities. See also FAMILY ASSETS; WASTING ASSETS.
assignee n. See ASSIGNMENT.
assignment n. 1. The transfer of a *chose in action by one person (the assignor)
to another (the assignee).Bythe rules of the common law, this was not permissible.
If, for example, A was owed a contract debt by B,he could not transfer his right to
C so as to enable Cto sue Bfor the money owed. The assignment of certain choses in
action is now authorized and governed by particular statutes. For example, the
Companies Act 1985allows shares in a company to be transferred in the manner
prescribed by the company's articles of association. These, however, are special cases;
in general, choses in action, whether legal (e.g. the benefit of a contract) or equitable
(e.g. a right under a trust), can be transferred either by equitable assignment or,
under the Law of Property Act 1925,by statutory assignment. For an equitable
assignment, no formality is required. It is sufficient that the assignor shows a clear
intention to transfer ownership of his right to the assignee. If, however, it is a legal
chose that is assigned, the assignor must be made a party to any proceedings by the
assignee to enforce the right. In the above example, Ccan sue Bfor the debt, but he
must join A as co-claimant or (if A refuses to lend his name to the action in this
way) as co-defendant. A statutory assignment under the Law of Property Act 1925
is sometimes referred to as a legal assignment, but since it may relate to an
equitable chose in action as well as a legal one this is not wholly accurate. It enables
the assignee to enforce the right assigned in his own name and without joining the
assignor to the proceedings even if it is a legal chose. There are three requirements
for its validity: it must be absolute; it must be in writing; and written notice of it
must be given to the person against whom the right is enforceable. For these
purposes, an absolute assignment is one that transfers the assignor's entire
interest to the assignee unconditionally. If less than his entire interest (e.g. part of a
debt) is transferred, or if any condition is attached to the transfer (e.g. that the
consent of a third party be obtained), the assignment is not absolute. An assignment
need not, however, be permanent to be absolute, and this is exemplified by the
mortgage of a chose in action. If A, who owes money to C, assigns to C as security
for that debt a debt due to him from B,with the proviso that C will reassign the
debt if A settles what is due to him, the assignment is absolute despite the proviso
for reassignment.
The assignment of contractual rights (which must be distinguished from
*novation) is subject to certain restrictions. For reasons of public policy, the holder
of a public office must not assign his salary nor a wife her right to maintenance
payments awarded in matrimonial proceedings. Rights to the performance of
personal services, as under contracts of employment, are also incapable of being
assigned. *Intellectual property rights must be assigned or transferred by document
in writing signed by the assignor. *Stamp duty is payable on assignments of
property if the value transferred is over £60,000.
2. The transfer of the whole of the remainder of the term of a lease. A tenant may
assign his lease unless there is a covenant against it: there is often a covenant
against assignment without the landlord's consent. The landlord cannot charge a fee
for giving his consent unless there is express provision for this in the lease and he
may not withhold his consent unreasonably. Less commonly, a lease may contain a
covenant that prohibits any assignment at all. Where a lease contains a covenant
against assigning without the landlord's consent, such consent not to be
unreasonably withheld, the landlord has certain statutory duties. These are: he must
give the tenant notice of his decision within a reasonable time of the tenant
requesting consent; the notice must give reasons for any refusal of consent, or
conditions attached to acceptance (the conditions themselves must not be
unreasonable); and the landlord cannot withhold consent unless the tenant would be
in breach of covenant if he completed the transaction without consent. See also
assignor n. See ASSIGNMENT.
assize n. 1. An assize court or council. In modern times assizes were sittings of
High Court judges travelling on circuits around the country with commissions from
the Crown to hear cases. These commissions were either of oyer, terminer, and
general gaol delivery, empowering the judges to try the most serious criminal cases,
or of nisi prius, empowering them to try civil actions. These assizes were abolished
by the Courts Act 1971, and the criminal jurisdiction of assizes was transferred to
the Crown Court. At the same time, the High Court was empowered to hear civil
cases anywhere in England and Wales without the need for a special commission.
2. A statute or ordinance, e.g. the Assize of Clarendon, Novel Disseisin.
association agreement An agreement between a member state of the European
Union and a non-EU country or organization, as provided for in Article 310of the
assured tenancy
Treaty of Rome. The agreement, which may be with a country, a union of states, or
an international organization, establishes an association involving reciprocal rights
and obligations, common action, and special procedures.
assurance n. See INSURANCE.
assured agricultural occupancy A form of *assured tenancy in which the
tenant is an agricultural worker living in a *tied cottage. This kind of tenancy
replaced *protected occupancies from 15January 1989.In certain circumstances a
local authority may be required to rehouse assured agricultural occupants. See
assured shorthold tenancy A special kind of *assured tenancy at the end of
which the landlord is entitled to recover possession without having to show one of
the usual grounds for possession of an assured tenancy. This kind of tenancy was
introduced by the Housing Act 1988,replacing protected shorthold tenancies.
Under the 1988Act the landlord was obliged to give the tenant notice before the
grant of the tenancy that it was an assured shorthold tenancy. However, under the
Housing Act 1996,from 28 February 1997the requirement for the landlord to serve a
notice is removed, and all new tenancies are automatically assured shortholds unless
otherwise agreed. If a landlord wants to give the tenant security under an assured
tenancy, this must be specifically created; if this is not done, the tenancy is an
assured shorthold without *security of tenure. A tenant can apply to a rent
assessment committee if he thinks the rent of the tenancy is excessive. The
committee can fix a new rent if they think that the rent is significantly higher than
that of other assured tenancies in the area. However, government regulations may
restrict this right in certain areas or in certain circumstances.
The landlord may obtain possession at any time when he would have been entitled
to do so contractually, by giving two months' notice and specifying that the tenancy
is an assured shorthold tenancy. No order for possession may be made in the first six
months of the tenancy.
assured tenancy A form of tenancy under the Housing Act 1988that is at a
market rent but gives *security of tenure. The premises may be furnished or
unfurnished. This kind of tenancy replaces *protected tenancies except those in
existence before the Housing Act 1988 came into force. Former assured tenancies
under the Housing Act 1980(where different provisions applied) are converted into
the new kind of assured tenancy.
To qualify as an assured tenancy, the premises must be let as a separate dwelling,
within certain rateable value limits. There are certain exceptions, such as when the
landlord lives in another part of the same premises. Under the Housing Act 1996,
from 28 February 1997all new residential tenancies are *assured shorthold tenancies
without security of tenure, unless a notice is specifically served stating that the
parties are creating an assured tenancy.
The rent is an open market rent agreed between the landlord and tenant, and it is
not registered. However, the landlord must give the tenant notice if he intends to
increase the rent, and the tenant can then apply to a *rent assessment committee if
he thinks the increase is excessive. The rent assessment committee determines the
rent at the current market value. There are limits on the frequency of rent
The landlord can only regain possession on certain statutory grounds. These
include: nonpayment of rent; that the landlord formerly lived in the dwelling and
requires it again for his own use; that the tenant is a *nuisance neighbour or may
become a nuisance; and that alternative accommodation is available (the court has
discretion in this last case).
When the tenant of an assured tenancy dies, his spouse has a right, in certain
circumstances, to take over the tenancy as successor to the deceased tenant. An
assured tenant cannot usually assign the tenancy without the landlord's consent. See
asylum n. Refuge granted to an individual whose *extradition is sought by a
foreign government. This can include refuge in the territory of a foreign country
(territorial asylum) or in a foreign embassy (diplomatic asylum). The latter is
particularly contentious as it is a derogation from the sovereignty of the territorial
state; moreover, diplomatic asylum may only be granted in cases of an alleged
political offence and not in cases involving common-law crimes. Diplomatic asylum
is well recognized in Latin American states. Conventions relating to it include the
Havana Convention of 1928,the Montevideo Convention of 1933,and the Caracas
Convention of 1954. The UK Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 made it a criminal
offence for employers to employ anyone subject to immigration control. See
attachment n. A court order for the detention of a person and/or his property.
Attachment can be used by the courts for the punishment of *contempt of court.
However, the most common form of attachment is attachment of earnings, by
which a court orders the payment of judgment debts and other sums due under
court orders (e.g. maintenance) by direct deduction from the debtor's earnings.
Payment is usually in instalments, and the debtor's employer is responsible for
paying these to the court. See alsoGARNISHEE PROCEEDINGS.
attempt n. (in criminal law) Any act that is more than merely preparatory to the
intended commission of a crime; this act is itself a crime. For example, shooting at
someone but missing could be attempted murder, but merely buying a revolver
would not. One may be guilty of attempting to commit a crime that proves
impossible to commit (e.g. attempted theft from an empty handbag).
attendance centre A nonresidential institution run by a local authority at which
offenders between the ages of 17and 21 may be ordered by a youth court to attend
if they have not previously been sentenced to prison or detention in a young
offender institution. Attendance, which is outside normal school or working hours,
is for periods of up to 3 hours each, to a maximum of 36 hours. Such orders are
made when it is felt that a custodial order is not required but a fine or other order
would be too lenient.
attestation n. The signature of witnesses to the making of a will or *deed. Under
the Wills Act 1837as amended the testator must acknowledge his signature (see
ACKNOWLEDGMENT) in the presence of two witnesses who must each sign (attest) at
the same time in the testator's presence. The signature of each party to a deed must
be attested by one witness.
attorney n. A person who is appointed by another and has authority to act on
behalf of another. See also POWER OF ATTORNEY.
Attorney General (AG) The principal law officer of the Crown. The Attorney
General is usually a Member of Parliament of the ruling party and holds ministerial
office, although he is not normally a member of the Cabinet. He is the chief legal
adviser of the government, answers questions relating to legal matters in the House
of Commons, and is politically responsible for the *Crown Prosecution Service,
*Director of Public Prosecutions, *Treasury Solicitor, and *Serious Fraud Office. He
is the leader of the English Bar and presides at its general meetings. The consent of
the Attorney General is required for bringing certain criminal actions, principally
ones relating to offences against the state and public order and corruption. The
Attorney General sometimes appears in court as an *advocate in cases of exceptional
public interest, but he is not now allowed to engage in private practice. He has the
right to terminate any criminal proceedings by entering a *nolle prosequi. See also
attornment n. 1. An act by a bailee (see BAILMENT) in possession of goods on behalf
of one person acknowledging that he will hold the goods on behalf of someone else.
The attornment notionally transfers possession to the other person (constructive
possession) and can thus be a delivery of goods sold. 2. (largely historical) A person's
agreement to hold land as the tenant of someone else. Some mortgages provide that
the owner of the land attorns tenant of the mortgagee for a period of years that
will be terminated when the debt is repaid.
auction n. A method of sale in which parties are invited to make competing offers
(bids) to purchase an item. The auctioneer, who acts as the agent of the seller until
fall of the hammer, announces completion of the sale in favour of the highest
bidder by striking his desk with a hammer (or in any other customary manner).
Until then any bidder may retract his bid and the auctioneer may withdraw the
goods. The seller may not bid unless the sale is stated to be subject to the seller's
right to bid. Merely to advertise an auction does not bind the auctioneer to hold one.
However, if he advertises an auction without reserve and accepts bids, he will be
liable if he fails to knock the item down to the highest outside bidder. An
auctioneer who discloses his agency promises to a buyer that he has authority to sell
and that he knows of no defect to the seller's title; he does not promise that the
buyer of a specific chattel will get a good title.
auction ring A group of buyers who agree not to compete against each other at
an auction with a view to purchasing articles for less than the open-market value.
The profit earned thereby is shared among the members of the ring, or a second
"knock-out" auction is held in private by the members of the ring with the article
being sold to the highest bidder and the profit shared among the members. Under
the Auctions (Bidding Agreements) Acts 1927and 1969it is a criminal offence for a
dealer to participate in an auction ring and a seller is given the right to set aside the
contract of sale if one of the purchasers is a dealer in a ring.
audi alterarn partern See NATURAL JUSTICE.
Audit Commission  See DISTRICT AUDITORS.
audit exemption  Exemption from the requirement to file audited accounts,
which (since 11August 1994) can be claimed by small companies with a turnover of
under £90,000per annum and a balance-sheet total under £1.4M.
auditor n. A person appointed to examine the *books of account and the
*accounts of a registered company and to report upon them to company members.
An auditor's report must state whether or not, in the auditor's opinion, the
accounts have been properly prepared and give a true and fair view of the
company's financial position. The Companies Acts 1985and 1989set out the
qualifications an auditor must possess and also certain rights to enable him to fulfil
his duty effectively.
authentication n. A distinct procedural step at the conclusion of a *treaty at
which the definitive text of the treaty is established as correct and authentic and
not subject to further modification.
authority n. 1. Power delegated to a person or body to act in a particular way. The
person in whom authority is vested is usually called an *agent and the person
conferring the authority is the principal. 2. A governing body, such as a *local
authority, charged with power and duty to perform certain functions. 3. A judicial
decision or other source of law used as a ground for a legal proposition. See also
authorized capital (nominal capital) The total value of the shares that a
registered company is authorized to issue in order to raise capital. The authorized
capital of a company limited by shares (see LIMITED COMPANY) must be stated in the
memorandum of association, together with the number and nominal value of the
shares (see CAPITAL). For example, an authorized capital of £20,000 may be divided into
20000 shares of £1 (the nominal value) each. If the company has issued 10000 of
these shares, it is said to have an issued capital of £10,000 and retains the ability,
without an increase in capital (see ALTERATION OF SHARE CAPITAL), to issue further
shares in future. If the company has received the full nominal value of the shares
issued, its *paid-up capital equals its issued capital. Where a company has not yet
called for payment (see CALL) of the full nominal value, it has uncalled capital.
Reserve capital is that part of the uncalled capital that the company has
determined (by *special resolution) shall not be called up except upon a winding-up.
authorized investments  Formerly, investments in which a trustee was
permitted to invest trust property. Under the Trustee Investments Act 1961
(replacing earlier legislation, which did not give wide enough powers) trustees could
invest not more than half the trust fund in shares in certain companies; the other
half had to be invested in authorized securities, certain debentures, local authority
loans, etc. A *general power of investment has now been given to trustees by the
Trustee Act 2000.
authorized securities  See AUTHORIZED INVESTMENTS.
automatic reservation A *reservation to the acceptance by a state of the
compulsory jurisdiction of the INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE. This is made under
the *optional clause of the Statute of the Court, which permits an accepting state to
unilaterally claim the right to determine the scope of its reservation.
automatism n. Unconscious *involuntary conduct caused by some external factor.
A person is not criminally liable for acts carried out in a state of automatism, since
his conduct is altogether involuntary. Examples of such acts are those carried out
while sleepwalking or in a state of concussion or hypnotic trance, a spasm or reflex
action, and acts carried out by a diabetic who suffers a hypoglycaemic episode.
Automatism is not a defence, however, if it is self-induced (for example, by taking
drink or drugs). When automatism is caused by a disease of the mind, the defence
may be treated as one of *insanity. Mere absent-mindedness, even when brought
about by a combination of, for example, depression and diabetes, is not regarded as a
defect of reason under the defence of *insanity. It may, however, be grounds for
concluding that the accused was not capable of having the necessary *mens rea at
the time of the offence.
autopsy (post-mortem) n. The examination of a body after death in order to
establish the cause of death. Autopsies are frequently requested by coroners (see
autrefois acquit [French: previously acquitted] A *special plea in bar of
arraignment claiming that the defendant has previously been acquitted by a court
of competent jurisdiction of the same (or substantially the same) offence as that
with which he is now charged or that he could have been convicted on an earlier
indictment of the same (or substantially the same) offence. When this plea is entered
the judge determines the issue. If the plea is successful it bars further proceedings
on the indictment. The plea may be combined with one of *not guilty. See also NEMO
autrefois convict [French: previously convicted] A *special plea in bar of
arraignment claiming that the defendant has previously been convicted by a court
of competent jurisdiction of the same (or substantially the same) offence as that
with which he is now charged or that he could have been convicted on an earlier
indictment of the same (or substantially the same) offence. When this plea is entered
the judge determines the issue. If the plea is successful it bars further proceedings
on the indictment. The plea may be combined with one of *not guilty. See also NEMO
autre vie   See ESTATE PUR AUTRE VIE.
auxiliary jurisdiction   The jurisdiction exercised by the *Court of Chancery to
aid a claimant at common law; for example, by forcing a defendant to reveal
documents and thus provide necessary evidence for his case. Auxiliary jurisdiction
was rendered obsolete by the Judicature Acts 1873-75.
average n. 1. (in marine insurance) A loss or damage arising from an event at
sea. 2. Areduction in the amount payable under an insurance policy in respect of a
partial loss of property. All marine insurance policies are subject to average under
the Marine Insurance Act 1906;other policies may be subject to average if they
contain express provision to that effect (an average clause).
In maritime law, the expression general (or gross) average is used in relation to
certain acts, to the losses they cause, and to the rights of contribution to which they
give rise. A general-average act consists of any sacrifice or expenditure made
intentionally and reasonably to preserve property involved in a sea voyage. For
example, the jettisoning of some of a ship's cargo to keep it afloat during a storm is
a general-average act. The loss directly resulting from a general-average act is called
general-average loss and is borne proportionately by all whose property has been
saved. The owner of jettisoned cargo, for example, is entitled to a contribution from
other cargo owners as well as the shipowners; such a contribution is called a
general-average contribution. The principle of general average is common to the
laws of all maritime nations, but the detailed rules are not uniform. To overcome
conflict of law, a standard set of rules was agreed in the 19th century at
international conferences of shipowners and others held at York and Antwerp.
These, known as the York-Antwerp rules, do not have the force of law, but it is
common practice to incorporate them (as subsequently amended) in contracts of
*affreightment, thereby displacing national laws. The basic principle is that an
insured who has suffered a general-average loss may recover the whole of it from
his underwriters without enforcing his rights to contribution; these become
enforceable by the underwriters instead.
By contrast, particular average (also called simple or petty average) relates
purely to marine insurance. It consists of any partial loss that is not a general-
average loss (for example, the damage of cargo by seawater). It is therefore borne
a vinculo mafrimonii
purely by the person suffering it and is frequently covered by a policy only in
limited circumstances.
A ship sold free from average is free from any claims whatsoever.
a vinculo mafrimonii [Latin] From the bond of marriage. A decree of divorce a
vinculo matrimonii allowed a spouse to remarry and was the forerunner of the
modern divorce decree. See alsoA MENSA ET THORO.
avoid vb. To set aside a *voidable contract.
avoidance of disposition order An order by the High Court preventing or
setting aside a transaction by a husband or wife that was made to defeat his (or her)
spouse's claim to financial provision. A transaction, such as a gift, made within three
years before the application is presumed to have been made in order to defeat the
spouse's claim if its effect would be to defeat her claim. But a sale of property to a
purchaser in good faith will not be set aside.
avulsion n. A sudden and violent shift in the course of a river that leaves the old
riverbed dry. This could be caused by such natural forces as floods, tidal waves, or
hurricanes. The alteration of territory by this means does not affect the title to
territory; thus new claims by a state that would appear to benefit from the rapid
geological change would be disbarred. Compare ACCRETION.
award n. See ARBITRATION.
backed for bail  Describing a warrant for arrest issued by a magistrate or by the
Crown Court to a police officer, directing him to release the accused, upon arrest, on
bail under specified conditions. The police officer is bound to release the arrested
person if his sureties are approved.
bail n. The release by the police, magistrates' court, or Crown Court of a person
held in legal custody while awaiting trial or appealing against a criminal conviction.
Conditions may be imposed on a person released on bail by the police. A person
granted bail undertakes to pay a specified sum to the court if he fails to appear on
the date set by the court (see also JUSTIFYING BAIL). This is known as bail in one's own
recognizance. Often the court also requires guarantors (known as sureties) to
undertake to produce the accused or to forfeit the sum fixed by the court if they
fail to do so. In these circumstances the bailed person is, in theory, released into the
custody of the sureties. Judges have wide discretionary powers as to whether or not
bail should be granted, and for what sum. Normally an accused is granted bail unless
it is likely that he will abscond, or interfere with witnesses, or unless he is accused
of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, rape, or attempted rape and has a
previous conviction for such an offence. The accused, and the prosecution in limited
circumstances, may appeal.
bailee n. See BAILMENT.
bail hostel  Accommodation for persons of no fixed address who have been
released on bail.
bailiff n. 1. All officer of a court (usually a county court) concerned with the
service of the court's processes and the enforcement of its orders, especially
warrants of *execution authorizing the seizure of the goods of a debtor. The term is
often loosely applied to a sheriff's officer. 2. A judicial official in Guernsey (Royal
Court Bailiff).
bailiwick n. The area within which a *bailiff or *sheriff exercises jurisdiction.
bailment n. The transfer of the possession of goods by the owner (the bailor) to
another (the bailee) for a particular purpose. Examples of bailments are the hiring
of goods, the loan of goods, the pledge of goods, and the delivery of goods for
carriage, safe custody, or repair. Ownership of the goods remains in the bailor, who
has the right to demand their return or direct their disposal at the end of the
period (if any) fixed for the bailment or (if no period is fixed) at will. This right will,
however, be qualified by any *lien the bailee may have over the goods. Bailment
exists independently of contract. But if the bailor receives payment for the bailment
(a bailment for reward) there is often an express contract setting out the rights
and obligations of the parties. A bailment for which the bailor receives no reward
(e.g. the loan of a book to a friend) is called a gratuitous bailment.
bailor n. See BAILMENT.
balance sheet A document presenting in summary form a true and fair view of a
company's financial position at a particular time (e.g. at the end of its financial year).
It must show the items listed in either of the two formats set out in the Companies
Act 1985. Its purpose is to disclose the amount that would be available for the
bank holidays
benefit of members if the company were immediately wound up and liabilities were
discharged out of the proceeds of selling its assets. See ACCOUNTS; STATEMENTS OF
bank holidays Days that are declared holidays for the clearing banks and are kept
as public holidays under the Banking and Financial Dealing Act 1971 or by royal
proclamation under this Act. In England and Wales there are currently eight bank
holidays a year: New Year's Day (or, if that is a Saturday or Sunday, the following
Monday), Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Holiday (the first Monday in May),Spring
Bank Holiday (the last Monday in May),Summer Bank Holiday (the last Monday in
August), and Christmas Day and the following day (or, if Christmas Day is a Saturday
or Sunday, the following Monday and Tuesday).
bankruptcy n. The state of a person who has been adjudged by a court to be
insolvent (compare WINDING-UP). The court orders the compulsory administration of a
bankrupt's affairs so that his assets can be fairly distributed among his creditors. To
declare a debtor to be bankrupt a creditor or the debtor himself must make an
application (known as a bankruptcy petition) either to the High Court or to a
county court. If a creditor petitions, he must show that the debtor owes him at least
£750 and that the debtor appears unable to pay it. The debtor's inability to pay can
be shown either by: (1) the creditor making a formal demand in a special statutory
form, and the debtor failing to pay within three weeks; or (2) the creditor of a
*judgment debtor being unsuccessful in enforcing payment of a judgment debt
through the courts. If the petition is accepted the court makes a *bankruptcy order.
Within three weeks of the bankruptcy order, the debtor must usually submit a
*statement of affairs, which the creditors may inspect. This may be followed by a
*public examination of the debtor. After the bankruptcy order, the bankrupt's
property is placed in the hands of the *official receiver. The official receiver must
either call a creditors' meeting to appoint a *trustee in bankruptcy to manage the
bankrupt's affairs, or he becomes trustee himself. The trustee must be a qualified
*insolvency practitioner. He takes possession of the bankrupt's property and, subject
to certain rules, distributes it among the creditors.
A bankrupt is subject to certain disabilities (see UNDISCHARGED BANKRUPT).
Bankruptcy is terminated when the court makes an order of *discharge, but a
bankrupt who has not previously been bankrupt within the preceding 15years is
automatically discharged after three years. See also VOLUNTARY ARRANGEMENT.
bankruptcy order A court order that makes a debtor bankrupt. When the order
is made, ownership of all the debtor's property is transferred either to a court
officer known as the *official receiver or to a trustee appointed by the creditors. It
replaced both the former *receiving order and *adjudication order in bankruptcy
proceedings. See alsoBANKRUPTCY.
bankruptcy petition An application to the High Court or a county court for a
*bankruptcy order to be made against an insolvent debtor. See BANKRUPTCY.
banning order  See FOOTBALL HOOLIGANISM.
banns pl. n. The public announcement in church of an intended marriage. Banns
must be published for three successive Sundays if a marriage is to take place in the
Church of England other than by religious licence or a superintendent registrar's
bar n. 1. A legal impediment. 2. An imaginary barrier in a court of law. Only
Queen's Counsel, officers of the court, and litigants in person are allowed between
the bar and the *bench when the court is in session. 3. A rail near the entrance to
battered child
each House of Parliament beyond which nonmembers may not pass but to which
they may be summoned (e.g. for reprimand).
Bar n. *Barristers, collectively. To be called to the Baris to be admitted to the
profession by one of the Inns of Court.
Bar Council (General Councilof the Barof England and Wales) The governing
body of the barristers' branch of the legal profession. It regulates the activities of all
barristers, maintains standards within the Bar, and considers complaints against
barristers. See alsoCOUNCIL OF THE INNS OF COURT.
bare licensee Aperson who uses or occupies land by permission of the owner but
has no legal or equitable interest in it. Such permission is personal to him; thus he
cannot transfer it. He cannot enforce it against a third party who acquires the land
from the owner. His permission can be brought to an end at any time and he must
leave the property with "all reasonable speed". If he does not do so he becomes a
trespasser (see TRESPASS). See also LICENCE.
bare trust (naked trust, simple trust)  A trust in which the trustee has no
obligation except to hand over the trust property to a person entitled to it, at the
latter's request. This will occur when the beneficiary is of full age and under no
disability and the trustee has no duties in respect of the property. Compare ACTIVE
barratry n. 1. Any act committed wilfully by the master or crew of a ship to the
detriment of its owner or charterer. Examples include scuttling the ship and
embezzling the cargo. Illegal activities (e.g. carrying prohibited persons) leading to
the forfeiture of the ship also constitute barratry. Barratry is one of the risks
covered by policies of marine insurance. 2. The former common-law offence
(abolished by the Criminal Law Act 1967) of habitually raising or inciting disputes in
the courts.
barring of entailed interest See ENTAILED INTEREST
barrister n.  A legal practitioner admitted to plead at the Bar. A barrister must be a
member of one of the four *Inns of Court, by whom he is called to the Barwhen
admitted to the profession. Barristers normally take a three-year law degree at
university, followed by a one-year course at Bar school after which they are called to
the Bar. Thereafter they take a pupillage in chambers and then seek a permanent
place as a "tenant". The primary function of barristers is to act as *advocates for
parties in courts or tribunals, but they also undertake the writing of opinions and
some of the work preparatory to a triaL Their general immunity from law suits in
negligence for criminal and civil litigation has been abolished. With certain
exceptions a barrister may only act upon the instructions of a *solicitor, who is also
responsible for the payment of the barrister's fee. Barristers have the right of
audience in all courts: they are either *Queen's Counsel (often referred to as leaders
or leading counsel)or *junior barristers. See alsoADVOCACY QUALIFICATION.
baseline n.  The line forming the boundary between the INTERNAL WATERS of a state
on its landward side and the territorial sea on its seaward side (see TERRITORIAL
WATERS). Other coastal state zones (the contiguous zone, *exclusive economic zone,
and exclusive fishing zone) are measured from the baseline.
basic award  See COMPENSATION.
battered child   Achild subjected to physical violence or abuse by a parent, step-
battered spouse or cohabitant
parent, or any other person with whom he is living. A battered child may be
protected if the other parent (or person who is looking after him) applies for an
injunction under the Family Law Act 1996,but only if the child is living, or might
reasonably be expected to live, with the applicant. The Act applies to children under
18.When a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm, a local authority
may apply for a *supervision order or *care order under the Children Act 1989. See
battered spouse or cohabitant A person subjected to physical violence by their
husband, wife, or cohabitant (subsequently referred to as "partner" in this entry).
Battered partners (or those afraid of future violence) may seek protection in a
number of ways. Under the Family Law Act 1996they can apply to the court for a
*nonmolestation order, directing the other partner not to molest, annoy, or use
violence against them, or for an *occupation order, entitling the applicant to remain
in occupation of the matrimonial home and prohibiting, suspending, or restricting
the abusive partner's right to occupy the house. Battered partners can apply for
these orders if they are also applying for some other matrimonial relief (e.g.a
divorce). The court must attach a power of arrest to a nonmolestation order or an
occupation order if the abuser has used or threatened violence against his or her
partner. This gives a constable the power to arrest without warrant the abuser if he
or she is in breach of the order. In cases of emergency an injunction without notice
may be granted. In theory, a criminal prosecution for "assault or for harassment
under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997could be brought, but in practice
this is seldom used by victims of domestic violence. Under the Housing Act 1985,
local authorities have a duty to supply emergency accommodation to those made
homeless when they have left their homes because of domestic violence.
Those who have been subjected to continued beatings by their partners over a
period of time may plead *provocation or *diminished responsibility if charged
with the murder of their partner.
battery n. The intentional or reckless application of physical force to someone
without his consent. Battery is a form of *trespass to the person and is a *summary
offence (punishable with a *fine at level 5 on the standard scale and/or six months'
imprisonment) as well as a tort, even if no actual harm results. If actual harm does
result, however, the *consent of the victim may not prevent the act from being
criminal, except when the injury is inflicted in the course of properly conducted
sports or games (e.g.rugby or boxing) or as a result of reasonable surgical
intervention. Compare ASSAULT; GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM.
bay n. A well-marked roughly semicircular indentation on a coastline. What does or
does not constitute a bay can be of relevance in determining a state's control of its
coastal waters. The test is a geographical one, taking into account relative
dimensions and configuration. The following three considerations have been taken
into account when making this determination: (1) the depth of the indentation
relative to the width of its mouth; (2)the economic and strategic importance of the
indentation to the coastal state; and (3) the seclusion of the indentation from the
highway of nations on the open sea. See also TERRITORIAL WATERS.
bearer n. The person in possession of a bill of exchange or promissory note that is
payable to the bearer.
beauty competition A method used by an employer contemplating entering a
*single-union agreement, in which a number of unions are invited to present
proposals for collective bargaining arrangements within an establishment. After
reviewing the proposals the company decides to recognize the union that best meets
its criteria.
Beddoe order [from the case re Beddoe (1892)] An order made by the court
granting trustees permission to bring or defend an action. The order protects the
trustees against claims by the beneficiaries that the action should not have been
brought and enables them to recover their costs from the trust property. If an
order has not been obtained, these consequences may not follow, and the trustees
may therefore have to compensate the beneficiaries for any loss and also may
themselves have to pay any costs arising from the action.
belligerent communities, recognition of The formal acknowledgment by a
state of the existence of a civil war between another state's central government and
the peoples of an area within its territorial boundaries. Such recognition brings
about the conventional operation of the rules of war, in particular those
humanitarian restraints upon the combatants introduced by the international law
of armed force. Another result of recognition of belligerency is that both the rebels
and the parent central government are entitled to exercise belligerent rights and
are subject to the obligations imposed on belligerents. Following recognition, third
states have the rights and obligations of *neutrality. Compare INSURGENCY.
bench n. 1. Literally, the seat of a judge in court. The bench is usually in an
elevated position at one side of the court room facing the seats of counsel and
solicitors.  2. A group of judges or magistrates sitting together in a court, or all
judges, collectively. Thus a lawyer who has been appointed a judge is said to have
been raised to the bench.
Benchers (Masters of the Bench)pl. n. Judges and senior practitioners who form
a governing body for each of the Inns of Court. They are recruited by co-option and
elect one of their number annually to be the Treasurer. Benchers are responsible for
admission of students and calls to the Bar and exercise disciplinary powers over the
members of the Inn. Appeal from their decisions is to the Lord Chancellor and
'visitors' (i.e. High Court Judges sitting for the appeal).
bench warrant A warrant for the arrest of a person who has failed to attend
court when summoned or subpoenaed to do so or against whom an order of
committal for contempt of court has been made and who cannot be found. The
warrant is issued during a sitting of the court.
beneficial interest The rights of a beneficiary in respect of the property held in
trust for him. See also EQUITABLE INTERESTS.
beneficial owner An owner who is entitled to the possession and use of land or
its income for his own benefit. Under the Law of Property Act 1925a person who for
valuable *consideration conveys land as beneficial owner gives implied covenants (1)
that he has the right to convey it; (2) for quiet enjoyment (i.e, that the transferee
takes possession free from adverse claims to the land); (3) that the land is free from
encumbrances other than any specified in the conveyance; (4)for further assurance
(i.e. that the transferor will do anything necessary to cure any defect in the
conveyance); and (5) when the land is leasehold (a)that the lease is valid and
subsisting and (b) that the convenants in the lease have been performed and the rent
paid. When the owner of a legal estate is not the beneficial owner (e.g. a mortgagee,
trustee, or personal representative) his only implied covenant in a conveyance of the
land is that he has not himself created any encumbrance.
beneficiary n. 1. A person entitled to benefit from a *trust. The beneficiary holds
benevolent purposes
a *beneficial interest in the property of which a *trustee holds the legal *interest. A
beneficiary was formerly known as the cestui que trust. 2. One who benefits from
a will.
benevolent purposes Purposes that are for the public good but not necessarily
charitable. They are wider than *philanthropic purposes. See CHARITABLE TRUST.
Benjamin order [from the case re Benjamin (1902)J An order made by the court for
the distribution of assets on death when it is uncertain whether or not a beneficiary
is alive. The order authorizes the personal representatives of the deceased (who will
be administering the estate) to distribute the property on the basis that the
beneficiary is dead (or on some other basis); the personal representatives are
therefore protected from being sued if the beneficiary is in fact alive and entitled.
The beneficiary may, however, trace the trust property (see TRACING TRUST PROPERTY).
bequeath vb. To dispose by will of property other than land. Compare DEVISE.
bequest n. A gift by will of property other than land. Compare DEVISE. See LEGACY.
bereavement. damages for See FATAL ACCIDENTS.
bereavement benefit A benefit payable to widows and widowers, under the
Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999, subject to certain conditions. It consists of a
bereavement payment (made as a lump sum), a widowed parent allowance (where
applicable), and a bereavement allowance.
Berne Convention  The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and
Artistic Works: an international convention of September 1886 that sets out ground
rules for protection of *copyright at national level; it has since been amended
several times. Many nations are signatories to the Convention, including the UK and,
more recently, the United States. See also TRIPS.
best-evidence rule A rule requiring that a party must call the best evidence that
the nature of the case will allow. Formerly of central importance, in modern law it
is largely confined to a rule of practice, not a requirement of law, that the original
of a private document must be produced in order to prove its contents; if it cannot
be produced its absence must be explained.
bestiality n. Anal or vaginal intercourse by a man or a woman with an animal.
Bestiality is a crime if penetration is proved. See also BUGGERY.
best value A requirement under the Local Government Act 1999that *local
authorities must have regard to economy, efficiency, and effectiveness when
exercising their functions and must make arrangements to secure continuous
bid n. See AUCTION.
bigamy n. The act of going through a marriage ceremony with someone when one
is already lawfully married to someone else. Bigamy is a crime, punishable by up to
seven years' imprisonment; however, there is a defence if the accused honestly and
reasonably believed that his or her first spouse was dead or that their previous
marriage had been dissolved or annulled or was void. There is also a special defence
if the accused's spouse has been absent for at least seven years, and is therefore
presumed by the accused to be dead, even if he does not have positive proof of the
death. Even though a person is found not guilty of the crime of bigamy, the
bill of costs
bigamous marriage will still be void if that person had a spouse living at the time
that the second marriage was celebrated.
bilateral contract (synallagmatic contract>  A contract that creates mutual
obligations, i.e. both parties undertake to do, or refrain from doing, something in
exchange for the other party's undertaking. The majority of contracts are bilateral
in nature. Compare UNILATERAL CONTRACT.
bilateral discharge The ending of a contract by agreement, when neither party
has yet performed his obligations under it (an executory contract). Each party
supplies consideration for the agreement to discharge by releasing the other from
his existing obligations. Compare UNILATERAL DISCHARGE (see ACCORD AND SATISFACTION).
bill n. 1. Any of various written instruments; for example, a *bill of exchange, a
*bill of indictment, or a *bill of lading. 2. A written account of money owed; for
example, a *bill of costs.
Bill n. A draft of a proposed *Act of Parliament, which must (normally) be passed
by both Houses before becoming an Act. Bills are either public or private, and the
procedure governing their passing by Parliament depends basically on this
distinction. In general, a public Bill is one relating to matters of general concern; it
is introduced by the government or by a private member (private member's Bill).
In the House of Commons the government sets aside certain Fridays for debate on
private member's Bills, and a ballot at the beginning of each session of Parliament
determines the members whose Bills are to have priority on those days. A private
member's Bill that is not supported by the government stands little chance of
successfully completing all stages and becoming an Act. The government sometimes
prefers a private member to sponsor a particularly controversial Bill that they
themselves support; for example, the Abortion Act 1967was introduced by a private
member (David Steel) and was successful because it had the support of the
government of the day. A public Bill, unless predominantly financial, can be
introduced in either House (less controversial Bills are introduced in the Lords first).
The Bill is presented by the minister or other member in charge, passed by being
read three times, and then sent to the other House. Its first reading is a formality,
but it is debated on second and third readings, between which it goes through a
Committee stage and a Report stage during which amendments may be made. A Bill
that has not become an Act by the end of the session lapses; if reintroduced in a
subsequent session, it must go through all stages again.
A private Bill is one designed to benefit a particular person, local authority, or
other body, by whom it is presented. It is introduced on a petition by the promoter,
which is preceded by public advertisement and by notice to those directly affected.
Its Committee stage in the first House is conducted before a small group of
members, and evidence for and against it is heard. Thereafter, it follows the
procedure for public Bills.
A hybrid Bill is a government bill that is purely local or personal in character and
affects only one of a number of interests in the same class. For example, a
government Bill to nationalize one only of several private-sector airlines would be
hybrid. A hybrid Bill proceeds as a public Bill until after second reading in the first
House, after which it is treated similarly to a private Bill.
bill of costs An account of *costs prepared by a solicitor in respect of legal
services he has rendered his client. In general a solicitor may be required to furnish
his client with a bill unless they have made an agreement in writing to the contrary.
If no such agreement has been made the solicitor may not, without the permission
of the High Court, sue for recovery of costsuntil one month after the bill of costs
bill of exchange
has been delivered. Any client dissatisfied with a bill can require his solicitor to
obtain a remuneration certificate from the Law Society. The certificate will either
say that the fee is fair and reasonable or it will substitute a lower fee. If the bill is
endorsed with a notice saying that there is a right to ask for a remuneration
certificate within one month, the client has one month from receipt of the bill to
request the certificate. If the bill is not endorsed in this way, the client has a right
to demand a remuneration certificate that lasts for one month from the time he
was notified of this right. If the client requests a remuneration certificate, he must
normally first pay half the bill and all the VATon the bill and expenses and
disbursements set out on the bill before the remuneration certificate is obtained,
unless he has obtained permission from the Law Society to waive this requirement;
this permission is given in exceptional circumstances. These rights are set out fully
in the Solicitors (Non-Contentious Business) Remuneration Order 1994. In contentious
(i.e. litigious) matters the bill is subject to *assessment of costs. See also COSTS
bill of exchange  An unconditional order in writing, addressed by one person (the
drawer) to another (the drawee) and signed by the person giving it, requiring the
drawee to pay on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time a specified sum
of money to or to the order of a specified person (the payee) or to the bearer. If the
bill is payable at a future time the drawee signifies his *acceptance, which makes
him the party primarily liable upon the bill; the drawer and endorsers may also be
liable upon a bill. The use of bills of exchange enables one person to transfer to
another an enforceable right to a sum of money. A bill of exchange is not only
transferable but also negotiable, since if a person without an enforceable right to
the money transfers a bill to a *holder in due course, the latter obtains a good title
to it. Much of the law on bills of exchange is codified by the Bills of Exchange Act
1882 and the Cheques Act 1992.
bill of indictment A formal written accusation charging someone with an
*indictable offence. The usual method of preferring a bill of indictment (i.e.
bringing it before the appropriate court) is by committal proceedings before a
magistrates' court (see COMMITTAL FOR TRIAL). See also INDICTMENT.
bill oflading   A document acknowledging the shipment of a consignor's goods for
carriage by sea (compare SEA WAYBILL). lt is used primarily when the ship is carrying
goods belonging to a number of consignors (ageneral ship). In this case, each
consignor receives a bill issued (normally by the master of the ship) on behalf of
either the shipowner or a charterer under a *charterparty. The bill serves three
functions: it is a receipt for the goods; it summarizes the terms of the contract of
carriage; and it acts as a document of title to the goods. A bill of lading is also issued
by a shipowner to a charterer who is using the ship for the carriage of his own
goods. In this case, the terms of the contract of carriage are in the charterparty and
the bill serves only as a receipt and a document of title. During transit, ownership of
the goods may be transferred by delivering the bill to another if it is drawn to
bearer or by endorsing it if it is drawn to order. lt is not, however, a *negotiable
instrument. The responsibilities, liabilities, rights, and immunities attaching to
carriers under bills of lading are stated in the Hague Rules. These were drawn up
by the International Law Association meeting at The Hague in 1921 and adopted by
an International Conference on Maritime Law held at Brussels in 1922. They were
given effect in the UKby the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1924 and so became
known in the UKas the Hague Rules of 1924.They were amended at Brussels in 1968,
effect being given to the amendments by the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1971. The
Rules, which are set out in a schedule to the Act, apply to carriage under a bill of
lading from any port in Great Britain or Northern Ireland to any other port and also
to carriage between any of the states by which they have been adopted. Every bill
issued in Great Britain or Northern Ireland to which the Rules apply must state that
fact expressly (the clause giving effect to this requirement is customarily referred
to as the paramount clause). The Hague Rules were completely rewritten in 1978in
a new treaty known as the Hamburg Rules, which drastically alter the privileged
position of a sea carrier as compared to other carriers, but they have not yet been
generally adopted.
bill of sale   A document by which a person transfers the ownership of goods to
another. Commonly the goods are transferred conditionally, as security for a debt,
and a conditional bill of sale is thus a mortgage of goods. The mortgagor has a
right to redeem the goods on repayment of the debt and usually remains in
possession of them; he may thus obtain false credit by appearing to own them. An
absolute bill of sale transfers ownership of the goods absolutely. The Bills of Sale
Acts 1878and 1882regulate the registration and form of bills of sale.
bind over To order a person to provide a bond or *recognizance by means of
which he guarantees to carry out some act (e.g.to appear in court at the proper
time if he has been granted bail) or not to commit some offence (such as causing a
breach of the peace).
birth certificate  A certified copy of an entry of birth in the register of births,
deaths, and marriages, which comprises evidence of the detail there stated. See
blacklist  n. A list that contains details of members of trade unions, and in
particular details of trade-union activists, compiled with a view to being used by
outside bodies, usually employers and their associations, for the purpose of
discrimination in relation to the recruitment and treatment of workers. The
utilization of such lists is subject to the regulatory powers of the Secretary of State
under section 3(2) of the Employment Relations Act 1999.
blackmail n.  The crime of making an unwarranted demand with menaces for the
purpose of financial gain for oneself or someone else or financial loss to the person
threatened. The menaces may include a threat of violence or of detrimental action,
e.g. exposure of past immorality or misconduct. Blackmail is punishable by up to 14
years' imprisonment. As long as the demand is made with menaces, it will be
presumed to be unwarranted, unless the accused can show both that he thought he
was reasonable in making the demand and that he thought it was reasonable to use
the menaces as a means of pressure. Under the Administration of Justice Act 1970,
there is also a special statutory crime of *harassment of debtors. See also THREAT.
Black Rod. Gentleman Usher of the An official of the House of Lords whose
title derives from his staff of office - an ebony rod surmounted with a gold lion.
The office originated as usher of the Order of the Garter in the 14th century; the
parliamentary appointment dates from 1522. Black Rod is responsible for
maintaining order in the House and summons members of the Commons to the
Lords to hear a speech from the throne.
blasphemy n. Statements or writings that deny - in an offensive or insulting
manner - the truth of the Christian religion, the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer,
or the existence of God. Blasphemy is a crime at common law, and if it is published
there is no need to show an intention to shock or insult or an awareness that the
publication is blasphemous. Prosecutions for blasphemy are now rare and it has been
suggested that the crime be abolished.
blight notice
blight notice A statutory notice by which an owner-occupier can require a public
authority to purchase land that is potentially liable to compulsory acquisition by
them and therefore cannot be sold at full value on the open market. The land may,
for example, be shown in a development plan to be prospectively required for the
authority's purposes or it may be designated in published proposals as the site of a
future highway.
blockade n. The act of a belligerent power of preventing access to or egress from
the ports of its enemy by stationing a ship or squadron in such a position that it can
intercept vessels attempting to approach or leave such ports. A neutral merchant
vessel trying to break through a blockade is liable to capture and condemnation by
the captor's *prize court.
block exemption  Exemption from *Article 81 of the Treaty of Rome for certain
types of anticompetitive agreements that fall within the scope of special EU
regulations that have direct effect in the EU (see COMMUNITY LEGISLATION). Block
exemptions exist in a number of different areas, including *vertical agreements and
agreements relating to motor-vehicle distribution, research and development,
specialization, and *technology transfer. The regulations are published in the EU's
*Official Journal; any agreement that complies with the regulations will be exempt
from Article 81.Many contracts in the EU are drafted to comply with the block
exemption regulations by using the wording of those regulations in the agreements
themselves. Block exemptions can also be issued under UK competition law. EU
block exemptions provide an automatic exemption from the provisions of UK
competition law in the Competition Act 1998.
blood relationship  See CONSANGUINITY.
blood specimen  See SPECIMEN OF BLOOD.
blood test 1. An analysis of blood designed to show that a particular man could
not be the father of a specified child (it cannot establish that the person is the
father). The court may order blood tests in disputes about paternity, but a man
cannot be compelled to undergo the test against his will. His refusal may, however,
lead the court to draw adverse conclusions. Any attempt to take blood without
consent would be trespass. See also DNA FINGERPRINTING. 2. See SPECIMEN OF BLOOD.
blue book A form of government publication, such as a report of a committee,
inquiry, or royal commission, published in blue covers. See alsoPARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.
board of inquiry A body convened by naval, army, or air force authorities to
investigate and report upon the facts of any happening (e.g. the loss or destruction
of service property), particularly for the purpose of determining whether or not
disciplinary proceedings should be instituted.
body corporate  See CORPORATION.
bomb hoax A deception in which one or more people are led to believe that an
explosion is likely to occur that will cause physical injury or damage to property. A
bomb hoax may constitute *blackmail (if accompanied by a demand), public
nuisance, threats to damage property (an offence under the Criminal Damage Act
1971), or wasting the time of the police (under the Criminal Law Act 1967). Under the
Criminal Law Act 1977it is a special statutory offence, punishable by imprisonment
for up to five years and/or a fine, to place or send an object anywhere with the
intention of leading someone to believe that it is likely to explode and cause harm.
boundary commissions
It is also an offence falsely to tell anyone that a bomb has been placed in a certain
place or that some other object is liable to explode.
bona vacantia  [Latin: empty goods] Property not disposed of by a deceased's will
and to which there is no relation entitled on intestacy. Under the Administration of
Estates Act 1925, such property passes to the Crown, the Duchy of Lancaster, or the
Duke of Cornwall. In practice it is usually used to make ex gratia payments, at the
discretion of the Crown, Duchy, or Duke, to any dependants of the deceased and
anyone else for whom he might reasonably have been expected to provide.
bond n. 1. Adeed by which one person (the obligor) commits himself to another
(the obligee) to do something or refrain from doing something. If it secures the
payment of money, it is called a common money bond; a bond giving security for
the carrying out of a contract is called a performance bond. 2. Adocument issued
by a government, local authority, company, or other public body undertaking to
repay long-term debt with interest. Bond issues are issues of debt securities by a
borrower to investors in return for the payment of a subscription price.
bonus issue (capitalization issue) Amethod of increasing a company's issued
capital (see AUTHORIZED CAPITAL) by issuing further shares to existing company
members. These shares are paid for out of undistributed profits of the company, the
*share premium account, or the *capital redemption reserve. The bonus issue is
made to shareholders in proportion to their existing shareholding (e.g. a 1 for 2
bonus issue means that shareholders receive an extra free share for every two shares
they hold).
books of account (accounting records) Records that disclose and explain a
company's financial position at any time and enable its directors to prepare its
*accounts. The books (which registered companies are required to keep by the
Companies Act) should reveal, on a day-to-day basis, sums received and expended
together with details of the transaction, assets and liabilities, and (where
appropriate) goods sold and purchased. Public companies must preserve their books
for six years, private companies for three years. Company officers and *auditors (but
not members) have a statutory right to inspect the books.
borough n. An area of local government, abolished as such (except in *Greater
London) by the Local Government Act 1972. A *district may, however, be styled a
borough by royal charter. Originally, a borough was a fortified town; later, a town
entitled to send a representative to Parliament.
borough court  An inferior *court of record for the trial of civil actions by
charter, custom, or otherwise in a borough. All remaining borough courts were
abolished in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972.
borstal n. An institution to which young offenders (aged 15 to 20 inclusive) could
be sent before June 1983instead of prison. Sentence to borstal has been replaced by
*detention in a young offender institution. See alsoJUVENILE OFFENDER.
bottomry n. See HYPOTHECATION.
boundary n.  (in international law) An imaginary line that determines the
territorial limits of a state. Such boundaries define the limitation of each state's
effective *jurisdiction. They are three-dimensional in nature in that they include the
*airspace and subsoil of the state, the terra firma within the boundary, and the
maritime domain of the state's internal waters and territorial sea. See also ACCRETION;
boundary commissions  Independent bodies established under the Parliamentary
breach of close
Constituencies Act 1986 to carry out periodic reviews of parliamentary
constituencies for the purpose of recommending boundary changes to take account
of shifts in population. There are separate commissions for England, Wales, Scotland,
breach of close Entry on another's land without permission: a form of *trespass
to land. A close is a piece of land separated off from land owned by others or from
common land.
breach of confidence 1. The disclosure of confidential information without
permission. 2. Failure to observe an injunction granted by the court to prevent this.
The injunction is most commonly granted to protect *trade secrets (except patents,
registered designs, and copyrights, which are protected under statute), but may also
be granted, for example, to protect the secrecy of communications made between
husband and wife during marriage or, possibly, between cohabitants during their
period of cohabitation. The laws protecting confidential information exist at
common law and will only restrain the dissemination of truly confidential
information. Information that has been disclosed anywhere in the world, unless it
was disclosed under conditions (usually a contract) of confidence, cannot
subsequently be prevented from disclosure by the courts.
breach of contract An actual failure by a party to a contract to perform his
obligations under that contract or an indication of his intention not to do so. An
indication that a contract will be breached in the future is called repudiation or an
anticipatory breach, and may be either expressed in words or implied from
conduct. Such an implication arises when the only reasonable inference from a
person's acts is that he does not intend to fulfil his part of the bargain. For example,
an anticipatory breach occurs if a person contracts to sell his car to A, but sells and
delivers it to B before the delivery date agreed with A. The repudiation of a contract
entitles the injured party to treat the contract as discharged and to sue immediately
for *damages for the loss sustained. The same procedure applies to an actual breach
if it amounts to breach of a *condition (sometimes referred to as fundamental
breach) or breach of an *innominate term when the consequences of breach are
sufficiently serious. In either an anticipatory or actual breach, the injured party
may, however, decide to *affirm the contract instead. When an actual breach
amounts to breach of a *warranty, or breach of an innominate term and the
consequences of breach are not sufficiently serious to allow for discharge, the
injured party is entitled to sue for damages only. However, most commercial
agreements provide a right to terminate the agreement even when the breach is
minor, thus overriding the common law principle described here. The process of
treating a contract as discharged by reason of repudiation or actual breach is
sometimes referred to as *rescission or repudiation, but this latter term is clearly
confusing. Other remedies available under certain circumstances for breach of
contract are an *injunction and *specific performance. See also PROCURING BREACH OF
breach of privilege  See PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE.
breach of statutory duty Breach of a duty imposed on some person or body by
a statute. The person or body in breach of the statutory duty is liable to any
criminal penalty imposed by the statute, but may also be liable to pay damages to
the person injured by the breach if he belongs to the class for whose protection the
statute was passed Not all statutory duties give rise to civil actions for breach. If the
statute does not deal with the matter expressly, the courts must decide whether or
breath test
not Parliament intended to confer civil remedies. Most actions for breach of
statutory duty arise out of statutes dealing with *safety at work.
breach of the peace The state that occurs when harm is done or likely to be
done to a person or (in his presence) to his property, or when a person is in fear of
being harmed through an *assault, *affray, or other disturbance. At common law,
anyone may lawfully arrest a person for a breach of the peace committed in his
presence, or when he reasonably believes that a person is about to commit or renew
such a breach. To breach the peace is a crime in Scotland; elsewhere, magistrates
may *bind over a person to keep the peace. See alsoARREST; OFFENCES AGAINST PUBLIC
breach of trust Any improper act or omission, contrary to the duties imposed
upon him by the terms of the trust, by a trustee or other person in a fiduciary
position. A breach need not be deliberate or dishonest. In all cases the trustee is
personally responsible to the beneficiaries and is liable for any loss caused to the
trust. Any profit made by a trustee by virtue of his position must be handed to the
trust, even when the trust has suffered no loss.
break clause   A clause often contained in *fixed-term tenancy agreements that
provides for an option to terminate the tenancy at a particular time or when a
particular event occurs.
breakdown of marriage  See MARITAL BREAKDOWN.
breathalyser n. A device, approved by the Secretary of State, that is used in the
preliminary *breath test to measure the amount of alcohol in a driver's breath.
Modern devices, such as the Lion Alcometer 7410,are battery-operated. The suspect
blows through a tube and lights indicate when sufficient breath has been delivered
and the range within which the alcohol level falls. Earlier devices were based on a
tube attached to a balloon, which the suspect had to inflate in one breath: a change
in the colour of crystals inside the tube indicated that there was alcohol in the
breath. A breathalyser should not be used within 20 minutes after consuming
alcohol or on a suspect who has just been smoking. Constables must give
instructions; testing suspects who have difficulty with breathing requires special
breath specimen  See SPECIMEN OF BREATH.
breath test A preliminary test applied by a uniformed police officer by means of
a *breathalyser to a driver whom he suspects has alcohol in his body in excess of the
legal limit, has committed a traffic offence while the car was moving, or has driven
a motor vehicle involved in an accident. The test may be administered on the spot to
someone either actually driving, attempting to drive, or in charge of a motor vehicle
on a road or public place or suspected by the police officer of having done so in the
above circumstances. If the test proves positive (see DRUNKEN DRNING), the police
officer may arrest the suspect without a warrant and take him to a police station,
where further investigations may take place (see SPECIMEN OF BREATH). It is an offence
to refuse to submit to a breath test unless there is some reasonable excuse (usually a
medical reason), and a police officer may arrest without warrant anyone who refuses
the test. The offence is punishable by a fine, endorsement (carrying 4 points under
the *totting-up system), and discretionary disqualification. A police officer has the
power to enter any place in order to apply the breath test to someone he suspects of
having been involved in an accident in which someone else was injured or to arrest
someone who refused the test or whose test was positive.
brewster sessions
brewster sessions The annual meetings of licensing justices to deal with the
grant, renewal, and transfer of licences to sell intoxicating liquor. See LICENSING OF
bribery and corruption Offences relating to the improper influencing of people
in certain positions of trust. The offences commonly grouped under this expression
are now statutory. Under the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889(amended by
the Prevention of Corruption Act 1916) it is an offence, if done corruptly (i.e.
deliberately and with an improper motive), to give or offer to a member, officer, or
servant of a public body any reward or advantage to do anything in relation to any
matter with which that body is concerned; it is also an offence for a public servant
or officer to corruptly receive or solicit such a reward. The Prevention of
Corruption Act 1906(amended by the 1916Act) is wider in scope. It relates to agents,
which include not only those involved in the business of agency but also all
employees, including anyone serving under the Crown or any public body. Under
this Act it is an offence to corruptly give or offer any valuable consideration to an
agent to do any act or show any favour in relation to his principal's affairs; like the
1889Act, it also creates a converse offence of receiving or soliciting by agents.
bridle way Under the Highways Act 1980,a *highway over which the public has a
right of way on foot and a right of way on horseback or leading a horse, with or
without a right to drive animals along the highway. See also DRIFTWAY.
brief n. A document by which a solicitor instructs a barrister to appear as an
advocate in court. Unless the client is receiving financial support from the
Community Legal Service, the brief must be marked with a fee that is paid to
counsel whether he is successful or not. A brief usually comprises a backsheet,
typed on large brief-size paper giving the title of the case and including the
solicitor's instructions, which is wrapped around the other papers relevant to the
case. The whole bundle is tied up with red tape in the case of a private client and
white tape if the brief is from the Crown.
British citizenship One of three forms of citizenship introduced by the British
Nationality Act 1981, which replaced citizenship of the UK and Colonies. The others
are *British Dependent Territories citizenship and *British Overseas citizenship.
On the date on which it came into force (1January 1983), the Act conferred British
citizenship automatically on every existing citizen of the UK and Colonies who was
entitled to the right of abode in the UK under the Immigration Act 1971 (see
IMMIGRATION). As from that date, there have been four principal ways of acquiring
the citizenship - by birth, by descent, by registration, and by naturalization. A
person acquires it by birth only if he is born in the UK and his father or mother is
either a British citizen or settled in the UK (i.e. resident there, and not restricted by
the immigration laws as to length of stay). If born outside the UK, he acquires it by
descent if one of his parents has British citizenship (but not, normally, if that
citizenship was itself acquired by descent). The British Nationality (Falkland Islands)
Act 1983makes special provisions to confer British citizenship on those people with
connections with the Falkland Islands. The British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997
gave additional rights to certain people from Hong Kong to acquire British
citizenship "by descent" or "otherwise than with descent". Registration may be
applied for by a minor, but adults are eligible only if they have particular links with
the UK.In some cases (e.g. British Dependent Territories citizens, British Overseas
citizens, British protected persons, and British subjects with certain residential
qualifications), it is a right; in others, it is at the discretion of the Secretary of State.
British subject
Any adult may apply for naturalization but there are residential and other
requirements (e.g. proof of good character), and its grant is always discretionary.
A registered or naturalized citizen may be deprived of his citizenship if he
obtained it improperly, behaves disloyally, or is sentenced during the first five years
to imprisonment exceeding one year.
British Commonwealth   See COMMONWEALTH.
British Dependent Territories citizenship One of three forms of citizenship
introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981to replace citizenship of the UKand
Colonies. The others are *British citizenship and *British Overseas citizenship. The
dependent territories for the purposes of this form of citizenship are listed in a
schedule to the Act; they include Bermuda and Gibraltar, among others.
On the date on which it came into force (1January 1983), the Act conferred the
citizenship automatically on a large number of existing citizens of the UKand
Colonies on the grounds of birth, registration, or naturalization in a dependent
territory or descent from a parent or grandparent who had that citizenship on one
of those grounds. As from that date, acquisition (and deprivation in the case of
registered or naturalized citizens) have been governed by principles similar to those
applying to British citizenship, except that acquisition by registration relates almost
exclusively to minors. A British Dependent Territories citizen can become entitled to
registration as a British citizen by virtue of UKresidence. On 1 July 1997, those who
were British Dependent Territories citizens by virtue of a connection with Hong
Kong ceased to be British Dependent Territories citizens. However, they were
entitled to acquire a new form of British nationality, known as *British National
(Overseas),by registration.
British National (Overseas)   Aform of British nationality that those who were
*British Dependent Territories citizens by virtue of a connection with Hong Kong
may acquire by registration. They ceased to be British Dependent Territories citizens
on 1 July 1997.
British Overseas citizenship  One of three forms of citizenship introduced by
the British Nationality Act 1981to replace citizenship of the UKand Colonies. On the
date on which it came into force (1January 1983), the Act conferred the citizenship
automatically on every existing citizen of the UK and Colonies who did not qualify
for either of the other new forms (*British citizenship and *British Dependent
Territories citizenship). Acquisition as from that date has been by registration only,
and this is confined almost completely to minors. A British Overseas citizen may
become entitled to registration as a British citizen by virtue of UKresidence.
British protected person   One of a class of people defined as such by an order
under the British Nationality Act 1981or the Solomon Islands Act 1978because of
their connection with former protectorates, protected states, and trust territories. A
British protected person may become entitled to registration as a British citizen by
reason of UKresidence.
British subject Under the British Nationality Act 1948,a secondary status that was
common to all who were primarily citizens either of the UK and Colonies or of one
of the independent Commonwealth countries. This status was also shared by a
limited number of people who did not have any such primary citizenship, including
former British subjects who were also citizens of Eire (as it then was) or who could
have acquired one of the primary citizenships but did not in fact do so.
Under the British Nationality Act 1981 (which replaced the 1948 Act as from 1
January 1983), the status of British subject was confined to those who had enjoyed it
under the former Act without having one of the primary citizenships; the
expression *commonwealth citizen was redefined as a secondary status of more
universal application. The Act provided for minors to be able to apply for
registration as British subjects and for British subjects to become entitled to
registration as British citizens by virtue of UK residence.
Broadmoor A *special hospital at Crowthorne, near Camberley, in Berkshire. It
treats dangerous and violent patients (previously known as criminal lunatics) who
are sent to it.
brothel n. A place used for the purpose of female or male *prostitution. A
contract for the hiring or letting of a brothel is void (as being contrary to public
policy) and under the Sexual Offences Act 1956it is an offence for a landlord to let
premises knowing that they are to be used as a brothel. It is also an offence for
someone to help or manage a brothel or for a tenant or occupier of any premises to
permit the premises to be used as a brothel.
Brussels Convention An international convention of 1968 that determines which
courts will have jurisdiction in relation to international disputes (see FOREIGN
JUDGMENTS). Generally, if a contract provides that a certain country's courts will hear
any disputes that arise, this will be respected. The Convention also provides rules
when the parties have not chosen a forum for their disputes. Many EU states are
individually a party to the Convention; the UK signed up to it in 1978and enacted it
into national law in 1982.
Bryan Treaties (Bryan Arbitration Treaties) [named after William Jennings
Bryan, US Secretary of State 1913-15] The series of treaties, signed at Washington in
1914, that established permanent commissions of inquiry. Such inquiries were
designed to resolve differences between the United States of America and a large
number of foreign states. The treaties were not all identical, but had the following
key feature III common: the *high contracting parties agreed (1) to refer all disputes
that diplomatic methods had failed to resolve to a Permanent International
Commission for investigation and report, and (2)not to begin hostilities before the
report was submitted. See alsoINQUIRY.
buggery (sodomy) n. Anal intercourse by a man with another man or a woman or
*bestiality by a man or a woman. Except between consenting adults over 16 in
private (see also HOMOSEXUAL CONDUCT), buggery is a crime if penetration is proved (it
IS not necessary for there to be ejaculation). The person effecting the intercourse is
guilty as the agent, and the other party is called (and is guilty as) the patient.
However, criminal proceedings are not brought without the consent of the
*Director of Public Prosecutions against anyone under 16 for participating in
buggery. It is also an offence (punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment) to assault
anyone with the intention of committing buggery. See also GROSS INDECENCY;
building lease A lease under which the tenant covenants to erect specified
buildings on the land. Sometimes the lease only begins when the buildings have
been erected. At the end of the lease the buildings generally become the property of
the landlord. It used to be common for residential property to be built under a
building lease, usually for 99 years, under which the landlord would let to a builder
at a rent that ignored the value of the buildings (*ground rent), and the builder
burden of proof
would sell the lease to a tenant. Under a lease of this kind, the tenant may acquire a
statutory right to purchase the freehold under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967.
building preservation notice A notice by a local planning authority (see TOWN
AND COUNTRY PLANNING) that places a building regarded as suitable for listing and in
danger of demolition or alteration under temporary control as a *Iisted building,
pending a decision on its listing by the Secretary of State.
building scheme A defined area of land sold by a single vendor in plots for (or
following) development, each plot being sold subject to similar *restrictive
covenants that are clearly intended to benefit the whole. For example, restrictive
covenants prohibiting trade or excessive noise are frequently imposed on the sale of
plots on a housing estate, to maintain the character of the estate as a whole. The law
allows the owner of any plot in a building scheme to enforce such covenants against
any other plot owner, even though neither was a party to the document that
imposed the covenants.
building society A corporation established under the Building Societies Acts for
the purpose of making loans to its members on the security of mortgages on their
homes, out of funds invested by its members. Generally a building society's security
must be a first legal mortgage on the borrower's home. However, the Building
Societies Act 1986 now empowers societies to lend on the security of second
mortgages and to provide a wide range of banking and other financial services.
Bullock order [from the case Bullock v London General Omnibus Co. (1907)] A form of
order for the payment of costs in civil cases sometimes made when the claimant has,
in the court's opinion, reasonably sued two defendants but has succeeded against
only one of them. The order requires the claimant to pay the successful defendant's
costs but allows him to include these costs in those payable to him by the
unsuccessful defendant. It should be distinguished from a Sanderson order (from
the case Sanderson v Blyth Theatre Co., 1903), in which the unsuccessful defendant is
ordered to pay the costs of the successful defendant directly. A Sanderson order is
generally more advantageous to the claimant, but will not be ordered if, for
example, the unsuccessful defendant is insolvent, because the successful defendant
would thereby be deprived of his costs.
burden of proof The duty of a party to litigation to prove a fact or facts in issue.
Generally the burden of proof falls upon the party who substantially asserts the
truth of a particular fact (the prosecution or the claimant). A distinction is drawn
between the persuasive (or legal) burden, which is carried by the party who as a
matter of law will lose the case if he fails to prove the fact in issue; and the
evidential burden (burden of adducing evidence or burden of going forward),
which is the duty of showing that there is sufficient evidence to raise an issue fit
for the consideration of the *trier of fact as to the existence or nonexistence of a
fact in issue.
The normal rule is that a defendant is presumed to be innocent until he is proved
guilty; it is therefore the duty of the prosecution to prove its case by establishing
both the *actus reus of the crime and the *mens rea. It must first satisfy the
evidential burden to show that its allegations have something to support them. If it
cannot satisfy this burden, the defence may submit or the judge may direct that
there is *no case to answer, and the judge must direct the jury to acquit. The
prosecution may sometimes rely on presumptions of fact to satisfy the evidential
burden of proof (e.g.the fact that a woman was subjected to violence during sexual
intercourse will normally raise a presumption to support a charge of rape and prove
that she did not consent). If, however, the prosecution has established a basis for its
case, it must then continue to satisfy the persuasive burden by proving its case
beyond reasonable doubt (see alsoPROOF BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT). It is the duty of
the judge to tell the jury clearly that the prosecution must prove its case and that it
must prove it beyond reasonable doubt; if he does not give this clear direction, the
defendant is entitled to be acquitted.
There are some exceptions to the normal rule that the burden of proof is upon
the prosecution. The main exceptions are as follows. (1) When the defendant admits
the elements of the crime (the actus reus and mens rea)but pleads a special defence,
the evidential burden is upon him to create at least a reasonable doubt in his favour.
This may occur, for example, in a prosecution for murder in which the defendant
raises a defence of self-defence. (2) When the defendant pleads *coercion,
*diminished responsibility, or *insanity, both the evidential and persuasive burden
rest upon him. In this case, however, it is sufficient if he proves his case on a
balance of probabilities (Le. he must persuade the jury that it is more likely that he
was insane than not). (3) In some cases statute expressly places a persuasive burden
on the defendant; for example, a person who carries an *offensive weapon in public
is guilty of an offence unless he proves that he had lawful authority or a reasonable
excuse for carrying it.
burglary n. The offence, under the Theft Act 1968,of either entering a building,
ship, or inhabited vehicle (e.g. a caravan) as a trespasser with the intention of
committing one of four specified crimes in it (burglary with intent) or entering it
as a trespasser only but subsequently committing one of two specified crimes in it
(burglary without intent). The four specified crimes for burglary with intent are
(1) *theft; (2)inflicting *grievous bodily harm; (3) causing *criminal damage; and (4)
rape of a person in the building (see alsoULTERIOR INTENT). The two specified offences
for burglary without intent are (1) stealing or attempting to steal; and (2)inflicting
or attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm. Burglary is punishable by up to 14
years' imprisonment. Aggravated burglary, in which the trespasser is carrying a
weapon of offence, explosive, or firearm, may be punished by a maximum sentence
of life imprisonment. The Crime (Sentences) Act 1997provides for an automatic
three-year minimum sentence for third-time burglars, although judges may give a
lesser sentence if the court considers the minimum would be unjust in all the
circumstances. See alsoREPEAT OFFENDER.
Business Expansion Scheme  See ENTERPRISE INVESTMENT SCHEME.
business liability Liability (contractual or tortious) for a breach of obligations or
duties arising in the course of a business (which can include the activities of a
government department or local or public authority) or from the occupation of
business premises. The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977and, for consumer contracts,
the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999limit the extent to which
a person may rely on terms in his contracts that attempt to exclude or restrict his
business name The name, other than its own, under which a sole trader,
partnership, or company carries on business. The choice of a business name is
restricted by the Business Names Act 1985and by the common law of *passing off.
The true names and addresses of the individuals concerned must be disclosed in
documents issuing from the business and upon business premises. Contravention of
the Act may lead to a fine and to inability to enforce contracts. See alsoCOMPANY
business tenancy A *tenancy of premises that are occupied for the purposes of a
trade, profession, or employment. Business tenants have special statutory protection.
If the landlord serves a notice to quit, the tenant can usually apply to the courts for
a new tenancy. If the landlord wishes to oppose the grant of a new tenancy he must
show that he has statutory grounds, which may include breaches of the tenant's
obligations under the tenancy agreement or the provision of suitable alternative
accommodation by the landlord. Otherwise the court will grant a new tenancy on
whatever terms the parties agree or, if they cannot agree, on whatever terms the
court considers reasonable. When the tenancy ends, the tenant may claim
compensation for any improvements he has made.
Under the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995, in force from 1 January 1996,
when business tenancies are assigned the new tenant generally takes over the
covenants (or promises and warranties) of the first tenant in the lease except when
otherwise agreed. Previously the old tenant was always liable, even after
*assignment, if a subsequent tenant defaulted on the lease.
buyer n. The party to a contract for the sale of goods who agrees to acquire
ownership of the goods and to pay the price. See also PURCHASER.
byelaw n. A form of *delegated legislation, made principally by local authorities.
District and London borough councils have general powers to make byelaws for the
good rule and government of their areas, and all local authorities have powers to
make them on a wide range of specific matters (e.g.public health). Certain public
corporations (such as the British Airports Authority) also make byelaws for the
regulation of their undertakings. A statutory power to make byelaws includes a
power to rescind, revoke, amend, or vary them. By contrast with most other forms
of delegated legislation, byelaws are not subject to any form of parliamentary
control but take effect if confirmed by a government minister. It is common for
central government to prepare draft byelaws that may be made by such authorities
as choose to do so. Byelaws are, however, subject to judicial control by means of the
doctrine of *ultra vires.
Cabinet n. A body of *ministers (normally about 20) consisting mostly of heads of
chief government departments but also including some ministers with few or no
departmental responsibilities; it is headed by the *Prime Minister, in whose gift
membership lies. As the principal executive body under the UK constitution, its
function is to formulate government policy and to carry it into effect (particularly
by the initiation of legislation). The Cabinet has no statutory foundation and exists
entirely by convention, although it has been mentioned in statute from time to
time, e.g. in the Ministers of the Crown Act 1937, which provided additional salaries
to "Cabinet Ministers". The Cabinet is bound by the convention of collective
responsibility, i.e. all members should fully support Cabinet decisions; a member
who disagrees with a decision must resign. If the government loses a vote of
confidence, or suffers any other major defeat in the House of Commons, the whole
Cabinet must resign.
cabotage n. Transport services provided in one member state of the EU by a
carrier of another state. Article 71 (formerly 75)of the Treaty of Rome provides that
the Council of the European Union may lay down proposals in relation to the
conditions under which nonresident carriers may operate transport services within a
member state.
CAC  See
Calderbank letter (Calderbank offer)  Formerly, a letter sent by one party to a
civil action, in which a remedy other than debt or damages is claimed, to another
offering to compromise the action on terms specified in the letter. The first such
letter was sent in the case Calderbankv Calderbank (1976). Calderbank offers are now
(since the introduction of the *Civil Procedure Rules in 1999) known as *Part 36 offers.
call n. 1. A ceremony at which students of the Inns of Court become barristers. The
name of the student is read out and he is "called to the Bar" by the Treasurer of his
Inn. Call ceremonies take place four times a year, once in each dining term. 2. A
demand by a company under the terms of the articles of association or an ordinary
resolution requiring company members to pay up fully or in part the nominal value
of their shares. Unless the articles provide otherwise, calls must be made equally
upon all shareholders of the same class. Calls should be distinguished from
instalments, which become due upon a date predetermined at the time the shares
were issued. See also PAID-UP CAPITAL.
calling the jury  Announcing the names of those selected to serve on a jury as a
result of a ballot of the jury panel.
Calvo clause   [named after the Argentine jurist Carlos Calvo (1824^1906)] A clause
in a contract stating that the parties to the contract agree to rely exclusively on
domestic remedies in the event of a dispute. The insertion of such a clause in a
contract was an attempt, originally by Latin American countries, to eliminate
diplomatic intervention should a dispute arise with a foreign national: by making
such a contract the foreign national was said to have renounced the protection of
capacity to contract
his government. The clause is in effect in most cases superfluous - firstly, because
diplomatic intervention belongs to the state only, and thus cannot be renounced by
an individual; and secondly, because the exhaustion of local remedies is always taken
to be a *condition precedent to appealing for diplomatic intervention. Since the
1930s such clauses have not been used in international disputes.
cancellation n. 1. (in equity) An order by the court that specified documents
should no longer have effect. This may occur when a document has fulfilled its
purpose but its continued existence could lead to improper claims against its
maker. 2. (in commercial law) The right to cancel a commercial contract after it has
been entered into. The right to cancel exists generally for contracts concluded at a
distance (see DISTANCE SELLING), such as mail order and Internet sales when the
contract is with a *consumer, and in particular in such sectors as time-share sales
and consumer credit.
cannabis n. A drug obtained from the crushed leaves and flowers of the hemp
plant (Cannabis sativa); under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 cannabis is defined as a
*controlled drug of Class B,but in October 2001the Home Secretary announced a
decision to reclassify it as a Class C drug. In addition to the offences applying to all
controlled drugs, there is a specific offence applying only to cannabis and cannabis
resin (and also to prepared opium): it is an offence for an occupier, landlord, or
property manager to allow these substances to be smoked on the premises he
occupies or manages.
cannon-shot rule   The rule by which a state has territorial sovereignty of that
coastal sea within three miles of land. Its name derives from the fact that in the
17th century this limit roughly corresponded to the outer range of coastal artillery
weapons and therefore reflected the principle terrae dominum finitur, ubi finitur
armarium vis (the dominion of the land ends where the range of weapons ends). The
rule is now not widely recognized: many nations have established a 6- or 12-mile
coastal limit. See alsoTERRITORIAL WATERS.
canonical disability See IMPOTENCE.
canon law (ecclesiastical law) Church law, such as the Roman Catholic Code of
Canon Law and, in England, the law of the Church of England. Unless subsequently
becoming *Iegislation or *custom, it is not part of the laws of England but is
binding on the clergy and lay people holding ecclesiastical office, e.g. churchwardens.
capacity of a child in criminal law See DOLI CAPAX.
capacity to contract Competence to enter into a legally binding agreement. The
main categories of persons lacking this capacity in full are minors, the mentally
disordered, the drunk, and corporations other than those created by royal charter.
A minor is capable of making valid contracts for *necessaries and is also bound by
any beneficial contract of service into which he enters (i.e. any contract of
employment or training that is advantageous to him taken as a whole). Certain
contracts of a proprietary nature (e.g.tenancy agreements, agreements to buy
company shares, and partnership agreements) are voidable in that a minor may
repudiate them either before he comes of age or within a reasonable time thereafter.
If he fails to repudiate, he becomes fully bound. All other contracts made by a
minor are unenforceable unless ratified by the minor when he comes of age (see
RATIFICATION) unless the Minors Contracts Act 1987applies. This Act gives the court
the right to require the transfer of property acquired by a minor under a contract
when it is just and equitable to do so and improves the rights of adults contracting
with minors.
A contract made by a person who is mentally disordered or drunk is voidable if
the other party knows that his disorder or drunkenness will prevent him from
understanding what he is doing. This means that, subject to certain limitations, he
can set the contract aside by *rescission.
A corporation incorporated by royal charter has full contractual capacity, but a
statutory corporation has power to contract only for purposes connected with the
objects for which it was incorporated. Other contracts are  *ultra vires and void.
capias n. [Latin: that you take] One of a group of writs of assistance conferring
certain supplemental powers upon the sheriff in respect of the enforcement of
judgment. Such writs are now obsolete.
capital   1. (share capital)  Afund representing the contributions given to the
company by shareholders in return for their shares. These assets are intended to
protect the interests of any creditors in the event of a *limited company
encountering financial difficulties, and there are rules under the Companies Act
1985 to ensure that this fund is not reduced unless it is absolutely necessary. Each
share is assigned a nominal or par value to enable each holder to measure his
interest in and liability to the company. In a company limited by shares (see LIMITED
COMPANY) the liability of a shareholder is limited to the unpaid purchase price of the
share. If a company is able to command a market price for a share that is above the
nominal value assigned to it, the difference is said to represent a premium. The
total number of shares and their nominal values must be stated in the capital clause
of the *memorandum of association and represents the company's authorized
capital allowance  Atax allowance for businesses on capital expenditure on
particular items. These include *machinery and plant, industrial buildings,
agricultural buildings, mines and oil wells, energy-saving equipment, and scientific
equipment. For other types of expenditure neither the capital cost nor the
depreciation is allowable against tax. The percentage of the expenditure allowed
varies (up to 100%) according to the type of expenditure. If a business's capital
allowances exceed its profit, it may carry forward the balance for setting against
future profits.
capital gains tax  Atax charged on gains arising from the disposal of assets. The
tax due is a proportion of the chargeable gain, which in general terms is the
amount by which the proceeds of the disposal exceed the original cost of acquiring
the asset. If the disposal results in a loss, this may be offset against other chargeable
gains in the same year or subsequent years. Assets that may be taxed in this way
include stocks, shares, unit trusts, land, buildings, machinery, jewellery, and works
of art. There are, however, a number of exemptions, including private motor
vehicles, an individual's *main residence, National Savings Certificates, and most
personal chattels with an expected life of less than 50 years. Marketable government
securities held for longer than 12 months are also exempt. Gains arising from the
disposal of business assets may be offset against the cost of acquiring replacement
assets. This is known as roll-over relief. Capital gains tax applies only to gains
accruing since 31 March 1982. If the asset was held before this date, the gain is based
on the asset's market value on 31 March 1982. The gain will be reduced by taper
relief if the asset was held for more than one year. For example, a business asset
owned for three years will have the gain reduced by 50%. The first £7500 (for
care and control
2001-02) of annual gains is exempt. The rate of tax is the taxpayer's marginal rate of
income tax (10-40% in 2001-02).
capitalization issue See BONUS ISSUE.
capital money Money arising from certain transactions relating to *settled land
or land held on a *trust of land. It may arise from sale, the granting of certain
leases and similar transactions, borrowing on the security of a mortgage, and other
circumstances in which the money should be treated as capital of the settlement, e.g.
the proceeds of a fire insurance claim relating to the land. Generally capital money
must be received by the trustees of the settlement, not the beneficiary. When the
money is raised or paid for a specific purpose (e.g.for improvements authorized by
the Settled Land Act 1925) it must be applied for that purpose. Otherwise, it is
invested and held by the trustees on the same trusts as the land itself was held.
capital punishment Death (usually by hanging) imposed as a punishment for
crime. Capital punishment for murder was abolished in the UK under the Murder
(Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965. The death penalty continued to exist for a
small number of offences, such as *piracyand *treason. The ratification by the UK
of the Sixth Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights and the
introduction of the *Human Rights Act 1998 has meant that the death penalty is
now completely abolished, apart from special provisions in respect of acts in times
of war. Its reintroduction would be a violation of the Human Rights Act and, at an
international level, a breach of a treaty obligation.
capital redemption reserve A fund established to protect creditors by ensuring
that the assets representing a company's *capital are not reduced. In limited
circumstances a company is permitted to buy back its own shares. If this is provided
for by a term in the original share contract the company redeems its own shares. If
no such term exists the company makes a purchase of its own shares. In either
case the value of the capital sum will be reduced by the amount of the purchase or
redemption unless an equal amount is transferred to a reserve that is subject to the
same restrictions as the capital.
capital transfer tax (eTT) A tax formerly levied on property passing on death
and on transfers of wealth during a person's lifetime. See INHERITANCE TAX.
capitulation n. 1. An agreement under which a body of troops or a naval force
surrenders upon conditions. The arrangement is a bargain made in the common
interest of the contracting parties, one of which avoids the useless loss that is
incurred in a hopeless struggle, while the other, besides also avoiding loss, is spared
all further sacrifice of time and trouble. A capitulation must be distinguished from
an unconditional surrender, which need not be effected on the basis of an
instrument signed by both parties and is not an agreement. 2. A system of
extraterritorial jurisdiction, based partly upon custom and partly upon treaties of
unilateral obligation, in which cases relating to foreign citizens were tried before
diplomatic or consular courts operating in accordance with the laws of the states
concerned. The practice is now obsolete, being a clear breach of the right of
sovereign equality between states.
caravan n. For the purpose of collective *trespass and *powers of search in
anticipation of violent disorder, any structure adapted for human habitation and
capable of being moved from one place to another, either by being towed or being
transported on a motor vehicle or trailer. See alsoUNAUTHORIZED CAMPING.
care and control  Formerly, the right to the physical possession and control of the
day-to-day activities of a minor. See PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY; SECTION 8 ORDERS.
care contact order
care contact order An order of the court allowing a local authority to restrict
*contact with a child in care (see CARE ORDER). Under the Children Act 1989 there is a
presumption that children in care will have reasonable contact with their parents
(including unmarried parents) or those who have had care of them and a local
authority must now seek a court order if it wishes to limit such contact.
careless and inconsiderate driving The offence of driving a motor vehicle on
a road or other public place without due care and attention or without reasonable
consideration for other road users. This is a *summary offence for which the
maximum penalty is a *fine at level 4 on the standard scale and it carries 3-9
penalty points under the *totting-up system; *disqualification is discretionary. This
offence, defined by the Road Traffic Act 1988 (in a section inserted by the Road
Traffic Act 1991), replaces the former offences of careless driving and inconsiderate
careless statement See NEGLIGENT MISSTATEMENT.
care or control  Protection and guidance of a minor or the discipline of such a
child. A court has authority to make orders in care proceedings only if it is satisfied
that (in addition to other specified conditions) the child is in need of care or is
beyond control. In this context it is not necessary to show that all his day-to-day
needs are being neglected. See CARE ORDER.
care order A court order placing a child under the care of a local authority. Under
the Children Act 1989 an application for a care order can only be made by a local
authority, the NSPCC, or a person authorized by the Secretary of State. The court has
the power to make a care order only when it is satisfied that a child is suffering or
likely to suffer significant harm either caused by the care (or lack of care) given to
it by its parents, or because the child is beyond parental control (the so-called
threshold criteria). The phrase "significant harm", as defined in the Children Act,
means ill treatment (including sexual abuse and forms of treatment that are not
physical) or the impairment of health (either physical or mental) or development
(whether physical, intellectual, emotional. social, or behavioural). Once the court IS
satisfied that the threshold criteria have been satisfied, it must decide whether a
care order would be in the best interests of the child. In so doing, it should
scrutinize the *care plan drawn up in respect of the child. The court may, instead of
making a care order, make a *supervision order or a *section 8 order. Since the
coming into force of the Human Rights Act 1998, the court must ensure that the
granting of a care order will not be in breach of Article 8 (which guarantees a right
to *family life); the court must be satisfied that any intervention by the state
between parents and children is proportionate to the legitimate aim of protecting
family life. A care order gives the local authority *parental responsibility for the
child who is the subject of the order. Although parents retain their parental
responsibility, in practice all major decisions relating to the child are made by the
local authority. While the child is in care, the local authority cannot change the
child's religion or surname or consent to an adoption order or appoint a guardian.
There is a presumption that parents will have reasonable contact with their children
while in care; if the local authority wishes to prevent this, it must apply for a court
order to limit such contact. A parent with parental responsibility, the child itself, or
the local authority may apply to discharge a care order. No care order can be made
with respect to a child who is over the age of 16. A local authority can no longer use
*wardship proceedings as an alternative means of obtaining a care order, nor may it
take a child into care through administrative means. Before the Crime and Disorder
Act 1998 came into force a care order could only be made if the threshold criteria
case law
were ^^     Now, however, the family proceedings court has the power to make a care
order If a child IS in breach of a *child safety order.
care plan   A plan drawn up by a local authority in respect of a child it is looking
after. The purpose of a care plan is to safeguard and promote the welfare of the
child in accordance with the local authority's duties under the Children Act 1989.
The plan will address such matters as where the child is be placed and the likely
duration of such a placement, arrangements for contact between the child and its
tamiiy, and what the needs of the child are and how these might be met. When a
court IS deciding whether or not to make a *care order or a *supervision order in
respect of a child, the care plan is of crucial importance and must be scrutinized
care proceedings See CARE ORDER.
, "S _ n. Goods, other than the personal luggage of passengers, carried by a ship or
aircraft, Normally (but not necessarily in relation to insurance) "cargo" denotes the
whole of a ^P s loading. Under a ship's charterparty, the freight payable to the
shipowner IS normally calculated at a rate per tonne of cargo. Unless otherwise
agreed, the duty of the charterer is to provide a full and complete cargo: if he fails
to do this, he is liable for damages known as dead freight.
carriage of goods by air The act of carrying goods by air, which is normally
under a contract between the consignor and a *carrier. International carriage has
been the subject of several international conventions: Warsaw (1929), The Hague
(1955), Guadalajara (1961), Guatemala (1971),and Montreal (1975). The UKis party to a
number of these Conventions, which have been given effect by the Carriage by Air
Acts 1932, 1961, and 1962 and the Carriage by Air and Road Act 1979 (in part not yet
in force). They deal with such matters as the nature and limit of the carrier's
liability, who can sue and be sued, the right to stop in transit, the documentation of
air carriage, and time limits for complaint.
carrier n   One who transports persons or goods from one place to another. Carriage
IS normally under a contract that may affect or limit the duties otherwise imposed
by law, but such contracts may be subject to statutory control. Carriers of goods are
bailees of the goods consigned. Acommon carrier is one who publicly undertakes to
carry any goods or persons for payment on the routes he covers. A common carrier
is subject to three common-law duties: (1) he must, if he has space, accept any goods
of the type he carnes or any person; (2)he must charge only a reasonable rate; and
(3) he is strictly liable for all loss or damage to goods in the course of transit (but see
INHERENT VICE). All other carriers are private carriers, and they owe only a duty of
reasonable care.
carrier S lien  The right of a common *carrier to retain possession of goods he has
carried until he has been paid his freight or charge.
cartel n. 1. An ag.reement between belligerent states for certain types of nonhostile
transactions, especially the treatment and exchange of prisoners. 2. Anational or
:nternatlOnal association of independent enterprises formed to create a *monopoly
in a given industry.
casen. 1. Acourt *action. 2. A legal dispute. 3. The arguments, collectively, put
forward by either SIdein a court action, 4. (action on the case) Aform of action
abolished by the Judicature Acts 1873-75.
case law The body of law set out in judicial decisions, as distinct from *statute
law. See also PRECEDENT.
case management
case management Under the *Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), the new procedure
for managing civil cases, as proposed in Lord Woolf s Access to Justice (Final Report)
1996.Under the new regime, the judge becomes the case manager. A case is allocated
to one of three tracks, depending on the value of the dispute and the complexity of
the case: the  *small claims track, *fast track, or *multi-track. Each case is actively
managed by the judge on a court-controlled timetable with the aims of encouraging
and facilitating cooperation between the parties, identifying the areas in dispute,
and encouraging settlement. The court can control progress and even 'strike out' an
action. In considering the benefits of a particular way of hearing it can use a range
of procedural devices to enforce discipline against lawyers not complying with CPR
*pre-action protocols and/or *Practice Directions, including costs sanctions and
refusing an extension of time.
case management conference Under the *Civil Procedure Rules, a central
feature of *case management at which the judge reviews the progress of the case
preparation, including the degree of compliance with *Practice Directions and *pre-
action protocols. Legal representatives will attend, and the judge is able to make
further directions as are considered necessary.
case stated A written statement of the facts found by a magistrates' court or
tribunal (or by the Crown Court in respect of an appeal from a magistrates' court)
submitted for the opinion of the High Court (Queen's Bench Divisional Court) on
any question of law or jurisdiction involved. Any person who was a party to the
proceedings or is aggrieved by the decision can request the court or tribunal to state
a case; if it wrongly refuses, it can be compelled to do so by a *mandatory order.
casus belli [Latin: occasion for war] An event giving rise to war or used to justify
war. The only legitimate casus bellinow is an unprovoked attack necessitating self-
defence on the part of the victim.
casus omissus  [Latin: an omitted case)A case inadvertently not provided for in a
defective statute.
catching bargain (unconscionablebargain)  Acontract on very unfair terms.
An example is the sale of a future interest in property at a gross undervalue, made
by someone with expectations to succeed to the property who is in immediate need
of money. Such a contract may be set aside or modified by a court of equitable
cattle trespass  An early form of strict liability for damage done by trespassing
cattle or other livestock (but not dogs or cats), replaced in England by the Animals
Act 1971. Under the 1971 Act, the owner of livestock that strays on another's land and
does damage to the land or any property on it is liable for the damage and any
expenses incurred in keeping the livestock or ascertaining to whom it belongs. See
causa causans  [Latin] The effective cause. See CAUSATION.
causation n. The relationship between an act and the consequences it produces. It
is one of the elements that must be proved before an accused can be convicted of a
crime in which the effect of the act is part of the definition of the crime (e.g.
murder). Usually it is sufficient to prove that the accused had *mens rea (intention
or recklessness) in relation to the consequences; the *burden of proof is on the
prosecution. In tort it must be established that the defendant's tortious conduct
caused or contributed to the damage to the claimant before the defendant can be
found liable for that damage. Sometimes a distinction is made between the effective
or immediate cause (causa causans) of the damage and any other cause in the
sequence of events leading up to it (causa sine qua non). Simple causation problems
are solved by the "but for" test (would the damage have occurred but for the
defendant's tort?), but this test is inadequate for cases of concurrent or cumulative
causes (e.g. if the acts of two independent tortfeasors would each have been
sufficient to produce the damage).
Sometimes a new act or event (novus actus (or nova causa) interveniens) may
break the legal chain of causation and relieve the defendant of responsibility. Thus
if a house, which was empty because of a nuisance committed by the local authority,
is occupied by squatters and damaged, the local authority is not responsible for the
damage caused by the squatters. Similarly, if Xstabs Y,who almost recovers from
the wound but dies because of faulty medical treatment, Xwill not have "caused"
the death.  It has been held, however, that if a patient is dying from a wound and
doctors switch off a life-support machine because he is clinically dead, the attacker,
and not the doctors, "caused" the death. If death results because the victim has some
unusual characteristic (e.g. a thin skull) or particular belief (e.g.he refuses a blood
transfusion on religious grounds) there is no break in causation and the attacker is
still guilty.
causen. 1. A court *action.  2. See CAUSATION.
Cause Book   The book recording the issue of claim forms in the *Central Office of
the Supreme Court and certain later stages of the court proceedings.
Cause List  A list of cases to be heard, displayed in the precincts of a court. The
DailyCause Listlists all cases for trial in the Royal Courts of Justice and its outlying
buildings. It also contains the warned list of cases about to be listed for hearing.
cause of action   The facts that entitle a person to sue. The cause of action may be
a wrongful act, such as *trespass; or the harm resulting from a wrongful act, as in
the tort of *negligence.
causing death by careless driving  The offence committed by someone whose
driving while unfit through drink or drugs or driving over the prescribed limit (see
DRUNKEN DRNING) results in the death of another person. For this offence, which was
created by the Road Traffic Act 1991, the driving must be judged careless (see
BYDANGEROUS DRIVING); the maximum punishment is five years' imprisonment and
compulsory *disqualification.
causing death by dangerous driving  The offence committed by someone
guilty of *dangerous driving that results in the death of another person. The
offence is defined by the Road Traffic Act 1991 and replaces the former offence of
causing death by reckless driving (defined in the Road Traffic Act 1988). If the
danger is such that there is an obvious and serious risk of injury to another person
or significant damage to property - and the driver either recognizes the risk or fails
to give any thought to the possibility that such a risk exists - this will constitute
reckless *manslaughter in addition to causing death by dangerous driving. The
maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving is ten years'
imprisonment and compulsory *disqualification for not less than two years.
caution n. 1. (in criminal law) a. A warning that should normally be given by a
police officer, in accordance with a code of practice issued under the Police and
Criminal Evidence Act 1984, when he has grounds for believing that a person has
committed an offence and when arresting him. The caution is in the following
terms: "Youdo not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do
not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything
you do say may be given in evidence." The caution must be given before any
questions are put. If a person is not under arrest when a caution is given, the officer
must say so; if he is at a police station the officer must also tell him that he is free
to leave and remind him that he may obtain legal advice. The officer must record
the caution in his pocket book or the interview record, as appropriate. See RIGHT OF
SILENCE. b. A warning by a police officer, on releasing a suspect when it has been
decided not to bring a prosecution against him, that if he is subsequently reported
for any other offence, the circumstances relating to his first alleged offence may be
taken into account. It is common practice for the police to give this type of caution,
although the procedure has no statutory basis and there are no legal consequences if
it is not followed.  2. (in land law) A document lodged at the Land Registry by a
person having an interest in registered land, requiring that no dealing with that
land be registered until the cautioner has been notified, so that he may lodge an
objection. For example, a caution might be lodged by someone who was induced by
fraud to convey his land, in order to prevent the fraudulent transferee from
registering his title. If a caution is lodged unreasonably the cautioner may be
ordered to compensate anyone to whom it causes loss. The Land Registrar may order
the caution to be vacated if he considers it to be unjust.
caveat n. [from Latin: let him beware] A notice, usually in the form of an entry in
a register, to the effect that no action of a certain kind may be taken without first
informing the person who gave the notice (the caveator). For example, a caveat may
be filed in the Probate Registry by someone claiming an interest in a deceased
person's estate. The caveat prevents anyone else from obtaining a *grant of      .
representation without reference to the caveator, who may thus ensure that hIS
claim is dealt with in the distribution of the estate.
caveat actor [Latin] Let the doer be on his guard.
caveat emptor [Latin: let the buyer beware] A common-law maxim warning a
purchaser that he could not claim that his purchases were defective unless he
protected himself by obtaining express guarantees from the vendor. The maxim has
been modified by statute: under the Sale of Goods Act 1979(a consolidating statute),
contracts for the sale of goods have implied terms requiring the goods to
correspond with their description and any sample and, if they are sold in the course
of a business, to be of satisfactory quality and fit for any purpose made known to
the seller. Each of these implied terms is a condition of the contract. However, in
most commercial contracts the implied terms are excluded. This will usually be
valid unless the exclusion is unreasonable or unfair under the law relating to unfair
contract terms. These statutory conditions do not apply to sales of land, to which
the maxim caveat emptor still applies as far as the condition of the property is
concerned. However, a term is normally implied that the vendor must convey a good
*title to the land, free from encumbrances that were not disclosed to the purchaser
before the contract was made.
caveat subscriptor [Latin] Let the person signing (e.g.a contract) be on his guard.
caveat venditor [Latin] Let the seller be on his guard.
CE [French Communaute europeenne: European Community] A marking appliedto
certain products, such as toys and machinery, to indicate that they have complied
with certain EU directives that apply to them, including *electromagnetic
compatibility. A CE marking is not a quality mark, but it indicates that health and
safety and other legislation has been complied with. The manufacturer or first
importer into the EU must apply the CEmarking; fines can be levied for breach of
the rules.
CELEX [Latin Communitatis Buropae Lex: European Community Law]A database of
EU material of a legislative nature, such as directives, regulations, and treaties,
including national legislation. It is possible to access this electronically through the
on-line data service EURIS.
Central Arbitration Committee (CAC)  A statutory body, established under the
Employment Protection Act 1975(consolidated into the Trade Union and Labour
Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992), that consists of a chairman and members
appointed by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from persons nominated
by *ACAS. The Committee determines disputes relating to: (1) arbitration in *trade
disputes referred by ACAS with the consent of both parties; (2) *disclosure of
information to trade unions; (3) the application of the Equal Pay Act 1970(see EQUAL
PAY) to collective agreements (see COLLECTIVE BARGAINING); (4)recognition of trade
unions for the purpose of *collective bargaining (see RECOGNITION PROCEDURE); and (5)
specified issues in relation to the introduction and operation of *European Works
When the Committee makes an award of pay and/or conditions of employment
these generally become incorporated in the contracts of employment of individual
employees and are enforceable in the courts.
Central Criminal Court The principal *Crown Court for Central London, usually
known from its address as the Old Bailey. The Lord Mayor of London and any City
aldermen may sit as judges with High Court or circuit judges or recorders. See also
Central Office The administrative organization of the *Supreme Court of
Judicature in London, from which claim forms are issued. Its business is
superintended by the Queen's Bench Masters (see MASTERS OF THE SUPREME COURT), one
of whom sits each day as practice master to give any directions that may be
required on questions of practice and procedure.
certificate of incorporation A document issued by the Registrar of Companies
after the *registration of a company, certifying that the company is incorporated
(see INCORPORATION). For a *limited company, the certificate also certifies that the
company members have limited liability, and for a *public company the fact that it
is a public company. The validity of the incorporation cannot thereafter be
Certification Officer (CO) An official appointed by the Secretary of State for
Work and Pensions (formerly Employment) under the Trade Union and Labour
Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, whose main duties concern the supervision of
trade unions' and employers' associations' obligations as bodies corporate to keep
accounting records and submit audited reports and accounts to him. He is also
responsible for the certification of trade unions as independent in appropriate cases
(see INDEPENDENT TRADE UNION). The powers of the CO were greatly increased by the
Employment Relations Act 1999; in particular, the CO substantially took over the
duties of both the Commissioner for the Rights of Trade Union Members and the
Commissioner for the Protection Against Unlawful Industrial Action, which were
abolished by that Act. See STRIKE; TRADE UNION.
certiorari n. [Latin: to be informed] See QUASHING ORDER.
certum est quod certum reddi potest
certum est quodcertum reddipotest [Latin] If something is capable of being
made certain, it should be treated as certain. For example, a landlord can only
distrain for rent (see DISTRESS) if the amount of rent is certain. However, if the
amount of the rent is capable of being ascertained, it is treated as certain.
cessate grant A grant (e.g. of a lease) renewing a previous grant that has lapsed.
cesser n. The premature termination of some right or interest. For example, if
land is held in trust for A for life so long as he does not marry and then for B,there
is a cesser of A's life interest if he marries. Amortgage under which the mortgagor
attorns tenant of the mortgagee (see ATTORNMENT) provides for cesser on redemption:
thus the tenancy ends whenever the debt is repaid.
cesser clause   A clause inserted in a charterparty when the charterer intends to
transfer to a shipper his right to have goods carried. It provides that the shipowner
is to have a lien over the shipper's goods for the freight payable under the
charterparty, and that the charterer's liability for that freight will cease accordingly
on shipment of a full cargo.
cession n. The transfer of sovereignty over a territory by means of a treaty. This
may either be a peace treaty (e.g. the peace treaty between France and Germany in
1871 that made Alsace-Lorraine part of the German empire), a treaty to exchange
territory (e.g. the treaty of 1890 whereby the UK ceded Heligoland to Germany in
exchange for Zanzibar), or more rarely a treaty bestowing a gift. See also DERIVATIVE
cestui que trust [Norman French, from cestuiá que trust, he for whom is the
trust] Formerly, a beneficiary under a trust.
cestui que use [Norman French, from cestuiá queuse,he to whose use] Aperson
to whose use (i.e. for whose benefit) property was held by another. The modern
equivalent is the *beneficiary. See USE.
cestui que vie  [Norman French, from cestuiá quevie,he for whose life] Aperson
for whose life an interest in property is held by another person. See ESTATE PUR AUTRE
CFSP(common foreign and security policy)  See EUROPEAN UNION; MAASTRICHT
chain of executorship (chain of representation)  A rule under the
Administration of Estates Act 1925 by which the executor of someone who was
himself a sole or surviving executor stands, on the latter's death, in his place as
executor of the testator who appointed him. Thus, if A appoints Bas his only
executor and Bin turn appoints Cas his own executor, on the death of A and B, C
becomes the executor of both. The rule does not apply on intestacy or to an
administrator, and the chain is broken by the failure of a testator to appoint an
executor or a failure to obtain probate. See alsoDE BONIS NON ADMINISTRATIS.
challenge to jury Aprocedure by which the parties may object to the
composition of a jury before it is sworn. Before the Criminal Justice Act 1988 came
into force a challenge could be peremptory (i.e. with no reason for the challenge
being given) or for cause. Peremptory challenges were abolished by the Criminal
Justice Act 1988, but the prosecution can ask that a juror "stand by", in which case
he rejoins the jury panel and may be challenged for cause when the rest of the
Chapter VII
panel has been gone through. Either party may challenge for cause. This may be to
the array, in which the whole panel is challenged by alleging some irregularity in
the summoning of the jury (e.g.bias or partiality on the part of the jury
summoning officer): or to the polls, in which individual jurors may be challenged.
Any challenge to jurors for cause is tried by the judge before whom the accused is
to be tried.
chambers pl. n. 1. The offices occupied by a barrister or group of barristers. (The
term is also used for the group of barristers practising from a set of chambers.)
2. The private office of a judge, master, or district judge. Most *interim proceedings
are held in chambers (in private) and the public is not admitted, although judgment
may be given in open court if the matter is one of public interest.
Chancellor of the Exchequer The minister who, as political head of the
Treasury, is responsible for government monetary policy, raising national revenue
(particularly through taxation), and controlling public expenditure in the UK. Each
year he presents to Parliament a Budget (usually in March) proposing changes in
revenue and taxation and a statement (in November) proposing government
Chancery Division The division of the *High Court of Justice created by the
Judicature Acts 1873-75 to replace the *Court of Chancery. The work of the Division
is principally concerned with matters relating to real property, trusts, and the
administration of estates but also includes cases concerned with company law,
patents and other *intellectual property, and confidentiality cases. The effective
head of the Division is the *Vice Chancellor, although the *Lord Chancellor is
nominally its president. It may hear some *appeals. See also APPELLATE JURISDICTION;
change of name A natural person (i.e. a human being) may change his or her
"surname simply by using a different name with sufficient consistency to become
generally known by that name. A change is normally given formal publicity (e.g. by
means of a statutory declaration, deed poll, or newspaper advertisement), but this is
not legally necessary. A woman can also change her surname through operation of
law on getting married. A young child, however, has no power to change its
surname, nor does one parent have such a power without the consent of the other.
(An injunction may be sought to prevent a parent from attempting to change a
child's name unilaterally.) When a mother has remarried after divorce or is living
with another person, and wishes to change the name of the child to that of her new
partner, a court order must be obtained and the welfare of the child will be the
first and paramount consideration. A person's Christian name (i.e. a name given at
baptism) can, under ecclesiastical law, be changed only by the bishop on that
person's subsequent confirmation.
A *juristic person may change its name but may be subject to formal procedure
before the change of name takes effect; for example, for a company limited by
shares, a change of name is possible only on the passing of a special resolution of the
Company at an extraordinary or annual general meeting.
Chapter VII   The chapter of the United Nations Charter that is headed: "Action
with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression"
and includes Articles 39-51 of the Charter. Those who devised the UN Charter were
acutely aware of the failure of the former Covenant of the League of Nations in
Charity Commissioners
respect of *collective security, namely (1) that it left it open to member states to
respond, or not respond, to the call for military aid and (2)It provided no machinery
or system for organizing League forces in advance or for coordinating such
responses as members might make. Chapter VII addressed such problems by
empowering the Security Council to orchestrate such collective actions under
Articles 42 and 43. Under Articles 43-47 advance preparation of collective action was
to be made through a *Military Staff Committee. Article 51 creates a right to *self-
defence for member states; controversially, it is held to have preserved the Wider
scope of self-defence in customary international law. See alsoENFORCEMENT ACTION.
character n. (in the law of evidence)  1. The reputation of a party or witness. In
civil cases the reputation of a party is not admissible unless it is directly in issue, as
it may be in an action for *defamation. In criminal cases the accused may call
evidence of his good character or give evidence to show the bad character of the
witnesses for the prosecution. If he does so, the prosecution may call evidence in
rebuttal, but any such evidence must be limited to evidence of reputation and not
include opinions about the accused's *disposition. Evidence of the reputation for
truthfulness of a witness may be given in both civil and criminal cases. 2. Loosely,
the disposition of a party.
charge n.  1. A formal accusation of a crime, usually made by the police after
*interrogation. See alsoINDICTMENT. 2. Instructions given by a Judge to ^ Jury.  3. A
legal or equitable interest in land, securing the payment of money. It gives the
creditor in whose favour the charge is created (the chargee)the nght to payment
from the income or proceeds of sale of the land charged, in priority to claims
against the debtor by unsecured creditors. Under the Law of .Property Act 1925 the
only valid legal charges are: (1) a *rentcharge payable immediately and for aflxe<l
period or in perpetuity; (2)a charge by way of legal *mortgage; and (3)certain
charges arising under statute (e.g. under the Charging Orders Act 1979). All others
take effect as equitable interests. All mortgages and charges over registered land
must be registered to be enforceable against purchases of the land; both legal
mortgages and *equitable charges over unregistered land must be registered as land
charges unless the mortgagee or chargee holds the title deeds as security (see
REGISTRATION OF ENCUMBRANCES). 4. An interest in company property created m
favour of a creditor (e.g.as a *debenture holder) to secure the amount owing. Most
charges must be registered at the Companies Registry. Afíxed charge is attached to
specific assets (e.g. premises, plant and machinery) and while in force prevents the
company from dealing freely with those assets without the consent of the lender. A
floating charge does not immediately attach to any specific assets but 'floats' over
all the company's assets until *crystallization. Until this point the company IS free
to deal freely with such assets; this type of charge is SUItablefor circulating assets
(e.g. cash, stock in trade), whose values must necessarily fluctuate. In the event of
the company not paying the debt the creditor can secure the amount Owing in
accordance with the terms of the charge. If the company goes into liquidation (see
WINDING-UP) the order for repayment of debts laid down under the Insolvency Act
1986 is that fixed-charge holders are paid before floating-charge holders. A charge
can also be created upon shares. For example, the articles of association usually give
the company a *lien in respect of unpaid *calls, and company members may, in
order to secure a debt owed to a third party, charge their shares, either by a fuJI
*transfer of shares coupled with an agreement to retransfer upon repayment of the
debt or by a deposit of the *share certificate.
chargeable gain  A profit made on the disposal of an asset, which may attract
*capital gains tax or *corporation tax.
charge by way of legal mortgage See MORTGAGE
charge certificate  A certificate issued by the Land Registry to a legal mortgagee
of registered land as evidence of his title. It will only be issued if the *Iand
certificate is deposited at the Land Registry for the duration of the mortgage.
charge sheet Adocument in which an officer at a police station records an
accusation against a suspect. It normally also gives details of his name and those of
his accusers, who should sign the sheet.
charges register See LAND REGISTRATION.
charging clause   A clause in a trust entitling a trustee to charge for his services.
When a solicitor or some other professional person is appointed trustee, he is
usually authorized to charge for his services. In the absence of such a clause neither
he nor his firm is entitled to charge for his professional services, although he may
recover expenses incurred during the course of his trusteeship.
charging order Acourt order obtained by ajudgment creditor by which the
judgment debtor's property (including money, land, and shares) becomes security for
the payment of the debt and interest.
charitable trust  A trust for purposes that the law regards as charitable. There is
no statutory definition of 'charitable'. In a legal sense, a purpose is charitable only if
it is for the furtherance of religion, for the advancement of education, for the relief
of poverty, or for other purposes beneficial to the community. In every case the
purpose must be for the benefit of the public or a section of it (though in cases of
relief of poverty this is very easily satisfied); the precise meaning depends on the
class of charity in question. The last class is taken to include every object of general
utility to the public; it includes, for example, trusts for the protection of animals
generally and for the provision of fire brigades. A trust cannot be charitable unless
it is solely and exclusively for charitable purposes: benevolent and philanthropic
purposes are not necessarily charitable. Trusts for purposes that are predominantly
political are not charitable. A charitable trust has many advantages over a private
noncharitable trust: its objects do not have to be certain; charitable trusts are not
subject to the *rules against perpetuities or against perpetual trusts; if the objects
are or have become impossible or impracticable, the trust may be saved by the *cy-
prés doctrine; and the trustees may act by a majority. The greatest benefit to a
charitable trust is that it has fiscal advantages: a charity is either wholly or partially
exempt from income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, stamp
duty, and council tax.
charity n.  Abody (corporate or not) established for one of the charitable purposes
specified by statute (see CHARITABLE TRUST). A charity is subject to the control of the
High Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction with respect to charities. With certain
exceptions, all charities are required to be registered with the *Charity
Charity Commissioners A statutory body, now governed by the Charities Act
1993, generally responsible for the administration of charities. The Commissioners
are responsible for promoting the effective use of charitable resources, for
encouraging the development of better methods of administration, for giving
charity trustees information and advice on matters affecting charity, and for
investigating and checking abuses. The Commissioners maintain a register of
charities and decide whether or not a body should be registered: an appeal from
their decision may be made to the High Court. Their Annual Reports (published by
the Stationery Office) indicate how the Commissioners operate and how they are
allowing the law of charity to develop.
charter n.  1. A document evidencing something done between one party and
another. The term is normally used in relation to a grant of rights or privileges by
the Crown; for example, the grant of a royal charter to a university.  2. A
constitution, e.g. the Charter of the United Nations.
charterparty n. A written contract by which a person (the charterer) hires from a
shipowner, in return for the payment of freight, the use of his ship or part of it for
the carriage of goods by sea. The hiring may be either for a specified period (a time
charter) or for a specified voyage or voyages (a voyage charter), and the charterer
may hire the ship for carrying either his own goods alone or the goods of a number
of shippers, who mayor may not include himself. A special but now rare type of
charterparty is the charter by demise. It is analogous to a lease of land and gives
the charterer full possession and control of the ship. The normal charterparty is a
simple charter, under which the shipowner retains possession and control and the
primary rights of the charterer are confined to placing goods on board and choosing
the ports of call. A number of standard forms (known by codenames such as
Austwheat and Shelltime) have been developed for use in particular trades. See also
chastisement n. Physical punishment as a form of discipline. A parent or
guardian has the common-law right to inflict reasonable and moderate punishment
on his children and may authorize someone *in locoparentisto do so, such as a child
carer, nanny, or school. State schools now prohibit this, although if parents have
consented it is still lawful in private schools. A husband does not, however, have the
right to chastise his wife, nor a wife her husband. Illegal chastisement may amount
to one of the  *offences against the person.
chattel n. Any property other than freehold land (compare REAL PROPERTY). Leasehold
interests in land are called chattels real, because they bear characteristics of both
real and personal property. Tangible goods are called chattels personal. The
definition of "personal chattels" in the Administration of Estates Act 1925,for the
purposes of succession on intestacy, excludes chattels used for business purposes at
the intestate's death, money, and securities for money.
cheat n. A common-law offence, now restricted to defrauding the public revenue
(e.g. the tax authorities). No act of deceit is required. It is enough if one dishonestly
fails to make VATor other tax returns and to pay the tax due.
check-off n. A system whereby a company deducts union membership fees from a
member's wages during the calculation of those wages and pays them over to the
union. Such deductions are regulated by the Deregulations (Deduction from Pay of
Union Subscriptions) Order 1998. These require that an employer must obtain the
workers' written authorization before making deductions; the authorization
remains valid unless and until withdrawn.
cheque n.  A *bill of exchange drawn on a banker payable on demand. Since a
cheque is payable on demand it need not be presented to the drawee bank for
acceptance. A cheque operates as a mandate or order to the drawee bankto pay and
debit the account of its customer, the drawer. The Cheques Act 1992 gave legal force
to the words "account payee" on cheques, making them nontransferable.
cheque card   Acard issued by a bankto one of its customers containing an
undertaking that any cheque signed by the customer and not exceeding a stated
child employee
sum will be honoured by the bank This is normally subject to certain conditions;
for example, the cheque must be signed in the presence of the payee, the signature
must correspond with a specimen on the card, and the payee must write the card
number on the reverse of the cheque. The bank thus undertakes to the payee of the
cheque that the cheque will be honoured regardless of the state of the customer's
account with the bank.
chief rent  See RENTCHARGE.
child n.  1. A young person. There is no definitive definition of a child: the term has
been used for persons under the age of 14,under the age of 16, and sometimes under
the age of 18 (an *infant). Each case depends on its context and the wording of the
statute governing it. For the purposes of the Children Act 1989and the Family Law
Act 1996a child is a person under the age of 18. 2. An offspring of parents. In wills,
statutes, and other legal documents, the effect of the Family Law Reform Act 1987is
that there is a presumption that (unless the contrary intention is apparent) the word
"child" includes any illegitimate child (see ILLEGITIMACY). Adopted children are treated
as the legitimate children of their adoptive parents. See also CHILD OF THE FAMILY;
child abuse  Molestation of children by parents or others (see BATTERED CHILD). If
the molestation is of a sexual nature, the offender may be guilty of *indecent
assault or *gross indecency with children (see alsoPAEDOPHILE). It is an offence to take
or allow the taking of indecent photographs of a child under the age of 16, to
distribute or show such photographs, to advertise that one intends to distribute or
show them, or simply to possess them without legitimate reason. Photographs on
the Internet and computers have been held by the courts to fall within this
legislation. See alsoOBSCENE PUBLICATIONS.
child assessment order An order of the court made when a local authority or
the NSPCC has concerns for a child's welfare in circumstances when the child's
parents are refusing to allow the child to be medically or otherwise examined. The
order authorizes such an examination. If a local authority fears that a child is in
immediate danger, or when it is denied access to a child, an *emergency protection
order should be applied for rather than a child assessment order.
child being looked after by a local authority A child who is either the
subject of a *care order or who is being provided with accommodation by the local
authority on a voluntary basis (see VOLUNTARY ACCOMMODATION). In respect of such a
child, the local authority must seek, Where possible, to promote contact between the
child and its parents, relatives, and others closely connected with the child.
Accommodation should be near where the child lives, and siblings should be
accommodated together. A written plan should be drawn up before a child is placed;
all the people involved in the plan, including the child (so far as is consistent with
his age and understanding), should be consulted.
child destruction An act causing a viable unborn child to die during the course
of pregnancy or birth. (A foetus is generally considered to be viable, i.e. capable of
being born alive, if the pregnancy has lasted at least 24 weeks.) If carried out with
the intention of causing death, and if it is proved that the act was not carried out in
good faith in order to preserve the mother's life, the offence is subject to a
maximum punishment of life imprisonment. Compare ABORTION.
child employee A child of compulsory school age (i.e. between 5 and 16 years)
who undertakes paid work. Subject to certain exceptions, such employment is
prohibited in Britain, and any employment under the age of 13 years is completely
child in care
prohibited. Children are prohibited from working in industrial undertakings,
factories, or mines. There are narrow exceptions for work in theatres and films,
sports, work experience and/or training, and light work, with strict conditions
attached in each case. In many cases these exceptions require that prior
authorization is obtained from a local authority with respect to the proposed work
In particular, children falling within some of the above exceptions must not work
for more than two hours on any school day (outside school hours) or for more than
12 hours a week during term times. Work must not start before 7 a.m. or after 7
p.m. These restrictions can be relaxed for working time during school holidays and
for children between 13 and 15years of age. Night work by children is prohibited
between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., and children working more than 4Vi hours daily are
entitledto a 30-minute break from work Local authorities are also empowered to
further regulate the employment of children under byelaws. Although byelaws can
differ from authority to authority, the majority conform to guidance issued by the
Department of Health and are subject to confirmation and deregulation by the
Secretary of State for Health.
Workers aged between 15 and 18 are referred to as young or adolescentworkers.
Their employment is restricted. At present they are entitled to 12 consecutive hours'
rest between each working day, two days' weekly rest, and a 30-minute rest break
when working longer than 4Y2 hours. They are also entitled to four weeks' paid
annual leave. The implementation of further restrictions relating to young workers,
as required by the Young Workers Directive 94/33/EC, is currently under
consideration. These restrictions are: (1) the limitation of the working day to 8 hours
and the working week to 40 hours; (2)restriction of night work between midnight
and 4 a.m.; (3) restriction of night work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. or 11 p.m. and 7
child in care   Achild who is the subject of a *care order. It is important to note
that not all children who are being looked after by a local authority are the subjects
of care orders; some of these children may be being accommodated by the local
authority on a voluntary basis (see VOLUNTARY ACCOMMODATION). See also CHILD BEING
child of the family Aperson considered under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973,
the Domestic Procedures and Magistrates' Courts Act 1978, and the Children Act 1989
to be the child of a married couple, although not necessarily born to or adopted by
them, on the grounds that he or she has been treated by them as their own child.
Courts have powers to make orders in favour of children of the family in all
*family proceedings.
child of unmarried parents See ILLEGITIMACY.
Child Protection Conference A conference that decides what action should be
taken by the local authority in respect of a child believed to be at risk of suffering
harm. The conference comprises representatives of those bodies concerned with the
child's welfare, including the NSPCC, social services, the police, the health and
education authorities, and the probation service. Parents have no absolute right to
attend the Child Protection Conference but are usually excluded only in exceptional
child protection in divorce  The legal rules designed to safeguard the position
of children of divorcees. In the past courts would routinely make orders for custody
and access in respect of children on divorce. The Children Act 1989,however,
introduced a presumption of non-interference; i.e. the court will assume that
parents are able to make their own arrangements for their children and will only
child support maintenance
make an order if it is necessary to do so, for example when the parents are in
disagreement. Divorce courts have wide powers to make financial provision and
property adjustment orders in favour of *children of the family, as well as any
*section 8 orders necessary to safeguard the child's welfare. A court is no longer
able to make a care or supervision order during divorce proceedings. However, if it
is concerned about the welfare of a child before it, the court may direct a local
authority to investigate the child's circumstances with a view to determining
whether intervention is necessary.
Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) An
amalgamation of three former services, the Guardian ad Litem Service, the Family
Court Welfare Service, and the Official Solicitor's children's department. Cafcass will
provide courts with information about children coming before them.
children in care   See CHILD IN CARE; CARE ORDER.
children in need Those children designated by the Children Act 1989as being in
need of special support and provision by the *local authority. They include disabled
children and children who are unlikely to maintain a reasonable standard of health
or development without the provision of these special services.
children's guardian A person appointed by the court to protect a minor's
interests in proceedings affecting his interests (such as adoption, wardship, or care
proceedings), formerly known as a guardian ad litem. Since the Children Act 1989
came into force the role of guardians has increased and they must ensure that the
options open to the court are fully investigated. However, if a child is deemed
capable of instructing a solicitor on his own behalf, he may do so even if this
conflicts with the interests of the guardian.
children's tax credit See INCOME TAX.
child safety order An order that enables local authorities and courts to intervene
when a child under the age of 10 (who cannot be prosecuted in criminal proceedings
by virtue of his age) behaves antisocially or disruptively. The order was introduced
by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998as part of a strategy to reduce youth crime and
is founded on the belief that early intervention is more effective than waiting until
a child is old enough to be dealt with under the youth justice system. Application
for an order is made by a local authority on the grounds that the child has
committed or is in danger of committing an offence, or is in breach of a local child
curfew scheme, or has acted in a manner likely to cause harassment, alarm, or
distress to a person not living in the same household as the child. The requirements
imposed under the order are entirely a matter for the court and might include, for
example, attendance at school or extracurricular activities, avoiding contact with
disruptive and older children, and not visiting such areas as shopping centres
unsupervised. The purpose of the requirements imposed is either to ensure that the
child receives appropriate care, protection, and support and is subject to proper
control, or to prevent the repetition of the kind of behaviour that led to the child
safety order being made. Breach of the order may lead to the court making a *care
order in respect of the child. See also PARENTING ORDER.
child support maintenance The amount that a nonresident parent (i.e. one
who does not live with the child concerned) must pay as a contribution to the
upkeep of his or her *qualifying child to a parent with care (i.e. one with whom
the child lives) or a person in whose favour a residence order is made (see SECTION 8
child witness
ORDERS). Since the Child Support Act 1991, responsibility for the assessment, review,
collection, and enforcement of maintenance for children is supervised by the Child
Support Agency (CSA), an agency of the Department for Work and Pensions
(formerly Social Security) established under the Act, rather than by the court. It is
no longer possible for people who do not already have a court order for child
maintenance to go to court to obtain an order for periodical payments other than
on behalf of stepchildren. However, it is still possible to apply to the court to obtain
property settlements or lump sums or when an absent parent does not live
habitually in the UK.A child over the age of 12 who lives in Scotland and whose
absent parent lives in the UK may apply directly to the Child Support Agency on his
or her own behalf. The Agency has wide powers of enforcement: for example it can
make an order for payment to be deducted directly from wages or salary (see also
CLEAN BREAK). No distinction is made between married and unmarried parents, but
when parentage is disputed the Agency has power to apply to the court for a
declaration of parentage; if successful this will have effect only for the purposes of
the Child Support Act.
Certain changes, contained in the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act
2000, have been (or will soon be) implemented; the most important of these is a
change in the way in which the amount of maintenance payable by the nonresident
parent is calculated. The original formula was extremely complex and took into
account the income of the parent with care. The new formula is simply based on the
following percentages of the net weekly income of the nonresident parent: 15% if
there is one qualifying child; 20% if there are two qualifying children; and 25% if
there are three or more. These amounts are reduced if the nonresident parent has
one or more other children (for example, the children of a new partner) in his
household and if he has staying contact with his child. Under the old system a
married father was able to deny parentage, but there will now be a presumption of
paternity in favour of both a married father and a person named as father on the
child's birth certificate.
child witness See VIDEO EVIDENCE; WITNESS.
Chiltern Hundreds. stewardship of the An appointment that, as a nominal
office of profit under the Crown, disqualifies its holder from membership of the
House of Commons. Although the appointment has been a sinecure since the 18th
century, it has been retained as a disqualifying office to enable members to give up
their seats during the lifetime of a parliament (a member cannot by law resign his
seat). After obtaining the stewardship (an application for which is never refused),
the member resigns the office so as to make it available for re-use.
A second office used for the same purpose is the stewardship of the Manorof
Northstead. The law relating to both these offices is now contained in the House of
Commons Disqualification Act 1975.
chose n. A thing. Choses are divided into two classes. A chose in possession is a
tangible item capable of being actually possessed and enjoyed, e.g. a book or a piece
of furniture. A chose in action is a right (e.g.a right to recover a debt) that can be
enforced by legal action.
Church of England The established Church in England, of which the sovereign is
the supreme head. Structurally, the Church consists of the two provinces of
Canterbury and York, which are divided into dioceses, and these into parishes. For
each province there is an archbishop (that of Canterbury being Primate of All
England, and that of York Primate of England), and for each diocese a bishop. A
suffragan bishop has no diocese of his own but assists an archbishop or a diocesan
bishop. The archbishops and other senior bishops are members of the House of
The governing body of the Church is the General Synod (formerly the Church
Assembly, but renamed and reconstituted by the Synodical Government Measure
1969). It consists of a House of Bishops, a House of Clergy, and a House of Laity and
has legislative functions. A Measure passed by each House and granted the royal
assent following a resolution of each House of Parliament has the force of an Act of
Parliament. There are also diocesan synods, and certain matters require the approval
of a majority of these before they can be finally approved by the General Synod. The
Dioceses Measure 1978authorizes the reorganization of diocesan structure and the
creation of area synods, to which diocesan synods may delegate functions. See also
c.i.f. contract (cost. insurance. freight contract) A type of contract for the
international sale of goods by which the seller agrees not only to supply the goods
but also to make a contract of carriage with a sea carrier, under which the goods
will be delivered at the contract port of destination, and a contract of insurance
with an insurer, to cover them while they are in transit. The seller performs his
contract by delivering the relevant documents to the buyer: an invoice specifying
the goods and their price, a *bill of lading evidencing the contract of carriage, a
policy of insurance, and any other documents specified in the contract. The contract
will normally provide for payment against documents. The risk of accidental loss or
damage normally passes to the buyer on or as from shipment. c.i.f.is a defined
*incoterm under Incoterms 2000.
circuit administrator A civil servant having responsibility for the administration
of the courts within a circuit (see CIRCUIT SYSTEM). He liaises closely with the
*presiding judge of the circuit in the allocation of resources and particularly the
sittings of judges and recorders.
circuit judge Any of the judges appointed under the provisions of the Courts Act
1971 from among those who have had a ten-year Crown Court or county court
*advocacy qualification, or who are *recorders, or who have held a full-time
appointment of at least three years duration in one of the offices listed in the
Courts Act 1971. They sit in the *county courts and the *Crown Court and may, by
invitation of the Lord Chancellor, sit as High Court judges. All judges of county
courts and other judges of comparable status were made circuit judges in 1971.
circuit system  The system of dividing England and Wales into regional circuits
for the purpose of court administration. It is based upon the traditional regional
groupings adopted by the Bar and consists of the South-Eastern, Western, Midland
and Oxford, Wales and Chester, Northern, and North-Eastern circuits. Each circuit is
administered by a *circuit administrator and supervised by two *presiding judges.
circumcision. female  It is an offence, punishable with up to five years'
imprisonment, to excise or otherwise mutilate the external genital organs of a
woman, or to *aid and abet a woman mutilating herself in this way. Girls living in
the UK who come from countries where female circumcision is the normal practice
are, however, still sent abroad by their parents for such an operation. Male
circumcision is lawful in the UK. See alsoCONSENT; WOUNDING.
circumstantial evidence (indirect evidence) Evidence from which the judge or
Jury may infer the existence of a fact in issue but which does not prove the
existence of the fact directly. Case law has described circumstantial evidence as
evidence that is relevant (and, therefore, admissible) but that has little probative
value. Compare DIRECT EVIDENCE.
citation n. 1. Anotice, issued in the Probate Registry by an executor proving a will
in solemn form (see PROBATE), calling upon persons to come forward if they object to
the grant of probate to him.   2. The quoting of a legal case or authority.
citizen's arrest An *arrest by anyone other than a police officer. Such an arrest is
citizenship of the UK and Colonies  A form of citizenship created by the
British Nationality Act 1948. By the British Nationality Act 1981, it was replaced as
from 1 January 1983 by *British citizenship, *British Dependent Territories
citizenship, and *British Overseas citizenship.
City Code on Takeovers and Mergers Abody of rules regulating those
engaged in the conduct of *takeovers and *mergers of public companies. It is
administered by a Panel representing the major City financial institutions, e.g. the
*Stock Exchange and the Issuing Houses Association. The principal aim is to ensure
that company members (rather than the directors) decide upon the merits of
accepting a bid, that they are fully informed about what is going on, and that
shareholders of the same class are treated equally in the event of a takeover or
merger. The rules are not legally binding, but if they are contravened sanctions may
be imposed on the company, including having the facilities of the securities markets
withdrawn from them. Decisions of the Panel are subject to *judicial review.
City of London   That part of *Greater London which, for local government
purposes, is administered by the City of London Corporation. In addition to special
powers under ancient royal charters, the Corporation has all the functions of a
London borough council, which it exercises principally through a Court of Common
Council consisting of the Lord Mayor, aldermen elected for life, and common council
men elected annually. Limited governmental functions are exercised through a
separate Court of Aldermen, and formal functions through a Court of Common
civil court  A court exercising jurisdiction over civil rather than criminal cases. In
England the principal civil *courts of first instance are the *county courts and the
*High Court. *Magistrates' courts have limited civil jurisdiction, mainly confined to
matrimonial proceedings.
civil defence   Establishments and units organized or authorized by the competent
authorities to carry out humanitarian tasks intended to protect the civilian
population against the dangers of hostilities or disasters and to help it to recover
from the immediate effects of these.
civil law  1. The law of any particular state, now usually called *municipallaw.
2. Roman law. 3. A legal system based on Roman law, as distinct from the English
system of *common law. 4. *Private law, as opposed to *public law, military law,
and ecclesiastical law.
civil liability contribution   The right of a person who is liable for damage to
recover from any other person who is liable for the same damage a contribution to
represent that person's share of responsibility for the damage. When two or more
people are liable for causing the same damage, the injured person is entitled to
recover full compensation for his losses from anyone of them. The wrongdoer who
is sued may then ask for contribution from the other wrongdoers. Since the Civil
Liability (Contribution) Act 1978,the right to contribution is available in all forms of
classification of animals
civil liability, whether tort, breach of contract, breach of trust, or otherwise. The
court assessesthe. amount of contribution on the basis of what would be just and
equitable, taking mto account the parties' responsibility for the damage.
Civil List  The sum authorized by statute to be paid annually out of the
"Consolidated Fund for meeting the expenses of the royal household and for
making allowances to certain members of the royal family. It may be increased in
amount by Treasury order, but this is liable to annulment by the House of
Commons. Certain members of the royal family have volunteered to be taxed on
their Civil List allowances.
Civil Procedure Rules (CPR)  The new procedural code, which was enacted in 1998
and revoked the *Rules of the Supreme Court with effect from 26 April 1999. The
Rules, a result of the reforms proposed by Lord Woolf s Access to Justice (Final Report)
1996,now govern proceedings in the civil cases of the Court of Appeal (Civil
Division), the High Court, and the county courts. The CPRhave been supplemented
by *Practice Directions and *pre-action protocols. They have no application in
certain areas, including the Mental Health Act 1983 Part IV and family and adoption
civil remedy See REMEDY.
Civil Service   The body of *Crown servants that are employed to put government
policies into action and are paid wholly out of money voted annually by Parliament.
CIVIl servants include the administrative and executive staff of central government
departments (e.g. the Home Office and Treasury) and the industrial staff of
government dockyards and factories. Civil servants may serve in established or
unestablished capacities, with effects on pension entitlement, etc. The police (not
being Crown servants), the armed forces (not being civil), government ministers, and
those (e.g.judges) whose salaries are charged on the Consolidated Fund are not civil
civil wrong   An infringement of a person's rights, for which the person wronged
may sue for damages or some other civil remedy. Examples are *torts and *breaches
of contract.
Claim n   A demand for a remedy or assertion of a right, especially the right to take
a particular case to court (right of action). The term is used in civil litigation. See also
Claimant n  A person applying for relief against another person in an action, suit,
petition, or any other form of court proceeding. Before the introduction of the
*Civil Procedure Rules in 1999, a claimant was called a plaintiff. Compare DEFENDANT.
claim .form   (in civil proceedings) A formal written statement setting out details of
the claImant: defendant, .and the remedy being sought. The claim form may also
contam details of the claim (the particulars of claim); alternatively, these can be
served separately. Since the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules in 1999, the
usual method of initiating civil proceedings is by issuing a claim form; all previous
methods (e.g. writ of summons, originating summons) have now been rendered
claim of privilege See PRIVlLEGE.
class gift A gift to people of a certain specified category (e.g. "to my daughters"),
rather than to people named individually, (e.g. "to my daughters A and B").
classification of animals  At common law animals were formerly classified as
class rights
wild by nature (ferae naturae) or tame by nature (mansuetae naturae), referring to
the species in general rather than the individual animal. The owner of a wild animal
was strictly liable for any damage it caused. The owner of a tame animal was liable
for damage it caused if he knew that it had a vicious tendency abnormal in the
species (the scienter rule). Special rules applied to damage done by cattle (see CATILE
TRESPASS; DISTRESS DAMAGE FEASANT) and dogs. The common law classifications have
been largely replaced by modern statutes.
For purposes of civil liability in England, animals are classified as belonging to a
dangerous or a nondangerous species (Animals Act 1971). A dangerous species is one
not commonly domesticated in the British Isles, fully grown members of which are
likely to cause severe damage. The keeper of an animal of a dangerous species is
strictly liable for any damage it causes. Liability for damage done by other animals
arises either under the Animals Act, if the animal was known by its keeper to have
characteristics not normally found in that species, or only normally found in
particular circumstances, which made it likely to cause that kind of damage; or
under ordinary rules of tort liability. Thus carelessly allowing a dog to stray on the
highway can make the keeper liable in negligence if it causes an accident, and
excessive smell from a pig farm can be an actionable nuisance. The Animals Act also
imposes *strict liability for damage done by trespassing livestock, which includes
cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, goats. and poultry. The keeper of a dog that kills or
injures livestock is liable for the damage, except when the livestock was injured
while straying on the keeper's land. If livestock is worried by a dog, the owner of
the livestock (or the owner of the land on which the livestock lives) may kill or
injure the dog to protect the livestock.
In Scotland, there is strict liability for damage caused by animals belonging to a
species likely to kill or severely injure persons or animals or cause material damage
to property under the Animals (Scotland) Act 1987. The Act also excuses the killing
or injuring of an animal that attacks or harries people or livestock.
Dangerous wild animals may require a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals
Act 1976(see DANGEROUS ANIMALS). Keeping dogs of a species bred for fighting is an
offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The use of *guard dogs is controlled by
the Guard Dogs Act 1975. Other statutes protect various species, control importation
of animals, and deal with animal diseases.
class rights Rights that attach to a clearly defined class of share (e.g.preference
*shares) or are conferred upon a person for so long as he is a holder of any shares.
In the latter case shareholders become a class in their own right. Typical class rights
would relate to *dividends, return of capital on a *winding-up, or the right to
appoint a director to the board. Class rights may only be altered either in accordance
with a clause in the constitutional documents of the company (see ARTICLES OF
ASSOCIATION) or with the consent of the class affected under the Companies Act 1985.
Shareholders from the class affected who did not agree to the alteration may apply
to court to have the change cancelled within 21 days.
clause n. 1. A subdivision of a document. A clause of a written contract contains a
term or provision of the contract. Clauses are usually numbered consecutively (1, 2,
etc.); subclauses may follow a clause, numbered 1.1, 1.1.1, etc. 2. A section of a *Bill.
clean break The principle that, upon divorce, spouses should try to settle their
financial affairs in a final manner, by a lump sum order, rather than a continuous
periodical payments order. Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973,the courts have a
duty to consider whether they can achieve a clean break in their orders for financial
relief even when there are children. However, the Child Support Act 1991 makes it
possible for a parent with care of a child to apply directly to the Child Support
clog on the equity of redemption
Agency for a maintenance assessment even when the divorce court has achieved a
clean hands A phrase from a *maxim of equity; he who comes to equity must
come with clean hands, i.e. a person who makes a claim in equity must be free from
any taint of fraud with respect to that claim. For example, a person seeking to
enforce an agreement must not himself be in breach of it.
clearance n. 1. A certificate acknowledging a ship's compliance with customs
requirements. 2. An indication from a taxing authority that a certain provision does
not apply to a particular transaction. The procedure is laid down by statute in some
clearance area  Formerly, an area declared as such by a housing authority (usually
a district or London borough council) on the ground that the houses in it were unfit
for human habitation or otherwise dangerous or injurious to health and were best
demolished. The authority must also have been satisfied that alternative
accommodation existed and that its resources were sufficient it then acquired the
area and carried out the demolition. The power to designate a clearance area was
abolished by the Housing Act 1974. See alsoREHABILITATION ORDER. Compare HOUSING
Clerk of the House The principal permanent officer of the House of Commons.
Clerk of the Parliaments The principal permanent officer of the House of
clerk to the justices ijustices' clerk, magistrates' clerk) A person who has a
five-year magistrates' court qualification, or a barrister or solicitor of not less than
five years' standing as an assistant to a magistrates' clerk, who is appointed to assist
magistrates in court, particularly by giving advice about law practice or procedure
on questions arising in connection with the discharge of their or his functions. The
clerk or one of his staff will sit in court with the justices in order to advise them,
but should not retire with them when they consider their verdict. He may, however,
advise them in private during their retirement, at their request, but should return
to the court when his advice has been given. See alsoMAGISTRATES' COURT.
client n. A person who employs a solicitor to carry out legal business on behalf of
himself or someone else. The relationship between a solicitor and his client is a
*fiduciary one and any other transactions between them may be affected by *undue
influence. A solicitor's client cannot consult a barrister directly but only through his
solicitor; the solicitor is therefore the barrister's client.
clog on the equity of redemption Any provision in a *mortgage deed to
prevent redemption on payment of the debt or performance of the obligation for
which the security was given. Such provisions are void. An example is an option
contained in the mortgage deed for the mortgagee to purchase the mortgaged
property before or after the mortgage has been redeemed. Unconscionable
provisions in a mortgage (for example, one to prevent redemption for 100 years) are
also void. However, a company may issue irredeemable *debentures. A provision that
would otherwise be unconscionable may be valid if the transaction containing it is a
commercial arrangement rather than a mortgage. Thus, such provisions in
mortgages of public houses or garages by their tenants or owners to breweries or oil
companies will be upheld, provided that they do not infringe the contractual rules
against *restraint of trade. Under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts
Regulations 1994unfair redemption penalties may also be subject to challenge.
close n. Land that is enclosed.
close company A company under the control of its directors or five or fewer
participators. The participators have or are entitled to acquire a share or interest in
the capital or income of the company and can include <loan creditors. Special tax
provisions apply to such companies.
closed-shop agreement Acollective agreement requiring members of a
particular group of employees to be or become members of a specified trade union.
A pre-entry agreement is one that prohibits an employer from engaging a relevant
employee unless he is already a member of the union concerned. A post-entry
agreement requires employees to join the specified union within a certain time
after the employment commences.
Under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, all
employees are free to join a trade union or not, as they wish. If an employer takes
action, short of dismissal, against an employee to enforce membership of a union,
the employee can complain to an *employment tribunal, which can order the
employer to pay him compensation. Dismissal for failure to belong to a trade union
is automatically unfair (see INADMISSIBLE REASON). In this case there are special
minimum rates of *compensation payable. If, as a result of trade union pressure, an
employer dismisses an employee for failing to belong to a union, the employer can
join the union as a party to the dismissal proceedings and pass the liability to pay
compensation on to the union.
A union that attempts to enforce a closed shop by industrial action loses the
immunity from legal action that it would otherwise have if the action was in
furtherance of a *trade dispute.
The effect of these provisions is that, while closed-shop agreements are not in
themselves illegal, they are unenforceable by either employers or unions.
close of pleadings  Formerly, a stage in the course of pleading in an action in the
High Court that occurred 14 days after service of the reply, defence to counterclaim,
or defence. This stage has been taken over by the functions of *case management
and track *allocation.
closing order An order made by a local housing authority under the Housing Act
1985prohibiting the use of a house, which it considers unfit for human habitation,
for any purpose not approved by the authority.
closure n.  The curtailing of debate on a question, particularly in the House of
Commons, by carrying a motion (which cannot itself be debated) "that the question
be now put". The result is that a vote on the question under debate must be taken
immediately. Compare GUILLOTINE.
club n. An association regulated by rules that bind its members according to the
law of contract. Club property is either vested in trustees for the members
(members' club)or owned by a proprietor (often a company limited by guarantee;
see LIMITED COMPANY) who operates the club as a business for profit (proprietary
club). The committee is usually liable for club debts in the case of a members' club;
the proprietor in the case of a proprietary club.
code n. A complete written formulation of a body of law, (e.g. the Code Napoleon in
France). A code of English law does not exist, but a few specialized topics have been
dealt with in this way by means of a *codifying statute (e.g. the Sale of Goods Act
1893, re-enacted with modifications by the Sale of Goods Act 1979).
codecision procedure A procedure introduced by the *Maastricht Treaty that
gives the *European Parliament a power to veto certain legislative proposals. If the
*Council of the European Union and the European Parliament fail to agree after a
second reading of the proposal by the Parliament, a conciliation committee of the
Council and Parliament will attempt to reach a compromise. If no compromise is
reached, the Parliament can reject the measure by absolute majority voting. Compare
code of practice A body of rules for practical guidance only, or that sets out
professional standards of behaviour, but does not have the force of law, e.g. the
Highway Code.Under the provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1973the *Director
General of Fair Trading has the duty of encouraging trade associations to prepare
and distribute to their members codes of practice for guidance in safeguarding and
promoting the interests of UKconsumers. Several such codes have been approved by
the Director General. Codes of practice have also been published by *ACAS, the
Health and Safety, Equal Opportunities, and Racial Equality Commissions, and the
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, providing guidance to employers,
employees, and their representatives on the fulfilment of their statutory obligations
in relevant fields. Codes of practice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
regulate searches and the *interrogation of suspects by the police.
Generally, failure to comply with a code of practice does not automatically expose
the party in breach to prosecution or any civil remedy. It may, however, be relied on
as evidence tending to show that he has not fulfilled some relevant statutory
codicil n. A document supplementary to a will, which is executed with the same
formalities under the Wills Act 1837(see EXECUTION OF WILL) and adds to, varies, or
revokes provisions in the will. It must be proved with the will. A codicil confirming
a will normally republishes the will (see REPUBLICATION OF WILL) and may revive a will
that has been revoked if that is the testator's clear intention. If many changes are
made to the will it is better to execute a new will.
codifying statute A statute that sets out the whole of the existing law (i.e. both
statute law and common law) on a particular subject. Such statutes are extremely
rare; an example is the Law of Property Act 1925. Compare CONSOLIDATING STATUTE. See
coercion n. A defence available only to married women who have committed a
crime (other than murder or treason) in the presence of, and under pressure from,
their husbands. Its scope is unclear but may be wider than that of *duress in that it
may cover economic and moral as well as physical pressure, though unlike duress it
has to be proved (see BURDEN OF PROOF). If a wife is acquitted on grounds of coercion,
her husband may be liable for the offence in question through his wife's innocent
agency and/or for a crime involving a *threat.
cognates pl. n. Persons descended from a common ancestor.
cohabitants pl. n. See COHABITATION.
cohabitation n. Living together as husband and wife. Married persons generally
have a right to expect their spouses to live with them. Unmarried people living
together as husband and wife (cohabitants)do not usually have the status of a
married couple (see also COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE). But under the cohabitation rule the
resources and requirements of an unmarried couple living together are aggregated
for the purposes of claiming social security benefits under the Social Security Acts
even in the absence of a sexual relationship (see INCOME SUPPORT).
co-imperium n. Joint rule by two or more states of an entity that has a distinct
international status (compare CONDOMINIUM). An example is the occupation and rule
of Germany after 1945by the four victorious powers.
collateral  1. adj. Describing the relationship between people who share a common
ancestor but are descended from him through different lines of descent. See also
CONSANGUINITY.   2. adj. Ancillary; subordinate but connected to the main subject,
etc. 3. n. Security that is additional to the main security for a debt (or an advantage
to the mortgagee that is additional to the payment of interest). For example, a
lender may require as collateral the assignment of an insurance policy in addition to
the principal security of a mortgage on the borrower's home.
collateral benefits Benefits received from a third party by the victim of a
tortious injury in consequence of the injury, such as insurance money, sick pay,
disability pensions, loans, social security benefits, or gifts from a disaster appeal
fund. Some collateral benefits are taken into account when assessing the damages to
be paid by the person liable for the injury; others, such as insurance money and
gifts, are not. Under the Social Security Administration Act 1992,the amount of
social security benefits received by the victim for the first five years after the
injury must, with a few exceptions, be deducted from the total damages and repaid
to the Department for Work and Pensions by the person liable for the injury (or his
collateral contract A subsidiary contract that induces a person to enter into a
main contract. For example, if X agrees to buy from Y goods made by Z,and does so
on the strength of Z's assurance as to the high quality of the goods, X and Z may be
held to have made a collateral contract consisting of Z's promise as to quality given
in consideration of X's promise to enter into the main contract with y.
collective agreement  See COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
collective bargaining Negotiations between trade unions (acting for their
members) and employers about terms and conditions of employment. Under the
Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992,a collective agreement
(an agreement between trade union and employer resulting from collective
bargaining) is not legally binding unless it is in writing and specifically states the
parties' intention to be bound. Unenforceable collective agreements frequently
include terms (relating to pay, discipline, etc.) that will become incorporated in
individual employees' binding contracts of employment. In these respects the
written particulars of employees' contracts, which the employer must give under
the Employment Rights Act 1996,must refer the employee to the collective
agreement, which must be reasonably accessible to him. Terms of a collective
agreement that discriminate on grounds of sex may be challenged by individuals in
a court or employment tribunal on the ground that they contravene the principle
of equal treatment. When a collective agreement provides that individual employees'
contracts will circumscribe their right to strike, the employees will only be bound if
their contracts contain that provision and the collective agreement was negotiated
by an *independent trade union, is in writing, and is readily accessible to employees
during working hours. The parties to a collective agreement containing procedures
for determining complaints of unfair dismissal may apply to the Secretary of State
for an order that those procedures be substituted for the statutory jurisdiction of
comfort letter
employment tribunals. An order will only be made if the agreement was negotiated
by an independent trade union, sufficiently identifies the employees affected, and
gives them remedies as beneficial as the statutory scheme and a right to
independent arbitration or adjudication. See alsoDISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION;
collective redundancy The proposed dismissal as redundant by an employer of
20 or more employees. In such a situation the employer is required, under the Trade
Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992,to disclose information (see
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION) and to consult with elected workers' representatives or
representatives of a recognized trade union with a view to reaching agreement
about ways of avoiding the dismissals, reducing the numbers of employees to be
dismissed, and mitigating the consequences of the dismissals. If the employer fails to
comply with these requirements the union may complain to an employment
tribunal who may, if the complaint is upheld, issue a *protective award.
Employment tribunals have held that notification of impending redundancies must
take place at the earliest opportunity in order that representations by the union
may be taken into account.
collective responsibility See CABINET.
collective security The centralized system of international rules, now embodied
in the Charter of the United Nations, that governs the collective resort to force
under the authority of the United Nations for the purpose of maintaining or
restoring international peace and security. An example is the action by the
international community during the Gulf War of 1991. It should be noted that the
precise legal justification of this conflict is uncertain, the UN Security Council
Resolution 678 stating only that its legal basis was under *Chapter VII of the UN
collective trespass  See TRESPASS.
collision clause (running-down clause) A clause in a marine insurance policy
binding the underwriters to indemnify the insured in respect of any damages in
tort he may be liable for as a result of his ship colliding with another. At common
law, such a policy covers only the insured's physical losses. The clause is customarily
restricted to three quarters of the damages in question. When two vessels collide,
the damage done to each is added together and treated as a common loss. It is
divided between insurers according to the proportion of blame attributable to each
ship or, if this cannot be determined, equally.
collusion n. An improper agreement or bargain between parties that one of them
should bring proceedings against the other. Collusion is no longer a bar to divorce or
nullity proceedings, but it may affect the validity of a declaration of legitimacy.
colony n. A territory that forms part of the Crown's dominions outside the UK.
Although it may enjoy internal self-government, its external affairs are controlled
by the UK government.
colourable adj. Describing that which is one thing in appearance but another in
substance; for example, a symbolic residence in a parish for the purpose of
qualifying for marriage there.
comfort letter (administrative letter) A letter sent by the Competition
Directorate of the European Commission following a notification for exemption or
*negative clearance of a commercial agreement that may infringe EU *competition
law. It is very rare for the Commission to issue a binding decision following such a
notification. However, although a comfort letter does not have the force of a formal
decision, it would be unusual for the Commission to fine a business in relation to an
agreement that was notified and in relation to which a comfort letter was then
comity (comitas gentium) n. Neighbourly gestures or courtesies extended from
one state to another, or others, without accepting a legal obligation to behave in
that manner. Comity is founded upon the concept of sovereign equality among
states and is expected to be reciprocal. It is possible for such practices, over a period
of time and with common usage, to develop into rules of customary international
law, although this requires such behaviour to acquire a binding or compelling
Command Papers  Documents that the government, by royal command, presents
to Parliament for consideration. They include white papers and green papers. The
former contain statements of policy or explanations of proposed legislation; the
latter are essentially discussion documents. For reference purposes they have serial
numbers, with (since 1869)prefixes. The prefixes are C (1870-99), Cd (1900-18), Cmd
(1919-56), and Cmnd (1957-   ).
commercial agent An *agent who solicits business from potential customers on
behalf of a principal. In the ED the contracts of many commercial agents are
governed by directive 86/653,which gives them substantial rights to claim
compensation or an indemnity on termination of their agency agreement and
implies other terms into their contracts; for example, in relation to payment of
commission and notice periods for termination of the agreement. In the UK this
directive is implemented by the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations
1993as amended.
Commercial Court A court forming part of the *Queen's Bench Division of the
High Court and specializing in the trial of commercial cases, mostly relating to
shipping and commodity trading. Many of the court's cases arise from the awards of
arbitrators (see ARBITRATION). The judges of the court are nominated by the l.ord
Chancellor from among the Queen's Bench *puisne judges who have special
experience of commercial matters.
commission n. 1. Authority to exercise a power or a direction to perform a duty;
for example, a commission of a *justice of the peace. 2. A body directed to perform
a particular duty. Examples are the *Charity Commissioners and the *l.aw
Commission. 3. A sum payable to an *agent in return for his performing a
particular service. This may, for example, be a percentage of the sum for which he
has secured a contract of sale of his principal's property. The circumstances in which
a commission is payable depend on the terms of the contract between principal and
agent. The terms on which commission is paid to a *commercial agent are set down
in the ED directive 86/653. 4. Authorization by a court or a judge for a witness to be
examined on oath by a court, judge, or other authorized person, to provide evidence
for use in court proceedings. The procedure is used when the witness is unlikely to
be able to attend the hearing (e.g. because of illness). If the witness is still unable to
attend when the court hearing takes place the written evidence is read by the court.
Commissioner n. (in the ED)See EUROPEAN COMMISSION.
commissioner for oaths A person appointed by the Lord Chancellor to
administer oaths or take affidavits. By statute, every solicitor who holds a
*practising certificate has the powers of a commissioner for oaths, but he may not
exercise these powers in a proceeding in which he is acting for any of the parties or
committal for trial
in which he is interested. Thus when an affidavit must be sworn, the client cannot
use his own solicitor but must go to another solicitor to witness the swearing.
Commissioner for the Protection Against Unlawful Industrial Action See
Commissioner for the Rights of Trade Union Members See CERTIFICATION
Commission for Health Improvement A body established under the Health
Act 1999. Its remit includes providing advice to *Primary Care Trusts or *NHS
Trusts for the purpose of monitoring and improving the quality of health care and
reporting on the provision or quality of health care.
Commission for Racial Equality A body appointed by the Home Secretary
under the Race Relations Act 1976with the general function of working towards the
elimination of *racial discrimination by promoting equality of opportunity and
good relations between different racial groups. It keeps the working of the Act
under review, investigates alleged contraventions and, when necessary, issues and
applies for injunctions to enforce nondiscrimination notices.
Commission of the European Communities See
Commissions for Local Administration Two commissions, one each for
England and Wales, that were established by the Local Government Act 1974 to
investigate complaints by the public of injustice suffered through
maladministration by local authorities, police authorities, the National Rivers
Authority, and housing action trusts. The *Parliamentary Commissioner for
Administration is a member of both commissions and there are three Local
Government Commissioners (or Ombudsmen) for England and one for Wales.
Certain matters (e.g. decisions affecting the public generally and the conduct of
criminal investigations) are outside their competence. Complaints to a Commissioner
must normally be made in writing through a member of the authority concerned,
within one year of the date on which the matter first came to the complainant's
notice, but if a complaint is not duly passed on it can be accepted directly by the
Commissioner. Commissioners' reports are sent to the complainant and the
authority concerned and are also made public.
committal for sentence The referring of a case from a magistrates' court to the
Crown Court, which occurs when the magistrates have found the accused guilty and
consider that their powers of sentencing are insufficient for the case.
committal for trial  The referring of a case from a magistrates' court for trial at
the Crown Court following a *preliminary investigation by the magistrates. The
committal proceedings may consist of taking *depositions from all the witnesses in
the form of oral evidence. Alternatively the committal may take a short form under
section 6 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980.This occurs when the accused agrees
that the prosecution should put all its evidence in writing; the justices may then
commit for trial without considering the evidence. The accused does not have to
disclose any defence that he intends to put forward at the trial, but must, not later
than seven days after committal, give notice of any intended *alibi and details of
the witnesses he is going to call in support of it. A committal without consideration
of the evidence may only take place if the accused is legally represented. The press
may normally only report certain limited facts about committal proceedings, such as
the name of the accused and the charges. However, if the accused asks that
reporting restrictions be lifted, the magistrates may allow publication of full details
committal in civil proceedings
of the proceedings. Concern as to the effectiveness of committal proceedings in
preventing weak cases going to trial led to provisions in the Criminal Justice and
Public Order Act 1994,which have now created a new transfer for trial procedure,
based upon consideration of case documents. The Criminal Procedure and
Investigations Act 1996lays down new committal procedures.
committal in civil proceedings  Amethod of enforcing judgment by obtaining
an order that a person be committed to prison. It is most commonly sought when
the person has committed a *contempt of the court (e.g.by disobedience of an order
of the court). In modern practice it is very occasionally available to enforce an order
for the payment of a debt.
Committee of the whole House  A committee of which all members of the
House of Commons or the House of Lords are members. In the Lords it sits for the
committee stage of all public Bills. In the Commons the committee stage is normally
taken by a *standing committee, but major Bills (particularly if controversial) are
sometimes referred instead to a whole House committee. Certain matters
concerning expenditure and taxation were formerly considered by the whole House
sitting as the Committee of Supply or the Committee of Ways and Means, but
since 1967they have been dealt with by the House sitting as such.
common n. A *profit a prendre enjoyed by a number of landowners over
*common land. A right of common may be *appurtenant, in gross (i.e. independent
of any *dominant tenement), or pur cause devicinage ("by reason of neighbourhood":
the right to allow animals grazing common land to stray onto adjoining common
land). They generally comprise rights of pasture (grazing), piscary (fishing), turbary
(rare; a right to take turf), feraenaturae(aright to take animals), *estovers, etc., and
unless they exist in gross are usually limited to the reasonable needs of the
dominant tenements.
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)  The agricultural policy of the EUas set out
in Articles 32-38 of the Treaty of Rome. The overall aims of the CAPare to increase
agricultural productivity, ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural
community, stabilize markets, assure the availability of supplies, and ensure that
supplies reach consumers at a reasonable price. The Treaty is supplemented by a
wide range of ED directives in this field. See also INTERVENTION.
common assault See ASSAULT.
common carrier See CARRIER.
common design   The intention assumed to be shared by those engaged in a joint
illegal enterprise: each party is liable for anything done during the pursuance of
that enterprise, including any unexpected consequences that arise. If, however, one
of the parties does something that was not agreed beforehand, the others may not
be held responsible for the consequences of this act. See also ACCESSORY.
common duty of care   The duty of an occupier of land or premises to take
reasonable care to see that visitors will be reasonably safe in using the premises for
the purposes for which they are invited or permitted to be there. See OCCUPIER'S
Common External Tariff (CEl) The tariff of import duties payable on certain
goods entering any member state of the European Union from non-EU countries.
The CET prevents the distortion of trade that would occur if member states set
their own import duties on products coming into their state from outside the ED.
common law
The Tariff contributes to the Common Budget of the EU,from which subsidies due
under the *Common Agricultural Policy are paid.
Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) Afishing policy agreed between members of
the European Community in 1983. It lays down annual catch limits (*quotas) for each
state for major species of fish, a 12-mile exclusive fishing zone for each state, and an
equal-access zone of 200 nautical miles from its coast, within which any member
state is allowed to fish. There are some exceptions to these regulations. The CFPis
handled by the European Commission's Fisheries Directorate General. It was
reviewed in 1992 and is subject to a further review in 2002. See also FISHERY LIMITS.
common heritage of mankind principle The principle that areas of
Antarctica, the sea bed, and outer space should not be monopolized for the benefit
of one state or group of states alone, but should be treated as if they are to be used
to the benefit of all mankind. For example, Article 4 of the Moon Treaty 1979 states
that exploration "shall be the province of all mankind and shall be carried out for
the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of
economic or scientific development".
commonhold n. Athird way of owning land, in addition to *freehold and
*leasehold, that is expected to be introduced into England and Wales in accordance
with the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Bill. It is intended for developments in
which individual properties, such as flats, houses, or shops, are owned and occupied
by separate persons, but there are common parts, such as stairways and walkways,
that need to remain in central ownership and to be maintained. Previously, such
properties were usually held under long leases, but this had proved unsatisfactory.
Each separate property in a commonhold development will be a unit; the owner
will be a unit-holder. The body owning the common parts will be the commonhold
association, a private company limited by guarantee. Each unit-holder will be a
member of that company. The company membership will be limited to the unit-
holders, and the memorandum and articles of the company will be prescribed by the
Lord Chancellor. The commonhold association will also need to create a
Commonhold Community Statement (CCS) setting out the rules and regulations
of the particular community. The commonhold association with its common parts
and all the associated units will be registered at the Land Registry. It will be possible
for leasehold developments to convert to commonhold, but only by the consent of
all parties.
common land   Land subject to rights of *common. The Commons Registration Act
1965 provides for the registration with local authorities of all common land in
England and Wales, its owners, and claims to rights of common over it. Subject to
the investigation by Commons Commissioners of disputed cases, and to exceptions
for land becoming or ceasing to be common land, registration provides conclusive
evidence that land is common land and also of the rights of common over it. Rights
could be lost by failure to register.
common law  1. The part of English law based on rules developed by the royal
courts during the first three centuries after the Norman Conquest (1066) as a system
applicable to the whole country, as opposed to local customs. The Normans did not
attempt to make new law for the country or to impose French law on it; they were
mainly concerned with establishing a strong central administration and
safeguarding the royal revenues, and it was through machinery devised for these
purposes that the common law developed. Royal representatives were sent on tours
of the shires to check on the conduct of local affairs generally, and this involved
their participating in the work of local courts. At the same time there split off from
common-law marriage
the body of advisers surrounding the king (the curia regis)the first permanent royal
court - the *Court of Exchequer, sitting at Westminster to hear disputes
concerning the revenues. Under Henry II (reigned 1154-89), to whom the
development of the common law is principally due, the royal representatives were
sent out on a regular basis (their tours being known as circuits) and their functions
began to be exclusively judicial. Known as justiciae errantes (wandering justices), they
took over the work of the local courts. In the same period there appeared at
Westminster a second permanent royal court, the *Court of Common Pleas. These
two steps mark the real origins of the common law. The judges of the Court of
Common Pleas so successfully superimposed a single system on the multiplicity of
local customs that, as early as the end of the 12th century, reference is found in
court records to the custom of the kingdom. In this process they were joined by the
judges of the Court of Exchequer, which began to exercise jurisdiction in many
cases involving disputes between subjects rather than the royal revenues, and by
those of a third royal court that gradually emerged - the Court of King's Bench (see
COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH). The common law was subsequently supplemented by
*equity, but it remained separately administered by the three courts of common
law until they and the Court of Chancery (all of them sitting in Westminster Hall
until rehoused in the Strand in 1872) were replaced by the *High Court of Justice
under the Judicature Acts 1873-75. 2. Rules of law developed by the courts as
opposed to those created by statute.  3. A general system of law deriving exclusively
from court decisions.
common-law marriage   1. Amarriage recognized as valid at common law
although not complying with the usual requirements for marriage. Such marriages
are only recognized today if (1) they are celebrated outside England and there is no
local form of marriage reasonably available to the parties or (2)they are celebrated
by military chaplains in a foreign territory (or on a ship in foreign waters), and one
of the parties to the marriage is serving in the Forces in that territory. The form
of marriage is a declaration that the parties take each other as husband and wife.
2. Loosely, the situation of two unmarried people living together as husband and
wife (see COHABITATION). In law such people are treated as unmarried, although
recently they have been recognized as equivalent to married persons for purposes
of protection against battering and for some provisions of the Rent Acts (such as
succession to *statutory tenancies).
common mistake  See MISTAKE.
common money bond  See BOND.
Common Serjeant The title held by one of the *circuit judges at the *Central
Criminal Court. It was formerly an ancient office of the City of London, first
mentioned in its records in 1291. Serjeants-at-law were the highest order at the
English Bar from the 13th or 14th centuries until the King's Counsel took priority in
the 17th century. Until 1873 the judges of the common law courts were appointed
from the serjeants; the order of serjeants was dissolved in 1877. The title remains,
however, for a circuit judge who has a ten-year Crown Court qualification and who
has been appointed a Common Serjeant by the Crown.
Commonwealth (British Commonwealth) n. A voluntary association consisting
of the UKand many of its former colonies or dependencies (e.g. protectorates) that
have attained full independence and are recognized by international law as separate
countries. The earliest to obtain independence (e.g. Canada and Australia) did so by
Community Legal Service
virtue of the Statute of Westminster 1931, but the majority have been granted it
individually by subsequent Independence Acts. Some (such as Canada and Australia)
are still technically part of the Crown's dominions; others (e.g. India) have become
republics. All accept the Crown as the symbol of their free association and the head
of the Commonwealth.
commonwealth citizen Under the British Nationality Act 1948,a status
synonymous with that of *British subject. By the British Nationality Act 1981(which
replaced the 1948Act as from 1 January 1983 and gave the expression British subject
a very limited meaning), it was redefined as a wide secondary status. It now includes
every person who is either a British citizen, a British Dependent Territories citizen, a
British National (Overseas),a British Overseas citizen, a British subject (in its current
sense), or a citizen of one of the independent Commonwealth countries listed in a
schedule to the 1981 Act.
commorientes pl. n. [Latin] Persons who die at the same time. Under the Law of
Property Act 1925, when the order of death is uncertain commorientes are presumed
(so far as the devolution of their property is concerned) to have died in order of
seniority. Thus a bequest by the younger to the elder is treated as having lapsed.
However, this rule may be displaced by a contrary intention expressed in a will, and
under the Intestates' Estates Act 1952 the rule does not apply when intestate spouses
die at the same time: it is assumed that neither spouse left the other surviving.
community n. A *Iocal government area in Wales, as set out in the Local
Government (Wales)Act 1994, consisting of a division of a *county or a county
borough and equivalent to an English civil parish. All communities have meetings
and many have an elected community council. which is a *Iocal authority with a
number of minor functions (e.g. the provision of allotments, bus shelters, and
recreation grounds). A community council may by resolution call its area a town,
itself a town council, and its chairman the town mayor, either in Welsh or in
community charge (poll tax) A former form of local tax levied on all adults
(with some exceptions) to contribute to the cost of local government. It was
introduced by the Local Government Finance Act 1988to replace domestic *rates (i.e.
rates paid by private householders) from April 1990in England and Wales (it was
introduced in Scotland in 1989). The tax proved unpopular and difficult to collect. It
was abolished and replaced by the *council tax with effect from April 1993.
Community dimension  (in ED mergers law) See MERGER.
community home An institution for the accommodation and maintenance of
children and young persons in care. Community homes are provided by local
authorities and voluntary organizations under the Children Act 1989. A local
authority may be liable for the acts of children in community homes.
community land  See DEVELOPMENT LAND.
Community law (EUlaw) The law of the European Union (as opposed to the
national laws of the member states). It consists of the treaties establishing the EU
(together with subsequent amending treaties), *Community legislation, and decisions
of the *European Court of Justice. Any provision of the treaties or of Community
legislation that is directly applicable or directly effective in a member state forms
part of the law of that state and prevails over its national law in the event of any
inconsistency between the two.
Community Legal Service The service that replaced the *legal aid scheme on 1
Community legislation
April 2000. The new service has many features similar to the legal aid scheme but
has been redesigned to ensure that public funds are directed to those most in need.
It does this by excluding more categories of potential applicant and also in
prescribing new and stricter criteria for eligibility. The service is administered by
the Legal Services Commission (which replaced the Legal Aid Board of the old
scheme). There are various levels of service. They are: (1) legal help, which broadly
replaces the *green form scheme; (2) help at court, which is similar to the previous
*ABWOR; (3) investigative help, which provides the funding of investigation before
assessment as to whether or not to proceed; (4)full representation, which is
equivalent to the former full legal aid; (5) support funding, which provides partial
funds to support high-cost claims but not the majority of the costs, which are met
elsewhere; and (6)specific directions, by which the Lord Chancellor may authorize
specific support for particular claims, e.g. test cases or class actions. Strict financial
criteria are laid down for eligibility for each of these six levels of service, which
reflect the requirements of the different levels of service. However, at the centre of
such criteria is the cost-benefit criterion, under which funding will be refused if the
benefit to be gained is considered not to justify the level of costs likely to be
Community legislation Laws made by the *Council of the European Union or
the *European Commission. Each body has legislative powers, but most legislation is
made by the Council, based on proposals by the Commission, and usually after
consultation with the *European Parliament. The role of the Parliament in the
legislative process was strengthened under the Single European Act 1986 and the
Maastricht Treaty. Community legislation is in the form of regulations, directives,
and decisions. Regulations are of general application, binding in their entirety, and
directly applicable in all member states without the need for individual member
states to enact these domestically (see COMMUNITY LAw). Directives are addressed to
one or more member states and require them to achieve (by amending national law
if necessary) specified results. They are not directly applicable - they do not create
enforceable Community rights in member states until the state has legislated in
accordance with the directive: the domestic statute then creates the rights for the
citizens of that country. A directive cannot therefore impose legal obligations on
individuals or private bodies, but by its direct effect it confers rights on individuals
against the state and state bodies, even before it has been implemented by changes
to national law, by decisions of the European court. Decisions may be addressed
either to states or to persons and are binding on them in their entirety. Both the
Council and the Commission may also make recommendations, give opinions, and
issue *notices, but these are not legally binding.
community of assets (community of property) The sharing of ownership of
matrimonial property, such as the home and furniture, as an automatic consequence
of marriage. This is not a feature of English law. See FAMILY ASSETS.
community punishment order An order that requires an offender (who must
consent and be aged at least 16)to perform unpaid work for between 40 and 240
hours under the supervision of a probation officer. Formerly known as a
community service order, it has been renamed under the Criminal Justice and
Court Services Act 2000. Such an order replaces any other form of punishment (e.g.
imprisonment); it is usually based on a probation officer's report and is carried out
within 12 months (unless extended). Breach of the order may be dealt with by fine
or by revocation of the order and the imposition of any punishment that could
originally have been imposed for the offence.
Companies Registry
community rehabilitation order A court order, formerly known as a
probation order, placing an offender under the supervision of a *probation officer
for a period of between six months and three years, imposed (only with the consent
of the offender) instead of a sentence of imprisonment. Such orders may be imposed
on any offenders over the age of 16; they are most commonly imposed on first
offenders, young offenders, elderly offenders in need of support, and offenders
whose crimes are not serious. The order contains conditions for the supervision and
behaviour of the offender during the rehabilitation period, including where he
should live, when and how often he should report to his local probation officer, and
a requirement that he should notify the probation officer of any change of address.
The order may also require him to live in an approved probation hostel (for those
offenders employed outside the hostel) or an approved probation home (for
offenders not employed outside). An order may also be made that the offender
should attend a specified day-training centre, designed to train him to cope with
the strains of modern life, for a period of up to 60 days.
A community rehabilitation order has the same legal effect as a *discharge. If the
offender is convicted of a further offence while undergoing community
rehabilitation, he may be punished in the normal way for the original offence (for
which the order was made) as though he had just been convicted of that offence. If
he does not comply with the conditions specified in the community rehabilitation
order, he may be fined or the court may make a *community punishment order or
order for attendance at a day centre or it may punish him for the original offence
as though he had just been convicted of it.
Community rehabilitation orders may also be imposed on offenders who, though
not insane, are suffering from some mental problem. A medical practitioner or
chartered psychologist may be specified in such orders.
Community Trade Mark (ClM) A *trade mark that is registered for the whole
of the European Union. It can be obtained by application to national trade mark
offices or the Community Trade Mark Office at Alicante, Spain. The European
Commission adopted the Regulation for the Community Trade Mark, Regulation
40/94, on 20 December 1993; UK legislation was included in the Trade Marks Act 1994.
Marks are registered for a period of ten years and may be renewed on payment of
commutative contract  See CONTRACT OF EXCHANGE.
Companies Court The collective name given to those judges forming part of the
*Chancery Division of the High Court who deal with matters arising out of the
Companies Acts, principally the formation, management, and winding-up of limited
liability companies (see LIMITED COMPANY).
Companies House  See COMPANIES REGISTRY.
companies register The official list of companies registered at the Companies
Companies Registry (Companies House) The office of the Registrar of
Companies (see REGISTRATION OF A COMPANY). Companies with a registered office in
England or Wales are served by the registry at Cardiff; those in Scotland by the
registry in Edinburgh. Certain documents lodged there are open to inspection. These
documents include the *accounts of limited companies, the *annual return, any
*prospectus, the *memorandum and *articles of association, and particulars of the
directors, the secretary, the *registered office, some types of company *charge, and
notices of liquidation.
company n. An association formed to conduct business or other activities in the
name of the association. Most companies are incorporated (see INCORPORATION) and
therefore have a legal personality distinct from those of their members.
Incorporation is usually by registration under the Companies Act 1985 (see
REGISTRATION OF A COMPANY) but may be by private Act of Parliament (see STATUTORY
COMPANY) or by royal charter (chartered company). Shareholders and directors are
generally protected when the company goes out of business. See FOREIGN COMPANY;
company meeting  See GENERAL MEETING.
company member A person who holds *shares in a company or, in the case of a
company that does not issue shares (such as a company limited by guarantee), any of
those who have signed the *memorandum of association or have been admitted to
membership by the directors. See LIMITED COMPANY.
company name The title of a registered company, as stated in its *memorandum
of association and in the companies register. The names with which companies can
be registered are restricted (see also BUSINESS NAME). The name must appear clearly in
full outside the *registered office and other business premises, upon the company
seal, and upon certain documents issuing from the company, including notepaper
and invoices. Noncompliance is an offence and fines can be levied. Under the
Insolvency Act 1986,it may be an offence for a director of a company that has gone
into insolvent liquidation to re-use the company name. See also CHANGE OF NAME;
company secretary An officer of a company whose role will vary according to
the nature of the company but will generally be concerned with the administrative
duties imposed upon the company by the Companies Act (e.g.delivering documents
to the *Companies Registry). Under the Companies Act 1985 every company is
required to have a company secretary. A sole *director cannot also be the company
secretary, and in the case of a *public company the company secretary must be
qualified to act as such.
compellable witness A person who may lawfully be required to give evidence.
In principle every person who is competent to be a witness is compellable (see
COMPETENCE). In criminal prosecutions the spouse of the accused is generally
competent and, under the 1999amendments to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act
1984,may in some circumstances be compellable; for example, when the offence
charged is an assault upon the spouse or someone under the age of 16, the spouse is
compellable as well as competent.
compensation n. Monetary payment to compensate for loss or damage. When
someone has committed a criminal offence that caused personal injury, loss, or
damage, and he has been convicted for this offence or it was taken into account
when sentencing for another offence, the court may make a compensation order
requiring the offender to pay compensation to the person suffering the loss (with
interest, if need be). Magistrates' courts may make orders in respect of
compensation. The court must take into account the offender's means and should
avoid making excessively high orders or orders to be paid in long-term instalments.
If the offender cannot afford to pay both a fine and compensation, priority should
be given to payment of compensation. A compensation order may be made for
funeral expenses or bereavement in respect of death resulting from an offence
other than a death due to a motor-vehicle accident. Potential claimants and
maximum compensation for bereavement are the same as those under the Fatal
Accidents Act 1976 (see FATAL ACCIDENTS). An order may only be made in respect of
injury, loss, or damage (other than loss suffered by a person's dependants in
consequence of his death) due to a motor-vehicle accident if (1) it is for damage to
property occurring while it was outside the owner's possession in the case of
offences under the Theft Act 1968,or (2)the offender was uninsured to use the
vehicle and compensation is not payable under the *Motor Insurers' Bureau
agreement. Acourt that does not award compensation must give reasons. Victims of
*criminal injury may apply for compensation under the *Criminallnjuries
Compensation Scheme. Under the Theft Act 1968, a *restitution order in monetary
terms may be made when the stolen goods are no longer in existence; this kind of
order is equivalent to a compensation order. Compensation orders may be made in
addition to, or instead of, other sentences. A court must order a parent or guardian
of an offender under the age of 17 to pay a compensation order on behalf of the
offender unless the parent or guardian cannot be found or it would be unreasonable
to order him to pay it.
A person who has been wrongfully convicted of a criminal offence may apply to
the Home Secretary for compensation, which is awarded upon the assessment of an
independent assessor.
An *employment tribunal may order an employer to pay compensation to an
employee who has been unfairly dismissed (see UNFAIR DISMISSAL). The compensation
comprises a basic award of a sum equivalent to the *redundancy payment to which
a redundant employee would be entitled (with a minimum of £3300 when dismissal
is for trade union activity), and a compensatory award representing the loss that
the employee suffers because of the dismissal (the compensatory award is subject to
an upper limit of £51,700). This will include compensation for the loss of his earnings
and other benefits of the former employment, and for the loss of his statutory
rights in respect of unfair dismissal and redundancy in the initial period of any new
employment he obtains (see CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT). Additional compensation may
be awarded if the employer does not comply with an order by the tribunal to re-
employ the employee; the additional award will be between 26 and 52 weeks' pay.
Limits on the amount of weekly pay that can be used in these calculations are set by
regulations made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and reviewed
annually. The tribunal may reduce any compensation by an appropriate proportion
when the employee's conduct has contributed to his dismissal. The employee is
under the same duty to mitigate his loss as someone claiming damages in the courts.
Thus if he unreasonably refuses an offer of a new job he will not be compensated
for his continued unemployment thereafter. If the employee was dismissed for his
failure to enter into a *closed-shop agreement, following pressure by a trade union
for his dismissal, the employer can pass on to the trade union the liability to pay
compensation. Compensation may also be awarded by an employment tribunal when
there is a finding of sexual or racial discrimination. In such cases the upper limit or
financial cap on unfair dismissal damages has been removed, as the European Court
of Justice has ruled that the cap is discriminatory and contrary to *equal treatment
laws. This award can also include an amount for hurt feelings.
competence n. (of witnesses) The legal capacity of a person to be a *witness. Since
the abolition in the 19th century of certain ancient grounds of incompetence, every
person of sound mind and sufficient understanding has been competent, subject to
certain exceptions. For example, a child may be sworn as a witness only if he
understands the solemnity of the occasion and that the taking of an oath involves an
obligation to tell the truth over and above the ordinary duty of doing so. However,
under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, a child below the age of 14
competition law
years may only give *unsworn evidence. Since the Police and Criminal Evidence Act
1984 and the subsequent 1999amendments, the spouse of an accused is generally a
competent witness for the prosecution (subject to some exceptions) and compellable
for the accused (subject to some exceptions).
competition law The branch of law concerned with the regulation of
*anticompetitive practices, *restrictive trade practices, and *abuses of a dominant
position or market power. Such laws prohibit *cartels and other commercial
restrictive agreements. In the UK the Competition Act 1998and the Fair Trading Act
1973contain the legislative provisions. Throughout the EU, *Articles 81 and 82 of the
Treaty of Rome and regulations made under those provisions contain the legal rules
in this area, which constitute EU competition law. Under the de minimis principle,
the European Commission has issued a notice that competition rules will be unlikely
to apply to agreements affecting trade between member states when the parties to
the agreement have a joint market share of 5% or less (10% for *vertical agreements,
such as distribution contracts). In the USAcompetition law is known as antitrust
competitive tendering The introduction of competition into the provision of
public services with the aim of improving the cost-effectiveness and quality of these
services. It affected a wide range of public bodies, from local authorities to the
prison service: public services were supplied by the body (usually a private-sector
company) that submitted the most competitive tender for the service in question.
Examples of services most commonly provided by this means were refuse collection,
the provision of school meals, and residential care for the elderly. These rules were
principally contained in the Local Government Acts 1988 and 1992. The Local
Government Act 1999abolished compulsory competitive tendering and replaced it
with a duty to provide *best value, whereby authorities must have regard to
economy, efficiency, and effectiveness when exercising their functions.
complainant n. A person who alleges that a crime has been committed. A
complainant alleging rape, attempted rape, incitement to rape, or being an accessory
to rape is allowed by statute to remain anonymous; evidence relating to her
previous sexual experience cannot be given (unless the court especially rules
complaint n. 1. The initiating step in civil proceedings in the *magistrates' court,
consisting of a statement of the complainant's allegations. The complaint is made
before a *justice of the peace or, if the complaint is not required to be on oath,
before a *clerk to the justices, who may then issue an originating *process directed
to the defendant. 2. An allegation of a crime. A complaint made by the victim of a
sexual offence directly after the commission of the offence is admissible as evidence
of the consistency of the complainant's story.
completely constituted trust See EXECUTED TRUST.
completion n. (in land law) The point at which ownership of land that is the
subject of a contract for its sale changes hands. The purchaser hands over any
unpaid balance of the price in exchange for the title deeds and a valid conveyance of
the land to him if the land is unregistered. If the land is registered, the purchaser
receives a simple form of transfer that must be lodged at the appropriate District
*Land Registry with the *land certificate.
composition n. An agreement between a debtor and his creditors discharging the
debts in exchange for payment of a proportion of what is due. The debtor may have
computer documents
to register the agreement as a *deed of arrangement. See also SCHEME OF
compound vb. 1. To make a *composition with creditors. 2. See COMPOUNDING AN
compounding an offence The offence of accepting or agreeing to accept
consideration for not disclosing information that might assist in convicting or
prosecuting someone who has committed an *arrestable offence (consideration here
does not include reasonable compensation for loss or injury caused by the offence).
There is also a special statutory offence of advertising a reward for stolen goods on
the basis that "no questions will be asked" or that the person producing the goods
"will be safe from inquiry".
compound settlement A settlement of land arising from a series of trust
instruments, e.g. a resettlement following the barring of an *entailed interest.
Under the Settled Land Act 1925 the trustees of the original settlement (or if there
are none, those of the resettlement) are treated as the trustees of the compound
settlement. Thus the tenant for life is always able to overreach the interests of all
other beneficiaries (see OVERREACHING).
compromis d'arbifrage [French] Agreements between states to submit disputes
between them to an arbitration tribunal. See also ARBITRATION.
compromise n. The settlement of a disputed claim by agreement between the
parties. Any court proceedings already started are terminated. The terms of the
settlement can be incorporated in a judgment by the court (called a consent
judgment) or the terms can form a contract between the parties.
compulsory purchase The enforced acquisition of land for public purposes, by
statutory authority and on payment of compensation. Authority may be given for a
specific acquisition, but public and local authorities have wide powers to acquire any
land required for particular functions, such as education. These powers are normally
exercised under the Acquisition of Land Act 1981, and compensation is assessed
under the Land Compensation Acts 1961and 1973.A compulsory purchase order is
submitted for confirmation to the appropriate government minister, whose decision
is preceded by an inquiry into public objections. In most cases the procedure
includes the service of a *notice to treat on the landowner, who then negotiates
compensation. Any dispute about compensation is decided by the *Lands Tribunal.
compulsory winding-up A procedure for winding up a company by the court
based on a petition made under circumstances listed in the Insolvency Act 1986.The
main grounds for this type of petition are that the company is unable to pay its
debts or that the court is of the opinion that it is in the interests of the company
that a *just and equitable winding-up should be made. Any director, *contributory,
or creditor of the company, the supervisor of a *voluntary arrangement, or the
Secretary of State may make such a petition. The winding-up is conducted by a
*liquidator, who is supervised by the court, a *liquidation committee, and the
Department of Trade and Industry. See also WINDING-UP.
computer documents (in the law of evidence) In civil cases a document
produced by a computer is admissible under the general rules of evidence of any
fact recorded in it of which direct oral evidence would be admissible. In criminal
cases computer printouts are admissible as evidence by virtue of the amendments
introduced by the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.
computer misuse
computer misuse See HACKING.
concealment n. See NONDISCLOSURE.
concealment of securities The offence (punishable by up to seven years'
imprisonment) of dishonestly concealing, destroying, or defacing any valuable
security,will, or any document issuing from a court or government department for
the purpose of gain for oneself or causing loss to another. Valuable securities
include any documents concerning rights over property, authorizing payment of
money or the delivery of property, or evidencing such rights or the satisfying of any
concentration n. (in EU law) The technical term for a *merger.
concert party (consortium) An agreement (which mayor may not be legally
binding) between a number of people to acquire shares in a company in order to
accumulate a significant holding of its voting shares. Under the Companies Act 1985
and rules administered by the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers anyone becoming
interested in 3% or more of the voting shares of a public company must disclose
this to the company; a member of a concert party is deemed to be interested not
only in his own shares but also in those of other consortium members. Such
disclosure may enable a company to counter a *takeover; it may also trigger rules
relating to partial offers, which may make it necessary for the consortium to offer
to buy the remaining shares. See alsoSARS. Compare DAWN RAID.
conciliation n. 1. (in civil disputes) See ACAS; ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION. 2. A
procedure of peaceful settlement of international disputes. The matter of dispute is
referred to a standing or ad hoccommission of conciliation, appointed with the
parties' agreement, whose function is to elucidate the facts objectively and
impartially and then to issue a report. The eventual report is expected to contain
concrete proposals for a settlement, which, however, the parties are under no legal
obligation to accept. See also GOOD OFFICES; MEDIATION.
conciliation officer See ACAS.
conclusive evidence Evidence that must, as a matter of law, be taken to
establish some fact in issue and that cannot be disputed. For example, the certificate
of incorporation of a company is conclusive evidence of its incorporation.
concurrent interests Ownership of land by two or more persons at the same
time; for example, *joint tenancy and *tenancy in common.
concurrent jurisdiction That part of the jurisdiction of the *Court of Chancery
before the Judicature Acts 1873-75 that was enforced equally in the common law
courts; equity usually took jurisdiction because the common law remedies were
inadequate. Since the Judicature Acts the jurisdiction of all divisions of the High
Court has been concurrent in name, but certain remedies (for example, specific
performance and injunction) are more commonly sought in the Chancery Division.
concurrent lease A lease granted by a landlord to run at the same time as
another lease of the same premises. The effect is that the lessee of the concurrent
lease acquires the rights and duties of the landlord in relation to the other lease.
concurrent planning (twin-track planning) The planning involved in placing
certain children who are in local-authority care with carers who are approved to
both foster and adopt. Initially, the plan requires that the carers should work
constructively to return the child to its parents. If it becomes apparent that this
conditional interest
will not happen within a reasonable time, the carers will continue to look after the
child and apply to adopt him. The aim of concurrent planning is to reduce the
number of moves experienced by a child in care.
concurrent sentence A *sentence to be served at the same time as one or more
other sentences, when the accused has been convicted of more than one offence.
Concurrent sentences are usually terms of imprisonment, and in effect the accused
serves the term of the longest sentence. Alternatively the court may impose
consecutive sentences, which follow on from each other.
concurrent tortfeasors  See JOINT TORTFEASORS.
condition n. 1. A major term of a contract. It is frequently described as a term
that goes to the root of a contract or is of the essenceof a contract (see alsoTIME
PROVISIONS IN CONTRACTS); it is contrasted with a warranty, which is a term of minor
importance. Breach of a condition constitutes a fundamental breach of the contract
and entitles the injured party to treat it as discharged, whereas breach of warranty
is remediable only by an action for damages, subject to any contrary provision in a
contract (see BREACH OF CONTRACT). A condition or a warranty may be either an
*express term or an *implied term. In the case of an express term, the fact that the
contract labels it a condition or a warranty is not regarded by the courts as
conclusive of its status. See alsoINNOMINATE TERMS. 2. A provision that does not form
part of a contractual obligation but operates either to suspend the contract until a
specified event has happened (a condition precedent) or to bring it to an end in
certain specified circumstances (a condition subsequent).When X agrees to buy Y's
car if it passes its MOT test, this is a condition precedent; a condition in a contract
for the sale of goods that entitles the purchaser to return the goods if dissatisfied
with them is a condition subsequent.
conditional admissibility The *admissibility of evidence whose *relevance is
conditional upon the existence of some fact that has not yet been proved. The courts
permit such evidence to be given conditionally, upon proof of that fact at a later
stage of the trial. Such evidence is sometimes said to have been received *de beneesse.
conditional agreement An agreement that will take effect, if at all, upon the
happening of some uncertain event.
conditional discharge See DISCHARGE.
conditional fee agreement An agreement, which must be in writing, between
lawyer and client for legal services in litigation to be provided on the basis that
payment is only due if the proceedings are successful ("no win, no fee"). In return
for accepting the risk of no fee, the lawyer is entitled to charge a higher fee (by
claiming a higher *uplift) if successful. If the claimant loses the case, he may have
to pay the other party's costs. The litigation is therefore not entirely risk-free,
although insurance, for which premiums are charged, can be taken out to
accommodate this risk. The conditions on which a conditional fee agreement may be
made (including the type of proceedings in which they are available and the
maximum percentage increase in fees allowed) are prescribed by the Lord Chancellor
under the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 and the Access to Justice Act 1999. For
most areas of law conditional fee agreements are unlawful, but they are allowed for
certain limited categories of cases, including personal injury cases. See also
conditional interest An interest that is liable to be forfeited, on the occurrence
of a specified event, at the instance of the person who created it; for example, when
conditional sale agreement
A conveys land to B in fee simple subject to a rentcharge and reserves a right of
forfeiture for nonpayment. Under the Law of Property (Amendment) Act 1926 a
conditional interest in land qualifies as a *fee simple absolute in possession and can
therefore exist as a legal estate. Compare CONTINGENT INTEREST; DETERMINABLE INTEREST.
conditional sale agreement A contract of sale under which the price is payable
by instalments and ownership is not to pass to the buyer (although he is in
possession of the goods) until specified conditions relating to the payment of the
price or other matters are fulfilled. The seller retains ownership of the goods as
security until he is paid. A conditional sale agreement is a *consumer-credit
agreement; it is regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974if the buyer is an
individual, the credit does not exceed £25,000, and the agreement is not otherwise
condition precedent See CONDITION.
condition subsequent See CONDITION.
condominium n. 1. Joint sovereignty over a territory by two or more states (the
word is also used for the territory subject to joint sovereignty). For example, the
New Hebrides Islands in the South Pacific were a Franco-British condominium until
1980.Sovereignty is joint, but each jointly governing power has separate jurisdiction
over its own subjects. Compare CO-IMPERIUM. 2. Individual ownership of part of a
building (e.g. a flat in a block of flats) combined with common ownership of the
parts of the building used in common.
condonation n. Forgiving a matrimonial offence or turning a blind eye to it.
Formerly a bar to divorce, it is no longer relevant in divorce proceedings.
confederation n. A formal association of states loosely bound by a treaty, in many
cases one establishing a central governing mechanism with specified powers over
member states but not directly over citizens of those states. In a confederation, the
constituent states retain their national sovereignty and consequently their right to
*secession. Compare FEDERAL STATE.
conference n. 1. A meeting of members of the House of Lords and the House of
Commons appointed to attempt to reach agreement when one House objects to
amendments made to one of its Bills by the other. 2. A meeting between counsel
and a solicitor to discuss a case in which they are engaged. Conferences usually take
place at counsel's chambers. If the barrister involved is a QC, the meeting is called a
confession n. An *admission, in whole or in part, made by an accused person of
his guilt. At common law, confessions were admissible if made voluntarily, i.e.not
obtained as a result of some threat or inducement held out by a person in authority
(such as a police officer). They are now governed by the Police and Criminal Evidence
Act 1984,which requires the prosecution, if called upon to do SO, to prove beyond a
reasonable doubt that the confession was not obtained by oppression of the person
who made it or as a result of anything that was likely to render the confession
unreliable. A confession may also be ruled to be inadmissible if the civil rights of
the accused have been breached, for example if he has been denied access to legal
confession and avoidance A pleading in the *defence that, while admitting or
assuming the truth of the material facts alleged in the particulars of claim (the
confession), seeks to avoid or destroy the legal consequences of those facts by
consensus ad idem
alleging further facts constituting some defence to the claim (the avoidance). An
example is a plea of self-defence to an action for assault.
confidential communication  The mere fact that a communication is
confidential does not in itself make it inadmissible; it will only be so if it is within
the scope of an evidentiary *privilege, such as legal professional privilege or public-
interest privilege.
confidential information   See BREACH OF CONFIDENCE.
confiscation order An order that requires an offender convicted by the Crown
Court of an *indictable offence, who has benefited by at least £10,000 from that
offence (or an offence taken into consideration), to pay a sum that the court thinks
fit. Magistrates may make such orders only in relation to a limited class of offences
(e.g. offences relating to the supply of video recordings of unclassified work). The
order is enforced like a *fine and is in addition to any other sentence. The High
Court may make a restraint order prohibiting the transfer or disposal of realizable
property held by a person when proceedings have been instituted against him for a
relevant offence. See also CONTROLLED DRUGS.
conflict of laws   See PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW.
confusion of goods  The mixing of goods of two or more owners in such a way
that their original shares can no longer be distinguished. The owners hold the goods
in common, in proportion to their shares. One owner may be awarded possession of
the mixture, if he has best right to it, subject to him compensating the other owner
for his proportion.
conjugal rights  The rights of either spouse of a marriage, which include the
right to the other's consortium (company), cohabitation (sexual intercourse), and
maintenance during the marriage. There is, however, no longer any legal procedure
for enforcing these rights. The old action for restitution of conjugal rights was
abolished in 1971 and a husband insisting on sexual intercourse against the wishes of
his wife may be guilty of *rape. See also CONSUMMATION OF A MARRIAGE.
connivance n.   Behaviour of a person designed to cause his or her spouse to
commit a matrimonial offence, such as adultery. Connivance is no longer an absolute
bar to divorce, but may still be evidence that the marriage has not irretrievably
broken down.
conquest n.  The acquisition by military force of enemy territory followed by its
formal annexation after the cessation of hostilities. It does not include the
acquisition of land as a term of a peace treaty (see CESSION). The acquisition of
territory after a war in the absence of any peace treaty, because the defeated state
has ceased to exist, is known as debellatio or subjugation. Conquest is not now
regarded as a legitimate means of acquiring territory, and hence conferring valid
title, as Article 2(4)of the UN Charter expressly prohibits aggressive war and Article
5(3) of General Assembly Resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 1975 effectively nullifies any legal
title acquired in this way.
consanguinity (blood relationship) n. Relationship by blood, i.e. by descent from
a common ancestor. People descended from two common ancestors are said to be of
the whole blood. If they share only one ancestor, they are of the half blood.
consecutive sentences  See CONCURRENT SENTENCE.
consensus adidem [Latin: agreement on the same thing] The agreement by
contracting parties to identical terms that is necessary for the formation of a legally
binding contract. See ACCEPTANCE; MISTAKE; OFFER.
consent n. Deliberate or implied affirmation; compliance with a course of
proposed action. Consent is essential in a number of circumstances. For example,
contracts and marriages are invalid unless both parties give their consent. Consent
must be given freely, without duress or deception, and with sufficient legal
competence to give it (see also INFORMED CONSENT). In criminal law, issues of consent
arise mainly in connection with offences involving violence and *dishonesty. For
public-policy reasons, a victim's consent to conduct which foreseeably causes him
bodily harm is no defence to a charge involving an *assault, *wounding, or
*homicide; in other cases the defendant should be acquitted if the magistrates or
jury have a reasonable doubt not only as to whether the victim had consented but
also as to whether he thought the victim had consented. See alsoAGE OF CONSENT;
conservation area An area designated as such by a local planning authority (see
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING) because it is of special architectural or historic interest
the character of which ought to be preserved or enhanced. Each building in the area
becomes protected as if it were a *listed building, and trees not protected by a *tree
preservation order may only be lopped, felled, etc., after notice to the authority.
consideration n. An act, forbearance, or promise by one party to a contract that
constitutes the price for which he buys the promise of the other. Consideration is
essential to the validity of any contract other than one made by deed. Without
consideration an agreement not made by deed is not binding: it is a nudum pactum
(naked agreement), governed by the maxim ex nudo pacto non oritur actio (a right
of action does not arise out of a naked agreement).
The doctrine of consideration is governed by four major principles. (1) A valuable
consideration is required, i.e. the act, forbearance, or promise must have some
economic value. Good consideration (natural love and affection or a moral duty) is
not enough to render a promise enforceable. (2)Consideration need not be adequate
but it must be sufficient. Not to be adequate in this context means that it need not
constitute a realistic price for the promise it buys, as long as it has some economic
value. If X promises to sell his £50,000house to Y for £5000,Y is giving valuable
consideration despite its inadequacy. £1 is often the consideration in commercial
contracts. That it must be sufficient means sufficient in law. A person's
performance of, or promise to perform, an existing duty usually cannot in law
constitute consideration. (3) Consideration must move from the promisee. Thus if X
promises to give Y £1000in return for Y's promise to give employment to Z,Z
cannot enforce Y's promise, for he has not supplied the consideration for it. (4)
Consideration may be executory or executed but must not be past. A promise in
return for a promise (as in a contract of sale) is executory consideration; an act or
forbearance in return for a promise (as in giving information to obtain a reward) is
executed consideration. However, a completed act or forbearance is past
consideration in relation to any subsequent promise. For example, if X gives
information to Y gratuitously and Y then promises to reward him this is past
consideration, which does not constitute consideration.
consistory court  See ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS.
Consolidated Fund The central account with the Bank of England maintained by
the government for receiving public revenue and meeting public expenditure. Most
payments from it are authorized annually by Consolidated Fund Acts, but some (e.g.
judicial salaries) are permanent statutory charges on it.
consolidating statute A statute that repeals and re-enacts existing statutes
relating to a particular subject. Its purpose is to state their combined effect and so
simplify the presentation of the law. It does not aim to alter the law unless it is
stated in its long title to be a consolidation with amendments. An example of a
consolidating statute is the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act
consolidation of actions A procedure in civil cases by which two or more cases
may be amalgamated. It is generally necessary to show that some common question
of law or fact will arise in all the cases. The purpose of consolidation is to save costs
and time.
consolidation of mortgages The right of a mortgagee who has taken
mortgages on two or more properties from the same mortagor to require the
mortgagor to redeem all of the mortgages or none, provided that the contractual
date of redemption (see POWER OF SALE) for all of them has passed. The right arose
because it was considered unfair to a mortgagee to have one security redeemed
when another, given by the same mortgagor, might be inadequate to secure that
loan. Since 1881at least one of the mortgage deeds must show an intent to allow
consolidation for the mortgagee to exercise the right. Compare TACKING.
consortium n. 1. The right of one spouse to the company, assistance, and affection
of the other. Formerly, a husband could bring an action in tort (per quod
consortium amisit) against anyone who, by a tortious act against his wife, deprived
him of consortium. A wife had no corresponding action. The action for loss of
consortium was abolished by the Administration of Justice Act 1982. 2. See CONCERT
conspiracy n. 1. An agreement between two or more people to behave in a
manner that will automatically constitute an offence by at least one of them (e.g.
two people agree that one of them shall steal while the other waits in a getaway
car). The agreement is itself a statutory crime, usually punishable in the same way as
the offence agreed on, even if it is not carried out. Mens rea,in the sense of
knowledge of the facts that make the action criminal, is required by at least two of
the conspirators, even if the crime agreed upon is one of *strict liability. One may
be guilty of conspiracy even if it is impossible to commit the offence agreed on (for
example, when two or more people conspire to take money from a safe but,
unknown to them, there is no money in it). A person is, however, not guilty of
conspiracy if the only other party to the agreement is his (or her) spouse. Nor is
there liability when the acts are to be carried out in furtherance of a trade dispute
and involve only a summary and nonimprisonable offence. Incitement to conspire
and attempt to conspire are no longer crimes.
Some forms of criminal conspiracy still exist at common law. These are now
limited to: (1) conspiracy to *defraud (e.g.to commit fraud, theft, obtain property by
deception, or infringe a copyright) or to cause an official to act contrary to his
public duty; (2)conspiracy to corrupt public morals (see CORRUPTION OF PUBLIC MORALS);
and (3) conspiracy to outrage public decency (this might include an agreement to
mount an indecent exhibition).
2. A conspiracy to injure a third party is a tort if it causes damage to the person
against whom the conspiracy is aimed. It is not necessary to prove that the
conspirators used unlawful means. If unlawful means have not been used,
conspiracy is not actionable if the predominant purpose of the conspirators was
legitimate. Protection of one's own financial or trade interests is thus a legitimate
purpose provided no unlawful means are used; but retaliation for an insult to one's
dignity is not. The operation of the tort in *trade disputes is limited by statute.
constable n. See POLICE OFFICER.
constituency n. An area of the UK for which a representative is elected to
membership of the *House of Commons or the *European Parliament. See also
Constituency Members  Members of the *London Assembly each of whom
represents one of the 14 London constituencies. Constituency Members are elected
every four years in May by voters in London, at the same time as *London Members
and the *Mayor of London are elected. Each of the 14 London constituencies returns
one member.
constitution n. The rules and practices that determine the composition and
functions of the organs of central and local government in a state and regulate the
relationship between the individual and the state. Most states have a written
constitution, one of the fundamental provisions of which is that it can itself be
amended only in accordance with a special procedure. The constitution of the UK is
largely unwritten. It consists partly of statutes, for the amendment of which by
subsequent statutes no special procedure is required (see ACT OF PARLIAMENT), but also,
to a very significant extent, of *common law rules and *constitutional conventions.
constitutional conventions Practices relating to the exercise of their functions
by the Crown, the government, Parliament, and the judiciary that are not legally
enforceable but are commonly followed as if they were. One of the most important
is that the Crown must exercise its constitutional powers only in accordance with
the advice of ministers who collectively command the support of a majority of the
House of Commons. There is no single reason why conventions are observed. For
example, it is a very old convention that Parliament must be summoned at least
once a year. If that were not to happen, there would be no annual Finance Act and
the government would be able to function only by raising illegal taxation. By
contrast. if the Crown broke the convention that the royal assent must not be
refused to a Bill duly passed by Parliament, illegal conduct would not necessarily
follow (although the future of the monarchy could well be at risk). The basic reason
for obeying conventions is to ensure that the machinery of government should
function smoothly; conventions have not been codified into law and therefore can
be modified informally to meet changing circumstances.
constitutive theory The proposition that the existence of a state can only begin
with its formal or implied *recognition by other states. The constitutive theory of
recognition insists that only the positive act of recognition creates the new
*internationallegal personality. Compare DECLARATORY THEORY.
construction n. See INTERPRETATION.
constructive adj. Describing anything that is deemed by law to exist or to have
happened, even though that is not in fact the case.
constructive desertion Behaviour by one spouse causing the other to leave the
matrimonial home. If the behaviour is so bad that the party who leaves is forced to
do so, it is the spouse who stays behind who is considered, in law, to have deserted,
and not the spouse who actually left. A petition for divorce may therefore be
brought, after two years, on the ground of *desertion by the spouse who remained
constructive dismissal Termination of a contract of employment by an
constructive trust
employee because his employer has shown that he does not intend to be bound by
some essential term of the contract. Although the employee has resigned, he has the
same right to apply to an employment tribunal as one who has been unfairly
dismissed by his employer. See also UNFAIR DISMISSAL.
constructive fraud (legal fraud) Any of certain forms of unintentional
deception or misrepresentation (compare FRAUD). The concept is applied by equity to
those cases in which the courts will not enforce or will set aside certain transactions
(e.g.contracts) because it is considered unfair or unconscionable for a person to
insist on the transaction being completed. This unfairness may be inferred from the
terms of the transaction (when these are such that no person with proper advice
would have entered the transaction) or from the relationship of the parties (for
example, that of solicitor and client or of trustee and beneficiary).
constructive notice Knowledge that the law presumes a person to have even if
he is actually ignorant of the facts. A purchaser of unregistered land has
constructive notice of all matters that a prudent purchaser would discover on
inspection of the property or proper investigation of the title. It has also been held
that a purchaser has constructive notice of the rights of any person (such as a
spouse) who may reside on the property but is not an owner of the legal estate and
therefore does not appear on the title deeds. A purchaser of unregistered land is
bound by all matters of which he has constructive, as well as actual, notice unless
those matters are void against him for want of registration under the Land Charges
Act 1972. Those dealing with registered companies have constructive notice of the
contents of documents open to public inspection at the *Companies Registry. See also
constructive total 1055 A loss of a ship or cargo that is only partial but is
treated for the purposes of a marine insurance policy as if it were an *actual total
loss. This may occur when an actual total loss either appears unavoidable (e.g.when a
perishable cargo becomes stranded indefinitely) or can only be prevented by
incurring expenditure greater than the value of the ship or cargo. In estimating the
cost of repairs for this purpose, general average contributions by other insurers are
left out of account, but the expense of salvage operations is a relevant factor. The
insured must serve a notice of *abandonment of the ship or cargo on the
underwriters. This must be unconditional and served within a reasonable time of his
learning of the loss; once accepted by the underwriters, it is irrevocable. The
underwriters become liable to indemnify him as for a total loss and in return are
entitled to all his rights in the ship or cargo.
constructive trust A *trust imposed by equity to protect the interests of the
beneficiaries when a trustee or some other person in a fiduciary relationship gains
an advantage through his position. It differs from an *implied trust in that no
reference is normally made to the expressed or presumed intention of the parties.
English law at present recognizes only the institutional constructive trust. This is
a trust that automatically comes into being when certain circumstances arise; for
example, when a person in a fiduciary position makes an unauthorized profit or
when a stranger meddles in a trust. The concept is frequently used in commercial
cases but not exclusively so. In a domestic setting, a constructive trust arises when a
sole legal owner of property tries to exclude the rights of another person (usually a
cohabitee) who has contributed to the purchase price of the property on the
understanding that ownership of the property is to be shared, or when the sole legal
owner tries to deny an express agreement to share ownership of the property.
Other Commonwealth jurisdictions recognize a remedial constructive trust: a
trust imposed at the discretion of the court to remedy an injustice. This is not
accepted by English courts, although recent case law has suggested that a
development in this area is possible.
consul n. A *diplomatic agent commissioned by a sovereign state to reside in a
foreign city, to represent the political and trading interests of the sending state, and
to assist in all matters pertaining to the commercial relations between the two
countries. See also DIPLOMATIC MISSION.
consumer n. A private individual acting otherwise than in a course of a business.
Consumers are often given greater legal protection when entering into contracts,
for example by having a right to avoid certain unfair terms or to cancel the
contract (see CONSUMER PROTECTION; DISTANCE SELLING). Many regulations define
"consumer" in a particular manner.
consumer-credit agreement A *personal-credit agreement in which an
individual (the debtor) is provided with credit not exceeding £25,000. Unless
exempted, consumer-credit agreements are regulated by the Consumer Credit Act
1974,which contains provisions regarding the seeking of business, entry into
agreements, matters arising during the currency of agreements, default and
termination, security, and judicial control. A loan to an individual businessman for
business purposes can be a consumer-credit agreement.
consumer-credit business Any business that comprises or relates to the
provision of credit under *consumer-credit agreements regulated by the Consumer
Credit Act 1974.With certain exceptions, e.g. local authorities, a licence is required to
carryon a consumer-credit business.
consumer-credit register The register kept by the Director General of Fair
Trading, as required by the Consumer Credit Act 1974,relating to the licensing or
carrying on of *consumer-credit businesses or *consumer-hire businesses. The
register contains particulars of undetermined applications, licences that are in force
or have at any time been suspended or revoked, and decisions given by the Director
under the Act and any appeal from them. The public is entitled to inspect the
register on payment of a fee.
consumer goods Goods normally supplied for private use or consumption. The
Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977provides that if consumer goods prove defective
when used otherwise than exclusively for business purposes as a result of
negligence of a manufacturer or distributor, that person's *business liability cannot
be excluded or restricted by any guarantee under which the goods are sold. Under
the Consumer Protection Act 1987, suppliers of all consumer goods must ensure that
the goods comply with the *general safety requirement. Otherwise they commit a
criminal offence.
consumer-hire agreement An agreement made by a person with an individual,
a partnership, or with some other unincorporated body (the hirer) for the *bailment
of goods to the hirer. Such an agreement must not be a *hire-purchase agreement,
must be capable of subsisting for more than three months, and must not require
the hirer to make payments exceeding £25,000. The concept thus does not include a
hiring by a company. Consumer-hire agreements. unless exempted, are regulated by
the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Compare CONSUMER-CREDIT AGREEMENT.
consumer-hire business Any business that comprises or relates to the bailment
of goods under *consumer-hire agreements regulated by the Consumer Credit Act
contact order
1974.With certain exceptions, e.g. local authorities, a licence is required to carryon a
consumer-hire business.
consumer protection The protection, especially by legal means, of consumers
(those who contract otherwise than in the course of a business to obtain goods or
services from those who supply them in the course of a business). It is the policy of
current legislation to protect consumers against unfair contract terms. In particular
they are protected against terms that attempt to exclude or restrict the seller's
implied undertakings that he has a right to sell the goods, that the goods conform
with either description or sample, and that they are of satisfactory quality and fit
for their particular purpose (Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977). EU directive 93/13
renders unfair terms in consumer contracts void; it is implemented in the UK by
the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. The Office of Fair
Trading runs a special unfair terms unit, which investigates cases in this field. There
is also provision for the banning of unfair *consumer trade practices (Fair Trading
Act 1973). Consumers (including individual businessmen) are also protected when
obtaining credit (Consumer Credit Act 1974) and there is provision for the
imposition of standards relating to the safety of goods under the Consumer
Protection Act 1987and the General Product Safety Regulations 1994.There are, in
addition, many legislative measures that are product-specific, such as toy safety
regulations. For tort liability under the Consumer Protection Act, see PRODUCTS
consumer trade practice Any practice carried on in connection with the supply
of goods (by sale or otherwise) or services to consumers. These practices include the
terms or conditions of supply and the manner in which they are communicated to
the consumers, the promotion of the supply of goods or services, the methods of
salesmanship employed in dealing with consumers, the way in which goods are
packed, or the methods of demanding or securing payment for goods or services.
Under the Fair Trading Act 1973.consumer trade practices are controlled by the
Minister, the *Director General of Fair Trading, and the Consumer Protection
Advisory Committee, who may ban any practice that adversely affects the economic
interests of consumers in the UK.
consummation of a marriage The "completion" of a marriage by an act of
sexual intercourse. It is defined for these purposes as complete penetration of the
vagina by the penis (although ejaculation is not necessary). A marriage may be
consummated despite the use of a contraceptive sheath. If a spouse is incapable of
consummation or refuses without good reason to consummate the marriage, these
may be grounds for *annulment of the marriage. If one of the partners refuses to
arrange an additional marriage ceremony (e.g. in a church) without which he knows
his spouse will not agree to have intercourse, this may be a good reason for the
spouse's refusal to have intercourse. In this case it is the partner who refused to
arrange the ceremony who is regarded as not having consummated the marriage,
even though that partner is willing to have intercourse.
contact n. (in family law) The opportunity for a child to communicate with a
person with whom that child is not resident. The degree of contact may range from
a telephone call to a long stay or even a visit abroad, and the court may formalize
such arrangements by making a contact order (see SECTION 8 ORDERS). A parent being
visited by a child may exercise *parental responsibility during the child's visit. The
question of contact after a child has been adopted is becoming a contentious issue.
contact order See SECTION 8 ORDERS.
contemporanea expositio
contemporanea expositio [Latin: contemporaneous interpretation] The
interpretation of a document in the sense in which it would have been interpreted
at the time of its making. This principle is applied particularly to the interpretation
of ancient documents.
contempt of court 1. (civil contempt)  Disobedience to a court judgment or
process, e.g. breach of an injunction or improper use of discovered documents. If the
injunction is served on the defendant with a penal notice attached, breach of the
injunction can result in the defendant being jailed. 2. (criminal contempt) Conduct
that obstructs or tends to obstruct the proper administration of justice. At common
law criminal contempt includes the following categories. (1) Deliberately interfering
with the outcome of particular legal proceedings (e.g.attempting improperly to
pressurize a party to settle legal proceedings) or bribing or intimidating witnesses,
the jury, or a judge. (2) Contempt in the face of the court, e.g. using threatening
language or creating a disturbance in court. (3)Scandalizing the court by "scurrilous
abuse" of a judge going beyond reasonable criticism or attacking the integrity of
the administration of justice. (4) Interfering with the general process of
administration of justice (e.g.by disclosing the deliberations of a jury), even though
no particular proceedings are pending.
Under the Contempt of Court Act 1981it is a statutory contempt to publish to the
public, by any means, any communication that creates a substantial risk that the
course of justice in particular legal proceedings will be seriously impeded or
prejudiced, if the proceedings are active. Such publications constitute strict-liability
contempt, in which the intention to interfere with the course of justice is not
required, but there are various special defences. It is also contempt under the Act to
obtain or disclose any particulars of jury discussions and to bring into court or use a
tape recorder without permission. The Act also protects (subject to certain
exceptions) sources of information against disclosure in court. Contempt of court is
a criminal offence punishable by a jail sentence and/or a fine of any amount ordered
by the court.
contempt of Parliament  See PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE.
contemptuous damages A very small sum of *damages awarded when,
although the claimant is technically entitled to succeed, the court thinks that the
action should not have been brought. Contemptuous damages are sometimes
awarded in "gold-digging" actions for defamation.
contentious business Business of a solicitor when there is a contest between the
parties involved, especially litigation. It is important in relation to *costs, since
different rules govern contentious and noncontentious costs.
contentious probate business Disputed applications to the court relating to
the validity of wills and the administration of estates.
contiguous zone  See TERRIfORIAL WATERS.
continental shelf The sea bed and the soil beneath it that is adjacent to the coast
of a maritime state and outside the limits of the state's territorial waters. The 1958
Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf limits the extent of the shelf to waters
less than 200 metres deep or, beyond that limit, to waters that are of such a depth
that exploitation of the natural resources of the sea bed is possible. The coastal state
is granted exclusive sovereign rights of exploitation over mineral resources and
nonmoving species in its continental shelf, provided that this causes no
unreasonable interference to navigation, fishing, or scientific research. The 1982
Conference on the Law of the Sea extends the continental shelf, in some cases, to a
distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines around the coast from which the
breadth of the territorial sea is measured. lt also makes special provisions for
delimiting the continental shelf between states with adjacent or opposite coastlines,
but does not lay down rules of law for such delimitation. Rocks that cannot sustain
human habitation do not have a continental shelf. See also LAW OF THE SEA.
contingency fee  Payment to a lawyer only if the case is won. Contingency fees
are illegal in the UKbut common in other countries, such as the United States.
However, *conditional fee agreements are permitted for certain limited categories
of cases.
contingent interest An interest that can only come into being upon the
occurrence of a specified event (for example when Aconveys land to Bprovided he
marries). As a contingent interest can only come into being in the future, if at all, it
cannot exist as a legal estate in land. Before 1997, such a transaction created a
settlement to which the Settled Land Act 1925applied. From 1997, such a transaction
gives rise to a *trust of land under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees
Act 1996. Contingent interests are consequently *equitable interests only. Compare
contingent legacy Abequest that only takes effect if a particular condition is
fulfilled, e.g. a bequest "to A if he shall marry within five years".
continuous bail   Bailgranted by a magistrates' court directing the accused to
appear at every time and place to which the proceedings may from time to time be
adjourned, as opposed to a direction to appear at the end of afixed period of
continuous employment  The period for which a person's employment in the
same business has subsisted. Under the Employment Rights Act 1996,employees have
the right to claim certain statutory remedies only if they have been continuously
employed for certain minimum periods. The required period of continuous
employment necessary to bring an *unfair dismissal action is currently one year.
The right of employees to statutory redundancy payments and to *guarantee
payments arises after two years' and one month's continuous employment,
respectively. The minimum period of *notice to terminate an employee's contract
also depends on his period of continuous employment in the business. When a
business changes ownership as a going concern, the employee's period of continuous
employment under both the old and the new employer counts in calculating the
total (see also RELEVANT TRANSFER). When an employee is dismissed without notice, the
minimum notice to which he was entitled is added to the actual period of
employment in calculating whether or not he has served the minimum continuous
period. Part-time employees (i.e. those whose normal working week is less than 16
hours) formerly had few statutory rights until they had completed five years'
continuous employment in the business. However, the Employment Protection (Part-
time Employees) Regulations 1995 now provide that part-timers, no matter what
hours they work, will benefit in the same way as those who are employed full time.
Periods during which an employee was on strike do not break the continuity, but
are excluded from his total period of continuous employment. Continuity is not
broken when a woman is absent due to pregnancy or confinement, provided she
takes up her right to return to work (see MATERNITY RIGHTS).
contraband n. 1. Goods whose import or export is forbidden. 2. (contraband of
war) Goods (such as munitions) carried by a neutral vessel (ship or aircraft) during
wartime and destined for the use of one belligerent power against the other (or
contra bonos mores
capable of being so used). Arms and other goods of a military nature were
traditionally referred to as absolute contraband, while goods having peaceful uses,
but nevertheless of assistance to a belligerent, were conditional contraband. The
distinction, though formally retained, has effectively been abolished. Belligerent
states are expected to issue contraband lists in order to exercise the right of
capture. Goods being carried to enemy territory in an enemy ship are contraband
even if they belong to a neutral power. The other belligerent is entitled to seize and
confiscate such goods. See alsoPRIZE COURT; SEARCH OF SHIP.
contra bonos mores [Latin] Against good morals. It is a matter of controversy to
what extent the criminal law should, or does, prohibit immoral conduct merely on
the ground of its immorality. The tendency in recent years has been to limit legal
intervention in matters of morals to acts that cause harm to others. However, there
are still certain offences regarded as essentially immoral (e.g. *incest and *buggery).
There are also offences of conspiring to corrupt public morals (although
*corruption of public morals is not in itself criminal) and of outraging (or
conspiring to outrage) public decency, although the scope of these offences is
contract n. A legally binding agreement. Agreement arises as a result of *offer
and *acceptance, but a number of other requirements must be satisfied for an
agreement to be legally binding. (1) There must be *consideration (unless the
contract is by deed). (2) The parties must have an intention to create legal relations.
This requirement usually operates to prevent a purely domestic or social agreement
from constituting a contract (see alsoHONOUR CLAUSE). (3)The parties must have
*capacity to contract. (4)The agreement must comply with any formal legal
requirements. In general, no particular formality is required for the creation of a
valid contract. It may be oral, written, partly oral and partly written, or even
implied from conduct. Certain transactions are, however, valid only if effected by
deed (e.g. transfers of shares in British ships) or in writing (e.g.promissory notes,
contracts for the sale of interests in land, and guarantees that can at law only be
enforced if evidenced in writing). (5) The agreement must be legal (see ILLEGAL
CONTRACT). (6)The agreement must not be rendered void either by some common-law
or statutory rule or by some inherent defect, such as operative mistake (see VOID
CONTRACT). Certain contracts, though valid, may be liable to be set aside by one of the
parties on such grounds as misrepresentation or the exercise of undue influence (see
contract of employment (contract of service) A contract by which a person
agrees to undertake certain duties under the direction and control of the employer
in return for a specified wage or salary. The contract need not be in writing, but
under the Employment Rights Act 1996 the employee must be given a *written
statement of terms of employment. Implied in every contract of employment are a
duty of mutual confidence and trust, the employer's duty to protect the employee
from danger and risks to his health, and the employee's duty to do the work to the
best of his ability. Employees who have been continuously employed in the same
business for certain minimum periods (see CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT) have statutory
rights, relating for example to *unfair dismissal and *redundancy, that do not apply
to the self-employed. A self-employed person is engaged under a contract for services
and owes his employer or customer no other duty than to complete the specified
work in accordance with the terms of the individual contract; he is not otherwise
under the direction or control of the employer as to how or when he works.
Termination of a contract of employment in breach of the terms of the contract
is *wrongful dismissal and may be remedied in the county court or the High Court
controlled drugs
or by an employment tribunaL In such an action the court is not concerned with
"fairness" but purely with compensating for a breach of the terms of the contract.
contract of exchange (commutative contract) A barter contract in which
property is transferred from one party to the other in return for other property. No
money passes from one party to the other. A contract of exchange of goods is not
governed by the Sale of Goods Act 1979.Compare SALE OF GOODS.
contract of record   A judgment or recognizance enrolled in the record of the
proceedings of a *court of record, implying a debt that arises from the entry on the
record and not from any agreement between the parties.
contract of sale   See SALE; SALE OF GOODS.
contract ofservice   See CONTRACT OP EMPLOYMENT.
contribution n.   The payment made by each of two or more people in respect of
damage or a loss for which they are jointly liable. In tort, when two or more people
are jointly liable for the same damage and the person injured has recovered his
losses from one of them, that person may seek contributions from the other
general-average loss (see AVERAGE), the person who has sustained the loss is entitled to
contributions from others with an interest in the property. See also PART 20 CLAIM.
contributory n. Any of the past or present members of a company, who are
potentially liable to contribute to the company's assets in the event of a *winding-
up. The maximum liability is limited, in a company limited by shares (see LIMITED
COMPANY), to the amount unpaid on shares (see CALL). A past member remains liable
for this amount if *winding-up follows within one year.
contributory negligence  Aperson's carelessness for his own safety or interests,
which contributes materially to damage suffered by him as a result partly of his
own fault and partly of the fault of another person or persons. Thus careless
driving, knowingly travelling with a drunken driver, and failure to wear a seat belt
are common forms of contributory negligence in highway accidents. The effect of
contributory negligence is to reduce the claimant's damages by an amount that the
court thinks just and equitable. The defence is most common in actions for
negligence, but can be pleaded in some other torts, e.g. *nuisance, *Rylandsv Fletcher,
*breach of statutory duty, or under the Animals Act 1971 (see CLASSIFICATION OF
ANIMALS). Contributory negligence may also be a defence to some actions for breach
of contract. It is not a defence to conversion or intentional trespass to goods.
controlled drugs  Dangerous drugs that are subject to criminal regulation. In the
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971these are grouped in three classes: A, B,and C. Class A is
the most dangerous and includes opium and its natural and synthetic derivatives
(e.g.morphine and heroin), cocaine, and Ecstasy. Class B includes amphetamine and
(as at October 2001)*cannabis, and C — the least dangerous class - includes anabolic
steroids and benzodiazepine antidepressants. It is an offence to possess a controlled
drug or to supply or offer it to another; possession of drugs of classes A or B is an
*arrestable offence. In the case of an occupier or someone concerned in the
management of premises, it is an offence (1) to allow the smoking of cannabis,
cannabis resin, or prepared opium on the premises (but it is not an offence to allow
the premises to be used for injecting heroin or consuming any other controlled
drug); (2)to prepare opium for smoking; and (3)to produce or supply a controlled
drug on the premises. The defendant is liable on a charge of possession for the
minutest quantity of the drug and without proof of *mens rea, unless he can prove
that he did not believe or suspect that it was a controlled drug.
controlled tenancy
Under the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986,the Crown Court must impose a
*confiscation order when a person who has benefited from drug trafficking is
sentenced for a related offence. The amount of the order is the proceeds of the
offender's trafficking or, if less, the amount realizable from his property.
Imprisonment follows any default. The Act also penalizes those assisting in the
retention of drug trafficking proceeds or disclosing information likely to prejudice
a drug trafficking investigation. Under the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997there is an
automatic seven-year minimum sentence on third-time dealers in Class A drugs.
However, judges may give a lesser sentence if the court considers the minimum
would be unjust in all the circumstances. See alsoREPEAT OFFENDER.
controlled tenancy A type of *protected tenancy that sometimes occurred with
tenancies created before 6 July 1957. From 28 November 1980 all controlled tenancies
were converted into *regulated tenancies.
controlled trust A trust of which one or more solicitors or their employees are
sole trustees. Such trusts are subject to special accounts rules made under the
Solicitors Act 1974; breaches of these rules may be reported to the Solicitors'
Disciplinary Tribunal.
controller n. (in company law) Strictly, one who holds shares conferring a majority
of the "voting power that can be exercised at a general meeting. In practice,
effective control can often be exercised by a director with no voting power or a
minority of it if he is able to manipulate *proxy voting. See alsoSUBSIDIARY COMPANY.
convention n. 1. A *treaty, usually of a multilateral nature. The International Law
Commission prepares draft conventions on various issues for the progressive
development of international law. 2. A written document adopted by international
organizations for their own regulation. 3. See CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTIONS.
conversion n. 1. (in tort) The tort of wrongfully dealing with a person's goods in a
way that constitutes a denial of the owner's rights or an assertion of rights
inconsistent with the owner's. Wrongfully taking possession of goods, disposing of
them, destroying them, or refusing to give them back are acts of conversion. Mere
negligence in allowing goods to be lost or destroyed was not conversion at common
law, but is a ground of liability under the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977.
The claimant in conversion must prove that he had ownership, possession, or the
right to immediate possession of the goods at the time of the defendant's wrongful
act (see also JUS TERTII). Subject to some exceptions, it is no defence that the
defendant acted innocently. 2. (in equity) The changing (either actually or
fictionally) of one kind of property into another. For example, if land is sold the
interest of those entitled to the property changes from an interest in the land to an
interest in the money that represents it. Before 1926 (and to a lesser extent
thereafter) it was important to know whether a person entitled to property had
interests in land or in the proceeds of its sale: to leave the determination of these
rights to be decided by the precise moment of a sale could have led to uncertainty
and injustice. The doctrine of conversion stated that if there was a duty to convert
the property, equity would assume the property to have been converted forthwith:
"equity looks on that as done which ought to have been done" (see MAXIMS OF EQUITY).
This doctrine was abolished with effect from 1 January 1997by the Trusts of Land
and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.
converted tenancy A tenancy that was converted from a *controlled tenancy
into a *regulated tenancy. From 28 November 1980 all controlled tenancies were
converted into regulated tenancies.
conveyance n. 1. a. A document (other than a will) that transfers an interest in
land. To convey a legal estate in land, the conveyance must be by deed. b. Transfer of
an interest in land by means of this document. See alsoCONVEYANCING. 2. Any vehicle,
vessel, or aircraft manufactured or subsequently adapted to carry one or more
people. It is a statutory offence (and also an *arrestable offence), punishable by up
to six months' imprisonment and a fine, for anyone to take a conveyance for his
own or someone else's use (albeit temporary) without permission or to drive or be
transported in a conveyance knowing that it has been taken without authority. See
conveyancing n. The procedures involved in validly creating, extinguishing, and
transferring ownership of interests in land. Only a practising solicitor or *licensed
conveyancer may charge a fee for undertaking the most essential parts of such
transactions. Under the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989land
contacts must be made in writing. Apart from preparing the deeds or other
documents by which the transaction is effected, certain investigative steps are
usually required. For example, the sale and purchase of a residential house in
England or Wales will generally involve the following.
(1) Preparation of a contract by the vendor's solicitor defining the terms of the
transaction, describing the property concerned, and disclosing *land charges and
other interests in it that will affect the purchaser. In the case of registered land,
this will be accompanied by *office copies of the registered title.
(2)Written inquiries by the purchaser's solicitor seeking assurances from the vendor
that matters which may not be apparent from inspection of the site will not impose
any unforeseen liability on the purchaser. These questions generally cover such
potential problems as disputes over boundaries, the construction or treatment of
buildings, compliance with planning and rating authorities' requirements, and
liability for maintenance of shared facilities (such as boundary walls). If the Law
Society's "Transaction" protocol is used, the vendor supplies a Seller's Property
Information Form, which gives details of the property and replaces the standard
*preliminary inquiries.
(3) *Official search by the purchaser's solicitor in the local land charges register to
ensure there are no undisclosed charges of a local or environmental nature that
could bind the purchaser. The local authority is also asked to disclose other
information, such as proposals for building new roads near the property. Other
searches may be carried out at this stage, for example commons registration
searches. If the land appears to be unregistered, there will be an official search of
the *index maps, to check that it has not, in fact, been registered.
(4)If the purchaser is raising a *mortgage loan towards the price, his solicitor or
other agent will ensure that the funds will be available at the appropriate time and
that any conditions imposed by the mortgagees can be satisfied.
(5) The purchaser's solicitor may then negotiate alterations to the draft contract
with the vendor's solicitor, in order to ensure its compliance with the purchaser's
requirements and to cover points arising from the earlier inquiries and search. For
example, if an unforeseen local land charge has been discovered, a term may be
inserted requiring the vendor to clear it before the transaction is completed.
(6) When there is a chain of sales and purchases dependent on one another, the
solicitors for the parties involved liaise with one another through all steps of the
transactions, particularly in arranging a date for completion, to ensure that the
various completions coincide.
(7) The parties become legally committed to buy and sell respectively upon
*exchange of contracts. It is then usual for the purchaser to pay a percentage of the
price to the vendor's solicitor as stakeholder.
(8) The vendor's solicitor next prepares and delivers an epitome or *abstract of title
to the purchaser's solicitor, who studies it to ensure that the vendor's title is proved
in accordance with the contract. (It is increasingly common to deliver an epitome of
title before exchange of contracts.) As final checks on the vendor's title, he conducts
an official search in the *Land Charges Department (for unregistered land) or HM
*Land Registry as appropriate, and raises *requisitions on title requiring the vendor
to clear any defects or adverse interests revealed by the abstract or search. An
official certificate of search from the Land Registry will reveal any entries on the
vendor's title effected since the date on which the office copies were issued, and will
give the purchaser priority against any further entries provided he registers his new
title within the time shown on the certificate.
(9) The purchaser's solicitor prepares the deed (usually a conveyance, transfer, or
assignment) by which the property is to be transferred to his client, and has its
terms approved by the vendor's solicitor. He also ensures that the purchaser's
mortgage deed (if any) is in order.
(10) In preparation for completion, the purchaser's solicitor arranges with the
necessary parties for the funds to be available on the completion date and ensures
that the necessary deeds will be executed by the time completion takes place.
(11) On completion, the purchaser's solicitor checks the vendor's original *title deeds
against the epitome (or abstract) of title, and takes possession of them together with
the deed of transfer. In the case of registered land, he will take the land certificate,
or accept an undertaking from the vendor's solicitor to forward it when it is made
available following redemption of any mortgage. He hands over the price, and the
transaction is then legally completed.
(12) After completion, the transfer deed is produced to the Inland Revenue, and any
stamp duty paid, by the purchaser's solicitor on his client's behalf. He also gives
formal notice of the transaction when appropriate; for example, when a leasehold
interest is purchased, the lessor must usually be notified. Whether or not land was
registered before the transaction, it will need to be registered on completion.
Therefore, the purchaser's solicitor lodges the relevant deeds with HM Land Registry
for registration of his client's title, within the priority period conferred by the
official search certificate.
These basic steps in respect of the sale and purchase of a house are common to
many other conveyancing transactions, although the complexity of the particular
requirements varies according to the nature of the transaction. See also ELECTRONIC
conviction n. 1. (for the purposes of the Bail Act 1976) In criminal proceedings, a
finding of *guilty, or an acquittal on the ground of insanity. In a magistrates' court,
a finding that the accused carried out the act for which he was charged (see SUMMARY
CONVICTION). 2. (for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) Any
finding (except one of insanity), either in criminal proceedings or in care
proceedings, that a person has committed an offence or carried out the act for
which he was charged. See alsoSPENT CONVICTION.
cooperation procedure A procedure introduced by the *Single European Act
1986 that allows the *European Parliament to impede the adoption of proposed
legislation by the *Council of the European Union; the *Maastricht Treaty extended
the use of this procedure to cover new areas of policy. It applies when there is a
second reading of a draft measure. If the Parliament takes no action for three
months after receiving the proposal, it proceeds. However, if, after a second reading,
Parliament votes by an absolute majority to reject the measure, this can only be
corporation tax
overturned by a unanimous decision of the Council. Compare ASSENT PROCEDURE;
copyhold n.  Formerly, ownership of land enforceable only in the court of the lord
of the manor and not protected by the sovereign's courts (see FEUDAL SYSTEM). The
owner's title comprised a copy of an entry in the rolls of the lord's court. By the Law
of Property Act 1922 copyhold tenure was abolished and existing copyholds were
converted into freeholds.
copyright n. The exclusive right to reproduce or authorize others to reproduce
artistic, dramatic, literary, or musical works. It is conferred by the Copyright,
Designs and Patents Act 1988,which also extends to sound broadcasting,
cinematograph films, and television broadcasts (including cable television). Copyright
lasts for the author's lifetime plus 70 years from the end of the year in which he
died; it can be assigned or transmitted on death EU directive 93/98 requires all EU
states to ensure that the duration of copyright is the life of the author plus 70
years. Copyright protection for sound recordings lasts for 50 years from the date of
their publication; for broadcasts it is 50 years from the end of the year in which the
broadcast took place. Directive 91/250 requires all EU member states to protect
computer *software by copyright law. The principal remedies for breach of
copyright (known as piracy) are an action for "damages and *account of profits or
an *injunction. It is a criminal offence knowingly to make or deal in articles that
infringe a copyright. See also BERNE CONVENTION; HACKING.
co-respondent n. In a petition of divorce under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
the party with whom a married person is alleged to have committed adultery and '
who, Ifnamed, IS normally made a party to divorce proceedings.
coroner n.  An officer of the Crown whose principal function is to investigate
deaths suspected of being violent or unnatural. He will do this either by ordering an
*autopsy or conducting an *inquest. The coroner also holds inquests on *treasure
trove. Coroners are appointed by the Crown from among barristers, solicitors, and
qualified medical practitioners of not less than five years' standing.
corporate personality See INCORPORATION.
corporate venturing scheme (CVS) Ascheme designedto encourage established
companies to invest in the full-risk ordinary shares of companies of the same kind
as those qualifying under the *Enterprise Investment Scheme; the scheme
encourages the investing and qualifying companies to form mutually beneficial
corporate.venturing.relationships. Companies investing through the CVS may obtain
corporation tax relief (at 20%)on the amount invested provided that the shares are
held for at least three years after issue or, if later, three years after the trade for
which the money was raised begins. Investing companies also obtain relief for most
allowable losses on the shares and deferral of corporation tax when a chargeable
gam from the disposal of CVS shares is reinvested in a new CVS investment.
corporation (body corporate) n. An entity that has legal personality, i.e. it is
capable of enjoying and being subject to legal rights and duties (see JURISTIC PERSON)
andpossesses the capacity of succession. A corporation aggregate (e.g. a *company
registered under the Companies Acts) consists of a number of members who
fluctuate from time to time. A corporation sole (e.g. the *Crown) consists of one
member only and his or her successors. See also INCORPORATION.
corporation tax A tax on the worldwide profits of limited companies and certain
other bodies resident or trading in the UK. Corporation tax started on 6 April 1966
corporeal hereditament
(before this date companies paid income tax and profits tax). It applies to all bodies
corporate and unincorporated associations, including limited companies, building
societies, cooperative societies, unit trusts, and investment trusts, but excluding local
The tax is based on the profits shown in the company's audited accounts after
adding back certain nonallowable deductions, which include depreciation of
*machinery and plant, provisions for doubtful debts, and political contributions.
However, *capital allowances are deductible for corporation tax purposes, as are
losses carried forward from earlier years. From April 1973 until April 1999 a
company was required to pay *advance corporation tax on its distributed profits,
which was offset against its corporation tax liability. From 1999 larger companies
pay corporation tax in instalments. Chargeable gains (see CAPITAL GAINS TAX) count as
profits for corporation tax purposes but losses can be offset against any gains. The
rates of corporation tax are (for 2001-02): 10% for profits up to £10,000; a 20% small
companies rate for profits from £50,000 to £300,000, and a 30% main rate for
profits over £1,500,000. There are sliding scales (marginal relief) for amounts
between the different rates.
corporeal hereditament See HEREDITAMENT.
corroboration n. Evidence that confirms the accuracy of other evidence "in a
material particular". In general, English law does not require corroboration and any
fact may be proved by a single item of credible evidence. The obligation to warn the
jury of the dangers of acting on uncorroborated evidence of accomplices or of
complainants in cases of sexual offences has been abolished: the judge now has a
discretion to indicate the dangers of a jury relying on particular evidence.
Corroboration remains mandatory in cases of *treason and *perjury and for opinion
evidence as to some matters, e.g. *speeding.
corrupt and illegal practices Offences defined by the Representation of the
People Act 1983 in connection with conduct at parliamentary or local elections.
Corrupt practices, which include bribery and intimidation, are the more serious of
the two. The most frequent illegal practice is spending by a candidate in excess of
the amount authorized for the management of his campaign.
corruption of public morals Conduct "destructive of the [moral] fabric of
society". It is uncertain if such acts are crimes, although those who published
"directories" of prostitutes or magazine advertisements encouraging readers to meet
the advertisers for homosexual purposes have been found guilty of conspiring to
corrupt public morals. See alsoCONSPIRACY; CONTRA BONOS MORES.
cost. insurance. freight See C.I.F. CONTRACT.
costs pl. n. Sums payable for legal services. A distinction is drawn between
contentious and noncontentious costs(broadly, the distinction between costs
relating to litigious and nonlitigious matters). Solicitors' costs are normally divided
into profit costs(representing the solicitor's profit and overheads) and
disbursements (any out-of-pocket expenses he may have incurred in the conduct of
the case).
In civil litigation the court has a wide discretion to make an award in respect of
the costs of the case, but the general principle applied is that the loser of the case
must pay the costs of the winner (this was previously known as costsfollow the
event). The court will order on what basis the costs will be assessed. In normal
adversary litigation this is the standard basis, in which the loser pays a reasonable
Council of Legal Education
sum in respect of all costs reasonably incurred by the winning party (see also
INDEMNITY BASIS). If the court does not make an order for payment of fixed costs (i.e.
the amount allowed in respect of solicitors' charges), or fixed costs are not provided
for, the amount of costs payable will be determined by the court or by a *costs
costs draftsman   Aperson (usually a legal executive rather than a qualified
solicitor) who specializes in drawing up *bills of costs. Some work in solicitors'
firms and some in independent firms of costs specialists.
costs in anyevent An order for costs made in *interim (interlocutory)
proceedings by which the winner of the hearing in question shall be paid the costs
of that stage in the proceedings whatever the outcome of the trial. Compare COSTS IN
costs.in the case  An order for costs made in *interim (interlocutory) proceedings
by WhICh the costs of the hearing in question are payable in accordance with the
order for costs to be made at the trial. This will usually have the effect that they are
paid by the overall loser of the litigation. Compare COSTS IN ANY EVENT.
costs officer The judge or officer of the court who determines the amount of
costs payable in a detailed *assessment of costs. The costs officer may be a costs
judge (an official of the Supreme Court, formerly known as a taxing master), a
district judge, or an authorized officer of a county court, a district registry, the
Principal Registry of the Family Division, or the Supreme Court Costs Office.
costs.reserved   An order for costs made in *interim (interlocutory) proceedings
by which the costs of the hearing in question are reserved for the decision of the
trial judge rather than decided by the master or district judge at the hearing itself.
costs thrown away Costs either unnecessarily incurred by a party as a result of
some procedural error committed by the other party or properly incurred but
wasted as a result of a subsequent act of the other party (e.g. by amending the claim
form or statement of case).
council housing   Residential accommodation provided for renting by local
authorities (primarily by district and London borough councils, who, as housing
authorities, have a general statutory duty to meet housing needs in their areas).
Authorities may build new properties and acquire existing ones for the purpose. The
allocation and management of housing stock is in general within their sole
discretion, but statute does impose certain priorities (e.g.towards homeless persons)
and the Housing Act 1980 (now repealed) gave their tenants a measure of security of
tenure. There are also financial restraints, such as restrictions on the proportion of
capital receipts available for house building, imposed by central government. Certain
tenants of council housing have the right to purchase the freehold of a council
house or a long lease of a council flat at a discount. The Housing Act 1988
mtroduced measures under which council housing can be transferred to the private
rented sector if tenants so desire.
councillor n. (in local government) See LOCAL AUTHORITY.
Council of Europe  A European organization for cooperation in various areas
between most European (not just ED)states. The assembly of the Council of Europe
elects the Judges of the European Court of Human Rights.
Council of Legal Education  Abody established by the four *lnns of Court to
supervise the education and examination of students for the Bar of England and
Council of the European Union
Wales. It administered the Inns of Court School of Law in Gray's Inn. In 1997the
Inns of Court and BarEducational Trustwas founded and took over responsibility
of the Council.
Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers)  The organof the EU
that is primarily concerned with the formulation of policy and (in conjunction with
the *European Commission and *European Parliament) the adoption of
*Community legislation. The Council consists of one member of government of each
of the member states of the Community (normally its foreign minister, but other
ministers may attend instead for the consideration of specialized topics), and its
presidency is held by each state in turn for periods of six months. The Council is
serviced by a Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER). This consists of
senior civil servants of each state and its primary function is to clarify national
attitudes for the assistance of the Council in reaching its decisions. It also disposes
on behalf of the Council of matters that are not controversial. Decisions of the
Council are taken by a unanimous vote (see alsoVETO) or, in most cases, by qualified
majority voting. Each member state has anumber of votes approximately
proportional to the size of its population, with a total of 87 votes; in qualified
majority voting a Commission proposal requires 62 votes to be passed. Compare
Council of the Inns of Court Abody, comprising representatives of the four
*Inns of Court, the *Bar Council, and the Inns of Court and Bar Educational Trust
(see COUNCIL OF LEGAL EDUCATION), that coordinates the work of the three
organizations represented. When the Council of the Inns of Court and Bar Council
disagree, the latter's policy is implemented if it has the support of two-thirds of the
Council on Tribunals  Abody appointed under the Tribunals and Inquiries Act
1971to report on the functioning and advise on the procedure of the more
important administrative tribunals. Appointment is by the Lord Chancellor and Lord
Advocate, who may refer any matter concerning any tribunal for a special Council
council tax  Aform of local tax levied on all private households (with some
exceptions) to contribute to the cost of local government. It was introduced by the
Local Government Finance Act 1992 and took effect from April 1993,replacing the
*community charge. The tax is based on the capital value of the dwelling owned or
rented by the occupiers. Each dwelling is assessed to see which of eight bands (Ato
H) it falls within. For example, dwellings worth not more than £40,000 are placed in
band A, dwellings worth between £68,000 and £88,000 in band D, and dwellings
worth more than £320,000 in band H. Ahousehold living in a dwelling in band A
will pay two-thirds of the amount paid by those living in a dwelling in band D, and
one-third of the amount paid by those living in a dwelling in band H. The amount
of the charge is set by the local council. In general, all the residents of a dwelling
are jointly liable to pay the tax.
The amount payable can be reduced by discounts (e.g. there is a 25% discount
where only one adult occupies the property), benefits for those on low incomes, and
reductions for disabilities where homes are adapted for disabled persons.
counsel n.  Abarrister, barristers collectively, or anyone advising and representing
Counsellors of State  Persons appointed under the Regency Acts 1937to 1953 to
exercise royal functions while the sovereign is ill (but not totally incapacitated, in
which case the functions pass to a *regent) or temporarily absent from the UK. They
are appointed by the sovereign by letters patent, which must specify the functions
delegated to them. These must not include the function of dissolving Parliament,
except on the sovereign's express instructions, or that of creating new peers. The
persons to be appointed are the sovereign's spouse, the four next in line to the
throne (omitting anyone not qualified to be Regent or intending to be abroad
during the period of delegation), and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
count n. See INDICTMENT.
counterclaim n. A cross-claim brought by a defendant in civil proceedings that
asserts an independent cause of action but is not also a defence to the claim made in
the action by the claimant. A counterclaim is an example of a *Part 20 claim, being
a claim other than one made by the claimant against the defendant. See alsoSET-OFF.
countertrade n. A form of trading in which an exporter of goods or services
undertakes to accept goods or services (rather than money) from the importer in
county n. A first-tier *local government area in England (outside Greater London)
or Wales. The Local Government Act 1972created 45 counties for England and 8 for
Wales, dividing the former into 6 metropolitan and 39 nonmetropolitan counties.
The metropolitan counties - Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne
and Wear, West Midlands, and West Yorkshire - were abolished and their functions
transferred generally to district councils by the Local Government Act 1985. The
Local Government (Wales)Act 1994reorganized local government areas in Wales; on
I April 1996all the existing counties and *districts were replaced by 11counties and
II county boroughs, each administered by a single-tier (unitary) council. In some
parts of England *unitary authorities have replaced *county councils; this has
resulted in the reorganization of certain county areas. See alsoLOCAL GOVERNMENT
county council  A *local authority whose area is a *county. A county council has
certain exclusive responsibilities (e.g.education, fire services, highways, and refuse
disposal) and shares others (e.g. recreation, town and country planning) with the
councils of the districts in its area. The *LocalGovernment Commission for England
began work in 1992on restructuring local government areas with a view to
establishing single-tier local authorities (see UNITARY AUTHORITY), which has led to the
abolition of certain county councils.
county court Any of the civil courts forming a system covering all of England
and Wales, originally set up in 1846.The area covered by each court does not
invariably correspond to the local government county boundary. Under Part 7 of the
*Civil Procedure Rules, which sets out the rules for starting cases, the county court
retains an unlimited jurisdiction for claims in contract and tort. It will hear some
appeals (see APPELLATE JURISDICTION). Each court has a *circuit judge and a *district
course of employment The scope of the work a person is employed to do. An
employer may be held responsible under the principle of *vicarious liability for his
employee's wrongful acts if they are necessarily incidental to his work, or
authorized (expressly or by implication) by the employer, or, though not in any way
authorized, are a wrongful way of doing something he was employed to do.
court n. 1. A body established by law for the administration of justice by *judges
or *magistrates. 2. A hall or building in which a court is held. 3. a. The residence of
Court for Consideration of Crown Cases Reserved
a sovereign. b. The sovereign and her (or his) family and attendants or officials of
Court for Consideration of Crown Cases Reserved  A court created by the
Crown Cases Act 1848 for considering questions of law arising out of the conviction
of a person for treason, felony, or misdemeanour and reserved by the trial judge or
justices for the consideration of the court. lts jurisdiction was exercised by the
judges of the  *High Court, at least five of whom had to sit together. The Court was
abolished in 1907 and its jurisdiction transferred to the *Court of Criminal Appeal,
which had wider powers.
court martial   A court convened within the armed forces to try offences against
*service law. It consists of a number of serving officers, who sit without a jury and
are advised on points of law by a legally qualified *judge advocate. Army and air-
force courts martial are similar. The Armed Forces Act 1996 (effective from 1 April
1997) updated the laws in this field; in particular, it reinforced the independence of
courts martial. A general court martial must consist of a president of the rank of
major/squadron leader or above and four members, at least two of whom must be
of the rank of captain/flight lieutenant or above. Up to two members may be
warrant officers (i.e. noncommissioned). A district court martial must consist of a
president of the rank of major/squadron leader or above and two members, at least
one of whom has held commissioned rank for at least two years. Up to one member
may be a warrant officer. A field general court martial may only be convened in
active service conditions, and may exceptionally consist of two officers. Naval courts
martial must consist of between five and nine officers of the rank of lieutenant or
above who have held commissioned rank for at least three years, although up to two
members may be warrant officers. The members of the court may not all belong to
the same ship or shore establishment. The president of a naval court martial must
be of the rank of captain or above, and when a senior officer is to be tried there are
further rules as to the court's composition. In all cases members of another branch
of the armed forces of equivalent minimum rank may serve on army, air-force, or
naval courts martial. Courts martial's findings of guilty, and their sentences, are
subject to review by the Defence Councilor any officer to whom they delegate.
Since 1951 there has been a Courts-Martial Appeal Court, which consists of the Lord
Chief Justice and other members of the Supreme Court. After first petitioning the
Defence Council for the quashing of his conviction, a convicted person may appeal
to the Court against the conviction and (from 1 April 1997) against sentence. Either
he or the Defence Council may then appeal to the House of Lords.
When a member of the armed forces is charged in the UK with conduct that is an
offence under both service law and the ordinary criminal law the trial must in
certain serious cases (e.g. treason, murder, manslaughter, and rape) be held by the
ordinary criminal courts (and is in practice frequently held by them in other cases).
Provision exists to ensure that a person cannot be tried twice for the same offence.
Court of Appeal   A court created by the Judicature Acts 1873-75, forming part of
the *Supreme Court of Judicature. The Court exercises *appellate jurisdiction over
all judgments and orders of the High Court and most determinations of judges of
the county courts. In some cases the Court of Appeal is the *court of last resort, but
in most cases its decisions can be appealed to the *House of Lords, with permission
of the Court of Appeal or the House of Lords. The Court is divided into a Civil
Division (presided over by the *Master of the Rolls)and a Criminal Division
(presided over by the *Lord Chief Justice). The ordinary judges of the Court are the
Court of Justice of the European Communities
*Lords Justices of Appeal, but other specific office holders and High Court judges
may, by invitation, also sit in the Court.
Court of Arches  The ecclesiastical court of appeal from the consistory court (see
ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS), which has the jurisdiction of the former provincial Court of
Archbishop of Canterbury. The judge of the court, the Dean of Arches, hears
appeals from bishops or their chancellors, deans and chapters, and archdeacons. The
court's name is derived from its original location, the church of St Mary-le-Bow,
whose steeple was erected upon arches.
Court of Chancery The original court of *equity, presided over by the *Lord
Chancellor. By the Judicature Acts 1873-75 its jurisdiction was merged into that of
the High Court, of which it became the *Chancery Division.
Court of Chivalry An ancient feudal court having jurisdiction over questions
relating to armorial bearings and questions of precedence. It is not a *court of
Court of Common Pleas  One of the three courts of *common law into which
the curia regis was divided (the others being the *Court of Queen's Bench and the
"Court of Exchequer) whose jurisdiction was merged into that of the High Court by
the Judicature Acts 1873-75. It became the Common Pleas Division, which in 1880
was merged into the *Queen's Bench Division.
Court of Criminal Appeal A court created by the Criminal Appeal Act 1907 to
take over the jurisdiction formerly exercised by the *Court for Consideration of
Crown Cases Reserved. lts powers were greatly extended, particularly in considering
questions of fact as well as law, but it was abolished by the Criminal Appeal Act 1966
and its jurisdiction transferred to that of the *Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).
Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved A court created by the Ecclesiastical
Jurisdiction Measure 1963 and having both original and appellate jurisdiction
covering the provinces of Canterbury and York. lts original jurisdiction is to hear
and determine proceedings in which a person in Holy Orders is charged with an
offence against ecclesiastical law involving matters of doctrine, ritual, or ceremonial
and all suits of *duplex querela. lts appellate jurisdiction is in respect of appeals from
decisions of consistory courts involving matters of doctrine, ritual, or ceremonial.
The court comprises five judges and three diocesan or ex-diocesan bishops. See also
Court of Exchequer One of the three courts of *common law into which the
curia regis was divided (the others being the *Court of Queen's Bench and the
*Court of Common Pleas) whose jurisdiction was merged into that of the High
Court by the Judicature Acts 1873-75. It became the Exchequer Division, which in
1880 merged into the *Queen's Bench Division. The judges of the Exchequer were
known as Barons.
court of first instance  1. A court in which any proceedings are initiated.
2. Loosely,a court in which a case is tried, as opposed to any court in which it may
be heard on appeal.
Court of First Instance The first court of appeal from decisions of the European
Commission. Established under powers conferred by the *Single European Act 1986,
it started to operate at the end of October 1989. Appeals from the court are to the
"European Court of Justice.
Court of Justice of the European Communities See EUROPEAN COURT OF
court of last resort
court of last resort A court from which no appeal (or no further appeal) lies. In
English law the *House of Lords is usually the court of last resort (although some
cases may be referred to the *European Court of Justice). However, in some cases
the *Court of Appeal is by statute the court of last resort.
Court of Probate A court created in 1857 to take over the jurisdiction formerly
exercised by the ecclesiastical courts in relation to the granting of probate and
letters of administration. By the Judicature Acts 1873-75 the jurisdiction of the
court was transferred to the *Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High
Court of Protection A court that administers the property and affairs of persons
of unsound mind, formerly called the Management and Administration
Department. The head of the court is called the Master.
Court of Queen's Bench  Until 1875, one of the three courts of *common law
into which the curia regiswas divided (the others being the *Court of Common Pleas
and the *Court of Exchequer). Its principal functions were the trial of civil actions
in contract and tort and the exercise of supervisory powers over inferior courts. By
the Judicature Acts 1873-75 its jurisdiction was transferred to the *Queen's Bench
Division of the High Court. When the sovereign was a king, it was known as the
Court of King's Bench.
court of record  A court whose acts and judicial proceedings are permanently
maintained and recorded. In modern practice the principal significance of such
courts is that they have the power to punish for *contempt of court. See also
Court of Session  A Scottish court corresponding to the *Supreme Court of
Judicature in England and Wales. It consists of an Outer House (corresponding to the
*High Court) and an Inner House (corresponding to the *Court of Appeal).
court of summary jurisdiction See MAGISTRATES' COURT.
court order See ORDER.
covenant running with the land  1. A *restrictive covenant affecting freehold
land and binding or benefiting third parties who acquire the land. A restrictive
covenant runs with the land of the covenantee if it is intended to benefit, and is
capable of benefiting, land owned by the covenantor (the *dominant tenement). A
covenant created before 1926 will bind a purchaser for value of the legal estate in
the *servient tenement if he has notice of it; a covenant created after 1925 will not
bind a purchaser of the legal estate for money or money's worth unless it is
registered (see REGISTRATION OF ENCUMBRANCES). A positive covenant (i.e. an obligation
to perform an act) does not run with the land. 2. In a lease, a covenant, either
restrictive or positive, that "touches and concerns" the land, i.e. one that affects the
nature, value, or enjoyment of the land, and will bind successors in title of the
landlord and the tenant provided there is *privity of estate between them.
covenant to repair A clause contained in most *Ieases that sets out each party's
obligations to carry out repairs. The standard of repair depends on the terms of the
covenant and the kind of property. The general rule is that the property must be
maintained in the condition that a reasonable tenant of that property would expect.
The person carrying out the repairs must, so far as possible, restore the property to
the condition it was in before the damage occurred. In the case of a block of flats or
offices, the landlord is often responsible for external, and the tenant for internal,
repairs. When one party alone is responsible for repairs, this is more likely to be the
landlord in the case of a short lease and the tenant in the case of a longer lease. A
landlord is liable by statute to repair the structure and exterior and the appliances
for heating and sanitation in a dwelling house let for less than seven years.
If the tenant does not fulfil his repairing obligations the landlord's remedies are
*forfeiture or suing the tenant for damages. If the landlord is in breach of
covenant, the tenant's remedies are as follows: he can sue for damages equal to the
difference between the value of the property as it is and the value it should have if
repaired; he can sue for *specific performance, a court order to compel the landlord
to carry out his obligations; or, if he is sure that the landlord is in breach of
covenant and he has told the landlord about the breach, he can carry out the repairs
himself and recover the cost from future rent.
coverture n. The status of a woman duri.ng, and arising out of, marriage. At
common law a wife "lost" her own personality, which became incorporated into that
of her husband, and could only act under his protection and "cover". Married women
no longer suffer disabilities as a result of coverture. See alsoUNITY OF PERSONALITY.
credit n. 1. The agreed deferment of payment of a debt. Under the Consumer
Credit Act 1974,credit also includes any other form of financial accommodation,
including a cash loan. It does not include the charge for credit but does include the
total price of goods hired to an individual under a *hire-purchase agreement less the
aggregate of the deposit and the total charge for credit. 2. (in the law of evidence)
The credibility of a witness. It must be inferred by the *trier of fact from the
witness's demeanour and the evidence in the case. A witness may be cross-examined
as to credit (i.e. impeached) by reference to his *previous convictions, bias, or any
physical or mental incapacity affecting the credibility of his evidence.
credit card   A plastic card, issued by a bank or finance organization, that enables
its holder to obtain credit when making purchases. The use of credit cards usually
involves three contracts. (1) A contract between the company issuing the credit card
and the cardholder whereby the holder can use the card to purchase goods and, in
return, promises to pay the credit company the price charged by the supplier. The
holder normally receives monthly statements from the credit company, which he
may pay in full within a certain number of days with no interest charged;
alternatively, he may make a specified minimum payment and pay a high rate of
interest on the outstanding balance. (2)A contract between the credit company and
the supplier whereby the supplier agrees to accept payment by use of the card and
the credit company agrees to pay the supplier the price of the goods supplied less a
discount. (3) A contract between the cardholder and the supplier, who agrees to
supply the goods on the basis that payment will be obtained from the credit
credit limit 1. The maximum credit allowed to a debtor. 2. (under the Consumer
Credit Act 1974) The maximum debit balance allowed on a running-account credit
agreement during any period.
creditor n. 1. One to whom a debt is owed. See alsoJUDGMENT CREDITOR; LOAN
1974) The person providing credit under a *consumer-credit agreement or the
person to whom his rights and duties under the agreement have passed by
assignment or operation of law.
creditors' committee
creditors' committee A committee that may be appointed by creditors to
supervise the trustee appointed to handle the affairs of a bankrupt. A committee
consists of between three and five creditors and their duty is to see that the
distribution of the bankrupt's assets is carried out as quickly and economically as
possible. See also BANKRUPTCY.
credit sale agreement A contract for the sale of goods under which the price is
payable by instalments but the contract is not a *conditional sale agreement, i.e.
ownership passes to the buyer. A credit sale agreement is a *consumer-credit
agreement; it is regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974if the buyer is an
individual, the credit does not exceed £25,000, and the agreement is not otherwise
crime n. An act (or sometimes a failure to act) that is deemed by statute or by the
common law to be a public wrong and is therefore punishable by the state in
criminal proceedings. Every crime consists of an *actus reusaccompanied by a
specified *mensrea (unless it is a crime of *strict liability), and the prosecution must
prove these elements of the crime beyond reasonable doubt (see BURDEN OF PROOF).
Some crimes are serious wrongs of a moral nature (e.g. murder or rape); others
interfere with the smooth running of society (e.g.parking offences). Most
*prosecutions for crime are brought by the police (although they can also be
initiated by private people); some require the consent of the *Attorney General.
Crimes are customarily divided into *indictable offences (for trial by judge and jury)
and *summary offences (for trial by magistrates); some are hybrid (see OFFENCES
TRIABLE EITHER WAY). Crimes are also divided into *arrestable offences and
nonarrestable offences. The *punishments for a crime include death (for treason),
life imprisonment (e.g. for murder), imprisonment for a specified period, suspended
sentences of imprisonment, conditional discharges, probation, binding over, and
fines; in most cases judges have discretion in deciding on the punishment (see
SENTENCE). Some crimes may also be civil wrongs (see TORT); for example, theft and
criminal damage are crimes punishable by imprisonment as well as torts for which
the victim may claim damages.
crimes against humanity See WAR CRIMES.
crimes against peace   See WAR CRIMES.
criminal conviction certificate A certificate given to those who request details
of information held about their criminal records. The certificate is obtained from
the *Criminal Records Agency, which was set up under the Police Act 1997.
criminal court A court exercising jurisdiction over criminal rather than civil
cases. In England all criminal cases must be initiated in the *magistrates' courts.
*Summary offences and some *indictable offences are also tried by magistrates'
courts; the more serious indictable offences are committed to the *Crown Court for
criminal damage The offence of intentionally or recklessly destroying or
damaging any property belonging to another without a lawful excuse. It is
punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment. There is also an aggravated offence,
punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. of damaging property
(even one's own) in such a way as to endanger someone's life, either intentionally or
recklessly. Related offences are those of threatening to destroy or damage property
and of possessing anything with the intention of destroying or damaging property
with it. See also ARSON.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme A state scheme for awarding
payments from public funds to victims who have sustained *criminal injury, on the
same basis as civil damages would be awarded (see alsoCOMPENSATION). Damage to
property is not included in the scheme. The scheme is administered by a board that
may refuse or reduce an award (1) if the claimant fails to cooperate in providing
details of the circumstances of the in jury or in assisting the police to bring the
wrongdoer to justice, or (2)because of the claimant's activities, unlawful conduct, or
conduct in connection with the injury. Dependants of persons dying after sustaining
criminal injury may also claim awards. The board may apply for a county court
order directing a convicted offender wholly or partly to reimburse the board for an
award made. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1995(in force from 1 April
1996) set out new rules for payment. See also RIOT.
criminal injury For purposes of the *Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, any
crime involving the use of violence against another person. Such crimes include
rape, assault, arson, poisoning, and criminal damage to property involving a risk of
danger to life; traffic offences other than a deliberate attempt to run the victim
down are not included. The injury sustained includes pregnancy, disease, and mental
distress attributable either to fear of immediate physical injury (even to another
person) or to being present when another person sustained physical injury.
criminal libel  See LIBEL.
Criminal Records Agency A state body that provides individuals with
information about their criminal records in the form of a *criminal conviction
certificate. The agency was set up under the Police Act 1997and comes into
operation in 1997. The Act also provides for full and enhanced checks to be
undertaken on individuals with criminal records and for the information obtained
to be passed, with their consent, to bodies registered for that purpose.
cross-appeals pl. n. Appeals by both parties to court proceedings when neither
party is satisfied with the judgment of the lower court. For example, a defendant
may appeal against a judgment finding him liable for damages, while the claimant
may appeal in the same case on the ground that the amount of damages awarded is
too low.
cross-examination n. The questioning of a *witness by a party other than the
one who called him to testify. It may be to the issue, i.e. designed to elicit
information favourable to the party on whose behalf it is conducted and to cast
doubt on the accuracy of evidence given against that party; or to credit, i.e. designed
to cast doubt upon the credibility of the witness. *Leading questions may be asked
during cross-examination. See also CREDIT.
Crown n. The office (a *corporation sole) in which supreme power in the UK is
legally vested. The person filling it at any given time is referred to as the sovereign
(a king or queen: see also QUEEN). The title to the Crown is hereditary and its descent
is governed by the Act of Settlement 1701as amended by His Majesty's Declaration
of Abdication Act 1936 (which excluded Edward VIlI and his descendants from the
line of succession). The majority of governmental powers in the UK are now
conferred by statute directly on ministers, the judiciary, and other persons and
bodies, but the sovereign retains a limited number of common law functions
(known as *royal prerogatives) that, except in exceptional circumstances, can be
exercised only in accordance with ministerial advice. In practice it is the minister.
and not the sovereign, who today carries out these common law powers and is said
to be the Crown when so doing.
Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations          130
At common law the Crown could not be sued in tort, but the Crown Proceedings
Act 1947enabled civil actions to be taken against the Crown (see CROWN PROCEEDINGS).
It is still not possible to sue the sovereign personally.
Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations Abody
operating under the Crown Agents Act 1979to provide commercial, financial, and
professional services to overseas governments, international bodies, and public
authorities. After the discovery of heavy financial losses between 1968 and 1974,the
body was restructured by the 1979Act and a tribunal of inquiry was set up to
investigate its activities during those years.
Crown Court A court created by the Courts Act 1971 to take over the jurisdiction
formerly exercised by *assizes and *quarter sessions, which were abolished by the
same Act. It is part of the *Supreme Court of Judicature. The Crown Court has an
unlimited jurisdiction over all criminal cases tried on *indictment and also acts as a
court for the hearing of appeals from *magistrates' courts. Unlike the courts it
replaced, the Crown Court is one court that can sit at any centre in England and
Wales designated by the Lord Chancellor. See alsoTHREE-TIER SYSTEM.
Crown Court rules   Rules regulating the practice and procedure of the *Crown
Court. The rules are made by the Crown Court Rule Committee under a power
conferred by the Courts Act 1971.
Crown privilege   The right of the Crown to withhold documentary evidence in
any legal proceedings on the grounds that its disclosure would injure the public
interest. It was expressly preserved by the Crown Proceedings Act 1947 (see CROWN
PROCEEDINGS). In certain limited cases, however, the courts have demanded to inspect
documents for which *privilege is claimed and rejected the claim as unwarranted.
Crown proceedings  Actions against the Crown brought under the Crown
Proceedings Act 1947. The prerogative of perfection (the King can do no wrong; see
ROYAL PREROGATIVE) originally resulted in immunity from legal proceedings, not only
of the sovereign personally but also of the Crown itself (including government
departments and all other public bodies that were agencies of the Crown). It
gradually became possible, however, to take proceedings against the Crown for
damages for breach of contract or for the recovery of property. The form of the
proceedings was a petition of right (not an ordinary action), and the procedure
governing them was eventually regulated by the Petition of Right Act 1860.The
Crown Proceedings Act 1947 replaced petitions of right by ordinary actions. It also
made the Crown liable to action for the tort of any servant or agent committed in
the course of his employment, for breach of its duties as an employer and as an
occupier of property, and for breach of any statutory duty that is binding on the
Crown. It does not affect the presumption of interpretation (see INTERPRETATION OF
STATUTES) that statutes do not bind the Crown, nor does it affect *Crown privilege.
Formerly, members of the armed forces were unable to sue the Crown in tort for
death or personal injury caused by a fellow member of the armed forces while on
duty. This right was extended to them by the Crown Proceedings (Armed Forces) Act
1987,but controversially the right was not made retrospective.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) An organization created by the Prosecution of
Offences Act 1985 to conduct the majority of criminal prosecutions. Its head is the
*Director of Public Prosecutions, who is answerable to Parliament through the
*Attorney General. The CPSis independent of the police and is organized on a
regional basis, each region having a Chief Crown Prosecutor. It also advises police
forces on matters related to criminal offences.
Crown servant Any person in the employment of the Crown (this does not
include police officers or local government employees). The Crown employs its
servants at will and can therefore dismiss them at any time. However, since 1971
statute has given civil servants the right to bring proceedings for *unfair dismissal
before employment tribunals. A civil servant can bring proceedings against the
Crown for arrears of pay but a member of the armed forces cannot. Crown servants
are subject to the Official Secrets Act 1989.Since the 1980sthe number of Crown
servants has been reduced substantially, as the government has pursued a policy of
*privatization of former public-sector functions. Some bodies have become
*executive agencies.
cruelty n. Formerly, behaviour serious enough to injure a spouse's physical or
mental health. Cruelty is no longer a basis in itself for granting a divorce or orders
in magistrates' courts.
crystallization n.  An event or a condition that is complied with, causing a floating
*charge to stop 'floating' over a company's fluctuating assets (e.g. cash, stock-in-
trade) and to fasten upon the existing assets (and value) at that time. This will occur
when a *receiver has been appointed under the terms of the charge to arrange
payment of the debt from assets subject to the charge. Alternatively, other events or
conditions may be stated under the terms of the charge when created (e.g. that the
company goes into liquidation (see WINDING-UP) or by notice to the company by the
holder of the charge. Until crystallization the company is free to deal with assets
subject to the charge as it wishes.
cum testamento annexo  See LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION.
cur. adv. vult (c.a.v.)   [Latin curiaadvisarivult, the court wishes to consider the
matter] An abbreviation in law reports indicating that the judgment of the court
was delivered not extempore at the end of the hearing but at a later date.
curfew order A community order under the Criminal Justice and Public Order
Act 1994 that requires an offender over 16 to remain at a specified place at
particular times. The maximum duration of an order is six months. The periods of
curfew must be specified; they must not be less than two hours or more than 12
curtain provisions  Provisions in the Settled Land Act 1925enabling the title of
the *tenant for life of settled land to be proved by the deed that vests the fee
simple in him. The trust instrument that declares the beneficial interests in the land
is not revealed to a purchaser: as those interests are *overreached by the sale, they
do not concern him.
custodian trustee  Atrustee who has care and custody of trust property; other
trustees (the managing trustees) are responsible for its management.
custody n. 1. Imprisonment or confinement. The current policy behind the use of
custody was established in the Criminal Justice Act 1991 and has been consolidated
by the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. There is a twin-track
approach, under which long custodial sentences will be levied on very serious crimes,
particularly those of violence, but custody may be replaced with "community
penalties" (punishment in the community, e.g. reparation in the community) for the
less serious ones. The Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 establishes a
framework for custodial sentencing that reflects this proportionality principle and
includes a policy of reducing prison for non-serious offences. To this end, Section 79
of the Act introduces a "custody threshold" that has to be surmounted before any
court can impose a custodial sentence, and section 80 imposes limits on the length
of any custodial sentence given.  2. (in family law) Formerly, the bundle of rights
and responsibilities that parents (and sometimes others) had in relation to a child.
"Custody", which featured in various statutes, has now been replaced by the concept
of *parental responsibility introduced by the Children Act 1989.
custom n.  Apractice that has been followed in a particular locality in such
circumstances that it is to be accepted as part of the law of that locality. In order to
be recognized as customary law it must be reasonable in nature and it must have
been followed continuously, and as if it were a right, since the beginning of legal
memory. Legal memory began in 1189, but proof that a practice has been followed
within living memory raises a presumption that it began before that date. Custom is
one of the four sources of *internationallaw. Its elaboration is a complex process
involving the accumulation of state practice, i.e. (1) the decisions of those who advise
the state to act in a certain manner, (2) the practices of international organizations,
(3) the decisions of international and national courts on disputed questions of
international law, and (4)the mediation of jurists who organize and evaluate the
amorphous material of state activity. One essential ingredient in transforming mere
practice into obligatory customary law is *opinio juris.
customs duty Acharge or toll payable on certain goods exported from or
imported into the UK. Customs duties are charged either in the form of an ad
valoremduty, i.e. a percentage of the value of the goods, or as a specific duty charged
according to the volume of the goods. All goods are classified in the Customs Tariff
but not all goods are subject to duty. The Commissioners of Customs and Excise
administer and collect customs duties. Membership of the EUhas required the
abolition of import duties between member states and the establishment of a
*Common External Tariff. Compare EXCISE DUTY.
cybercrime n.  Crime committed over the Internet. No specific laws exist to cover
the Internet, but such crimes might include *hacking, *defamation over the
Internet, *copyright infringement, and *fraud.
cycle track  A route over which riders of pedal cycles have a right of way. It is an
offence under the Cycle Tracks Acts 1984 to place a motor vehicle on a cycle track.
cyngor n.  The Welsh title for the council of a county or a county borough.
cy-pres doctrine   [French: cy, here; prés, near] Adoctrine that in some
circumstances enables a gift to charity that would otherwise fail to be diverted to
another related charitable purpose. If, for example, the purpose for which a
charitable gift is made cannot be achieved in exactly the way intended, or if the
funds available are more than sufficient to achieve the purpose, the court or the
Charity Commissioners may make a scheme for the funds to be applied to a
charitable purpose as close as possible to the original one. If the gift fails after it has
come into effect, cy-pres will operate automatically. If a gift fails at its inception,
the application of the doctrine will depend on a court's perception of the settlor's
intention; to apply the funds of cy-pres, a general charitable intention must be
Daily Cause List   See CAUSE LIST.
damage n. Loss or harm. Not all forms of damage give rise to a right of action; for
example, an occupier of land must put up with a reasonable amount of noise from
his neighbours (see NUISANCE), and the law generally gives no compensation to
relatives of an accident victim for grief or sorrow, except in the limited statutory
form of damages for bereavement (see FATAL ACCIDENTS). Damage for which there is
no remedy in law is known as damnum sine injuria. Conversely, a legal wrong may
not cause actual damage (injuria sine damno). If the wrong is actionable without
proof of damage (such as trespass to land) and no damage has occurred, the claimant
is entitled to nominal damages. Most torts, however, are only actionable if damage
has been caused (see NEGLIGENCE). In *Iibel and some forms of *slander, damage to
reputation is presumed.
damages pl. n. A sum of money awarded by a court as compensation for a tort or
a breach of contract. Damages are usually a *Iump-sum award (see alsoPROVISIONAL
DAMAGES). The general principle is that the claimant is entitled to full compensation
(restitutio in integrum) for his losses. Substantial damages are given when actual
damage has been caused, but nominal damages may be given for breach of
contract and for some torts (such as trespass) in which no damage has been caused,
in order to vindicate the claimant's rights. Damages may be *aggravated by the
circumstances of the wrong. In exceptional cases in tort (but never in contract)
*exemplary damages may be given to punish the defendant's wrongdoing. Damages
may be classified as unliquidated or liquidated. Liquidated damages are a sum
fixed in advance by the parties to a contract as the amount to be paid in the event
of a breach. They are recoverable provided that the sum fixed was a fair pre-
estimate of the likely consequences of a breach, but not if they were imposed as a
*penalty. Unliquidated damages are damages the amount of which is fixed by the
court, Damages may also be classified as *general and special damages.
The purpose of damages in tort is to put the claimant in the position he would
have been in if the tort had not been committed. Recovery is limited by the rules of
*remoteness of damage. The claimant must take reasonable steps to mitigate his
losses and so may be expected to undergo medical treatment for his injuries or to
seek alternative employment if his injuries prevent him from doing his former job.
Damages may also be reduced for the claimant's *contributory negligence. The
purpose of damages in contract is to put the claimant in the position he would have
been in if the contract had been performed, but, as in the case of damages in tort,
recovery is limited by rules relating to remoteness of damage. Again as in the case
of torts, the claimant is also under a duty to take all reasonable steps to mitigate his
losses and cannot claim compensation for any loss caused by his failure to do this. If,
for example, a hotel reservation is cancelled, the hotelier must make all reasonable
attempts to relet the room for the period in question or as much of it as possible.
Damages obtained as a result of a cause of action provided by the *Human Rights
Act 1998will be provided on the basis of the principles of *just satisfaction
developed by the European Court of Human Rights.
dangerous animals Animals the keeping or use of which is regulated by statute
because of their propensity to cause damage. Under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act
dangerous driving
1976, the keeping of apes, bears, crocodiles, tigers, venomous snakes, and other
potentially dangerous animals requires a local-authority licence. The Dangerous Dogs
Act 1991 made the breeding, sale, or possession of dogs belonging to a type bred for
fighting (e.g.pit bull terriers) an offence, enabled similar restrictions to be imposed
in relation to other dogs presenting a danger to the public, and made it an offence
to let a dog get dangerously out of control in a public place. The use of *guard dogs
is strictly controlled by the Guard Dogs Act 1975. See alsoCLASSIFICATION OF ANIMALS.
dangerous driving The offence of driving a motor vehicle in such a way as to
fall far below the standard that would be expected of a competent and careful driver,
or in a manner that would be considered obviously dangerous by a competent and
careful driver. This offence is defined by the Road Traffic Act 1991and has replaced
the old offence of reckless driving (defined in the Road Traffic Act 1988). The
maximum penalty is a *fine at level 5 on the standard scale or six months'
imprisonment; *disqualification is compulsory. See also CAUSING DEATH BY DANGEROUS
dangerous machinery An employer is under a duty to safeguard employees
from dangerous machinery. By the Factories Act 1961, all dangerous parts of
machinery must be securely fenced, unless they are in such a position or of such
construction that they are as safe as if they were securely fenced. The Mines and
Quarries Act 1954deals with the safety of machinery in mines and quarries, and the
EU Machinery Directive also lays down rules in this field. The Health and Safety at
Work Act 1974contains general provisions on *safety at work. See alsoDEFECTIVE
dangerous things  See RYLANDS v FLETCHER, RULE IN.
database n. An organized collection of information held on a computer. Databases
are usually protected by *copyright in the UKunder the Copyright Designs and
Patents Act 1988 and the EU directive 96j9 (implemented by the Copyright and
Rights in Databases Regulations 1997). Copyright protects the structure, order,
arrangement on the page or screen, and other features of the database in addition to
the information in the database itself.
data protection Safeguards relating to personal data, i.e. personal information
about individuals that is stored on a computer and on "relevant manual filing
systems". The principles of data protection, the responsibilities of data controllers
(formerly data users under the Data Protection Act 1984), and the rights of data
subjects are governed by the Data Protection Act 1998,which came into force on 1
March 2000.
The 1998Act extends the operation of protection beyond computer storage,
replaces the system of registration with one of notification, and demands that the
level of description by data controllers under the new Act is more general than the
detailed coding system required under the Data Protection Act 1984.Under the 1998
Act, the eight principles of data protection are:
(1) The information to be contained in personal data shall be obtained, and personal
data shall be processed, fairly and lawfully.
(2)Personal data shall be held only for specified and lawful purposes and shall not be
used or disclosed in any manner incompatible with those purposes.
(3)Personal data held for any purpose shall be relevant to that purpose and not
excessive in relation to the purpose(s) for which it is used.
(4)Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.
(5) Personal data held for any purpose shall not be kept longer than necessary for
that purpose.
day-training centre
(6)Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects.
(7) Appropriate technical and organizational measures shall be taken against
unauthorized and unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or
destruction of, or damage to, personal data.
(8) Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the
European Community area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate
level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the
processing of personal data.
Data controllers must now notify their processing of data (unless they are exempt)
with the Information Commissioner via the telephone, by requesting, completing,
and returning a notification form, or by obtaining such a form from the website
(http://www.dpr.gov.uk/notify/1.html). Notification is renewable annually; a data
controller who fails to notify his processing of data, or any changes that have been
made since notification, commits a criminal offence.
The Information Commissioner can seek information (via an information notice)
and ultimately take enforcement action (via an enforcement notice) against data
controllers for noncompliance with their full obligations under the 1998Act.
Appeals against decisions of the Information Commissioner may be made to the
Data Protection Tribunal, which comprises a chairperson and two deputies (who
are legally qualified) and lay members (representing the interests of the data
controllers and the data subjects). There are other strict liability criminal offences
under the 1998Act other than non-notification. They include (1) obtaining, disclosing
(or bringing about the disclosure), or selling (or advertising for sale) personal data,
without consent of the data controller; (2) obtaining unauthorized access to data;
(3)asking another person to obtain access to data; and (4) failing to respond to an
information andjor enforcement notice.
Data subjects have considerable rights conferred on them under the 1998Act.
They include: (1) the right to find out what information is held about them; (2)the
right to seek a court order to rectify, block, erase, and destroy personal details if
these are inaccurate, contain expressions of opinion, or are based on inaccurate data;
(3)the right to prevent processing where such processing would cause substantial
unwarranted damage or substantial distress to themselves or anyone else; (4)the
right to prevent the processing of data for direct marketing; (5) the right to
compensation from a data controller for damage or damage and distress caused by
any breach of the 1998Act; and (6) the right to prevent some decisions about data
being made solely by automated means, where those decisions are likely to
significantly affect them.
dawn raid  1. An offer by a person or persons (see CONCERT PARTY) to buy a
substantial quantity of shares in a public company at above the market value, the
offer remaining open for a very short period (usually hours). Because of the speed
required smaller shareholders may have little opportunity to avail themselves of
the offer. Rules restrict the speed at which such acquisitions can be made. See
SARS. 2. An unannounced visit by officials of the European Commission or the UK
Office of Fair Trading investigating cartels or other breaches of the competition rules
under *Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty of Rome or under the Competition Act 1998.
days of grace The three days that were added to the time of payment fixed by a
*bill of exchange not payable on demand before the Banking and Financial Dealings
Act 1971 came into force. A bill drawn on or after 16 January 1972is payable in all
cases on the last day of the time of payment fixed by the bill or, if that is a
nonbusiness day, on the succeeding business day.
day-training centre A place that provides social education and intensive
probation supervision. A court may order a person subject to a *community
rehabilitation order to attend such a centre.
death duties  Taxes formerly charged on a person's property on his death. These
have now been replaced by *inheritance tax.
death penalty  See CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.
de bene esse [Latin: of well-being] Denoting a course of action that is the best
that can be done in the present circumstances or in anticipation of a future event.
An example is obtaining a *deposition from a witness when there is a likelihood
that he will be unable to attend the court hearing.
debenture n. A document that acknowledges and contains the terms of a loan
(usually to a company). The loan may be unsecured (a naked debenture). More
usually, however, the debenture will be subject to a *charge and will contain the
terms of the charge (e.g. the right to appoint a *receiver or a *crystallization event).
Debentures may be issued to a single creditor or in a series to several creditors in
order to raise finance for a company. In the case of the latter, a trust may be
created and contained within the debenture in favour of such creditors. This enables
the company to appoint a trustee for debenture holders to ensure that the financial
activities of the company are managed in the interests of the group of creditors.
Finance raised by the issue of debentures is known as *loan capital. This is
contrasted with share *capital, the holders of which are *company members.
de bonis asportatis [Latin: of goods carried away] One form of trespass to goods
(see TRESPASS), not distinguished in modern law from other direct interferences with
the possession of goods.
de bonis non administratis [Latin: of unadministered goods] A grant of *letters
of administration of the estate of a deceased person when administration has
previously been granted to someone who has himself died before completing the
administration of the estate leaving no executor, so that the chain of executorship is
debt n. 1. A sum of money owed by one person or group to another. 2. The
obligation to pay a sum of money owed.
debt collecting   See ANCILLARY CREDIT BUSINESS.
debtor n. 1. One who owes a debt. See also JUDGMENT DEBTOR. 2. (under the
Consumer Credit Act 1974) The individual receiving credit under a *consumer-credit
agreement or the person to whom his rights and duties under the agreement have
passed by assignment or operation of law.
debtor-creditor agreement A *consumer-credit agreement regulated by the
Consumer Credit Act 1974.It may be (1) a *restricted-use credit agreement to finance
a transaction between the debtor and a supplier in which there are no arrangements
between the creditor and the supplier (e.g.when a loan is paid by the creditor direct
to a dealer who is to supply the debtor); (2)a restricted-use credit agreement to
refinance any existing indebtedness of the debtor's to the creditor or any other
person; or (3)an unrestricted-use credit agreement (e.g.a straight loan of money)
that is not made by the creditor under arrangements with a supplier in the
knowledge that the credit is to be used to finance a transaction between the debtor
and the supplier.
declaration concerning public or general rights
debtor-creditor-supplier agreement A *consumer-credit agreement regulated
by the Consumer Credit Act 1974. It may be (1) a *restricted-use credit agreement to
finance a transaction between the debtor and the creditor, which mayor may not
form part of that agreement (e.g.a purchase of goods on credit); (2)a restricted-use
credit agreement to finance a transaction between the debtor and a supplier, made
by the creditor and involving arrangements between himself and the supplier; or (3)
an unrestricted-use credit agreement that is made by the creditor under pre-existing
arrangements between himself and a supplier in the knowledge that the credit is to
be used to finance a transaction between the debtor and the supplier.
deceit n. A tort that is committed when someone knowingly or recklessly makes a
false statement of fact intending that it should be acted on by someone else and
that person does act on the false statement and thereby suffers damage. See FRAUD.
deception n. A false representation, by words or conduct, of a matter of fact
(including the existence of an intention) or law that is made deliberately or recklessly
to another person. Deception itself is not a crime, but there are six imprisonable
crimes in which deception is involved: (1) Obtaining property. (2)Obtaining an
overdraft, an insurance policy, an annuity contract, or the opportunity to earn
money (or more money) in a job or to win money by betting. These two offences are
punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment. (3)Obtaining any services (e.g. of a
driver or typist or the hiring of a car). (4)Securing the remission of all or part of an
existing liability to make payment (whether one's own or another's) with intent to
make permanent default in whole or in part. (5) Causing someone to wait for or
forego a debt owing to him. (6) Obtaining an exemption from or abatement of
liability to pay for something (e.g. obtaining free or cheap travel by falsely pretending
to be a senior citizen). It is not an offence, however, to deceive someone in any other
circumstances, provided there is no element of *forgery or *false accounting.
decisions of the EU See COMMUNITY LEGISLATION.
declaration n. 1. (in the law of evidence) An oral or written statement not made
on oath. The term is often applied to certain types of out-of-court statement that
are admissible as an exception to the rule against *hearsay evidence; for example,
*declaration against interest, *declaration concerning pedigree, *declaration
concerning public or general rights, and *declaration in course of duty. See also
STATUTORY DECLARATION. 2. A discretionary remedy involving a bare finding by the
High Court as to a person's legal status, rights, or obligations. A declaration cannot
be directly enforced, but is frequently sought both in private law (e.g.to answer a
question as to nationality or rights under a will) and in public law (e.g. to test a
claim that delegated legislation or the decision of some inferior court, tribunal, or
administrative authority is *ultra Vires). In both public and private law the applicant
must show standing, i.e. that the issue affects him directly. Compare QUASHING ORDER.
declaration against interest A *declaration by a person who has subsequently
died which he knew, when he made it, would be against his pecuniary or proprietary
interest. It may be tendered to the court as an exception to the rule against
*hearsay evidence.
declaration concerning pedigree A *declaration made by a person who has
subsequently died, or to be inferred from family conduct, concerning a disputed
pedigree of a blood relation or the spouse of a blood relation. The declaration must
have been made before the dispute in which it is tendered as evidence had arisen.
declaration concerning public or general rights A *declaration made by a
declaration in course of duty
person who has subsequently died concerning the reputed existence of a public or
general right. Public rights affect everyone (e.g.a public *right of way) while
general rights affect a class of people (e.g. a right of *common).
declaration in course of duty A *declaration by a person who has subsequently
died made while pursuing a duty to record or report his acts.
declaration of incompatibility See HUMAN RIGHTS ACT.
declaration of intention See OFFER.
declaration of trust A statement indicating that property is to be held on trust.
No specific words are necessary, as long as the intention to declare a trust is made
clear. Once a declaration of trust is made, the person intended to be trustee still
holds the property but is not entitled to hold it for his own benefit. A declaration of
a trust where the trust property is land is subject to certain formalities, detailed in
the Law of Property Act 1925 (s.53).
declaratory judgment A judgment that merely states the court's opinion on a
question of law or declares the rights of the parties, without normally including any
provision for enforcement. A claim for declaration may, however, be combined with
one for some substantive relief, such as damages.
declaratory theory The proposition that a state has capacity (and personality) in
international law as soon as it exists in fact (that is, when it becomes competent in
municipal law). This capacity is generated spontaneously from the assertion by the
community that it is a judicial entity. When socially organized, the new state is
internally legally organized, and hence competent to act in such a way as to engage
itself in international responsibility. Thus, according to this theory, *recognition
does not create any state that did not already exist. See INTERNATIONAL LEGAL
decompilation (reverse engineering) n. The process of taking computer
*software apart. Under EU directive 91/250, computer software is protected by
*copyright throughout the ED. However, a very limited right to decompilation is
given in that directive for the defined purpose of writing an interoperable program,
under certain very strict conditions. Any provision in a contract to exclude this
limited right will be void. In the UK this directive is implemented by the Copyright
(Computer Programs) Regulations 1992.
decree n. 1. A law. 2. A court order. See also DECREE ABSOLUTE; DECREE NISI.
decree absolute A decree of divorce, nullity, or presumption of death that brings
a marriage to a legal end, enabling the parties to remarry. It is usually issued six
weeks after the *decree nisi (unless there are exceptional reasons why it should be
given sooner). A list of decrees absolute is kept at the Divorce Registry and access to
it is open to the public.
decree nisi  A conditional decree of divorce, nullity, or presumption of death. For
most purposes the parties to the marriage are still married until the decree is made
absolute. During the period between decree nisi and decree absolute the Queen's
Proctor or any member of the public may intervene to prevent the decree being
made absolute and the decree may be rescinded if obtained by fraud.
deductions pl. n. (in employment law) Sums deducted from an employee's wages.
The Employment Rights Act 1996provides strict rules on what can be deducted
from wages. Permitted deductions include those for income tax, national insurance,
and pension contributions (for employees who have agreed to be part of an
deed of covenant
employer's pension scheme). Deductions are also allowed when there has been an
overpayment of wages or expenses in the past, when there has been a strike and
wages are withheld, or when there is a court order, such as an order from the Child
Support Agency or a court attachment of earnings order. There are special rules for
those in retail employment. These provide, for example, that deductions of up to
10%may be made from gross wages for cash shortages or stock deficiencies.
deed n. A written document that must make it clear on its face that it is intended
to be a deed and validly executed as a deed. Before 31 July 1990, all deeds required a
seal in order to be validly executed, but this requirement was abolished by the Law
of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989. A deed executed since that date by
an individual requires only that it must be signed by its maker in the presence of a
witness, or at the maker's direction and in the presence of two witnesses, and
delivered. Deeds executed by companies require before delivery the signature of a
director and secretary, or two directors, of the company; alternatively, if the company
has a seal, the deed may be executed by affixing the company seal. If the deed is a
contractual document, it is referred to as a specialty. A promise contained in a deed
is called a covenant and is binding even if not supported by *consideration.
Covenants may be either express or implied. A deed normally takes effect on
delivery; actual delivery constitutes handing it to the other party; constructive
delivery involved (in strict theory) touching the seal with the finger, and saying
words such as "I deliver this as my act and deed". If a deed is delivered but is not to
become operative until a future date or until some condition has been fulfilled, it is
called an escrow. The recitals of a deed are those parts that merely declare facts
and do not effect any of the substance of the transaction. They are usually inserted
to explain the reason for the transaction. The operative part of a deed is the part
that actually effects the objects of the deed, as by transferring land. The testatum
(or witnessing part) constitutes the opening words of the operative part, i.e. "Now
this deed witnesseth as follows". The premises are the words in the operative part
that describe the parties and the transaction involved. The parcelsare the words in
the premises that describe the property involved. The testimonium is the
concluding part, beginning "In witness whereof", and containing the signatures of
the parties and witnesses. The locus sigilli is the position indicated for placing the
seal. When a deed refers to itself as "these presents", "presents" means present
statements. The advantage of a deed over an ordinary contract is that the limitation
period is 12 rather than 6 years (see LIMITATION OF ACTIONS) and no *consideration is
required for the deed to be enforceable. See alsoDEED POLl..
deed of arrangement A written agreement between a debtor and his creditors,
when no *bankruptcy order has been made, arranging the debtor's affairs either for
the benefit of the creditors generally or, when the debtor is insolvent, for the
benefit of at least three of the creditors. A deed of arrangement is regulated by
statute and must be registered with the Department of Trade and Industry within
seven days. It may take a number of different forms: it may be a *composition, an
*assignment of the debtor's property to a trustee for the benefit of his creditors, or
an agreement to wind up the debtor's business in such a way as to pay his debts. The
debtor usually agrees to such an arrangement in order to avoid bankruptcy. A
similar arrangement can be agreed after a bankruptcy order is made, but this is
regulated in a different way (see VOLUNTARY ARRANGEMENT).
deed of covenant A *deed containing an undertaking to pay an agreed amount
over an agreed period. Certain tax advantages could be obtained through the use of
covenants, particularly in the case of four-year covenants in favour of charities. This
was superseded by *gift aid in April 2000.
deed of gift
deed of gift A *deed conveying property from one person (the donor) to another
(the donee) when the donee gives no *consideration in return. The donee can
enforce a deed of gift against the donor. Gifts made other than by deed are not
generally enforceable (but seePART PERFORMANCE).
deed poll  A *deed to which there is only one party; for example, one declaring a
*change of name.
deemed adj. Supposed. In the construction of some documents (particularly
statutes) an artificial construction is given to a word or phrase that ordinarily would
not be so construed, in order to clarify any doubt or as a convenient form of
drafting shorthand.
de facto  [Latin: in fact] Existing as a matter of fact rather than of right. The
government may, for example, recognize a foreign government de facto if it is
actually in control of a country even though it has no legal right to rule (see
defamation n. The *publication of a statement about a person that tends to lower
his reputation in the opinion of right-thinking members of the community or to
make them shun or avoid him. Defamation is usually in words, but pictures,
gestures, and other acts can be defamatory. In English law, a distinction is made
between defamation in permanent form (see LIBEL) and defamation not in permanent
form (see SLANDER). This distinction is not made in Scotland. The remedies in tort for
defamation are damages and injunction.
In English law, the basis of the tort is injury to reputation, so it must be proved
that the statement was communicated to someone other than the person defamed.
In Scottish law, defamation includes injury to the feelings of the person defamed as
well as injury to reputation, so an action can be brought when a statement is
communicated only to the person defamed. If the statement is not obviously
defamatory, the claimant must show that it would be understood in a defamatory
sense (see INNUENDO). It is not necessary to prove that the defendant intended to refer
to the claimant. The test is whether reasonable people would think the statement
referred to him, but the defendant may escape liability for unintentional
defamation by making an offer of amends (see APOLOGY). Other defences are
*justification, *fair comment, *absolute privilege, and *qualified privilege.
All those involved in the publication of a defamatory statement, such as printers,
publishers, and broadcasting companies, are liable and every repetition of a
defamatory statement is a fresh publication, giving rise to a new cause of action. A
mere distributor of a book, newspaper, etc., is not liable if he did not know and had
no reason to know of its defamatory contents. The Defamation Act 1996put this
defence on a statutory footing and generally speeded up procedures for defamation
litigation, but it did not change the rule that the jury and not the judge decides on
the damages in defamation cases.
default n. Failure to do something required by law, usually failure to comply with
mandatory rules of procedure. If a defendant in civil proceedings is in default (e.g.
by failing to file a defence), the claimant may obtain judgment in default. If the
claimant is in default, the defendant may apply to the court to dismiss the action.
default notice A notice that must be served on a contract breaker before taking
action in consequence of his breach. Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974a default
notice must be served on a debtor or hirer in breach of a regulated agreement
before the creditor or owner is entitled to terminate the agreement; to demand
earlier payment of any sum; to recover possession of any goods or land; to treat any
defence statement
right conferred on the debtor or hirer by the agreement as terminated, restricted,
or deferred; or to enforce any security. The notice must specify the nature of the
breach, what action (if any) is required to remedy it, and the date before which that
action is to be taken. If the breach is not capable of remedy, the notice must specify
the sum (if any) required in compensation and the date before which it is to be paid.
default summons  Formerly, a summons used to initiate all proceedings in the
county courts when the only relief claimed was the payment of money. Under the
*Civil Procedure Rules, such claims are now made by *claim forms.
defect n. 1. A fault or failing in a thing. The defect may be obvious (a patent
defect) or it may not be apparent at first (a latent defect). In a sale of goods, the
buyer usually has a legal remedy against a professional seller if the goods have a
latent defect. If there is a patent defect he usually has no such remedy if he had an
opportunity to inspect the goods before purchase. See alsoSATISFACTORY QUALITY.
2. (defect in a product) A fault in a product as defined in the Consumer Protection
Act 1987. A defect exists in products under the Act when the safety of the products
is not what people generally are entitled to expect. In determining what people are
entitled to expect, reference should be made to the way in which the goods are
marked, any warnings issued with them, and the time of supply. The Act
implements EU directive 85/374on *products liability.
defective equipment An employer's duty to provide his employees with a safe
system of work, so far as is reasonably practicable, includes the provision and
maintenance of safe tools and equipment (including materials) for the job. The
employer is liable to an employee injured by a defect in the equipment he provides,
even if the defect was due to the fault of some third party, such as the
manufacturer of the equipment. See alsoSAFETY AT WORK.
defective premises Liability for defects in the construction of buildings can
arise both at common law, in contract and tort, and by statute. In addition to any
liability they may incur for breach of contract, builders, architects, surveyors, etc.,
are liable in tort on ordinary principles for *negligence and may also be in breach of
statutory duties; for example, the duty imposed by the Defective Premises Act 1972,
in respect of work connected with the provision of a dwelling, to see that the
dwelling will be fit for habitation. A landlord who is responsible for repairs, or who
has reserved the right to enter and carry out repairs, may be liable for damage
caused by failure to repair not only to his tenants, but also to third parties who
could be expected to be affected by the defects. For the liability of occupiers of
defective products  See PRODUCTS LIABILITY.
defence n. 1. The response by a defendant to service of a claim. Once a claim form
or particulars of claim have been served on the defendant, he is under an obligation
to respond. If he does not file a defence, judgment in default will be entered against
him. Generally, a defence must be filed within 14 days of service of the claim. The
defendant may obtain an extension of a further 14 days by filing an
*acknowledgment of service. 2. In civil and criminal proceedings, an issue of law or
fact that, if determined in favour of the defendant, will relieve him of liability
wholly or in part. See alsoGENERAL DEFENCES.
defence statement A document setting out the accused's *defence in criminal
proceedings for initial hearings before trial. The Criminal Procedure and
Investigations Act 1996provides that, from 1 April 1997, the accused need not make a
defence statement at all; however, an adverse inference may be drawn from a
failure to give a statement in the *Crown Court. The statement should set out the
nature of the defence in general terms (for example, mistaken identification, alibi),
indicate the matters on which the accused takes issue with the prosecution, and set
out in respect of each matter the reason why the accused takes issue. It must not
contain any inconsistent defences and should not be different from the defence to
be put forward at trial.
defendant n. A person against whom court proceedings are brought. Compare
deferred debt In bankruptcy proceedings, a debt that by statute is not paid until
all other debts have been paid in full.
deferred sentence A *sentence imposed by a magistrates' court or the Crown
Court after a period of up to six months from conviction for the offence. The court
may postpone sentencing, if the convicted person agrees, if it wishes to assess any
change in the offender's conduct or circumstances during that time.
defrauding n. Any act that deprives someone of something that is his or to which
he might be entitled or that injures someone in relation to any proprietary right. It
is a crime (a form of *conspiracy at common law) to conspire to defraud someone.
degrading treatment or punishment Treatment that arouses in the victim a
feeling or fear, anguish, and inferiority capable of humiliating and debasing the
victim and possibly breaking his physical or moral resistance. The prohibition on
degrading treatment or punishment as set out in Article 3 of the European
Convention on Human Rights is now part of UK law as a consequence of the
*Human Rights Act 1998. This right is an *absolute right; such treatment can never
be justified as being in the public interest, no matter how great that public interest
might be. Public authorities have a limited but positive duty to protect this right
from interference by third parties.
de jure   [Latin] As a matter of legal right. See RECOGNITION. Compare DE FACTO.
del credere agent [Italian: of trust] See AGENT.
delegated legislation (subordinate legislation)  Legislation made under powers
conferred by an Act of Parliament (an enabling statute, often called the parent Act).
The bulk of delegated legislation is governmental: it consists mainly of *Orders in
Council and instruments of various names (e.g. orders, regulations, rules, directions,
and schemes) made by ministers (see alsoGOVERNMENT CIRCULARS). Its primary use is to
supplement Acts of Parliament by prescribing the detailed and technical rules
required for their operation; unlike an Act, it has the advantage that it can be made
(and later amended if necessary) without taking up parliamentary time. Delegated
legislation is also made by a variety of bodies outside central government, examples
being *byelaws, the *Rules of the Supreme Court, and the codes of conduct of
certain professional bodies (see alsoORDERS OF COUNCIL).
Most delegated legislation (byelaws are the main exception) is subject to some
degree of parliamentary control, which may take any of three principal forms: (1) a
simple requirement that it be laid before Parliament after being made (thus
ensuring that members become aware of its existence but affording them no special
method or opportunity of questioning its substance); (2)a provision that it be laid
and, for a specified period, liable to annulment by a resolution of either House
(negative resolution procedure); or (3)a provision that it be laid and either shall
not take effect until approved by resolutions of both Houses or shall cease to have
effect unless approved within a specified period (affirmative resolution procedure).
In the case of purely financial instruments, any provision for a negative or
affirmative resolution refers to the House of Commons alone. (See alsoSTATUTORY
All delegated legislation is subject to judicial control under the doctrine of *ultra
vires. Delegated legislation is interpreted in the light of the parent Act, so particular
words are presumed to be used in the same sense as in that Act. This rule apart, it is
governed by the same principles as those governing the *interpretation of statutes.
delegation n. 1. The grant of authority to a person to act on behalf of one or
more others, for agreed purposes. 2. See VICARIOUS LIABILITY.
delegatus non potest delegare [Latin] A person to whom something has been
delegated cannot delegate further, i.e. one to whom powers and duties have been
entrusted cannot entrust them to another. The rule applies particularly when the
delegate possesses some special skill in the performance of the duties delegated, or
when personal trust is involved. The rule does not apply if there is express or
implied authority to delegate. Trustees, for example, have always been entitled to
employ agents when this was necessary (for example, they can employ solicitors to
do legal work). Since 1925,a trustee may delegate any business of the trust to an
agent provided that he does so in good faith. Further, since 1971, any trustee may
delegate, for a period not exceeding one year, any trusts, powers, or discretions he
has; this delegation may be repeated.
de lege ferenda   [Latin: of (or concerning) the law that is to come into force] A
phrase used to indicate that a proposition relates to what the law ought to be or
may in the future be.
de lege lata  [Latin: of (or concerning) the law that is in force] A phrase used to
indicate that a proposition relates to the law as it is.
delivery n. The transfer of possession of property from one person to another.
Under the Sale of Goods Act 1979, a seller delivers goods to a buyer if he delivers
them physically, if he makes symbolic delivery by delivering the document of title
to them (e.g.a *bill of lading) or other means of control over them (e.g. the keys of a
warehouse in which they are stored), or if a third party who is holding them
acknowledges that he now holds them for the buyer. In constructive delivery, the
seller agrees that he holds the goods on behalf of the buyer or the buyer has
possession of the goods under a hire-purchase agreement and becomes owner on
making the final payment.
demanding with menaces See BLACKMAIL.
de minimis non curat lex [Latin] The law does not take account of trifles. It will
not, for example, award damages for a trifling nuisance. The de minimis rule applies
in a number of other areas, including EU *competition law.
demise (in land law) 1. vb. To grant a lease. 2. n. The lease itself.
demise of the Crown  The death of the sovereign. The Crown, in fact, never dies:
the accession of the new sovereign takes place at the moment of the demise, and
there is no interregnum.
demonstrative legacy See LEGACY.
demurrage n. Liquidated *damages payable under a charterparty at a specified
daily rate for any days (demurrage days) required for completing the loading or
discharging of cargo after the *lay days have expired. The word is also commonly
used to denote the unliquidated damages to which the shipowner is entitled if,
when no lay days are specified, the ship is detained for loading or unloading beyond
a reasonable time.
departure n. The introduction of a new allegation of fact or the raising of a new
ground or claim inconsistent with the party's earlier claim. Departure is not
permitted by the Civil Procedure Rules, but it does not prevent the *amendment of
documents used in litigation provided that the amended documents do not contain
any departure. The principal effect of the rule is to prevent a claimant from setting
up in his *reply a new claim that is inconsistent with the cause of action alleged in
the particulars of claim.
dependant n. A person who relies on someone else for maintenance or financial
support. On the death of the latter, the courts now have wide discretionary powers
to award financial provision to dependants out of the estate of the deceased. The list
of dependants includes not only spouses, former spouses, children, and children of
the family, but anyone (e.g. a lover, housekeeper, or servant) who was being
maintained to some extent by the deceased immediately before his death. See also
dependent relative revocation The doctrine that if a testator revokes his will
in the mistaken belief that a particular result will ensue, or that a particular set of
facts exists when it does not, then the revoked will may still hold good. For example,
if a testator destroys his will, in the mistaken belief that thereby an earlier will
would be revived, the destroyed will will be held not to have been revoked.
Similarly, a testator may revoke his will, intending to make another; the revoked
will holds good if the testator subsequently makes no new will or an invalid one.
dependent state A member of the community of states with qualified or limited
status. Such states possess no separate statehood or sovereignty: it is the parent state
alone that possesses *internationallegal personality and has the capacity to exercise
international rights and duties.
dependent territory A territory (e.g.a colony) the government of which is to
some extent the legal responsibility of the government of another territory.
deportation n. The removal from a state of a person whose initial entry into that
state was illegal (compare EXPULSION). In the UK this is authorized by the Immigration
Act 1971 as amended by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999in the case of any
person who does not have the right of abode there (see IMMIGRATION). He may be
ordered to leave the country in four circumstances: if he has overstayed or broken a
condition attached to his permission to stay; if another person to whose family he
belongs is deported; if (he being 17 or over) a court recommends deportation on his
conviction of an offence punishable with imprisonment; or if the Secretary of State
thinks his deportation to be for the public good. The Act enables appeals to be made
against deportation orders. Normally, they are either direct to the *Immigration
Appeal Tribunal or to that tribunal after a preliminary appeal to an adjudicator. The
Immigration Act 1988restricts this right of appeal in the case of those who have
failed to observe a condition or limitation on their leave to enter the UK. The
Immigration and Asylum Act 1999gives additional powers to order those present in
the UK without permission to leave, either when they have overstayed or obtained
leave to remain by deception or when they were never granted leave to remain. It
also provides for the removal of asylum claimants under standing arrangements
with other EU member states.
depose vb. To make a *deposition or other written statement on oath.
deposit n.  1. A sum paid by one party to a contract to the other party as a
guarantee that the first party will carry out the terms of the contract. The first
party will forfeit the sum in question if he does not carry out the terms, even if the
sum is in excess of the other party's loss. If the contract is completed without
dispute the deposit becomes part payment. In land law a deposit is usually made by
a purchaser when exchanging contracts (see EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS) for the purchase
of land. The contract stipulates whether the recipient (usually the vendor's solicitor
or estate agent) holds the deposit as agent for the vendor, in which case the vendor
can use the money pending *completion of the transaction, or as stakeholder, in
which case the funds must remain in the stakeholder's account until completion or
(in the case of a dispute) a court has decided who should have it. If the contract is
rescinded the purchaser is entitled to the return of his deposit.   2. The placing of
title deeds with a mortgagee of unregistered land as security for the debt. A
mortgagee not protected by deposit of title deeds (such as a second mortgagee of
unregistered land) registers his mortgage (see REGISTRATION OF ENCUMBRANCES) and is
then entitled to receive the title deeds from prior mortgagees after the redemption
of their security. All mortgages of registered land must be registered to be binding
on purchases of the land.
deposition n. A statement made on oath before a magistrate or court official by a
witness and usually recorded in writing. In criminal cases depositions are taken
during committal proceedings before the magistrates' court (see COMMITTAL FOR
TRIAL). The usual procedure is that the prosecution witnesses give their evidence on
oath and may be cross-examined by the accused or his legal advisers. The statement
is then written down by the magistrates' clerk, read out to the witness in the
presence of the accused, signed by the witness, and certified by the examining
magistrate. The accused must be present throughout and be allowed to cross-
examine. If these conditions are not fulfilled, both the committal proceedings and
the subsequent trial will be null and void. There are special arrangements for
depositions to be written down out of court if a witness is dangerously ill and
cannot come to court, and also for depositions by children. Depositions made in
committal proceedings are accepted as evidence at the trial if the witness is dead or
insane, unfit to travel because of illness, or is being kept out of the way by the
accused; they are also accepted to show a discrepancy between the deposition
evidence and evidence given later on orally at the trial.
In civil cases the court may order an examiner of the court to take depositions
from any witnesses who are (for example) ill or likely to be abroad at the time of
the hearing. At the taking of the deposition the witness is examined and cross-
examined in the usual way, and the examiner notes any objection to admissibility
that may be raised. The deposition is not admissible at the trial without the consent
of the party against whom it is given, unless the witness is still unavailable. See also
deprave vb. To make morally bad. The term is used particularly in relation to the
effect of *obscene publications. A person is considered to have been depraved if his
mind is influenced in an immoral way, even though this does not necessarily result
in any act of depravity.
derecognition n. Aprocess whereby notice is given to terminate union
recognition in an establishment or company. Employees continue to have the right
to belong to atrade union, but the employer no longer negotiates collectively: terms
and conditions previously the subject of *collective bargaining are negotiated
individually or with groups of employees unconnected with trade unions, resulting
in a personal contract. See also RECOGNITION PROCEDURE.
deregulation n. 1. The controls imposed by governments on the operation of
markets, such as is allowed for under the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act
1990. 2. A movement in the EU to reduce rules at Community level that could be
better set at national level (see SUBSIDIARITY).
derivative action  Civil proceedings brought by a minority of company members
in their own names seeking a remedy for the company in respect of a wrong done
to it. Such proceedings are exceptional; usually an action should be brought by the
company (the injured party) in its own name. A derivative action will only be
permitted when a serious wrong to the company is involved, which cannot be
ratified by an ordinary resolution of company members (e.g. an *ultra vires or illegal
act or a case of *fraud on the minority) and the majority of members will not
sanction an action in the company's name. Compare REPRESENTATIVE ACTION.
derivative deed A deed that is supplemental to another, whose scope it alters,
confirms, or extends. An example is a deed admitting a new partner to a firm on
terms set out in a principal deed executed by the original partners.
derivative title A claim of sovereignty over a territory, that territory having
previously belonged to another sovereign state. Derivation of title to territory
involves the transfer (*cession) of title from one sovereign state to another.
derivative trust See SUB-TRUST.
derogation n. Lessening or restriction of the authority, strength, or power of a
law, right, or obligation. Specifically: 1. (in the European Convention on Human
Rights) A provision that enables a signatory state to avoid the obligations of some
but not all of the substantive provisions of the rest of the Convention. This
procedure is provided by Article 15 of the Convention and is available in time of
war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation. Although Article
15 is not brought into domestic law by the *Human Rights Act 1998,the Act
exempts public authorities from compliance from any articles (or parts of articles)
where a derogation is in place. 2. (in EU law) An exemption clause that permits a
member state of the EU to avoid a certain directive or regulation. Sometimes
member states are allowed a longer than normal time to implement an EU
desertion n. 1. The failure by a husband or wife to cohabit with his or her spouse.
Desertion usually takes the form of physically leaving the home, but this is not
essential: there may be desertion although both parties live under the same roof, if
all elements of a shared life (e.g.sexual intercourse, eating meals together) have
ceased. Desertion must be a unilateral act carried out against the wishes of the other
spouse, with the intention of bringing married life to an end (animus deserendi). If it
is continuous for more than two years, it may be evidence that the marriage has
irretrievably broken down and entitle the deserted spouse to a decree of *divorce.
See also CONSTRUCTIVE DESERTION. 2. An offence against service law committed by a
member of the armed forces who leaves or fails to attend at his unit, ship, or place
of duty. He must either intend at the time to remain permanently absent from duty
without lawful authority or subsequently form that intention. One who absents
himself without leave to avoid service overseas or service before the enemy is also
guilty of desertion.
design right Legal protection for the external appearance of an article, including
determinable interest
its shape, configuration, pattern, or ornament. A design right is distinct from a
*patent, which protects the internal workings of the article. The right entitles the
owner to prevent others making articles to the same design. Design rights in the UK
are either registered (see REGISTERED DESIGN) or unregistered. Registered designs must
have aesthetic appeal; they are protected under the Registered Designs Act 1949 as
amended and last for a maximum of 25 years provided renewal fees are paid.
Unregistered designs, which came into existence in 1989, are protected under the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Unregistered design protection is for only
15 years. Design protection is not available for parts of articles that simply provide a
fit or match to another article, such as a car-body panel.
detention n. Depriving a person of his liberty against his will following *arrest.
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 closely regulates police powers of
detention and detained persons' rights. Detention of adults without charge is
allowed only when it is necessary to secure or preserve evidence or to obtain it by
questioning; it should only continue beyond 24 hours (to 36 hours) in respect of
serious arrestable offences (e.g. rape, kidnapping, causing death by dangerous
driving) when a superintendant or more senior officer reasonably believes it to be
necessary. Magistrates' courts may then authorize a further extension without
charge for up to 36 hours, which can be extended for another 36 hours, but the
overall detention period cannot exceed 96 hours.
If the ground for detention ceases, or if further detention is not authorized, the
detainee must either be released or be charged and either released on *bail to
appear before a court or taken before the next available court. An arrested person
held in custody may have one person told of this as soon as practicable, though if a
serious arrestable offence is involved and a senior police officer reasonably believes
that this would interfere with the investigation, this can be delayed for up to 36
hours. The detainee has a broadly similar right of access to a solicitor. *Terrorism
suspects may be detained for up to seven days on a magistrate's authority.
detention in a young offender institution A custodial sentence that may be
passed on a person aged 15 or over but under 21 (see JUVENILE OFFENDER). It combines
the former detention centre orders (against male offenders aged 14 to 20) and
youth custody sentences (for males and females aged 15 to 20). The offence must be
so serious, by itself or with another offence, that detention is the only justifiable
outcome; alternatively it must be a violent or sexual offence and detention in such
an institution is the only way of protecting the public from further injury or death.
The court may consider *mitigation and impose a noncustodial sentence.
The minimum detention period is 21days and the maximum period is 24 months.
Other custodial sentences include custody for life and secure training orders.
determinable interest An interest that will automatically come to an end on
the occurrence of some specified event (which, however, may never happen). For
example, if A conveys land to B until he marries, Bhas a determinable interest that
would pass back to A upon his marriage. But if B dies a bachelor the *possibility of a
reverter to A is destroyed and B's heirs acquire an absolute interest. An interest that
must end at some future point (e.g. a *life interest) is not classified as a
determinable interest, but one that could end during a person's life (for example a
*protective trust) is so classified. A determinable legal estate in land prior to 1925
was known as a determinable fee, but under the Law of Property Act 1925it can
now exist only as an equitable interest. It is exceptionally difficult to distinguish
between a determinable interest and a *conditional interest. Compare CONTINGENT
deterrence n. See PUNISHMENT.
detinue n. An action to recover goods, based on a wrongful refusal by the
possessor of the goods to restore them to the owner. The old common law form of
action was abolished by the Judicature Acts 1873-75 and detinue was abolished
altogether by the Torts (Interference with Goods)Act 1977. Recovery of goods is now
governed by the provisions of the 1977Act.
devastavit n. [Latin: he has wasted] The failure of a personal representative to
administer a deceased person's estate promptly and in a proper manner. For
example, if he pays in full a legacy subject to the possibility of *abatement he is
personally liable for the loss suffered by other beneficiaries and caused by his
devastavit. He may also be liable if, for example, he disposes of an asset in the estate
at an undervalue, even if acting in good faith.
development n. (in *town and country planning) Generally, the carrying out of
any building or other operation affecting land and the making of any material
change in the use of any buildings or land. Development does not include alterations
to buildings not materially affecting their external appearance or changes of use
that fall within certain use classes prescribed by statutory instrument. For
example, office use is a use class and a mere change in the type of office business is
not development. All development requires planning permission, other than
"permitted development" under a general development order. The demolition of
houses to provide car parking and a landscaped area is not development.
development land (community land) Under the Community Land Act 1975, land
classified by a local authority as needed for commercial development and required
to be brought first into public ownership, thus effectively nationalizing its
development value. This Act was repealed by the Local Government, Planning and
Land Act 1980.
development land tax A tax charged on the development value of land when
the land was disposed of before 19 March 1985. It was abolished for all disposals after
that date by the Finance Act 1985.
development plan  See TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING.
deviation n. (in marine insurance) The departure of a ship from an agreed course.
A ship must follow the course specified in a voyage or mixed insurance policy (see
TIME POLICY); if no course is specified, the ship must follow the usual course for the
voyage. Deviation discharges the underwriters from all liability for subsequent loss
(even though it may not increase the risk) unless it is caused by circumstances
beyond control or is justified on certain very limited grounds (e.g. to ensure the
safety of the ship or to save human life, but not merely to save property).
Unreasonable delay may also amount to deviation. Insurance cover does not revive
when the ship rejoins the original course. Between the parties to a voyage charter,
the possibility of deviation is normally the subject of an express deviation clause in
the *charterparty. For goods carried under a *bill of lading, permitted deviation is
dealt with by the Hague Rules.
devil   1. n. A junior member of the Bar who does work (usually settling statements
of case or writing opinions) for a more senior barrister under an informal
arrangement between them and without reference to the senior's instructing
diplomatic immunity
solicitor. The Junior Counsel to the Treasury is sometimes referred to as the
Attorney General's devil. 2. vb. To act as a devil.
devise  1. n. A gift by will of *real property (compare BEQUEST; LEGACY); the
beneficiary is called the devisee.A devise may be specific(e.g. "my house, Blackacre,
to A"), general (e.g."all my real property to B"), or residuary (e.g. after a specific
devise "...and the rest of my real property to C"). 2. vb. To dispose of real property by
devolution n. 1. The delegation by the central government to a regional authority
of legislative or executive functions (or both) relating to domestic issues within the
region. The word is most commonly used in the context of such functions in Scotland,
Wales, and Northern Ireland. For example, the Scotland Act 1998 devolved power to
the *Scottish Parliament, enabling it to make certain Acts in some areas of policy
and to alter income tax. However, the UK parliament reserved power to make laws
for Scotland. The Government of Wales Act 1998 gave limited administrative powers
to the *Welsh Assembly with the UK parliament continuing to legislate for Wales.
The Northern Ireland Act 1998established an elected *Northern Ireland Assembly but
made devolution of power to the Assembly conditional on the decommissioning of
arms by paramilitary groups. The Northern Ireland Act 2000 enables power to revert
to the UK parliament upon failure to decommission arms, suspending the Northern
Ireland Assembly until the Secretary of State makes a restoration order.  2. The
passing of property from one owner to another, which may occur on death or sale,
as a gift, by operation of law, or in any other way.
dictum n. [Latin: a saying] An observation by a judge with respect to a point of law
arising in a case before him. See alsoOBITER DICTUM.
digital signature Data appended to a unit of data held on a computer, or a
cryptographic transformation of a data unit, that allows the recipient of the data
unit to prove its source and integrity and protects against forgery. The International
Standards Organization defined this means of identification and protection. An
*electronic signature, as defined by the Electronic Communications Act 2000,has a
similar effect in relation to a commercial agreement.
dilapidation n. A state of disrepair. The term is usually used in relation to repairs
required at the end of a lease or tenancy.
diminished responsibility An abnormal state of mind that does not constitute
*insanity but is a special defence to a charge of murder. The abnormality of mind
(which need not be a brain disease) must substantially impair the mental
responsibility of the accused for his acts, i.e. it must reduce his powers of control,
judgment, or reasoning to a condition that would be considered abnormal by the
ordinary man. It may be caused by disease, injury, or mental subnormality, and is
liberally interpreted to cover such conditions as depression or *irresistible impulse.
If the defendant proves the defence, he is convicted of *manslaughter. See also
diplomatic agent One of a class of state officials who are entrusted with the
responsibility for representing their state and its interests and welfare and that of
its citizens or subjects in the jurisdiction of another state or in international
organizations. Diplomatic agents can be generally classified into two groups: (1) heads
of mission and (2) members of the staff of the mission having diplomatic rank. See
diplomatic immunity The freedom from legal proceedings in the UK that is
diplomatic mission
granted to members of diplomatic missions of foreign states by the Diplomatic
Privileges Act 1964. This Act incorporates some of the provisions of the Vienna
Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), which governs diplomatic immunity in
international law. The extent of the immunity depends upon the status of the
member in question, as certified by the Secretary of State. If he is a member of the
mission's diplomatic staff, he is entitled to complete criminal immunity and to civil
immunity except for actions relating to certain private activities. A member of the
administrative or technical staff has full criminal immunity, but his civil immunity
relates only to acts performed in the course of his official duties. For domestic staff,
both criminal and civil immunity are restricted to official duties.
Similar immunities are granted to members of Commonwealth missions by the
Diplomatic and other Privileges Act 1971, and to members of certain international
bodies under the International Organisations Acts 1968 and 1981. Under the
Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, the Secretary of State may remove
diplomatic status from diplomatic or consular premises that are being misused.
diplomatic mission  Abody composed of government officers representing the
interests and welfare of their state who have been posted abroad (by the sending
state) and operate within the jurisdisdiction of another state (the receiving state).
This mission will be accorded protection by the receiving state in accordance with
the rules of *diplomatic immunity. See also DIPLOMATIC AGENT.
direct effect   (in EUlaw) See COMMUNITY LEGISLATION.
direct evidence (original evidence) 1. A statement made by a witness in court
offered as proof of the truth of any fact stated by him. Compare HEARSAY
EVIDENCE.  2. A statement of a witness that he perceived a fact in issue with one of
his five senses or that he was in a particular physical or mental state. Compare
direct examination   See EXAMINATION-IN-CHIEF.
direction to jury The duty of a judge to instruct a jury on a point of law (e.g. the
definition of the crime charged or the nature and scope of possible defences).
Failure to carry out this instruction correctly may be grounds for an appeal if a
miscarriage of justice is likely to have occurred as a result of the misdirection.
directives of the EU  See COMMUNITY LEGISLATION.
Direct Labour Organization  A local government division, staffed by local
government employees, that submits bids for services in competition with private-
sector companies when these services are put out to compulsory *competitive
directly applicable law Any provision of the law of the European Community
that forms part of the national law of a member state. See COMMUNITY LAW;
director n. An officer of a company appointed by or under the provisions of the
*articles of association. Directors may have a contract of employment with the
company (service directorsand *managing directors) or merely attend board
meetings (nonexecutive directors). (See also SHADOW DIRECTOR.) Contracts of
employment can be inspected by company members; long-term contracts may
require approval by ordinary resolution. Usually, general management powers are
vested in the directors acting collectively, although they may delegate some or all of
these powers to the managing director. Directors act as agents of their company, to
disabled person's tax credit
which they owe *fiduciary duties (in the performance of which they must consider
the interests of both company members and employees) and a *duty of care.
Transactions involving a conflict between their duty and their personal interests are
regulated by the Companies Acts. Directors can be dismissed by *ordinary resolution
despite the terms of the articles or any contract of employment, but dismissal in
these circumstances is subject to the payment of damages for breach of contract.
Under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986,directors may be
disqualified for *fraudulent trading or *wrongful trading and conduct that makes
them unfit to be concerned in the management of companies.
Remuneration of directors for their services may be due under a contract of
employment or determined by the general meeting. Particulars appear in the
Director General of Fair Trading The head of the Office of Fair Trading, who is
appointed for a five-year term by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. He
is responsible for reviewing the carrying on of commercial activities in the UK
relating to the supply of goods or services supplied to consumers in the UK and for
identifying situations relating to *monopolies and *anticompetitive practices.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)  The head of the *Crown Prosecution
Service (CPS), who must be a lawyer of at least ten years' general qualification. The
DPPis appointed by the *Attorney General and discharges his functions under the
superintendence of the Attorney General. The DPP,through the CPS, is responsible
for the conduct of all criminal prosecutions instituted by the police and he may
intervene in any criminal proceedings when it appears to him to be appropriate.
Some statutes require the consent of the DPPto prosecution.
disability discrimination See DISABLED PERSON.
disability living allowance A tax-free benefit payable to those under 65 who
have had a disability requiring help for at least three months and are likely to need
such help for at least a further six months. It has two components; a care
component, payable at three rates to those needing help with personal care; and a
mobility component, payable at two rates to those aged five or over who need help
with walking. The rates depend on the level of help required.
disabled person  Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, a person who has a
physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on his
abilities to carry out day-to-dayactivities. The Act makes it an offence to discriminate
unjustifiably against anyone who is disabled. Discrimination occurs when a disabled
employee (or interviewee) is treated less favourably by an employer (or potential
employer) than someone without a disability, unless the employer can show that the
difference in treatment is justified. Thus it is illegal for employers to refuse to
employ someone qualified to do a job, simply because that person has, or has had, a
physical or mental disability. In addition, employers have a duty to make alterations
to premises to aid disabled employees. However, the law does not apply to employers
with fewer than 15 employees (i.e. after all staff at all branches are aggregated).
On 5 March 2001the government announced plans for significant changes to the
Disability Discrimination Act. These include removal in 2004 of the small employers'
exemption. The shape of any future proposal will be influenced by the need of the
British government to comply with the recently issued ECFramework Directive
2000/78, which seeks to implement the extended role of the European Union with
respect to the elimination of discrimination.
disabled person's tax credit An income-related benefit that, under the Tax
disablement benefit
Credits Act 1999, replaced disability working allowance in October 1999.
Administered by the Inland Revenue rather than the Benefits Agency, it is payable
to those aged 16 or over who are working 16 or more hours a week, who have a
disability that puts them at a disadvantage in obtaining employment, and whose
income does not exceed an amount prescribed under statute.
disabling statute A statute that disqualifies a person or persons of a specified
class from exercising a legal right or freedom that he or they would otherwise
disbar vb.  To expel a barrister from his Inn of Court. The sentence of disbarment
is pronounced by the *Benchers of the barrister's Inn, subject to a right of appeal to
the judges who act as visitors of all the Inns of Court.
discharge n. Release from an obligation, debt, or liability, particularly the
following. 1. *Discharge of contract. 2. The release of a debtor from all *provable
debts (with minor exceptions) at the end of *bankruptcy proceedings. In certain
circumstances discharge is automatic. In other cases, the debtor or the official
receiver may apply to the court for an order of discharge. This may be subject to
conditions, such as further payments by the debtor to his creditors out of his future
income, or it may be suspended until the creditors receive a higher proportion of
the amount due to them. After discharge the debtor is freed from most of the
disabilities to which he was subject as an *undischarged bankrupt. 3. The release of
a convicted defendant without imposing a punishment on him. A discharge may be
absolute or conditional. In an absolute discharge the defendant is not punished for
the offence. His conviction may, however, be accompanied by a *compensation order
or by *endorsement of his driving licence or *disqualification from driving. A
conditional discharge also releases the defendant without punishment, provided
that he is not convicted of any other offence within a specified period (usually three
years). If he is convicted within that time, the court may sentence him for the
original offence as well. Three conditions are required for the court to order a
discharge: (1) that a community rehabilitation order is not appropriate; (2)that the
punishment for the offence must not be fixed by law; and (3) that the court thinks
it inadvisable to punish the defendant in the circumstances.
discharge of contract The termination of a contractual obligation. Discharge
may take place by: (1) *performance of contract; (2)express agreement, which may
involve either *bilateral discharge or unilateral discharge (see ACCORD AND
SATISFACTION); (3) *breach of contract; or (4) *frustration of contract.
disclaimer n. The refusal or renunciation of a right, claim, or property. A
beneficiary under a will that leaves him both a burdensome and a beneficial gift
(e.g.a racehorse that never wins and £50) may disclaim the former and take the
latter. A company's liquidator may disclaim the company's lease, to avoid liability for
the rent and other "onerous" contracts. A trustee may disclaim a trust if he has not
yet accepted it; once he has accepted his trusteeship he may no longer disclaim it
but he may resign (see RETIREMENT OF TRUSTEES). Trusts and powers are normally
disclaimed by deed.
disclosure n. 1. (in contract law) See NONDISCLOSURE; UBERRIMAE FIDEI.  2. (in company
law) a. A method of protecting investors that relies on the company disclosing and
publishing information, which is then evaluated by the investors, their advisers, and
the press. See also STOCK EXCHANGE. b. A method of regulating the conduct of
directors and promoters by requiring them, on *fiduciary principles or by statutory
disclosure of information
provisions, to disclose to the company any relevant information, e.g. an interest in a
contract with the company.
disclosure and inspection of documents (in court proceedings) Disclosure by
a party to civil litigation of the *documents in his possession, custody, or power
relating to matters in question in the action and their subsequent inspection by the
opposing party; before the introduction of the *Civil Procedure Rules in 1999, this
procedure was called discovery and inspection of documents. For the purposes of
disclosure, documents extend beyond paper to include anything upon which
information is capable of being recorded and retrieved (e.g.tapes, computer disks). In
*small claims track proceedings, the initial disclosure is by a list of documents that
the party intends to rely upon. In *fast track and *multi-track proceedings, the lists
must include all documents, both those that support the party making the list and
those adversely affecting that party, which they would prefer not to disclose.
Directions for disclosure generally take place at the *allocation stage or the *case
management conference and, unless the court directs or the parties agree otherwise,
there will normally be a direction for standard disclosure. This involves a
reasonable search by the parties to disclose documents on which that party intends
to rely, documents that may be adverse to their own case or another party's case,
documents that support another party's case, and documents that are required to be
disclosed by any relevant *Practice Direction. Some documents, although they must
be disclosed in the list, may be privileged and thus exempted from the subsequent
requirement to produce them for inspection (see PRIVILEGE). Once a party has served a
list of documents, the other party, together with any co-defendants, must be allowed
to inspect the (nonprivileged) documents referred to in the list within seven days of
serving on the first party a written notice requesting inspection. If copies are
needed, a further written notice must be served, with an undertaking to meet
reasonable copying charges. In the absence of disclosure and/or inspection, the court
has power to direct that general or specific disclosure and/or inspection be made.
disclosure of information 1. (in employment law) The communication by an
employer to employees and their trade-union representatives of information
relevant to *collective bargaining, proposed *redundancies, and the preservation of
employees' health and *safety at work. Under the Trade Union and Labour Relations
(Consolidation) Act 1992,employers must disclose the following information to the
representatives of a recognized *independent trade union. (1) Information that is
essential for the maintenance of good industrial relations or for the formulation of
wage and related demands. The duty to disclose this information only arises if the
union requests the information. When disclosure would damage national security or
harm the business (apart from its effect on collective bargaining), or the
information is sub judiceor relevant only to particular individuals, disclosure need
not be given. Guidelines on disclosure are published by *ACAS (see also CODE OF
PRACTICE). When an employer refuses to disclose essential information, the *Central
Arbitration Committee is empowered on the application of the trade union to make
awards of wages and conditions that are ultimately enforceable in the courts. (2)
Details of any redundancies proposed by the employer. He must give the union 90
days' notice when 100 or more employees are to be made redundant over a period of
90 days or less, and 30 days' notice when between 20 and 99 redundancy dismissals
are proposed within a 90-day period. The employer's notice must specify the reason
for his proposals, the numbers and job descriptions of employees involved, the way
in which employees have been selected for redundancy, and the procedures for their
dismissal. He must consider any representations made by the union, but need not
disclosure of interest
comply with its demands. If the employer fails to give the required notice, the
union can apply to an employment tribunal, which may make a *protective award
to the redundant employees. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974,an
employer must give his employees at large such information, instruction, and
supervision as will ensure their health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable.
He must also give copies of any relevant documents to safety representatives
appointed by a recognized trade union.  2. (in criminal proceedings) For criminal
proceedings issued after 1 April 1997, the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act
1996sets out detailed rules on disclosures that the prosecution must make to the
defence. It must disclose anything that might undermine its case and anything that
might assist the defence, but the judgment of what undermines the prosecution or
assists the defence remains with the prosecutor. Thus the Act enables the
prosecution to decide what information they believe should be disclosed to the
defence and, in particular, whether to disclose information about any weakness in
their own investigation. 3. See BREACH OF CONFIDENCE.
disclosure of interest The duty of local authority members to disclose (at the
time or by prior notice to the authority) any pecuniary interest they or their
spouses have in any matter discussed at a local authority meeting. They must also
abstain from speaking and voting on it. Breach of the duty is a criminal offence.
discontinuance of action  See NOTICE OF DISCONTINUANCE.
discovery n. (in international law) A method of acquiring territory in which good
title can be gained by claiming previously unclaimed land (terra nullius). In the early
days of European exploration it was held that the discovery of a previously
unknown land conferred absolute title to it upon the state by whose agents the
discovery was made. However, it has now long been established that the bare fact of
discovery is an insufficient ground of proprietary right.
discovery and inspection of documents  See DISCLOSURE AND INSPECTION OF
discretion n. See JUDICIAL DISCRETION.
discretionary area of judgment A concept used in some cases in the domestic
courts when reviewing decisions of public authorities under the *European
Convention on Human Rights. The concept allows the courts to defer on democratic
grounds to the decisions of elected bodies. It follows from the fact that the concept
of the *margin of appreciation is not applicable in the domestic courts.
discretionary trust A trust under which the trustees are given discretion as to
who, within a class chosen by the settlor, should receive trust property and how
much each should receive. A settlor must give some indication as to the limits of the
class of people he intends to benefit, but the trustees do not need to have an
exhaustive list. A beneficiary under a discretionary trust has no enforceable right to
any part of the property or its income, although the trustees must consider his
claims together with those of the other beneficiaries. Such trusts are often very
difficult to distinguish from *trust powers and *powers of appointment held by
*trustees. Discretionary trusts have been invaluable in planning to mitigate liability
to tax, but recent fiscal legislation has reduced their advantages.
discrimination n. Treating one or more members of a specified group unfairly as
compared with other people. Discrimination may be illegal on the ground of sex,
sexual orientation, race, religion, disability, or nationality. See also DISABLED PERSON;
disposal of uncollected goods
disentailing deed   Adeed used to bar (convert into a *fee simple) an *entailed
disentailment n.  The barring of an *entailed interest.
dishonesty n.  An element of liability in *theft, *abstracting electricity, *deception,
*handling stolen goods, and some related offences. To convict of such offences the
magistrates or jury must be satisfied that what was done was dishonest by the
standards of ordinary decent people and that the defendant realized this at the time.
dishonour n. (in commercial law) Failure to honour a bill of exchange. This may be
by nonacceptance, when a bill of exchange is presented for *acceptance and this is
refused or cannot be obtained (or when *presentment for acceptance is excused and
the bill is not accepted); or by nonpayment, when the bill is presented for payment
and payment is refused or cannot be obtained (or when presentment is excused and
the bill is overdue and unpaid). In both cases the holder has an immediate right of
recourse against the drawer and endorsers, but *foreign bills that have been
dishonoured must first be protested (see PROTEST). See alsoNOTICE OF DISHONOUR.
dismissal n.  (in employment law) The termination of an employee's contract of
employment by the employer. An employer usually dismisses the employee by
giving him the required period of *notice, but dismissal without notice may be
justified in certain circumstances (e.g.for gross misconduct). An employer's failure
to renew a fixed-term employment contract also counts as dismissal. An employee
having the required length of service in the business (see CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT)
can apply to an employment tribunal if he is unfairly dismissed (see UNFAIR
DISMISSAL); the tribunal can order his *reinstatement or *re-engagement or can
award him *compensation. An employee dismissed for *redundancy after two years'
continuous employment in the business is entitled to a *redundancy payment under
the Employment Rights Act 1996. An employee dismissed without due notice or
before his fixed-term contract expires can also claim damages in the courts for
wrongful dismissal. See alsoSTATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DISMISSAL.
dismissal of action   The termination of a civil action in favour of the defendant.
An order for dismissal of action may be made at the conclusion of the trial, but is
usually made during the *interim (interlocutory) proceedings; for example, for
breach of some rule of procedure. Dismissal for want of prosecution occurs if the
claimant has been guilty of inordinate and inexcusable delay in circumstances in
which there is a risk that a fair trial is no longer possible or in which there has been
prejudice to the defendant. This type of dismissal is now rare under the heavily case-
managed procedure prescribed by the Civil Procedure Rules.
dismissal procedures agreement  Acollective agreement containing provisions
relating to the dismissal of employees and intended to replace the statutory
provisions concerning *unfair dismissal. See also COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
disorderly house  A *brothel or a place staging performances or exhibitions that
tend to corrupt or deprave and outrage common decency. It is a misdemeanour at
common law to keep a disorderly house.
disparagement of goods See SLANDER OF GOODS.
disposal of uncollected goods  The sale by a bailee of goods in his possession or
under his control when the bailor is in breach of an obligation to collect them (see
BAILMENT). When the original contract does not require the bailor to collect the
goods, the bailee may, by giving notice, impose such an obligation. The relevant
statutory provisions in the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977lay down
conditions relating to the giving of notice of the bailee's intention to sell, allowing
the bailor a reasonable opportunity to collect. The bailee should adopt the best
method of sale available and must account to the bailor for the proceeds of sale less
any sum due before he gave notice of intention to sell. There is provision for a
bailee to have a sale authorized by a court.
disposition n. 1. (in land law) The transfer of property by some act of its owner,
e.g. by sale, gift, will, or exchange. 2. (in the law of evidence) The tendency of a
party (especially the accused) to act or think in a particular way. Evidence of the
accused's disposition may generally not be given unless it is based upon admissible
evidence of character or admissible *similar-fact evidence. Evidence of *previous
convictions, other than those admitted as similar-fact evidence or under the
Criminal Evidence Acts, may tend to suggest to the *trier of fact that the accused
has a particular disposition, but is technically admissible only on the question of his
credibility. See also CHARACTER.
disqualification n. Depriving someone of a right because he has committed a
criminal offence or failed to comply with specified conditions. Disqualification is
usually imposed in relation to activities requiring a licence, and in particular for
traffic offences. In the case of many traffic offences, the court has discretion to
disqualify drivers for a stated period. There are also a number of traffic offences for
which disqualification for at least 12 months is compulsory (unless the offender can
show special reasons relating to the circumstances of the offence, not to his
personal circumstances). These offences are: (1) manslaughter; (2) *causing death by
dangerous driving (the minimum disqualification period here is two years); (3)
*causing death by careless driving; (4) *dangerous driving; (5) driving or attempting
to drive while unfit; (6)driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol in the
breath, blood, or urine (see DRUNKEN DRIVlNG); (7) failure (in certain cases) to provide a
*specimen of breath, blood, or urine; (8) racing or speed trials on the highway.
If a person is convicted for a second time within ten years of a driving offence
involving drink or drugs, he must be disqualified for at least three years. The courts
may also disqualify anyone who commits an indictable offence of any kind involving
the use of a car. There is also a *totting-up system of endorsements, which can
result in disqualification. When someone is disqualified from driving, his licence will
usually also be endorsed with details of the offence (but not with any penalty points
for the purpose of totting up). The court may also make a *driving-test order. A
person who has been disqualified from driving may apply to have the
disqualification removed after two years or half the period of disqualification
(whichever is longer) or, when he has been disqualified for ten years or more, after
dissolution n. 1. The legal termination of a marriage; for example, by a decree of
divorce, nullity, or presumption of death. 2. The dissolving of a *registered
company. This can be achieved by *winding-up or by the Registrar of Companies
striking it off the companies register as "defunct", because he has reasonable cause
to believe that the company is no longer carrying on business or has failed to file
accounts. The company can be restored to register subsequently on application by
petition and payment of the relevant fee. 3. See PARLIAMENT.
distance selling  The sale of goods or services to a consumer in which the parties
do not meet, such as sale by mail order, telephone, digital TV, email, or the Internet.
The EU distance selling directive 976/7, implemented from October 2000 in the UK
by the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000, contains the
district auditors
relevant law. In particular, consumers have rights to certain information about the
contract to be entered into and, in many cases, the right to cancel the contract
within a certain period, often seven working days from the day after receipt of the
goods. The right applies whether the goods are defective or not, but it does not
apply in certain important categories (such as auctions, betting, goods specifically
made for a consumer, and food that will deteriorate).
distinguishing a case The process of providing reasons for deciding a case under
consideration differently from a similar case referred to as a *precedent.
distortion of competition See ARTICLE 81.
distrain vb. To seize goods by way of *distress.
distress n. The seizure of goods as security for the performance of an obligation.
The two principal situations covered by the remedy of distress are (1) between
landlord and tenant when the rent is in arrears (see DISTRESS FOR RENT); and (2)when
goods are unlawfully on an occupier's land and have done or are doing damage (see
also DISTRESS DAMAGE FEASANT). In the latter case the occupier may detain the chattel
until compensation is paid for the damage.
distress damage feasant A right to detain animals found doing damage on
one's land as security for compensation. This right was abolished in England by the
Animals Act 1971and replaced by a statutory power to detain and ultimately to sell
the animals. The statutory power is subject to detailed requirements of giving
notice of detention and taking care of the animals.
distress for rent The seizing of a tenant's goods by the landlord to secure
payment of rent arrears. If the tenant fails to pay the rent arrears after distress has
been levied, the landlord may sell the goods and keep the amount due. In the case of
an *assured, *protected, or *statutory tenancy the landlord must obtain a court's
permission before levying distress. In 1986 the *Law Commission recommended
abolition of distress.
distressing letters  See SENDING DISTRESSING LETTERS.
distribution n. 1. The process of handing over to the beneficiaries their
entitlements under a deceased person's will or on his intestacy. 2. Any payment
made by a company to a shareholder out of its distributable profits in cash or kind.
It does not include payments made in the course of a winding-up or repayments of
the capital originally subscribed or subsequently received by the company. See also
district n. A *Iocal government area in England (outside Greater London) consisting
of a division of a *county. The Local Government Act 1972 divided the 6
metropolitan and 39 nonmetropolitan counties in England into 36 metropolitan and
296 nonmetropolitan districts, respectively, and the 8 counties in Wales into 37
districts. The 6 metropolitan counties were abolished by the Local Government Act
1985 and their functions transferred generally to the metropolitan district councils,
which became single-tier authorities. A district may be styled a borough by royal
charter granted on the petition of the *district council. The Welsh counties and
districts were abolished by the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994,being replaced on
1 April 1996by 22 *unitary authorities (11 counties and 11 county boroughs). Unitary
authorities have been phased in in certain nonmetropolitan areas of England. See also
district auditors Civil servants who audited the accounts of all local authorities
except those who chose audit by approved commercial accountants. Originally
district council
established under the Local Government Finance Act 1982and now consolidated
under the Audit Commission Act 1998, the Audit Commission was established to
take responsibility for local authority audits. District auditors are now officials of
the Audit Commission, but modern practice is to appoint independent approved
auditors from private firms of accountants. If any transaction involved unlawful
expenditure, they may obtain a court order for repayment by the persons responsible.
district council  A *local authority whose area is a *district. A district council has
certain exclusive responsibilities (e.g.housing and local planning) and shares others
(e.g.recreation, town and country planning) with the council of the county to which
the district belongs. Some responsibilities (e.g. education and the personal social
services) belong to the district council if the district is metropolitan, but to the
county council if it is not. If a district has the style of borough, its council is called a
borough council and its chairman the mayor. The *Local Government Commission
for England began work in 1992on a review of local authorities with a view to
establishing *unitary (single-tier) authorities. This has led to wider powers for
district councils and to some amalgamations and boundary revision.
District Health Authorities  See NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE.
district judge In the county courts, a judicial officer appointed by the Lord
Chancellor from solicitors of not less than seven years' standing. The district judge
supervises interim (interlocutory) and post-judgment stages of the case, but can also
try cases within a financial limit defined by statute. District judges were formerly
known as district registrars.
district judge (magistrates' court) A barrister or solicitor of not less than
seven years' standing, appointed by the Lord Chancellor to sit in a magistrates' court
on a full-time salaried basis: formerly (before August 2000) called a stipendiary
magistrate. Metropolitan district judges (magistrates' court) sit in magistrates'
courts for Inner London; other magistrates sit in large provincial centres. They have
power to perform any act and to exercise alone any jurisdiction that can be
performed or exercised by two justices of the peace, except the grant or transfer of
any licence. In other respects their powers are the same as other justices.
district registry An office of the High Court outside London, corresponding in
function to the *Central Office; however, only a limited number of district
registries exercise full powers in relation to proceedings in the *Chancery Division.
There are district registries in all major towns and cities in England and Wales.
distringas n. [Latin: that you distrain] A writ, now obsolete, commanding the
sheriff to distrain on a person for a certain purpose. In modern practice it has been
replaced by a *stop notice, sometimes called a notice in lieu of distringas, which
prevents dealings in securities that are subject to a *charging order.
disturbance n. 1. The infringement of a right, e.g. the obstruction of a right of
way. 2. The removal of a person's rights under a statutory power. For example,
compensation for disturbance may be payable to a landowner if his land is
compulsorily acquired by a local authority.
dividend n. A payment declared either by the directors of a company (interim
diVidend) or at the *annual general meeting (final dividend) as being payable to
shareholders from profits available for distribution. The payment is determined by
reference to the terms of the *share contract; it is an agreed fixed rate for
preference shares but will vary with the fortunes of the company for the holders of
ordinary shares.
DNA fingerprinting
divisible contract See PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACT.
division n. The taking of a vote on any matter in either House of Parliament.
Divisional Court A court consisting of not less than two judges of one of the
Divisions of the High Court. There are Divisional Courts of each of the Divisions.
Their function is to hear appeals in various matters prescribed by statute; they also
exercise the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court over inferior courts. Most of
this jurisdiction is exercised by the Queen's Bench Division, which also hears
applications for *judicial review and appeals by *case stated from magistrates'
courts. The Chancery Division hears appeals in *bankruptcy matters and the Family
Division hears appeals from magistrates' courts in matters of family law.
divorce n. The legal termination of a marriage and the obligations created by
marriage, other than by a decree of nullity or presumption of death. The present
law on divorce dates from 1969.Before this, the law required proof of a
*matrimonial offence (adultery, cruelty, or desertion of three years). The current
law is contained in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973,which provides that there is
only one ground for divorce, namely that the marriage has irretrievably broken
down. Proceedings are initiated by either spouse filing a petition for divorce,
stating the facts that have led to the marital breakdown and accompanied by a
*statement of arrangement for children, (Divorce proceedings may not be started
within the first year of a marriage.) Irretrievable breakdown of a marriage may only
be evidenced by one of the following five facts: (1) that the respondent has
committed *adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the
respondent; (2)that the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner
cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent (see UNREASONABLE
BEHAVIOUR); (3) that the respondent has deserted the petitioner for at least two years
(see DESERTION); (4) that the parties have lived apart for at least two years and the
respondent consents to a divorce; or (5) that the parties have lived apart for at least
five years. A respondent in a two-year separation case can apply for a postponement
of the divorce until the court is satisfied that the petitioner has made fair and
reasonable financial provision for the respondent. In a five-year separation case the
court has the power to bar divorce if it believes that grave financial or other
hardship would result from the dissolution and that it would be wrong to dissolve
the marriage; however, this power is rarely exercised.
Divorce is a two-stage process. The first stage is the granting of a *decree nisi; six
weeks later the petitioner may apply for a *decree absolute. The marriage is not
terminated until the decree absolute has been granted. Uncontested divorce cases are
heard under the *special procedure; the majority of cases are now dealt with in this
way. Divorce courts have wide powers under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to
make orders in respect of children and to adjust financial and property rights. See
Divorce Registry The section of the Family Division of the High Court with
jurisdiction over divorce proceedings.
DNA fingerprinting (genetic fingerprinting) A scientific technique in which an
individual's genetic material (DNA) is extracted from cells in a sample of tissue and
analysed to produce a graphic chart that is unique to that person. The technique
may be used as *evidence of identity in a criminal or civil case and has been notably
dock brief
successful in both paternity and rape cases. DNA samples (e.g. of hair) may be taken
from suspects in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and
after conviction for any offence punishable by imprisonment.
dock brief The obsolete procedure by which a defendant to a criminal charge
could, on indictment, select any barrister in the court who was not otherwise
engaged to represent him, on payment of a nominal fee.
doctrine of incorporation  The doctrine that rules of international law
automatically form part of municipal law. It is opposed to the doctrine of
transformation, which states that international law only forms a part of municipal
law if accepted as such by statute or judicial decisions. It is not altogether clear
which view English law takes with respect to rules of customary *internationallaw.
As far as international treaties are concerned, the sovereign has the power to make
or ratify treaties so as to bind England under international law, but these treaties
have no effect in municipal law (with the exception of treaties governing the conduct
of war) until enacted by Parliament. However, judges will sometimes consider
provisions of international treaties (e.g. those relating to *human rights)in applying
municipal law. Ithas been said that directives of the European Commumtyhave the
force of law in member states, but practice varies widely (see COMMUNITY LEGISLATION).
document n. Something that records or transmits information, typically in
writing on paper. For the purposes of providing evidence to a court, documents
include books, maps, plans, drawings, photographs, graphs, discs, tapes, soundtracks,
and films (see also COMPUTER DOCUMENTS). Some legal documents are only valid if they
meet certain requirements (see DEED; WILL). Documents that are to be used in court
proceedings must be disclosed to the other party in a procedure known as
*disclosure and inspection of documents. In court, the original of a document must
be produced in most cases. In the case of a public document a particular kind of
copy must be produced; for example, a copy of a statute must be a government
printer's copy, and a copy of a byelaw must be certified by the clerk to the local
authority concerned. The authenticity of private documents must be proved by the
evidence of a witness. In practice this procedure is often avoided or simplified by
each party admitting the authenticity of particular documents prior to the court
documentary evidence  Evidence in written rather than oral form. The
admissibility of a document depends upon (1) proof of the authenticity of the
document and (2)the purpose for which it is being offered in evidence. If it is being
offered to prove the truth of some matter stated in the document itself it will be
necessary to consider the application of the rule against hearsay (see HEARSAY
EVIDENCE) and its many exceptions.
document of title to goods  A document, such as a *bill of lading, that
embodies the undertaking of the person holding the goods (the bailee) to hold the
goods for whoever is the current holder of the document and to deliver the goods to
that person in exchange for the document.
doli capax [Latin] Capable of wrong. A child under the age of 10 is deemed
incapable of committing any crime. Above the age of 10 children are doli capax and
are treated as adults, although they will usually be tried in special youth courts
(with the exception of homicide and certain other grave offences) and subject to
special punishments. Formerly, there was a rebuttable presumption that a child
double probate
between the ages of 10 and 14 was also doli incapax (incapable of wrong). This
presumption has now been abolished. See JUVENILE OFFENDER.
domain name An Internet address, which may be protected under *trade mark
domestic premises A private residence, used wholly for living accommodation,
together with its garden, yard, and attached buildings (such as garages and
domestic tribunal  A body that exercises jurisdiction over the internal affairs of
a particular profession or association under powers conferred either by statute (e.g.
the disciplinary committee of the Law Society) or by contract between the members
(e.g. the disciplinary committee of a trade union). The decisions of these tribunals
are subject to judicial control under the doctrine of *ultra Vires and, if they are
statutory, when there is an *error of law on the face of the record. Compare
domestic violence See
domicile n.  The country that a person treats as his permanent home and to which
he has the closest legal attachment. A person cannot be without a domicile and
cannot have two domiciles at once. He acquires at birth a domicile of origin.
Normally, if his father is then alive, he takes his father's domicile; if not, his
mother's. He retains his domicile of origin until (if ever) he acquires a domicile of
choicein its place. A domicile of choice is acquired by making a home in a country
with the intention that it should be a permanent base. It may be acquired at any
time after a person becomes 16 and can be replaced at will by a new domicile of
choice. See LEX DOMICILII.
dominant tenement Land the ownership of which entitles the owner to rights
comprising a legal or equitable interest (such as an easement or profit o prendre) in
other land, called the servient tenement.
Dominions pl n.  Formerly, the group of UKcolonies that, by virtue of the Statute
of Westminster 1931, were the first to become fully independent. Certain of these,
together with many other former colonies, are now collectively known as the
donatio mortis causa   [Latin; a gift on account of death] An immediate gift of
real or personal property made by a donor who expects to die in the near future.
The gift must be made to take complete effect only on the death of the donor and
there must be delivery of the property or something amounting to delivery. The
latter requirement has been held to be satisfied by a transfer of the means or part
of the means of obtaining the property or a transfer of the indications of title to
the property (e.g.title deeds). The donor must make the transfer with the intention
of relinquishing ownership of the property but may withdraw from that intention
at any time prior to death and thereby defeat the gift. If the donor does not die the
gift will be revoked.
double criminality The rule in *extradition procedures that, in order for the
request to be complied with, the crime for which extradition is sought must be a
crime in both the requesting state and the state to which the fugitive has fled. See
double portions pl n. See RULE AGAINST DOUBLE PORTIONS.
double probate A second grant of *probate in respect of the same estate in
DPP                                                                                                                                   162
favour of an executor who was not a party to the first grant. This occurs when the
executor has not renounced his executorship and has a power to apply for a grant
of probate at a later time than the original grant.
draft n. 1. An initial unsigned agreement, treaty, or piece of legislation, which is
not yet in force.   2. An order for the payment of money, e.g. a banker s draft.
Drago doctrine The doctrine that states cannot employ force in order to recover
debts incurred by other states. Thus the fact that a state has defaulted on Its debt to
aliens or to another state does not legalize the use of military intervention by these
creditors in order to reclaim monies they are owed.
driftway n.  A *highway over which there exists a right to drive cattle,
accompanied by persons either on foot or mounted.
driver n. For purposes of the Road Traffic Acts, anyone who uses the ordmary
controls of a vehicle (i.e. steering and brakes) to direct its movement. ThIS includes
anyone steering a car when the engine is off or when being towed by another vehicle.
driving licence  An official authorityto drive a motor vehicle, Sranteaupon
passing a driving test. A renewable provisional driving licence, valia for 12 months,
may be granted to learner drivers, but the holder of a provisional .lIcence may not
drive a motor car on a public road unless accompamed by a qualified dnver and
unless he displays 'I.' plates on the front and rear of the vehicle.
Afull licence may be obtained by anyone who has passed the Department of
Transport driving test, which is carried out by.the Driving Standards Agency lan
executive agency) and is now preceded by a wntten test, or held a full licence Issued
in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands WIthin ten
years before the date on which the licence is to come into force. It IS normally
granted until the applicant's 70th birthday. After the age of 70, licences are granted
for three-year periods. The applicant must disclose anydisability and may be asked
to produce his medical records or have a medical exammatIOn..
An applicant will not normally be granted a licence if he is suffering from certain
types of disability, including epilepsy, sudden attacks of disabling giddiness or
fainting, or a severe mental illness or defect. In the case of epilepsy, however, he
may still be granted a licence if he can show that he has been free of all attacks for
at least two years or that he has only had attacks during sleep .for more. than tiiree
years. If an applicant for a licence has diabetes or a heart condition, IS fitted WIth a
heart pacemaker, has been treated within t.he previous three years for drug    .
addiction, or is suffering from any other disability (e.g.loss or weakness of a limb)
that would affect his driving, the grant of a licence is usually discretionary.
It is an offence to knowingly make a false statement in order to ob,tam a driving
licence, not to disclose any current *endorsements, or not to sI.gn0nes name m ink
on the licence. A police officer may require a driver to show hIS driving licence or
produce it personally at a specified police station within five days. He may also ask
to see the licence of someone whom he believes was either driving a vehicle involved
in an accident or had committed a motoring offence. Failure to produce one's
licence in these circumstances carries afine. See alsoDRIVING WITHOUT ALICENCE.
Under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995, with effect from 1 June 1997, a
driver who is convicted of an endorsable offence and who has accumulated 6 or
more penalty points (see TOTTING UP) within two years of passing a driving test WIll
have his licence revoked and must retake the test.
driving-test order An order by the court that a person who has been convicted
163                                                                                                drunken driving
of an offence that is subject to *disqualification should be disqualified from driving
until he passes a test showing that he is fit to drive. The order should only be made
where there is reason to suspect that the person is not fit to drive; for example,
because he is very old or unwell, and has shown evidence of incompetence in his
driving. It is not meant as a punishment but to protect the public.
driving while disqualified An offence committed by the *driver of a motor
vehicle on a public road when he is disqualified from driving (see DISQUALIFICATION).
This is an endorsable offence (carrying 7 penalty points under the <totting-up
system) and the courts have discretion to impose a further period of disqualification.
driving while unfit See DRUNKEN DRMNG.
driving without a licence   An offence committed by the *driver of a motor
vehicle on a public road without a *driving licence or provisional driving licence
valid for the vehicle he is driving. If the circumstances are such that he would in
fact have been refused a licence had he applied for one, or if he fails to comply with
the conditions applicable to a provisional licence, his licence (if he subsequently
obtains one) will usually be endorsed (the endorsement carries 2 penalty points
under the *totting-up system) and the court has discretion to order disqualification
from driving (if he applies for a licence during the disqualification period).
Otherwise this is not an endorsable offence.
driving without insurance An offence committed by a *driverwho uses or
allows someone else to use a motor vehicle on a public road without valid *third-
party insurance. The offence is one of *strict liability (except when an employee is
using his employer's vehicle) and applies even if, for example, the insurance
company who issued the insurance suddenly goes into liquidation. The offence is
punishable by a fine, endorsement (it carries 6-8 penalty points under the *totting-
up system), and disqualification at the discretion of the court.
drugs pl. n. See CONTROLLED DRUGS.
drunken driving   Driving (see DRIVER) while affected by alcohol. Drunken driving
covers two separate legal offences.
(1) Driving while unfit. Ir is an offence to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle
on a road or public place when one's ability to drive properly is impaired by alcohol
or drugs. Drugs include medicines (such as insulin for diabetics), and the offence
appears to be one of *strict liability.  It is also an offence to be in charge of a motor
vehicle on a road or in a public place while unfit to drive because of drink or drugs,
but the defendant will be acquitted if he can show that there was no likelihood of
his driving the vehicle in this condition (for example, if he arranged for someone
else to drive him if he became drunk). A police officer can arrest without a warrant
anyone whom he reasonably suspects is committing or has been committing either
of these offences; he may also (except in Scotland) enter any place where he believes
the suspect to be, using force if necessary.
(2)Driving over the prescribed limit. It is an offence to drive or attempt to drive a
motor vehicle on a road or in a public place if the level of alcohol in one's breath,
blood, or urine is above the specified prescribed limit (35micrograms of alcohol in
100millilitres (ml) of breath; 80 milligrams (mg) of alcohol in 100ml of blood; 107
mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine - roughly equivalent to 2'/i pints of beer, or 5
glasses of wine, or 5 single whiskys). It is also an offence to be in charge of a motor
vehicle on a road or in a public place when the proportion of alcohol is more than
the prescribed limit, subject to the same defence as in being in charge while unfit.
Both these offences are offences of strict liability: it is therefore not a defence to
show that one did not know that the drink was alcoholic or that it exceeded the
prescribed limit. The normal way in which offences involving excess alcohol levéis
are proved is by taking a *specimen of breath for laboratory analysis, but this IS not
necessary if the offence can be proved in some other way (for example, by evidence
of how much a person drank before driving). There is no power to arrest a person
on suspicion of committing or having committed an offence of this sort before
administering a preliminary *breath test.
Most charges involving drinking and driving are brought under the offence of
driving over the prescribed limit rather than driving while unfit, but the powers to
administer a breath test or to take a specimen of breath for analysis apply to both
offences. The penalties for either of these offences are a fine and/or imprisonment,
*endorsement, and obligatory *disqualification (in cases of driving or attemptmg to
drive) or discretionary disqualification (in cases of being in charge). Under the
*totting-up system, the discretionary disqualification offences carry 10 penalty
points and the compulsory disqualification offences carry 3^11 penalty points (which
are only imposed if there are special reasons preventmg disqualification). See also
drunkenness n.  *Intoxication resulting from imbibing an excess of alcohol. It is
an offence to be drunk in a public place.
dualism n. See MONISM.
dubitante adj. [Latin] Doubting. The term is used in law reports in relation to a
judge who is doubtful about a legal proposition but does not wish to declare It wrong.
duces tecum   [Latin: you shall bring with you] See WITNESS SUMMONS.
due diligence  The legal obligation of states to exercise all reasonable efforts to
protect *aliens and their property in the host state. Such aliens must have been
permitted entry into the host state. If there is a failure or lack of due diligence, the
state in default is held responsible and liable to make compensation for injury to
the alien or to the alien's estate. See STATE RESPONSIBILITY.
dum casta vixerit [Latin] As long as she lives chastely. A clause sometimes
inserted in a separation agreement, freeing the husband from the terms of the
agreement (e.g.maintenance obligations) if his wife commits adultery.
dumping n. The sale of goods abroad at prices below their normal value. Within
the EU dumping regulations prohibit the sale of goods at below no.rmal value.
Countervailing (or antidumping) duties may be ordered on certain Imported
goods to prevent dumping.
dum sola  [Latin] While single: the status of a single woman or widow.
duplex querela   [Latin: double complaint] The procedure in ecclesiastical law for
challenging a bishop's refusal to admit a presentee to a benefice.
durante absentia  [Latin: during the absence of] Describing a grant of *Ietters of
administration of a deceased's estate to some person interested in the estate while
the personal representative is abroad. See also LIMITED ADMINISTRATION.
duress n.  Pressure, especially actual or threatened physical force, put on a person
to act in a particular way. Acts carried out under duress usually have no legal effect;
for example, a contract obtained by duress is voidable (see alsoECONOMIC DURESS;
UNDUE INFLUENCE). In criminal law, when the defendant's power to resist IS destroyed
by a threat of death or serious personal injury, he will have a defence to a criminal
charge, although he has the *mens rea for the crime and knows that whathe IS
dying declaration
doing is wrong. Duress is not a defence to a charge of murder as a principal (i.e. to
someone who actually carries out the murder himself), although it is still a defence
to someone charged with aiding and abetting murder. The threat need not be
immediate; it is sufficient that it is effective; for example a threat in court to kill a
witness may constitute duress and thus be a defence to a charge of perjury, even
though it cannot be carried out in the courtroom. However, the defence is
unavailable to someone who failed to take available alternative action to avoid the
during Her (or His) Majesty's pleasure A phrase colloquially used to describe
the period of detention imposed upon a defendant found not guilty by reason of
*insanity. Such a person was consequently known as a pleasure patient. The
defendant must still be admitted to a hospital specified by the Home Secretary
(either a local psychiatric hospital or a *special hospital) and remain there until
otherwise directed, but the phrase "during Her Majesty's pleasure" is no longer used
in the statute.
Dutch courage See INTOXICATION.
duty n. 1. A legal requirement to carry out or refrain from carrying out any act.
Compare POWER. 2. A payment levied by the state, particularly on certain goods and
transactions. Examples are *customs duty, *excise duty, and *stamp duty.
duty of care   The legal obligation to take reasonable care to avoid causing damage.
There is no liability in tort for *negligence unless the act or omission that causes
damage is a breach of a duty of care owed to the claimant. There is a duty to take
care in most situations in which one can reasonably foresee that one's actions may
cause physical damage to the person or property of others. The duty is owed to
those people likely to be affected by the conduct in question. Thus doctors have a
duty of care to their patients and users of the highway have a duty of care to all
other road users. But there is no general duty to prevent other persons causing
damage or to rescue persons or property in danger, liability for careless words is
more limited than liability for careless acts, and there is no general duty not to
cause economic loss or psychiatric illness. In these and some other situations, the
existence and scope of the duty of care depends on all the circumstances of the
relationship between the parties. Most duties of care are the result of judicial
decisions, but some are contained in statutes, such as the Occupiers' Liability Act
duty solicitors  *Solicitors who attend by rota at magistrates' courts in order to
assist defendants who are otherwise unrepresented.
duty to convert (in equity) See CONVERSION.
dying declaration An oral or written statement by a person on the point of
death concerning the cause of his death. A dying declaration is admissible at a trial
for the murder or the manslaughter of the declarant as an exception to the rule
against *hearsay evidence, provided that he would have been a competent witness
had he survived (see COMPETENCE). Case law requires that the person making the
dying declaration must have had a "settled, hopeless expectation of death".
easement n. A right enjoyed by the owner of land (the dominant tenement) to a
benefit from other land (the servient tenement). An easement benefits and binds
the land itself and therefore continues despite any change of ownership of either
dominant or servient tenement, although it will be extinguished if the two
tenements come into common ownership (compare QUASI-EASEMENT). It may be
acquired by statute (for example, local Acts of Parliament), expressly granted (e.g. by
*deed giving a right of way), arise by implication (e.g. an easement of support from
an adjoining building), or be acquired by *prescription. (See also PROFIT A PRENDRE.) An
easement can exist as either a legal or an equitable interest in land. Only easements
created by statute, deed, or prescription and held on terms equivalent to a *fee
simple absolute in possession or *term of years absolute qualify as legal easements
and are binding on all who acquire the unregistered servient tenement or any
interest in it Legal easements over registered land should be registered but in
practice will usually be binding without registration. All others are equitable
easements and must generally be registered to be enforceable against a third party
who acquires the servient tenement for value in money or money's worth. Under
section 62 of the Law of Property Act 1925,when land is conveyed, all easements
appertaining to it automatically pass with it without the necessity for express words
in the conveyance. See also REGISTRATION OF ENCUMBRANCES.
easement of necessity An *easement arising by implication in favour either of
a grantee of land over land retained by the grantor or, more rarely, of a grantor of
land over land that he has granted, when access to any land granted or retained
would otherwise be excluded by the operation of the grant. For example, if A, who
owns a plot of land adjoining a highway, sells off the part of the plot immediately
adjacent to the highway but retains the rest, an easement of necessity over the sold
plot is implied if A has no other access to the plot he has retained. If there is any
other right of access to the retained plot, there can be no easement of necessity, no
matter how inconvenient that access proves to be. Any claimant must be able to
prove that the land retained would be inoperative without the easement. The
easement may be extinguished if alternative access becomes possible. The
implication of necessity can be excluded by the terms of the grant; for example,
when the grantor particularly wishes the land retained by him to remain
ecclesiastical courts Courts responsible for the administration of the
ecclesiastical law of the Church of England. They comprise consistory courts, which
are the courts of each diocese, for enforcing discipline among the clergy; the *Court
of Arches and the Chancery Court of York, which hear appeals from consistory
courts in their respective provinces; the *Judicial Committee of the Privy Council,
which hears appeals from the provincial courts in matters not involving doctrine,
ritual, or ceremonial; and the *Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved.
ecclesiastical law See CANON LAW.
eggshell skull rule
ecolabel n. A label with the EU logo that is used on products that comply with
environmental requirements in particular directives.
economic duress  Historically within contract law, a claim that a contract was
voidable for duress could only be successful if a threat to the person (i.e. physical
duress) had induced the contract. Now, however, a contract may be voidable for
economic duress. The essential elements are that an illegitimate threat is made (e.g.
to breach an existing contract or to commit a tort) and that the injured party has
no practical alternative to agreeing to the terms set out by the person making the
threat. See alsoVOIDABLE CONTRACT.
e-conveyancing n. See ELECTRONIC CONVEYANCING.
ECU (European Currency Unit) n. A currency medium and unit of account of the
"European Monetary System, which was replaced by the euro in 1999(see EUROPEAN
MONETARY UNION). Its value was calculated from the values of the currencies of
individual member states of the European Union, The ECUwas not a unit of
currency as such, although some prices were quoted in ECUby the European
Commission and other bodies. The ECUwas used in the *Exchange Rate Mechanism,
and some bonds were issued by member states in ECUs.
education authorities The authorities responsible for the statutory system of
education introduced by the Education Act 1944,i.e. the Secretary of State for
Education and Skills and local education authorities. In England and Wales the latter
are county councils or unitary councils and, within *Greater London, the London
borough councils. The Education Reform Act 1988introduced measures under which
schools could, with the approval of the Secretary of State, opt out of local education
authority control to become grant-maintained schools, and many have done so. A
new framework for schools has been introduced by the School Standards and
Framework Act 1998.
EEC (European Economic Community) See EUROPEAN COMMUNITY.
effective date of termination  The date on which a contract of employment
comes to an end, i.e. the date of expiry of any *notice given or of a fixed-term
contract or the date of the employee's dismissal or resignation if no notice is given.
However, an employee dismissed without the statutory minimum notice is treated
as having worked for that period after his dismissal for the purpose of calculating
whether or not his length of service (see CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT) qualifies him to
apply to an employment tribunal in respect of redundancy, unfair dismissal, etc.
effective remedy A right contained in Article 13 of the European Convention on
Human Rights but not incorporated directly by the *Human Rights Act 1998. The
Article stipulates that the state must provide systems that give effective remedies
for violations and arguable claims of violations of the other rights contained in the
Convention. This article requires that such systems can both determine such claims
and provide for redress for those violations that are substantiated.
eggshell skull rule The rule that a *tortfeasor cannot complain if the injuries he
has caused turn out to be more serious than expected because his victim suffered
from a pre-existing weakness, such as an unusually thin skull. A tortfeasor must
take his victim as he finds him.
ejusdem generis rule  See INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES.
Elder Brethren See ASSESSOR.
election n. 1. The process of choosing by vote a member of a representative body,
such as the House of Commons or a local authority. For the House of Commons, a
general election involving all UK constituencies is held when the sovereign
dissolves Parliament and summons a new one; a by-election is held if a particular
constituency becomes vacant (e.g.on the death of the sitting member) during the
life of a Parliament. Local government elections (apart from those to fill casual
vacancies) are held at statutory intervals (see LOCAL AUTHORITY). The conduct of
elections is regulated by the Representation of the People Acts 1983 and 1985. The
Representation of the People Act 2000 made some changes to electoral registration
and absent voting and allowed for experiments involving innovative electoral
procedures. Other changes make it easier for the disabled to vote and created an
offence of supplying false particulars on a nomination form. Voting is secret and
normally in person, but any elector can obtain a postal vote without having to
specify a reason. The only requirement is that the applicant is included in the
Register of Electors. Applications for a particular election must be received by the
Electoral Registration Officer six working days before an election. Different rules
apply in Northern Ireland. Any dispute as to the validity of the election of a
Member of Parliament or a local government councillor is raised on an election
petition, which is decided by an election court consisting of two High Court
judges. 2. A doctrine of equity, commonly applied to wills, based on the principle
that a person must accept both benefits and burdens under one document. or reject
both. It arises when there are two gifts in one document, one of A's (the creator's)
property to Band one of B's property to C. Bmust choose whether to accept the gift
of A's property to him and transfer his own property to C. or to reject both gifts.
election court See ELECTION.
election petition See ELECTION.
elective resolution A decision by all the members of a *private company (at a
meeting called on at least 21 days' notice) to dispense with complying with specified
provisions of the Companies Act 1985,for example holding the annual general
meeting and laying the accounts before it or the annual appointment of auditors.
elector n. 1. A person entitled to vote at an *election. For parliamentary and local
government elections, a register of electors is maintained. A new register comes
into force on 16 February each year and governs elections held during the following
12 months. It records electors by reference to their residence on the preceding 10
October (the qualifying date) and includes people who will become 18 (and so
entitled to vote) in the year following its publication. Inclusion on the register is a
requirement for voting. A person on it cannot be prevented from voting but incurs
penalties if he votes without in fact being entitled to do so. See FRANCHISE. 2. (in
equity) One who makes an election.
electromagnetic compatibility The capability of electromagnetic products,
such as computer equipment, machines, etc, to be used together without special
modification. The EU electromagnetic compatibility directive, which is now part of
English law, sets out the minimum requirements to ensure that the use of
computers, etc., does not cause interference with other electromagnetic products. See
electronic conveyancing (e-conveyancing) The transfer of land by electronic
means instead of by paper documents. The government has announced its intention
to introduce such a method of transferring land, and the Electronic
Communications Act 2000 paves the way for such transfers. It is already possible to
discharge mortgages of registered land electronically. *Land registration (which is
already computerized) has made electronic conveyancing and registration possible.
electronic data interchange (ED!) The use of electronic data-transmission
networks to exchange information. Significant commercial contracts set out the
terms on which such information is supplied, and much commerce is now done on
this basis (known as paperless trading), either through a closed network called an
intranet, to which only members of a limited group have access, or through an open
network, i.e. the Internet. Some international legal rules have been agreed in this
field, including the Uniform Rules of Conduct for Interchange of Trade Data by
Teletransmission (see UNCID).
electronic signature An item of data incorporated into or associated with an
electronically transmitted document or contract for use in establishing the
authenticity of the communication. Under the Electronic Communications Act 2000
electronic signatures are recognized in legal proceedings and as having legal effect.
An electronic signature can be purchased from such bodies as the Post Office and
Chamber of Commerce on production of relevant identification documents. See also
electronic surveillance The use of *telephone tapping, hidden microphones
(bugging) or cameras, or similar means to obtain evidence. The police and other state
bodies may be permitted to use such devices provided that the Secretary of State has
issued a warrant under the Interception of Communications Act 1985. Evidence
obtained by electronic surveillance can usually be used in court proceedings; it has
been compared with the evidence of an eavesdropper. The Police Act 1997provides
for a system in which independent commissioners of police oversee the
arrangements and investigate complaints in relation to intrusive *surveillance
eleemosynary corporation [from Latin: eleemosyna, alms] Originally, a lay
(rather than an ecclesiastical) charity. An eleemosynary corporation is now a charity
directed to the relief of individual distress.
embargo n. The detention of ships in port: a type of *reprisal. Ships of a
delinquent state may be prevented from leaving the ports of an injured state in
order to compel the delinquent state to make reparation for the wrong done. See also
embezzlement n. The dishonest appropriation by an employee of any money or
property given to him on behalf of his employer. Before 1969there was a special
offence of embezzlement; it is now, however, classified as a form of *theft.
emblements pl. n. Cultivated crops that are normally harvested annually. A tenant
for life of settled land may continue to harvest crops he has sown if his interest in
the land ceases for any reason other than by his own act. For example, he may
continue to harvest his crops if his interest ends on the death of another person but
emergency powers
not if his interest was for life until remarriage and he remarries. When he dies, his
personal representatives are entitledto reap for the benefit of his estate any crops
sown by him before his death.
emergency powers  Powers conferred by government regulations durmg a state
of emergency. The existence of such a state is declared by royal proclamation
under the Emergency Powers Acts 1920 and 1964. A proclamation, which lasts for
one month but is renewable, may be issued whenever there is a threat (e.g. a major
strike or natural disaster) to the country's essentials of life. The regulations made
may confer on government departments, the armed forces, and others all powers
necessary to secure the supply and distribution of necessities and the maintenance
of public peace and safety.
emergency protection order A court order under the Children Act 1989that
gives a local authority or the NSPCC the right to remove a child to suitable
accommodation for a maximum of eight days (with a right to apply for a seven-day
extension) if there is reasonable cause to believe a child is suffering or is likely to
suffer significant harm unless the order is made. The order gives the applicant
*parental responsibility in so far as it promotes the *welfare of the child. In some
cases it may be preferable to remove the abuser from the home rather than t
child. The Children Act 1989 provides for the inclusion of an *exclusIOn reqUIrement
in an emergency protection order. The effect of this is to exclude the abuser from
the family home. The order may only be made when another person in the same
household as the child consents to the exclusion order and is able and willing to care
properly for the child. See also SECTION 47 ENQUIRY.
eminent domain   See EXPROPRIATION.
emoluments pl. n. Aperson's earnings, including salaries, fees, wages, profits, and
benefits in kind (e.g. company cars). They are subject to *income tax under Schedule
E in the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988.
empanel vb.  To swear a jury to try an issue.
employee n. A person who works under the direction and control of another (the
*employer) in return for a wage or salary. See also CHILD EMPLOYEE; CONTRACT OF
employees' inventions Products, equipment, or techniques invented by an
employee in the course of his employment. Under the Patents Act 1977these belong
to the employer if the invention was made in the course of the employee's normal
duties and these were likely to lead to an invention or in the course of any duties
involving a special obligation to further the employer's business. These provisions
cannot be changed in a contract of employment. The employee may, however, be
awarded compensation by the Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and
Trademarks if the invention is of outstanding benefit to the employer (this VIrtually
never applies). Copyright works also belong to the employer if the employee
produces them in the course of his employment.
employees' share scheme Amethod of sharing company profits with
employees either by distributing shares already paid up by the company, sither to
the employees themselves or to trustees for them, or by conferring upon them
options to acquire shares on favourable terms. Certain schemes carry tax
employer n. A person who engages another (the *employee) to work under his
direction and control in return for a wage or salary (see also CONTRACT OF
employment tribunal
EMPLOYMENT). Companies are associatedemployers if one of them controls the
other or others or if they are themselves controlled by the same company.
employer and employee The relationship between the parties to a *contract of
employment. (It was formerly known as master and servant.) The relationship is
governed by the express and implied terms of the contract and by statutory rules
that the contract cannot exclude. These relate, for example, to *unfair dismissal,
*redundancy, *maternity rights, *trade union membership and activity, and health
and *safety at work. On the principle of *vicarious liability, third parties may hold
an employer responsible for certain wrongs committed by his employee in the
course of his employment.
employers' association An organization whose members are wholly or mainly
employers and whose principal purposes include the regulation of relations between
employers and workers or trade unions. Under the Trade Union and Labour
Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992,employers' associations have similar legal status to
*trade unions, being immune from certain civil legal proceedings in tort relating to
interference with contracts and restraint of trade.
employer's liability The liability of an employer for breach of his duty to
provide for his employees competent fellow-workers, safe equipment, a safe place of
work, and a safe system of work, including adequate supervision. Liability can be in
tort for damages for *negligence and for *breach of statutory duty under statutes
providing for *safety at work; there are also criminal penalties. See DANGEROUS
Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) A statutory body established to hear
appeals from *employment tribunals. The EATconsists of a High Court judge as
chairman and two or four lay members who have special knowledge or experience
as employers' or employees' representatives. They can only hear appeals on questions
of law, issues of fact being in the exclusive jurisdiction of employment tribunals.
The EAT may allow or dismiss an appeal or, in certain circumstances, remit the case
to the employment tribunal for further hearing. It does not generally order either
party to pay the other's costs, except when the appeal is frivolous, vexatious, or
improperly conducted. The parties may be represented at the hearing by anyone
they choose, who need not have legal qualifications. The EATcannot enforce its own
decisions; thus, for example, when an employer fails to comply with an order for
compensation that the EAT upholds, separate application must be made to the court
to enforce the order. A party may appeal to the Court of Appeal from a decision of
the EAT, but only with the leave of the EATor the Court of Appeal. The
Employment Tribunals Act 1996(effective from 22 August 1996) sets out the
jurisdiction of the EAT.
employment tribunal (ET) Any of the bodies established under the employment
protection legislation, consolidated by the Employment (formerly Industrial)
Tribunals Act 1996,to hear and rule on certain disputes between employers and
employees or trade unions relating to statutory terms and conditions of
employment. (Originally called industrial tribunals, they (and the 1996Act) were
renamed under the Employment Rights (Dispute Resolution) Act 1998.) The tribunals
hear, inter alia, complaints concerning *unfair dismissal, *redundancy, *equal pay,
*maternity rights, and complaints of unlawful deductions from wages under the
Employment Rights Act 1996 (Part II).Tribunals sit in local centres in public and
usually consist of a legally qualified chairman and two independent laymen,
although chairmen are permitted to sit alone, without lay members, for certain
types of case (e.g. deductions from wages claims), cases where the parties agree in
enforcement notice
writing, and uncontested cases. An ET differs from a civil court in that it cannot  .
enforce its own awards (this must be done by separate application to a court) and It
can conduct its proceedings informally. Strict rules of evidence need not apply and
the parties can present their own case or be represented by anyone they wish at
their own expense. The tribunal has wide powers to declare a dismissal unfair and to
award *compensation, which is the usual remedy, but they also have power to order
the *reinstatement or *re-engagement of a dismissed employee.
In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct employment tnbunals are
empowered to make a restricted reporting order, .which prevents identification of
anyone pursuing or affected by the allegations until the tribunal's decisión IS
promulgated. There is also a power to remove identifying information in such cases
from the decisions and other public documents.                                    .    '
Before conducting a full hearing of the case, the tribunal may consider (on either
party's application or on its own initiative) what the parties have said in the wntten
complaint to the tribunal (the originating application) and the answer to It (the
notice of appearance) in a prehearing assessment.If this assessment suggests
that either party is unlikely to succeed, the tribunal may warn tha.t party that he
may be ordered to pay the other's costs if he insists on pursumg hIS case to a full
hearing. When a full hearing takes place, the tnbunal WIllnot award costs to the.
successful party unless the other has been warned of this likelihood at a prehearmg
assessment or has acted vexatiously, frivolously, or unreasonably in brmgmg or
defending the proceedings. An appeal on a point of law arising from any decision on
an ETmay be heard by the *Employment Appeal Tribunal.
enabling statute  A statute that confers rights or powers upon any body or
enacting words   The introductory words in an *Act of Parliament that give it the
force of law. They follow immediately after the long title and date of royal assent,
unless preceded by a preamble, and normally run: "Be It Enacted by the Queen s
most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual
and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the
authority of the same, as follows ...". A special formula is used in cases when the
Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 apply (see ACT OF PARLIAMENT).
enactment n. An Act of Parliament, a Measure of the General Synod (see CHURCH OF
ENGLAND), an order, or any other piece of subordinate legislation, or any particular
provision contained in any of these (e.g. a particular section or article). Delegated
legislation is not an enactment for the purposes of the Local Government Act 1992.
encroachment n.  The act of extending one's own rights at the expense of others,
particularly by taking in adjoining land to make it appear part of one's own. If the
encroachment is acquiesced in for 12 years, the land taken IS considered to be
annexed to the land of the person who made the encroachment.
encumbrance (incumbrance) n.  Aright or interest in land owned by someone
other than the owner of the land itself; examples include easements, leases,
mortgages, and restrictive covenants. When title to the land is .registered (see LAND
REGISTRATION), encumbrances other than minor and overndmg mterests are recorded
in the Charges Register. Certain encumbrances affecting unregistered land Will only
be enforceable against third parties if registered at the Land Charges Registry. See
endorsement n. 1. The procedure in which the particulars of a driving offence
are noted on a person's driving licence. When the court orders endorsement for an
offence carrying obligatory or discretionary *disqualification but the driver is not
disqualified, the endorsement also contains particulars of the number of penalty
points imposed for the purposes of *totting up. When the court orders
disqualification, only the particulars of the offence are noted. The courts can order
endorsement upon a conviction for most traffic offences (the main exceptions being
parking offences) and in many cases they must order an endorsement, unless there
are special reasons (e.g.a sudden emergency) why they should not. A person whose
licence is to be endorsed must produce it for the court; if he does not do so, his
licence may be suspended. A driver whose licence has been endorsed may apply to
have a new "clean" licence after a certain number of years has elapsed (usually 4
years, but 11 in the case of offences involving *drunken driving). Under the Road
Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995, with effect from 1 June 1997, a driver who is
convicted of an endorsable offence and who has accumulated 6 or more penalty
points within two years of passing a driving test has his licence revoked and must
retake a driving test. 2. The signature of the holder on a bill of exchange, which is
an essential step in negotiating or transfering a bill payable to order. The
endorsement must be completed by delivering the bill to the transferee. An
endorsement in blank is the bare signature of the holder and makes the bill
payable to bearer. A special endorsement specifies the person to whom (or to
whose order) the bill is payable (e.g. "Pay X or order"). An endorser, by endorsing a
bill, takes on certain obligations to the holder or a subsequent endorser. 3. The
noting on a document of details of a later transaction affecting the subject matter
of that document. For example, a beneficiary in whose favour a personal
representative executes an *assent of property may require details of the assent to
be written (endorsed) on the document containing the *probate or *letters of
administration. Equally, a purchaser of a plot forming part of a larger plot of land
may require a note or memorandum of the conveyance to him to be endorsed on
the title deeds relating to the whole plot.
endowment n. 1. The provision of a fixed income for the support of a charity.
2. Any property belonging permanently to a charity.
enforcement action Any action, authorized by the United Nations Security
Council, to enforce *collective security under *Chapter VII (i.e. Articles 39-51) of the
UN Charter. As such it stands as one of the very few legal justifications for *use of
force in international law. Strictly, any enforcement action can only be justified
under Article 42 of the Charter, which requires agreement by member states to
place their armed forces at the disposal of the UN (see MILITARY STAFF COMMITTEE).
However, although the theory of enforcement action would seem to be that of
concerted action by members under Article 42, such a limitation is not expressly
stated in the Charter. Article 39 was worded so widely as to allow the Security
Council, using the implied powers allowed for by that Article, to bypass this
problem and authorize that member states voluntarily furnish armed forces to be
under the unified command of one member state. Upon the basis of such implied
power, an enforcement action was justified under Security Council
recommendations under Article 39 in order to defend Korea (1950).
enforcement notice A notice by a local planning authority (see TOWN AND
COUNTRY PLANNING) that requires certain steps to be taken within a specified time to
enforcement of judgment
remedy an alleged breach of planning control. An example of such a breach would
occur if development was carried out without planning permission or contrary to
conditions attached to planning permission. A local planning authority that has
notice of a breach of planning control has, however, a discretion as to whether to
enforce against that breach. Appeal against the notice may be made to the Secretary
of State on various grounds, including the ground that the development is one for
which planning permission ought to be granted. See also STOP NOTICE.
enforcement of judgment The processes by which the orders of a court may be
enforced. Orders for the payment of money may be enforced by a variety of
methods, including a writ of *fieri facias (in the county court, a warrant of
execution), *garnishee proceedings, *charging orders, the appointment of a
*receiver, a writ of *sequestration, and (rarely) an order of committal (see COMMITTAL
IN CIVIL PROCEEDINGS). In the county court (and in the High Court in certain
matrimonial proceedings only) *attachment of the debtor's earnings is also available.
Judgments for possession of land may be enforced by *writ of possession (in the
county court, a warrant of possession). Judgments for delivery of goods may be
enforced by *writ of delivery (in the county court, a warrant of delivery).
Judgments relating to performance of or abstention from some act (e.g. an
*injunction) may be enforced by order of committal or writ of sequestration.
enfranchise vb. 1. To give to a person or class of people the right to vote at
elections. 2. To give to an area or a class of people the right to be represented on an
elected body.
enfranchisement of tenancy A method for acquiring the freehold or an
extended lease of a leasehold house. A tenant has a statutory right of
enfranchisement when he has a long lease (exceeding 21years) and the house has
been his *main residence for at least three years. The valuation of the freehold, or
rent of an extended lease, is based on the value of the land without the buildings on
The Leasehold Reform Act 1993abolished the rateable value limits for houses and
extended to flat leaseholders the right to acquire collectively the freeholds of their
flats. From 1 April 1997the Housing Act 1996abolished in most cases an earlier
requirement that enfranchisement only applied to leases at a low rent with a
duration of over 35 years. This area of the law is currently under review, with a
view to relaxing rules for qualification and residency.
engagement to marry An agreement, verbal or in writing, to marry at a future
date. Such agreements are no longer treated as enforceable legal contracts, and no
action can be brought for breach of such an agreement or to recover expenses
incurred as a result of the agreement. Engagement rings are deemed to be absolute
gifts and cannot be recovered when an engagement is broken. There is a special
statutory provision that property rights between engaged parties (for example, in
respect of a house purchased with a view to marriage) are to be decided in
accordance with the rules governing property rights of married couples.
engross vb. To prepare a fair copy of a deed or other legal document ready for
execution by the parties.
enlarge vb. (in land law) To acquire further rights in land, thereby increasing one's
interest to some greater estate or interest. For example, a *tenant in tail may
enlarge his interest into a fee simple by executing a disentailing deed (see ENTAILED
INTEREST). A mortgagee in possession for 12 years may, by executing a deed, enlarge
his interest into a fee simple free from the mortgage.
entry without warrant
enrolment n. The registration of an act or document on an official record. It used
to be obligatory to enrol many documents in the Enrolment Office, a department of
the Chancery Division. Nearly all such obligations were abolished by the Judicature
Acts 1873-75.
entailed interest An *equitable interest in land under which ownership is
limited to a person and the heirs of his body (either generally or those of a specified
class). Such heirs are still those who would inherit under the law of intestacy as it
applied before the Administration of Estates Act 1925. Since 1997, no new entailed
interests can be created. An attempt to do so creates an absolute interest instead.
enter vb. 1. (in the law of *burglary) To make "an effective and substantial" entry
as a trespasser. This does not necessarily require entry of the whole of the
defendant's body. 2. (in land law) See ENTRY INTO POSSESSION.
entering jUdgment A procedure in civil courts in which a judgment is formally
recorded by the court after it has been given. In the Queen's Bench Division it is
necessary for the party seeking to have judgment entered to draw up the judgment
and present it to an officer of the court for entry together with the certificate of
the associate (clerk of the court) and the statements of case. In the county court, the
court itself draws up and enters the judgment.
Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) A scheme to encourage investment in
unquoted companies; it replaced the similar Business Expansion Scheme on 1
January 1994. It gives income tax relief of 20% on investments to individuals who
invest from £500 to £150,000 in anyone year in shares issued by UK trading
companies not quoted on the Stock Exchange. Shares issued under this scheme are
also exempt from capital gains tax. Investors can hold paid directorships of the
companies; there is also income and capital gains tax relief on losses. Companies
providing private housing on assured tenancies are excluded from the scheme.
entire contract   See PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACT.
entrapment n. Deliberately trapping a person into committing a crime in order to
secure his conviction, as by offering to buy drugs. English courts do not recognize a
defence of entrapment as such, since the defendant is still considered to have a free
choice in his acts. Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984,entrapment may
be a reason for making certain evidence inadmissible on the ground that the
admission of the evidence would have such an adverse effect on the fairness of the
proceedings that the court ought not to admit it. The question of the admissibility
of evidence obtained through entrapment is in some doubt as a consequence of the
cases now being decided under the "Human Rights Act 1998. Entrapment may also
be used as a reason for mitigating a sentence. See alsoAGENT PROVOCATEUR.
entry into possession The act of going upon land to assert some right over it.
For example, a lease usually gives the landlord the right to enter and take possession
if the tenant fails to pay the rent or commits a breach of covenant. A mortgagee has
the right to recover possession from a defaulting mortgagor who is in possession. In
general, such rights of entry cannot be enforced unless the court orders the
defaulter to give up possession.
entry without warrant Entry by a police officer onto private premises without
the authority of a warrant. This is in general unlawful except with the occupier's
consent (which is revocable), but it is permitted by statute for the purpose of
arresting for certain offences (see ARRESTABLE OFFENCE) and in certain circumstances
epitome of title
to search premises (see POWER OF SEARCH); it is also allowed at common law to stop an
actual or apprehended breach of the peace.
epitome oftitle See ABSTRACT OF TITLE.
equality clause   A clause in a contract of employment stipulating that if a
woman is employed on similar work to that of a man in the same employment, or
on work rated as equivalent or of like value to his, the terms of her contract must
place her in no less favourable a position than the man. A contract not containing
such a clause (either directly or as a result of some collective agreement) is deemed
to include one by virtue of the Equal Pay Act 1970 as amended by the Sex
Discrimination Acts 1975 and 1986 and by the Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations
1983. However, the clause does not affect certain statutory requirements concerning
the employment of women (e.g. with respect to health and safety requirements) or
their *maternity rights. See also EQUAL PAY; SEX DISCRIMINATION.
equality is equity  [from Latin: aequitasest quasi aequalitas] A *maxim of equity
stating that if there are no reasons for any other basis of division of property, those
entitled to it shall share it equally.
equality of arms  A concept that has been created by the European Court of
Human Rights in the context of the right to a *fair trial (Article 6). Equality of arms
requires that there be a fair balance between the opportunities afforded the parties
involved in litigation (for example, each party should be able to call witnesses and
cross-examine the witnesses called by the other party). In some circumstances this
may require the provision of financial support to allow a person of limited means to
pay for legal representation.
Equal Opportunities Commission  Abody established by the Sex
Discrimination Acts 1975 and 1986 to work towards eliminating discrimination on
grounds of sex or marital status, to promote equality of opportunity between the
sexes, and to keep the working of the Acts, and of the Equal Pay Act 1970, under
review. It consists of 8-15 Commissioners. See SEX DISCRIMINATION.
equal pay The requirement of the Equal Pay Act 1970 that men and women in the
same employment must be paid at the same rate for like work or work rated as
equivalent or of equal value. They are in the same employment if they work at the
same establishment (or if one works at an establishment that includes the other's)
and they work for the same or an associated *employer. The establishments must
also be those at which the terms and conditions of employment are observed
generally or for employees of the relevant description. "Like work" is work that is
broadly similar, where any differences between the man's work and the woman's
are not of practical importance. Work is rated as equivalent when the employer has
undertaken a study to evaluate his employees' jobs in terms of the skill, effort, and
responsibility demanded of them and the woman's job is given the same grade as
the man's. If the employer has no job-evaluation scheme, an independent expert is
appointed by an employment tribunal to evaluate the two jobs to see if they are of
equal value. Thus when the employer's job-grading system or the expert's report
recognizes that the woman's job is as demanding as the man's, they are entitled to
equal pay even though the nature of the work they do is very different. An
employer's job-evaluation system can be challenged on the basis that it is
discriminatory. See also EQUALITY CLAUSE.
The Code of Practice on Equal Pay, which was drafted by the Equal Opportunities
Commission and applies to all employers, came into effect on 26 March 1997. The
Code requires employers to review current pay structures and policy; introduce an
equitable interests
equal-pay policy and ensure that pay structures and grades are transparent; change
any rules of practice that are likely to result in discrimination in pay; establish a
continuous monitoring procedure and on-going assessment so that bad practices do
not develop; and assess whether there are any discrepancies in pay levels between
male and female staff. The Code is admissible in evidence in any tribunal
proceedings under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Equal Pay Act 1970.
equal treatment The requirement, enshrined in the Treaty of Rome, that
nationals of one EDstate moving to work in another EDstate must be treated in
the same way as those workers of the state to which they have moved. There must
be *free movement of workers throughout the EDand no discrimination in relation
to pay, social security, and tax benefits. See alsoEQUAL PAY.
equitable adj.  1. Recognized by or in accordance with the rules of equity: applied
to distinguish certain concepts used in both common or statute law and in equity.
For example, assignments and mortgages can be either legal or equitable.
2. Describing a right or concept recognized by the Court of Chancery.  3. Just, fair,
and reasonable. For example, a document may have two meanings, one strict and the
other (the equitable construction) more benevolent.
equitable assignment See ASSIGNMENT.
equitable charge   1. See EQUITABLE MORTGAGE.  2. A *charge created by designating
specific property for the discharge of some debt or other obligation. No special form
of words is necessary to create an equitable charge, manifested intention being
equitable easement See EASEMENT.
equitable estate   A right in property recognized by the Court of Chancery, as
distinct from a *Iegal estate recognized in common law courts (see ESTATE). Equitable
estates reflected legal interests but could be more flexible (compare SHIFTING USE;
SPRINGING USE). Before 1926, most types of estate could exist either at law or in
equity; since 1925 only a limited number of legal estates can exist; all other interests
m land are called *equitable interests. The term equitable estate is now technically
equitable estoppel  See ESTOPPEL.
equitable execution   Means of enforcing the judgment of a court when the
judgment creditor cannot obtain satisfaction from the normal methods of
*execution. For example, the creditor may appoint a receiver to manage the
defendant's property or he may obtain an injunction to prevent the defendant from
dealing with the property. These remedies are often regarded as relief granted by
the court, rather than as execution.
equitable interests  Interests in property originally recognized by the Court of
Chancery, as distinct from legal interests recognized in the common-law courts.
They arose in cases when it was against the principles of *equity for a person to
enforce a legal right. Originally equitable rights (e.g. a trust, or the equity of
redemption under a mortgage) were enforceable against the person with a legal
right over property in question. Later, however, those who were given the property
by the holder of the legal interests took it subject to equitable interests; later still,
anyone who bought property knowing of the equitable interests was bound by
them. In the developed law, everyone took property subject to equitable interests
except those who bought it and neither knew nor ought to have known of the
equitable interests (the doctrine of notice). Since 1925, equitable interests may be
equitable lease                                                                                                                 178
protected by the doctrine of *overreaching, under the system of *land charges, or
by notice.
equitable lease An agreement for the grant of an interest in land on terms that
correspond to a *legallease but do not comply with the necessary formal
requirements of a legal lease. For example, if L purports to grant T a lease for seven
years but the transaction is effected by simple written contract to grant a lease
rather than by deed, the court may enforce the contract to grant the lease between
the parties. This follows the principle that "equity looks upon that as done which
ought to be done" (see MAXIMS OF EQUITY). Further, T's rights under the contract could
be registered as an *estate contract and thus bind any third party acquirmg L's
interest in the land.
equitable lien  See LIEN.
equitable mortgage (equitable charge) A *mortgage under which the
mortgagee does not obtain a legal estate in the land. An equitable mortgage may
arise as follows:
(1) If the mortgagor has only an *equitable interest in the land, h.ecan only grant an
equitable mortgage. For example, a mortgage granted by a beneficiary under a
*trust of land could only be equitable.
(2)An equitable mortgage will arise if the mortgage is made by deed (arequirement
for legal mortgages). The contract for the mortgage must nevertheless be made In
equitable presumptions   *Presumptions assumed by equity in certain cases. The
main examples are the presumption of *resulting trust, the presumption of
*advancement, and the presumption of equality (see EQUALITY IS EQUITY).
equitable remedies   Means granted by *equityto redress a wrong. Since the.
range of legal remedies was originally very limited, equity showed greatflexibility
in granting remedies, which were discretionary: the conduct of the parties,
particularly that of the claimant, was taken into account (see CLEAN HANDS!. The mam
equitable remedies are now *speClflCperformance-, *rescission, *cancellation,
*rectification, *account, *injunction, and the appointment of a *receiver. These
remedies may be sought in any division of the High Court or, in some instances, in
the county courts; they are still discretionary in nature, although the discretion IS
often exercised on established lines.
equitable rights  Rights recognized by *equity. See EQUITABLE INTERESTS; EQUITABLE
equitable waste  Alterations made by a tenant that cause serious damage to the
leased property. See WASTE.
equity n. 1. That part of English law originally administered by the *Lord .
Chancellor and later by the *Court of Chancery, as distinct from that administered
by the courts of *common law. The common law did not recognize certain concepts
(e.g. uses and trusts) and its remedies were limited inscope and flexibility, SInceIt
relied primarily on the remedy of damages. In the MIddle Ages litigants were
entitled to petition the king, who relied on the advice of his Chancellor, commonly
an ecclesiastic ("the keeper of the king's conscience"), to do justice In each case. By
the 15th century, petitions were referred directly to the Cha.ncellor, who dealt with
cases on a flexible basis: he was more concerned with the fair result than WIth rigid
principles of law (hence the jurist John Selden's jibe that "equity varied with the
length of the Chancellor's foot"). Moreover, if a defendant refused to comply WIth
179                                                                error of law on the face of the record
the Chancellor's order, he would be imprisoned for contempt of the order until he
chose to comply (see IN PERSONAM). In the 17th century conflict arose between the
common-law judges and the Chancellor as to who should prevail; James I resolved
the dispute in favour of the Chancellor. General principles began to emerge, and by
the early 19th century the Court of Chancery was more organized and its
jurisdiction, once flexible, had ossified into a body of precedent with fixed
principles. The Court of Chancery had varying types of jurisdiction (see AUXILIARY
principles were stated in the form of *maxims of equity; equity had (and still has)
SATISFACTION). Under the Judicature Acts 1873-75, with the establishment of the High
Court of Justice to administer both common law and equity, the Court of Chancery
was abolished (though much of its work is still carried out by the "Chancery
Division). The Judicature Acts also provided that in cases in which there was a
conflict between the rules of law and equity, the rules of equity should prevail. The
main areas of equitable jurisdiction now include *trusts, *equitable interests over
property, relief against *forfeiture and penalties, and *equitable remedies. Equity is
thus a regulated scheme of legal principles, but new developments are still possible
("equity is not past the age of child-bearing"): recent examples of its creativity
include the *freezing injunction and the *search order. 2. An equitable right or
claim, especially an *equitable interest, or *equity of redemption, or *mere
equity. 3. A share in a limited company.
equity of redemption The rights of a mortgagor over his mortgaged property,
particularly the right to redeem the property. This right of redemption allows a
mortgagor to redeem the mortgaged property at any time on payment of principal.
interest, and costs, even after the contractual date of redemption, as stated in the
mortgage deed, has passed. Any *clogs on the equity of redemption are void, but the
mortgagor's rights may be terminated under certain circumstances (see MORTGAGE).
Before 1926 a mortgage was commonly effected by the transfer of the
mortgagor's interest in the property to the mortgagee, but the mortgagor's rights
were recognized by equity. Since 1925 the mortgagor retains legal ownership of the
property in all cases: the term equity of redemption is still used, however, although
the right to redeem is no longer strictly an equitable interest.
erga omnes obligations [Latin: towards all] (in international law) Obligations in
whose fulfilment all states have a legal interest because their subject matter is of
importance to the international community as a whole. lt follows from this that the
breach of such an obligation is of concern not only to the victimized state but also
to all the other members of the international community. Thus, in the event of a
breach of these obligations, every state must be considered justified in invoking
(probably through judicial channels) the responsibility of the guilty state
committing the internationally wrongful act. It has been suggested that an example
of an erga omnesobligation is that of a people's right to *self-determination.
error n. A mistake of law in a judgment or order of a court or in some procedural
step in legal proceedings. A writ of error was formerly used to instruct an inferior
court to send records of its proceedings for review by a superior court. It was
abolished in civil cases by the Judicature Acts 1873-75 and in criminal cases by the
Criminal Appeal Act 1907 and replaced by the modern system of *appeal.
error of law on the face of the record A mistake of law that is made by an
inferior court or tribunal in reaching a decision and is apparent from the record of
its proceedings. The decision can be quashed by the High Court in *judicial review
proceedings by the remedy of *quashing order except in the case of a *domestic
tribunal with purely contractual powers. See also ULTRA VIRES.
escape n. The common-law offence of escaping from lawful custody. The custody
may be in prison or a police station, or even in the open air. The escaper need not
have been charged with any offence, provided his detention is lawful (e.g.he may be
detained to provide a *specimen of breath). Nor is it necessary for him to commit
any act of breaking out. It is also an offence to help the escape of a prisoner and to
permit a prisoner who is detained in relation to a criminal matter to escape. If
someone actually breaks out of a building in which he is lawfully confined he
commits a separate offence of prison breaking.
escrow n. See DEED.
espionage n. See SPYING.
espousal of claim The action by which a state undertakes to gain redress of a
grievance on behalf of one of its subjects or citizens. See also EXHAUSTION OF LOCAL
essence of a contract See CONDITION.
estate n. 1. (in land law) The character and duration of a person's ownership of
land. For example, an estate in fee simple confers effectively absolute ownership; an
estate for a term of years (called leasehold) or for life are lesser estates. Under the
Law of Property Act 1925 only a *fee simple absolute in possession (called freehold)
and a *term of years absolute can exist as legal estates in land. All other forms of
ownership, e.g. an estate for life or an estate in fee simple coming into effect only
on someone's death, are equitable only. 2. (in revenue law) The aggregate of all the
property to which a person is beneficially entitled. Excluded property, which
includes most reversionary interests and certain foreign matters, is not taken into
account for the death charge (see INHERITANCE TAX).
estate agent A person who introduces prospective buyers and sellers of property
to each other. Such a person may be a member of a professional body but must, in
any event, under the Estate Agents Act 1979, take out insurance cover to protect
money received as deposits from clients. The Property Misdescription Act 1991
prohibits estate agents from making false or misleading statements about property
in the course of their business; making such statements is punishable by a fine of
up to £5000 or possibly by imprisonment. See also MISDESCRIPTION.
estate contract A contract in which the owner of land agrees to create or convey
a legal estate in the land; for example, he may contract to grant a lease or to sell or
he may grant a valid option to purchase. The contract confers on the purchaser an
equitable interest that is enforceable against third parties if registered See
estate duty An obsolete tax formerly levied on the value of property passing on
estate for years Ownership of land subsisting by reference to a period of time.
estate owner The owner of a *legal estate in land.
estate pur (or per) autre vie [from Norman French: autre vie,other life] An
interest in property for the lifetime of someone else. If A is given property for B's
life, A is the tenant pur autre vieand will hold the property during the lifetime of B
(the cestuique vie). If Adies before B,the persons entitled under A's will or on his
intestacy will take the interest for the remainder of B's life; if B dies before A, A's
interest thereupon terminates. The interest is a kind of *life interest and an estate
of freehold, i.e. it could be inherited; since 1925 it has been an *equitable interest
estate rentcharge See RENTCHARGE.
estate subsisting at law See LEGAL ESTATE.
estoppel n.  [from Norman French estouper, to stop up] A rule of evidence or a rule
of law that prevents a person from denying the truth of a statement he has made or
from denying facts that he has alleged to exist, The denial must have been acted
upon (probably to his disadvantage) by the person who wishes to take advantage of
the estoppel or his position must have been altered as a result. There are several
varieties of estoppel. Estoppel by conduct (or in pais) arises when the party
estopped has made a statement or has led the other party to believe in a certain fact.
Estoppel by deed prevents a person who has executed a deed from saying that the
facts stated IIIthe deed are nottrue. Estoppel by record (orperremjudicatam)
prevents a person from reopening questions that are  *resjudicata (i.e. that have been
determined against him in a previous legal proceeding). See also ISSUE ESTOPPEL.
There are two forms of equitable estoppel - promissory and proprietary. The
doctrine of promissory estoppel applies when one party to a contract promises the
other (by words or conduct) that he will not enforce his rights under the contract in
whole or in part. Provided that the other party has acted in reliance on that promise,
It WIll,though unsupported by consideration, bind the person making it: he will not
be allowed subsequently to sue on the contract. When applicable, the doctrine thus
modifies the common-law rules relating to *accord and satisfaction. Under the
d.octrine of proprietary estoppel, the courts can grant a discretionary remedy in
Circumstances where an owner of land has implicitly or explicitly led another to act
detrimentally in the belief that rights in or over land would be acquired. The
remedy may take the form of the grant of a *fee simple in the property at one
extreme or the grant of a short-term occupational *licence at the other.
estovers pl. n.  The right to cut timber for certain purposes from land not in one's
own absolute ownership. The right arises in favour of a lessee or *tenant for life
under a settlement of the land and it can exist as a *profit a prendre. Estovers
compris.e the rig.ht.to take timber as: (1) house bote, for repairing a dwelling or for
use as firewood m it: (2)plough bote, for repairing farm implements; and (3) hay
bote, for repairing fences. In each case the lessee or tenant may take only sufficient
timber for present needs and not for future requirements. Estovers as profits ¿
prendreare usually *appurtenant.
Estrada doctrine  The doctrine that *recognition of a government should be
based on its defacto existence, rather than on its legitimacy. It is named after Don
Genero Estrada, the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs who in 1930ordered that
Mexican diplomats should issue no declarations that amounted to a grant of
recognition: he felt that this was an insulting practice and offended against the
sovereignty of other nations. In 1980the UK, USA, and many other states adopted the
Estrada doctrine. Compare TOBAR DOCTRINE.
estreat   [from Old French estrait] 1. n. an extract from a record relating to
*recognizances and fines.  2. vb. To forfeit a recognizance, especially one given by the
surety of someone admitted to bail, or to enforce a fine.
ethnic cleansing
ethnic cleansing  See ETHNIC MINORITY.
ethnic minority Agroup numerically inferior to the rest of the population of a
state whose members are nationals of that state and possess cultural, religious, or
linguistic characteristics distinct from those of the total population and show, If
only implicitly, a sense of solidarity, directed towards preservmg their own social
customs, religion, or language. The attempted extIrpatIOn of an ethmc mmonty by
the forces of the majority within a state (known as ethnic cleansing) can be
regarded as a crime against humanity (see WAR CRIMES) justifymg humanitarian
Euro Norm (EN) A European standard adopted by European standards bodies, such
as CEN(the European Standardization Committee) and CENELEC (the European
Electrotechnical Standardization Committee), in place of a national standard, such as
those produced in the UKby the British Standards Institution (BSI).
European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) The organization set up
under the Treaty of Rome (1957) by the six members of the *European Coal and
Steel Community and effective from 1 January 1958. Euratom was formed to create
the technical and industrial conditions necessary to establish the nuclear industries
and direct them to peaceful use to obtain a single energy market. See EUROPEAN
European Bankfor Reconstruction and Development (EBR.D) An
intergovernmental bank set up in 1990to provide loans for mdustnal and
commercial projects in the countries of central and eastern Europe. Membership    .
includes all the countries of the European Union and the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development, as well as the central and eastern European countries.
The EU provided 51% of the initial capital. The bank's headquarters are in London.
European Central Bank (ECB) A central bank of the *European Union to which
member states who have adopted *European Monetary Union (EMU) are committed
by the *Maastricht Treaty. The ECB was set up in 1998and became .actrve in 1999, as
the governor of economic and monetary policy throughout the Union. It works
closely with the central banks of the states parttcipatmg in EMU.
European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) The first of the European
Communities, established by the *Paris Treaty (1951) and effective from 1952. The
ECSC created a common market in coal, steel, iron are, and scrap between the
member states, and it coordinates policies of the member states in these fields. The
original members were Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the
Netherlands. These six countries, in 1957, signed the *Treaty of Rome settmg up the
European Economic Community. See EUROPEAN COMMUNITY.
European Commission (commission of the E.uropeanCommunities) An   .
organ of the European Union formed in 1967, having both executive and legislative
functions. It is composed of 20 Commissioners, who must be nationals of member
states and are appointed by member states by mutual agreement (two
Commissioners each from the five largest member states - France, Germany, Italy,
European company
Spain, and the UK; one each from the remaining members); their appointment must
be approved by the  *European Parliament. Each Commissioner assumes
responsibility for a particular field of activity and oversees the department
(Directorate General) devoted to that field (see Appendix II). Once appointed, the
Commissioners must act in the interests of the EU;they are not to be regarded as
representatives of their countries and must not seek or take instructions from any
government or other body. Each Commissioner is appointed for a (renewable) four-
year period. The Commission's executive functions include administration of
Community funds and ensuring that Community law is enforced (see EUROPEAN
COURT OF JUSTICE). Its legislative functions consist primarily of submitting proposals
for legislation to the *Council of the European Union, in some cases on the orders of
the Council and in others on its own initiative (see also EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT). It also
has legislative powers of its own, partly under the Treaty of Rome and partly by
virtue of delegation by the Council, but only on a limited range of subjects (see
European Community (EC) An economic and political association of European
states that originated as the European Economic Community (EEC). It was created
by the *Treaty of Rome in 1957with the broad object of furthering economic
development within the Community by the establishment of a Common Market
and the approximation of the economic policies of member states. Its more detailed
aims included eliminating customs duties internally and adopting a common
customs tariff externally, the following by member states of common policies on
agriculture and transport, promoting the free movement of labour and capital
between member states, and outlawing within the Community all practices leading
to the distortion of competition (see ARTICLE 81). Two of its institutions, the
*European Parliament and the *European Court of Justice, were shared with the
*European Coal and Steel Community (established in 1951) and the *European
Atomic Energy Community (Euratom; established in 1957); the separate executive
and legislative bodies of these three European Communities were merged in 1967
The *Single European Act 1986,given effect in the UKby the European
Communities (Amendment) Act 1986,contains provisions designed to make "concrete
progress" towards European unity, including measures to establish a *Single Market
for the free movement of goods, services, capital, and persons within the
Community: the Single Market came into operation on 1 January 1993. In February
1992 the member states signed the Treaty on European Union (see MAASTRICHT TREATY).
This amended the founding treaties of the Communities by establishing a
*European Union based upon the three Communities; renamed the EECthe
European Community; and introduced new policy areas with the aim of creating
closer economic, political, and monetary union between member states. The Treaty
came into force on 1 November 1993; it was amended by the *Amsterdam Treaty.
The original members of the ECwere Belgium, France, Germany, Italy,
Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The UK, the Republic of Ireland, and Denmark
joined in 1972,Greece in 1981, and Spain and Portugal in 1986,and Austria, Sweden,
and Finland in 1995 (in 1994Norway voted by referendum not to join). The changes
in UKlaw necessary as a result of her joining were made by the European
Communities Act 1972.
European Community Treaty See TREATY OF ROME
European company A proposed type of company to be incorporated under
European *Community law rather than under the national law of a member state.
European companies would be recognized by all member states and would facilitate
European Convention on Human Rights
European Monetary Union
mergers between two or more limited companies each incorporated under the
national law of a member state.
European Convention on Human Rights A convention, originally formulated
in 1950,aimed at protecting the *human rights of all people in the member states
of the Council of Europe. Part 1 of the Convention, together with a number of
subsequent protocols, define the freedoms that each signatory state must guarantee
to all within its jurisdiction, although states may derogate from the Convention in
respect of particular activities (see DEROGATION). The Convention established a
Commission on Human Rights and a Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The
Commission may hear complaints (known as petitions) by one state against another.
It may also hear complaints by an individual, group, or nongovernmental
organization claiming to be a victim of a breach of the Convention, provided that
the state against which the complaint has been made declares that it recognizes the
authority of the Commission to receive such petitions. The Commission cannot deal
with any complaint, however, unless the applicant has first tried all possible
remedies in the national courts (in England he must usually first appeal to the
House of Lords). All complaints must be made not later than six months from the
date on which the final decision against the applicant was made in the national
courts. The Commission will only investigate a complaint if it is judged to fulfil
various conditions that make it admissible. If the Commission thinks there has. been
a breach of the Convention, it places itself at the disposal of the parties in an
attempt to achieve a friendly settlement. If this fails, the Commission sends a report
on the case to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The case may
then be brought before the Court within three months by either the Commission or
one of the states concerned (an individual victim cannot take the matter to the
Court himself). No case can be brought before the Court, however, unless the state
against which the complaint is made has accepted the Court's jurisdiction. The Court
then has power to make a final ruling, which is binding on the parties, and in some
cases to award compensation. If the matter is not taken to the Court, a decision is
made instead by the Committee of Ministers.
The Convention has established a considerable body of jurisprudence. As of 2
October 2000 the Convention and its terms were transformed into English law as
the *Human Rights Act 1998.
European Convention on State Immunity An international convention of
1972 setting out when and how member states of the European Community (now
the European Union) may sue or be sued (by other states or by individuals). It is in
force only in those EU states that have signed up to the convention. See also
European Council A body consisting of the heads of government of the member
states of the European Union. It is not a formal organ of the EU (compare COUNCIL OF
THE EUROPEAN UNION), but meets three times a year to consider major developments
of policy. It inspired, for example, the *European Monetary System.
European Court of Justice (ECJ. Court of Justice of the European
Communities) An institution of the European Union that has three primary
judicial responsibilities. It interprets the treaties establishing the European
Community; it decides upon the validity and the meaning of *Community
legislation; and it determines whether any act or omission by the European
Commission, the Council of the European Union, or any member state constitutes a
breach of *Community law.
The Court sits at Luxembourg. It consists of 15 judges appointed by the member
states by mutual agreement and assisted by six *Advocates General. Proceedings
before the Court involve wntten and oral submissions by the parties concerned.
Proceedings against the Commission or the Council may be brought by the other of
these two bodIes,.by any member state, or by individual persons; proceedings to
challenge the validity of legislative or other action by either Commission or Council
are known as proceedings for annulment. Proceedings against a member state may
be brought by the Commission, the Council, or any other member state. Appeals
from the *Court of FIrst Instance go to the ECl The decisions of the Court are
binding and there is no appeal against them.
The Court also has power, at the request of a court of any member state, to give a
prehmmary ruling on any point of Community law on which that court requires
European Currency Unit See ECU
European Economic Area (EEA) Afree-trade area encompassing the 15member
states of the *European Union and the member states (excluding Switzerland) of the
European Free Trade Association (EFTA), i.e. Norway, Iceland, and (from 1 May 1995)
Liechtenstein. The EEAAgreement, which contains many provisions similar to the
*Treaty of Rome, was signed in 1992 and came into force on 1 January 1994. The EEA
has ItS own mstitutions, such as the EFTACourt of Justice and the EFTA
Surveillance Authority (ESA), and many of the EU *Single Market directives and
other legislative measures apply within it, although it does not have a budget.
European Economic Community See EUROPEAN COMMUNITY.
European Free Trade Association (EFTA) A trade association formed in 1960
between Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
Finland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein joined later. The UK,Denmark, Portugal, Austria,
Finland, and Sweden left on joining the *European Union (or its earlier
communities). EFTAis a looser association than the EU, dealing only with trade
barnersrather than generally coordinating economic policy. EFTAis governed by a
council in which each member has one vote; decisions must normally be unanimous
and are binding on all member countries. EFTAhas bilateral agreements with the
ED. All tanffs between EFTAand EU countries were abolished finally in 1984 and a
free-trade area now exists between EU and EFTAmember states (see EUROPEAN
European Monetary System (EMS) Afinancial system formed in March 1979to
develop closer cooperation in monetary policy among members of the European
Commumty in advance of the liberalization of capital. It included the *Exchange
Rate Mechanism (ERM) to stabilize exchange rates between member states as a
precursor to *European Monetary Union. Directive 88/361 removed restrictions on
the movement of capital between people resident in the member states. Article 102A
of the Single European Act 1986inserted a new Article (now called Article 98) into
the Treaty of Rome to refer to the EMS. The UK has been a party to the EMS since
Its inception and participated in the ERM from 1990 to 1992.
European Monetary Union (EMU)  The establishment of a common currency for
member states of the European Union. The *Maastricht Treaty specified three stages
for achieving EMU, startmg with participation in the *Exchange Rate Mechanism.
The second stage created the European Monetary Institute, which coordinated the
economic and monetary policy of member states. The third stage, achieved by
January 1999,locked member states into a fixed exchange rate, activated the
European Parliament
*European Central Bank, and introduced the single currency, the euro (divided into
100 cents), for all noncash transactions (national currencies continued in use for cash
transactions). In 2002 euro notes and coins came into circulation in those states
within the system (i.e. all member states except the UK,Denmark, and Sweden).
European Parliament An institution of the EU,formerly called the Assembly
of the European Communities. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are
drawn from member states of the EU but group themselves politically rather than
nationally. There are 732 seats of which the UKhas 77. In the case of the UK, MEPs
are elected under the European Assembly Elections Act 1978 for constituencies
comprising two or more UK parliamentary constituencies.    .
The European Parliament's power and influence derive chiefly from Its power to
amend, and subsequently to adopt or reject, the EU's budget. The Parliament is
consulted by the *Council of the European Union on legislative proposals put to the
Council by the *European Commission; it gives opinions on these after debating   .
reports from specialist committees, but these opinions are not binding. However, Its
powers in the legislative process were extended under the Single European Act 1986
and the Maastricht Treaty by the introduction of the *cooperation,    codecision. and
*assent procedures. The Parliament may also put questions to the Council and the
Commission and, by a motion of censure requiring a special majority, can force the
resignation of the whole Commission (but not of individual Commissioners). Under
the Maastricht Treaty it can now veto the appointment of a new Commission.
The European Parliament holds its sessions in Strasbourg, but its Secretariat-
General is in Luxembourg and its committees meet in Brussels. The elected
Parliament serves a term of five years, after which elections are held.
European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) The organization
that sets standards for the telecommunications industry throughout Europe.
Established in 1988, it is made up of representatives of the telecommunications
European Union (EU) The 25 nations (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech
Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland,
Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK)that have joined together to form an
economic community with common monetary, political, and social aspirations. The
EU came into being on 1 November 1993 according to the terms of the *MaastrIcht
Treaty. It comprises the three European Communities (see EUROPEAN COMMUNITY),
extended by the adoption of a common foreign and security policy (CFSP), which
requires cooperation between member states in foreign policy and security, and
cooperation in justice and home affairs.
European Works Council (EWC)  A council, set up by a special negotiating body,
consisting of both employee and management representatives established at
European level for the purpose of informing and consulting with employees. The
requirement to set up such councils originated from the European Works Council
Directive. The Directive was implemented by the UK through the Transnational
Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999, which came into force
in January 2000. The Regulations apply to undertakings or groups with at least 1000
employees across member states and at least 150 employees in each of two or more
of those member states. The Regulations set out the procedures for negotiatmg an
EWC agreement, the enforcement mechanisms, provisions on confidentiality, and
statutory protections for employees who are members of such a group when
asserting their rights or performing duties under the Regulations. Disputes over
evidence of identity
procedural matters in setting up an EWC are heard by the *Central Arbitration
Committee. Complaints of a failure to establish an EWe, or a failure to operate the
system properly once set up, are heard by the *Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Employment protection disputes with respect to individual employees go to an
*employment tribunal.
eurotort n. A directly effective rule of European Community law (see COMMUNITY
LEGISLATION), breach of which gives the person injured a remedy in British courts in
the form of an action in tort. See also COMMUNITY LAw.
eviction n. The removal of a tenant or any other occupier from occupation. Under
the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 the eviction of a *residential occupier, other
than by proceedings in the court, is a criminal offence. It is also an offence to harass
a residential occupier to try to persuade him to leave (see HARASSMENT OF OCCUPIER).
Note that it has recently been confirmed that if it is possible for a mortgagee to
recover possession peaceably, no court order is necessary. Many tenants have
statutory protection and the landlord must prove to a court that he has appropriate
grounds for possession. Under the Housing Act 1988 a tenant may claim damages for
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 allows the court to impose a restraining
order against a tenant who is harassing a neighbour, which might require the
harasser to be evicted (see NUISANCE NEIGHBOURS).
evidence n. That which tends to prove the existence or nonexistence of some fact.
lt may consist of *testimony, *documentary evidence, *real evidence, and, when
admissible, *hearsay evidence. The law of evidence comprises all the rules governing
the presentation of facts and proof in proceedings before a court, including in
particular the rules governing the *admissibility of evidence and the *exclusionary
evidenced in writing  See UNENFORCEABLE CONTRACT.
evidence in rebuttal   Evidence offered to counteract (rebut) other evidence in a
case. There are some restrictions on the admissibility of evidence in rebuttal, for
example if it relates to a collateral question, such as the *credit of a witness.
evidence obtained illegally Evidence obtained by some means contrary to law.
At common law, if evidence was obtained illegally (e.g. as a result of a search of
premises without a search warrant), it was not inadmissible but the court might
exclude it as a matter of discretion. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
provides that the court may refuse to allow evidence on which the prosecution
proposes to rely if the admission of the evidence would have such an adverse effect
on the fairness of the proceedings that the court ought not to admit it. The
*Human Rights Act 1998 and the cases now being decided under its provisions have
left the previous law in some doubt. See alsoCONFESSION.
evidence of character See CHARACTER.
evidence of disposition See DISPOSITION.
evidence of identity That which tends to prove the identity of a person. A
person's identity may be proved by *direct evidence (even though it may involve an
expression of *opinion) or by *circumstantial evidence. *Secondary evidence of an
out-of-court identification by a witness (e.g. that he picked the accused out of an
evidence of opinion
identification parade) may also be given to confirm the witness's testimony. In
criminal cases, if the evidence of identity is wholly or mainly based on visual
identification the jury must be specially warned of the danger of accepting the
evidence; any *corroboration must be pointed out to them by the judge. In criminal
cases this issue must be dealt with under the detailed provisions of the appropriate
Code of Practice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Failure to follow
this procedure and its accompanying safeguards will render the evidence of identity
inadmissible. See also DNA FINGERPRINTING.
evidence of opinion  See OPINION EVIDENCE.
evidence of user   Evidence of the manner in which the parties to a contract have
acted. In a limited number of circumstances, evidence of user is admissible to assist
the court in resolving a dispute between the parties as to their precise obligations. It
may, for example, help to clarify an ambiguity in the wording of the contract or an
allegation that written terms have been varied by oral agreement.
ex aequo et bono  [Latin] As a result of fair dealing and good conscience, i.e. on
the basis of *equity. The phrase refers to the way in which an international tribunal
can base its decision not upon conventional law but on what is just and fair to the
parties before it. Article 38(2) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice
specifically authorizes settlement of disputes based upon ex aequo et bonoshould
both parties give their consent, although the Court has not yet given any judgment
on this basis.
examination n.  The questioning of a witness on oath or affirmation. In court, a
witness is subject to *examination-in-chief, *cross-examination, and *re-
examination. In some circumstances a witness may be examined prior to the court
hearing (see COMMISSION).
examination-in-chief (direct examination) The questioning of a witness by the
party who called him to give evidence. *Leading questions may not be asked, except
on matters that are introductory to the witness's evidence or are not in dispute or
(with permission of the judge) when the witness is *hostile. The purpose of
examination-in-chief is to elicit facts favourable to the case of the party conducting
the examination. It is followed by a *cross-examination by the opposing party.
examined copy   See ABSTRACT OF TITLE.
examining justices Justices of the peace sitting upon a preliminary inquiry into
whether or not there is sufficient evidence to commit an accused person from the
magistrates' court to the Crown Court for trial on indictment.
excepted perils  Risks expressly excluded from the cover given by an insurance
exchange of contracts  The point at which a purchaser of land exchanges a copy
of the sale contract signed by him for an identical copy signed by the vendor. At
that point the contract becomes legally binding on both parties and the purchaser
acquires an *equitable interest in the land.
exchange of medical reports  The exchange of medical reports in personal
injury actions in the hope that they can be agreed before the hearing of the case,
thus saving time and expense. The exchange of reports that are intended to be
relied on at the hearing is compulsory, unless the court's permission not to disclose
exclusive jurisdiction
is obtained. The court also has power to order disclosure of medical reports by
persons not party to the proceedings, such as a hospital authority.
Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) A component of the *European Monetary
System under which the central banks of participating countries could not allow
their currencies to fluctuate more than a certain percentage above (the ceiling rate)
or below (minimum rate) a central rate, which was set in *ECUs. The system was
intended as a precursor to full *European Monetary Union (EMU). The ERMlinked
currencies with the aim of ensuring their stability. From 1999, states wishing to
participate join ERMII, which is based on the euro and supervised by the *European
Central Bank.
Exchequer n. The department within Government that receives and controls the
excise duty A charge or toll payable on certain goods produced and consumed
within the UK.Payments for licences, e.g. for the sale of spirits, are also classed as
excise duty. Compare CUSTOMS DUTY.
exclusion and restriction of contractual liability See EXEMPTION CLAUSE.
exclusion and restriction of negligence liability The Unfair Contract Terms
Act 1977 provides that a person cannot exclude or restrict his *business liability for
death or injury resulting from negligence. Nor can he exclude or restrict his
liability for other loss or damage arising from negligence, unless any contract term
or notice by which he seeks to do so satisfies the requirement of reasonableness (as
defined in detail in the Act). For the purposes of this provision, negligence means
the breach of any contractual or common-law duty to take reasonable care or
exercise reasonable skill or of the *common duty of care imposed by the Occupiers'
Liability Acts 1957 and 1984. There are similar provisions in relation to consumer
contracts in the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.
exclusionary rules  Rules in the law of evidence prohibiting the proof of certain
facts or the proof of facts in particular ways. Although all irrelevant evidence must
be excluded, the rules are usually restricted to relevant evidence, e.g. the rule
against *hearsay evidence. Exclusionary rules may be justified in various ways; for
example, by the desirability of excluding material that is of little evidentiary weight
or may be unfairly prejudicial to an accused person.
exclusion order An order of the Secretary of State under the Prevention of
Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 (now repealed) excluding a named person
from Great Britain, Northern Ireland, or the UK in order to prevent terrorist acts
aimed at influencing policy or opinion concerning Northern Ireland. See also
exclusion requirement A requirement in an *emergency protection order or an
interim care order that a person who is suspected of having abused a child is
excluded from the child's home. A *power of arrest may be attached to the order.
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) A zone defined by Articles 55-75 of the UN
Convention on the Law of the Sea as comprising that area of sea adjacent to a
coastal state not exceeding 200 miles from the *baseline of the territorial sea. The
state shall have sovereign rights over the zone for the purpose of exploring and
exploiting, conserving, and managing the living and nonliving resources of the sea,
seabed, and subsoil within it. See alsoHIGH SEAS; LAW OF THE SEA; TERRITORIAL WATERS.
exclusive jurisdiction 1. That part of the jurisdiction of the *Court of Chancery
that belonged to the Chancery alone. The jurisdiction ceased after the Judicature
excusable homicide
Acts 1873-75, but the matters under exclusive jurisdiction (e.g. trusts, administration
of estates) are now dealt with in the Chancery Division. Compare CONCURRENT
JURISDICTION. 2. A clause in a commercial agreement providing that only the English,
Scottish, or other courts will be entitled to determine disputes between the parties.
Normally agreements provide that the parties agree to submit to either the
exclusive or the nonexclusive jurisdiction of particular courts. If no such clause is
included, international conventions, such as the Brussels and Lugano conventions,
determine which courts have jurisdiction. EUregulation 44/2001 contains provisions
in this area applicable from January 2001. In particular, customers are given a right
to bring proceedings in their home state.
excusable homicide  The killing of a human being that results in no criminal
liability, either because it took place in lawful *self-defence or by misadventure (an
accident not involving gross negligence).
ex debito justitiae [Latin] As a matter of right. The phrase is applied to remedies
that the court is bound to give when they are claimed, as distinct from those that it
has discretion to grant.
executed adj. Completed. Acontract that has been carried out by both parties is
said to have been executed, and *consideration that has been actually given for a
contract is described as executed consideration. See alsoEXECUTED TRUST. Compare
executed trust (completely constituted trust, perfect trust)   A trust that is
complete and enforceable by the beneficiaries without further acts by the settlor.
execution n. 1. The process of carrying out a sentence of death imposed by a
court. See also CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. 2. The enforcement of the rights of a judgment
creditor (see also ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT). The term is often used to mean the
recovery of a debt only, especially by seizure of goods belonging to the debtor under
a writ of *fieri facias or a warrant of execution. In the case of property not subject
to ordinary forms of execution, e.g. an interest under a trust, judgment is enforced
by means of *equitable execution.  3. The completion of the formalities necessary
for a written document to become legally valid. In the case of a *deed, for example,
this comprises the signing and delivery of the document. See alsoEXECUTION OF WILL.
execution of will   The process by which a testator's will is made legally valid.
Under the Wills Act 1837 the will must be signed at the end by the testator or by
someone authorized by him, and the signature must be made or acknowledged (see
ACKNOWLEDGMENT) by the testator in the presence of at least two witnesses, present
at the same time, who must themselves sign the will or acknowledge their
signatures in the testator's presence. A will witnessed by a beneficiary or the
beneficiary's spouse is not void, but the gift to that beneficiary or spouse is void.
executive agency  An independent agency, operating under a chief executive,
that is responsible for delivering a service according to the policy of a central
government department. Examples are the Benefits Agency and the Passport
Agency. The intention is that central government should become purely policy-
making, the services it is responsible for being delivered by executive agencies.
executor n.  Aperson appointed by a will to administer the testator's estate. A
deceased person's property is vested in his executors, who are empowered to deal
with it as directed by the will from the time of the testator's death. They must,
however, usually obtain a grant of *probate from the court in order to prove the
exemption clause
will and their right to deal with the estate. Appointment as an executor confers
only the power to deal with the deceased's property in accordance with his will, and
not beneficial ownership, although an executor may also be a beneficiary under the
will. Compare ADMINISTRATOR.
executor de son tort [French: by his own wrongdoing] A person who deals
(intermeddles) with a deceased person's assets without the authority of the rightful
personal representatives or of the court. He is answerable to the rightful personal
representatives and to the creditors of the estate for any acts done without such
authority and for any assets of the estate that come into his hands.
executor's year The period of a year, starting from the death of the deceased,
within which nobody can compel his personal representatives to distribute the
estate, even if the testator has directed payment of a legacy before the expiry of
that period (Administration of Estates Act 1925).
executory adj. Remaining to be done. A contract that has yet to be carried out is
said to be an executory contract, and *consideration that has still to be given for a
contract is described as executory consideration. See alsoEXECUTORY INTEREST;
executory interest (mainly historical) An interest in property that arises or
passes to a particular person on the occurrence of a specified event. For example,
when property is settled in trust "for A, but for B if he marries Mary", then Bhas
an executory interest. Under the Law of Property Act 1925 executory interests in
land can only exist as equitable interests. Compare REMAINDER; REVERSION.
executory trust (imperfect trust, incompletely constituted trust) A trust that
is incomplete, i.e. one that the beneficiaries are unable to enforce until some further
act is done by the settlor or a third party. Com pare EXECUTED TRUST.
exemplary damages (punitive damages, vindictive damages) Damages given
to punish the defendant rather than (or as well as) to compensate the claimant for
harm done. Such damages are exceptional in tort, since the general rule is that
damages are given only to compensate for loss caused. They can be awarded in some
tort actions: (1) when expressly authorized by statute; (2) to punish oppressive,
arbitrary, or unconstitutional acts by government servants; (3)when the defendant
has deliberately calculated that the profits to be made out of committing a tort (e.g.
by publishing a defamatory book) may exceed the damages at risk. In such cases,
exemplary damages are given to prove that "tort does not pay". Exemplary damages
cannot be given for breach of contract.
exemption clause A term in a contract purporting to exclude or restrict the
liability of one of the parties in specified circumstances. The courts do not regard
exemption clauses with favour. If such a clause is ambiguous, they will interpret it
narrowly rather than widely. If an exclusion or restriction is not recited in a formal
contract but is specified or referred to in an informal document, such as a ticket or
a notice displayed in a hotel, it will not even be treated as a term of the contract
(unless reasonable steps were taken to bring it to the notice of the person affected
at the time of contracting). The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and Unfair Terms in
Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 contain complex provisions limiting the
extent to which a person can exclude or restrict his *business liability towards
consumers. In addition, the 1977 Act subjects certain types of exemption clause to a
test of reasonableness, even in a business-to-business transaction. The Office of Fair
Trading runs an unfair terms unit to monitor such clauses and enforce the 1999
Regulations. Other statutes forbidding the exclusion or restriction of particular
exempt supply
forms of liability are the Defective Premises Act 1972,the Consumer Protection Act
1987, and the Road Traffic Act 1988. See alsoEXCLUSION AND RESTRICTION OF NEGLIGENCE
exempt supply A supply that is outside the scope of *value-added tax. Examples
include sales of land, the supply of certain financial and insurance services, and the
services performed in the course of employment. See also ZERO-RATED SUPPLY.
exequatur n. A certificate issued by a host state that admits and accords
recognition to the official status of a *consul, authorizing him to carry out consular
functions in that country. The sending state grants the consular official a
commission or patent, which authorizes the consul to represent his state's interests
within the host state.
ex gratia   [Latin] Done as a matter of favour. An ex gratia payment is one not
required to be made by a legal duty.
exhaustion of local remedies  The rule of customary international law that
when an *alien has been wronged, all municipal remedies available to the injured
party in the host country must have been pursued before the alien appeals to his
own government to intervene on his behalf. This is a customary precondition to any
*espousal of claim by a state on behalf of a national based upon foreign soil.
exhaustion of rights  Afree-trade principle which holds that, once goods are put
on the market, owners of *intellectual property rights in those goods, who made
the goods or allowed others to do so under their rights, may not use national
intellectual property rights to prevent an import or export of the goods. Within the
EUthese rules derive from Articles 28-30 (formerly 30-36) of the Treaty of Rome.
exhibit   1. n.  Aphysical object or document produced in a court, shown to a
witness who is giving evidence, or referred to in an *affidavit. Exhibits are marked
with an identifying number, and in jury trials the jury is normally permitted to
take exhibits with them when they retire to consider their verdict. Physical objects
produced for the inspection of the court (e.g. a murder weapon) are referred to as
*real evidence.  2. vb. To refer to an object or document in an *affidavit.
ex nudo pacto non orituractio  See CONSIDERATION.
ex officio [Latini By virtue of holding an office. Thus, the Lord Chief Justice is ex
officio a member of the Court of Appeal.
ex officio information A criminal information laid by the Attorney General on
behalf of the Crown. It was abolished in 1967. See LAYlNG AN INFORMATION.
ex officio magistrate Amagistrate by virtue of holding some other office,
usually that of mayor of a city or borough. Most ex officio magistrateships were
abolished by the Justices of the Peace Act 1968 and the Administration of Justice Act
1973, but High Court judges are justices of the peace ex officio for the whole of
England and Wales and the Lord Mayor and aldermen are justices ex OfficiOfor the
City of London.
ex parte   [Latin] 1. On the part of one side only. Since the introduction of the
*Civil Procedure Rules in 1999, this phrase is no longer used in civil proceedings,
having been replaced by without notice. See WITHOUT NOTICE APPLICATION. 2. On
behalf of. This term is used in the headings of law reports together with the name
of the person making the application to the court in the case in question.
expatriation n.  Aperson's voluntary action of living outside his native country,
express trust
either permanently or during his employment abroad, whereby he renounces or
loses allegiance to his former state of nationality. Compare DEPORTATION.
expectant heir A person who has an interest in remainder or in reversion in
property or a chance of succeeding to it (interest in expectancy). An unconscionable
contract with an expectant heir (e.g.in which he sells his inheritance at an
undervalue in order to raise cash) may be set aside by the court.
expert opinion  See OPINION EVIDENCE.
Expiring Laws Continuance Acts Statutes formerly passed annually to
continue in force for a further year a number of miscellaneous Acts that were
originally stated to remain in force for one year only. The renewal of temporary
statutes is now effected individually.
explosive n. Any substance made in order to achieve an explosion that causes
damage or destruction or intended to be used in that way by a person who possesses
it. If someone committing *burglary has an explosive with him, he is guilty of
aggravated burglary, punishable with a maximum of life imprisonment. The
Explosive Substances Act 1883 creates special offences of (1)causing an explosion
that is likely to endanger life or cause serious damage to property (even if no harm
or damage is actually done); (2) attempting to cause such an explosion; and (3)
making or possessing an explosive with the intention of using it to endanger life or
to seriously damage property. Under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, it is
an offence to injure anyone by means of an explosion, to send or deliver an
explosive to anyone, or to place an explosive near a building, ship, or boat with the
intention of causing physical injury. These crimes cover most acts of *terrorism.
export bans  *Anticompetitive practices that have the effect of banning the resale
of products from one EU territory in another state of the ED.Export bans have long
been held to infringe the competition rules in *Article 81 of the Treaty of Rome;
they can lead the European Commission to levy fines of up to 10% of annual
worldwide group turnover. Examples of practices that infringe the rules include
clauses in contracts banning exports; an export ban in a written contract will be
void when Article 81 applies. However, when the *vertical agreements regulation
2790/99 applies it is permitted to restrict an exclusive distributor from actively
soliciting sales outside its territory. It is not permissible to prevent a distributor
from advertising on a website as this is regarded as 'passive' rather than 'active'
selling. In addition, practices that have the effect of bolstering or imposing an
export ban are forbidden, including buying up all *parallel imports, marking
products solely for the purposes of tracing them to stop parallel importation, and
sending faxes to, or otherwise putting pressure on, dealers not to engage in parallel
ex post facto  [Latin: by a subsequent act] Describing any legal act, such as a
statute, that has retrospective effect.
expressio unius est exe/usio alterius  See INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES.
express term A provision of a contract, agreed to by the parties, that is either
written or spoken. Such a provision may be classified as a *condition, a *warranty,
or an *innominate term. Compare IMPLIED TERM.
express trust A trust created expressly by the settlor, i.e. by stating directly his
intention to create a trust. There is no need for formal words provided that the
intention to create a trust is clear from the documents or from the oral statements
of the settlor, but most express trusts are contained in documents that have been
professionally drafted. Compare IMPLIED TRUST.
expropriation n. The taking by the state of private property for public purposes,
normally without compensation (compare COMPULSORY PURCHASE, which carries with it
a right to compensation). The right to expropriate is known in some legal systems as
the right of eminent domain. In the UK, expropriation requires statutory authority
except in time of war or apprehended war (see ROYAL PREROGATIVE).
ex proprio motu (ex mero motu) [Latin: of his own motion] Describing acts that
a court may perform on its own initiative and without any application by the
expulsion n. The termination by a state of an alien's legal entry and right to
remain. This is often based upon the ground that the alien is considered undesirable
or a threat to the state. Com pare DEPORTATION.
extended sentence A sentence longer than the maximum prescribed for a
particular offence, which was formerly imposed on persistent offenders under
certain circumstances. The power to impose extended sentences was abolished by
the Criminal Justice Act 1991.
extinguishment n. The cessation or cancellation of some right or interest. For
example, an *easement is extinguished if the dominant and servient tenements
come into the same ownership. Mere *non-user of an easement, however, will not
cause it to be extinguished unless an intention to abandon it can be shown.
extortion n. A common-law offence committed by a public officer who uses his
position to take money or any other benefit that is not due to him. If he obtains the
benefit by means of menaces, this may also amount to blackmaiL
extradition n. The surrender by one state to another of a person accused of
committing an offence in the latter. Extradition from the UK relates to surrender
to foreign states (compare FUGITIVE OFFENDER) and is governed by the Extradition Act
1989.There must be an *extradition treaty between the UK and the state requiring
the surrender. The offence alleged must be a crime in the UK as well as in the
requesting state, it must be both covered by the treaty and within the list of
extraditable offences contained in the Act itself, and it must not be of a political
character. See also DOUBLE CRIMINALITY.
extradition treaty A treaty under the terms of which a state agrees to deport a
fugitive criminal (or suspect) to the state where the offence was committed or to
the fugitive's state of nationality (see EXTRADITION). In the latter case the crime in
question must be one that is a breach of the municipal law of the national
committed outside the territorial boundaries of the state of which he is a citizen.
Extradition treaties are bilateral in character and there is a lack of uniformity in
their provisions and in their interpretation. However, they invariably contain the
following three features: (1) the state that has custody will not surrender the
fugitive unless prima facie evidence of his guilt is submitted to them; (2)no political
offenders will be surrendered; (3)no surrender will be made unless adequate
assurances are given that the accused will not on that occasion be tried for any
offence other than the crime for which he is surrendered.
extrajudicial divorce A divorce granted outside a court of law by a nonjudicial
process (such as a *ghet or a *talaq). An extrajudicial divorce will not be recognized
in the UK if it takes place in the UK,Channel Islands, or Isle of Man. See also
ex turpi causa non oritur actio
extraordinary general meeting Any meeting of company members other than
the *annual general meeting (see alsoGENERAL MEETING). Except when the meeting is
for the passing of a *special resolution, 14 days' written notice must be given (7days
suffices in the case of an unlimited company). Only *special business can be
transacted. Such a meeting can be convened by the directors at their discretion or
by company members who either hold not less than 10% of the paid-up voting
shares (see CALL) or, in companies without a share capital (see LIMITED COMPANY;
UNLIMITED COMPANY), represent not less than 10%of the voting rights.
extraordinary resolution   A decision reached by a majority of not less than 75%
of company members voting in person or by proxy at a general meeting. It is
appropriate in situations specified by the Companies Act 1985, e.g. *voluntary
winding-up. At least 14 days' notice must be given of the intention to propose an
extraordinary resolution; if the resolution is to be proposed at the annual general
meeting, 21 days' notice is required.
extraterritoriality n.  Atheory in international law explaining *diplomatic
immunity on the basis that the premises of a foreign mission form a part of the
territory of the sending state. This theory is not accepted in English law (thus a
divorce granted in a foreign embassy in England is not obtained outside the British
Isles for purposes of the Recognition of Divorces Act 1971). Diplomatic immunity is
based either on the theory that the diplomatic mission personifies - and is entitled
to the immunities of - the sending state or on the practical necessity of such
immunity for the functioning of diplomacy.
extrinsic evidence Evidence of matters not referred to in a document offered in
evidence to explain, vary, or contradict its meaning. Its admissibility is governed by
the *parol evidence rule.
ex turpi causa non oritur actio  [Latin: no action can be based on a disreputable
cause] The principle that the courts may refuse to enforce a claim arising out of the
claimant's own illegal or immoral conduct or transactions. Hence parties who have
knowingly entered into an *illegal contract may not be able to enforce it and a
person injured by a fellow-criminal while they are jointly committing a serious
crime may not be able to sue for damages for the injury.
false plea
fact n. An event or state of affairs known to have happened or existed. It may be
distinguished from law (as in *trier of fact) or, in the law of evidence, from opinion
(see OPINION EVIDENCE). The facts in issueare the main facts that a party carrying the
persuasive *burden of proof must establish in order to succeed; in a wider sense
they may include subordinate or collateral facts, such as those affecting the *credit
of a witness or the *admissibility of evidence. See alsoFACTUM.
factor n. An agent entrusted with the possession of goods (or documents of title
representing goods) for the purposes of sale. A factor is likely to fall within the
definition of a *mercantile agent in the Factors Act 1889and to have the powers of
a mercantile agent. A factor has a *lien over the goods entrusted to him that covers
any claims against the principal arising out of the agency.
factum n. [Latin] 1. A *fact or statement of facts. For example, a factum probans
(pl. facta probantia) is a fact offered in evidence as proof of another fact, and a
factum probandum (pl. facta probanda) is a fact that needs to be proved. 2. An act
or deed. See also NON EST FACTUM.
failure to maintain The failure of either spouse to provide reasonable
maintenance for the other or to make a proper contribution towards the
maintenance of any children of the family during the subsistence of the marriage.
Upon proof of such failure, magistrates' courts have jurisdiction to make orders for
unsecured periodical payments and for lump-sum orders not exceeding £1000. The
divorce county courts and High Court have power to make orders for periodical
payment (which may also be secured by a charge on the property of the respondent
spouse) and for lump-sum orders (of any sum). It is no longer necessary to prove
wilful neglect to maintain (i.e. deliberate withholding of maintenance). Under the
Child Support Act 1991, application for periodical payments for children can now
usually be made directly to the Child Support Agency (see CHILD SUPPORT
MAINTENANCE) rather than the court.
failure to make disclosure Failure of a party to disclose documents as required
by a disclosure direction (see DISCLOSURE AND INSPECTION OF DOCUMENTS). This will lead
to an application to the court for an order compelling disclosure. The court will
most likely consider an *unless order with some sanction for noncompliance, e.g.
dismissal of action, striking out of the defence.
fair comment The defence to an action for *defamation that the statement made
was fair comment on a matter of public interest. The facts on which the comment
is based must be true and the comment must be fair. Any honest expression of
opinion, however exaggerated, can be fair comment. but remarks inspired by
personal spite and mere abuse are not. The judge decides whether or not the matter
is one of public interest. See also ROLLED-UP PLEA.
fair dismissal  *Dismissal of an employee when a tribunal decides that an
employer has acted reasonably in dismissing the employee and that the dismissal
was for a lawful reason, i.e. on the grounds of the employee's capability,
qualifications, or conduct; redundancy; the fact that it would be illegal to continue
employing the employee: or some other sufficient and substantial reason. Compare
fair rent Rent fixed by a rent officer or rent assessment committee for the holder
of a *protected or *statutory tenancy. The rent is registered in relation to the
property. When fixing the rent, no account is taken of the scarcity of rented
property and therefore the rent is often lower than a market rent. The rent of
*assured tenancies is fixed by agreement between the landlord and tenant. The
tenant can apply to a *rent assessment committee to determine the rent if the
landlord wishes to increase it. The committee must fix the rent at the amount the
landlord could obtain on the open market. There is no registration of rent for
assured tenancies, but the rents determined by rent assessment committees are
recorded and this information is available to the public.
fair trial A right set out in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human
Rights and now part of UK law as a consequence of the *Human Rights Act 1998.
The right to a fair trial applies in civil and criminal proceedings and includes the
right to a public hearing (subject to some exceptions) by an independent and
impartial tribunal established by law. In criminal cases there are the following
specified rights: the *presumption of innocence; the right to be told the details of
the case; to have time and facilities to prepare a defence and to instruct lawyers
(with financial support where necessary); to call witnesses and examine the
witnesses for the prosecution; and to have the free assistance of an interpreter. See
fairway n. The mid-channel of a navigable river, extending as near to the shore as
there is sufficient depth of water for ordinary navigation.
fair wear and tear A phrase often found in repairing covenants in leases. When a
tenant is not obliged to repair fair (reasonable) wear and tear occurring during his
tenancy, he must nevertheless do any repairs to prevent consequential damage
resulting from the original wear and tear. For example, if a slate blows off a roof
the tenant is not liable to repair it, but he ought to prevent the rain entering
through the hole and doing more damage.
false accounting An offence, punishable by up to seven years' imprisonment,
committed by someone who dishonestly falsifies, destroys, or hides any account or
document used in accounting or who uses such a document knowing or suspecting
it to be false or misleading. The offence must be committed for the purpose of gain
or causing loss to another. There is also a special offence (also punishable by up to
seven years' imprisonment) committed by a company director who publishes or
allows to be published a written statement he knows or suspects is misleading or
false in order to deceive members or creditors of the company. See also FORGERY.
false imprisonment Unlawful restriction of a person's freedom of movement,
not necessarily in a prison. Any complete deprivation of freedom of movement is
sufficient, so false imprisonment includes unlawful arrest and unlawfully
preventing a person leaving a room or a shop. The restriction must be total: it is not
imprisonment to prevent a person proceeding in one direction if he is free to leave
in others. False imprisonment is a form of *trespass to the person, so it is not
necessary to prove that it has caused actual damage. It is both a crime and a tort.
Damages, which may be *aggravated or *exemplary, can be obtained in tort and the
writ of *habeas corpus is available to restore the imprisoned person to liberty.
false plea (sham plea) A statement of case that is obviously frivolous or absurd
and is made only for the purpose of vexation or delay. A court may order a
false pretence
statement of case that would adversely affect the fair trial of a case to be struck out
or amended.
false pretence The act of misleading someone by a false representation, either by
words or conduct. The former offence of obtaining property by false pretences is
now known as obtaining property by *deception.
false statement See PERJURY.
false trade description A description of goods made in the course of a business
that is false in respect of certain facts (see TRADE DESCRIPTION). Under the Trade
Descriptions Acts 1968 and 1972 it is an offence to apply a false trade description to
goods either directly, by implication, or indirectly (e.g.by tampering with a car's
mileometer or painting over rust on the bodywork). It is also an offence to supply
or offer to supply goods to which a false trade description is attached. These
offences are triable either summarily or on indictment (in which case they carry a
maximum two years' prison sentence). They are offences of *strict liability,
although certain specified defences are allowed (e.g. that the defendant relied on
information supplied by someone else). The Acts are supplemented by the Fair
Trading Act 1973.
falsification of accounts See FALSE ACCOUNTING.
family n. A group of people connected by a close relationship. For legal purposes a
family is usually limited to relationships by blood, marriage, or adoption, although
sometimes (e.g.for social security purposes) statute expressly includes other people,
such as common-law wives (see COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE). The courts have interpreted
the word "family" to include unmarried couples living as husband and wife in
permanent and stable relationships. In the past, gay couples have always been
excluded from the definition. However, in a recent case the court interpreted the
word "family" in the Rent Act 1977to include the gay partner of a deceased tenant.
family assets Property acquired by one or both parties to a marriage to be used
for the benefit of the family as a whole. Typical examples are the *matrimonial
home, furniture, and car. There is no special body of law dealing with family assets
as such, but the courts have wide discretion to make orders in relation to such assets
upon dissolution of the marriage and have developed flexible guidelines to apply in
the case of family assets. Thus, one spouse will often acquire a share in the home
owned by the other, by reason of his or her contributions to the welfare of the
family and its finances.
family assistance order A court order under the Children Act 1989 that a
probation officer, or an officer of a local authority, should advise, assist, and
befriend a particular child or a person closely connected with the child (such as a
parent) in order to provide short-term support for the family. The order can only be
made with the consent of the person it concerns (other than the child) and has
effect for up to six months.
Family Division  The division of the *High Court concerned with *family
proceedings and noncontentious probate matters. Until 1971, it was known as the
*Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division. It may hear some appeals (see APPELLATE
JURISDICTION). The chief judge of the Division is called the President.
Family Health Services Authority (FHSA)  See HEALTH AUTHORITY; NATIONAL
fatal accidents
family life A right set out in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human
Rights and now part of UK law as a consequence of the *Human Rights Act 1998.
The right to family life extends beyond formal relationships and legitimate
arrangements. This right is a *qualified right; as such, the public interest can be
used to justify an interference with it providing that this is prescribed by law,
designed for a legitimate purpose, and proportionate. Public authorities have a
limited but positive duty to protect family life from interference by third parties.
The right to found a family (the right to procreation) is contained in Article 12 of
the Convention.
family name See SURNAME.
family proceedings All court proceedings under the inherent jurisdiction of the
High Court that deal with matters relating to the *welfare of children. Before 1989
the court's powers to make orders concerning children varied, depending on the
level of the court and the proceedings involved. The Children Act 1989,together with
the Family Proceedings Rules 1991, rationalized the court's powers and created a
unified structure of the High Court, county courts, and magistrates' courts. The
ambit of family proceedings is very wide, including proceedings for *divorce,
domestic violence (see BAITERED SPOUSE OR COHABITANT), children in care (see CARE
ORDER), *adoption, and *wardship and applications for a parental order under section
30 of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990 (see SECTION 30 ORDER).
family provision Provision made by the courts out of the estate of a deceased
person in favour of his family or *dependants. The court may award a family
provision if it is satisfied that the provision made for the applicant either by the
deceased person or by the law of intestacy is, in the circumstances, unreasonable.
Farrand Committee A governmental committee set up in 1984 to consider (1)
what tests were needed for non-solicitor conveyancers, and what other requirements
should be imposed on them to ensure adequate consumer protection; and (2)the
scope for simplifying conveyancing practice and procedure in England and Wales.
*Licensed conveyancers were created in response to the committee's
recommendations on (1), and the Conveyancing Standing Committee was set up to
advise the Law Commission on (2).
fast track The track to which a civil case is allocated when the amount claimed
exceeds £5000 but is less than £15,000 (see ALLOCATION). The fast track provides a
streamlined procedure in order to ensure that any legal and other costs remain
proportionate to the amount claimed. It achieves this through the use of standard
directions by the court, a fixed timetable of about 30 weeks between directions and
trial, a trial of one day only, no oral expert evidence to be used in trial, and costs
being fixed dependent on the level of advocacy used.
fatal accidents  Formerly, at common law, the death of either party extinguished
the right to bring an action in tort. In addition, a person who caused death was not
liable to compensate the deceased's relatives and others who suffered loss because of
the death. Both rules have now been abolished by statute.
By the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934,a right of action by (or
against) a deceased person survives his death and can be brought for the benefit of
(or against) his estate. Thus if a person is killed in a motor accident due to the
negligence of the driver, an action can be brought against the driver in the name of
the deceased; any damages obtained become part of the deceased's estate. Actions for
defamation of a deceased person and claims for certain types of loss are excluded
from the Act and do not survive death.
federal state
The Fatal Accidents Act 1976,amended by the Administration of Justice Act 1982,
confers the right to recover damages for loss of support on the dependants of a
person who has been killed in an accident, if the deceased would have been able to
recover damages for injury but for his death. The class of dependants who may sue
is defined by statute and includes such persons as spouses, former spouses, parents,
children, brothers, and sisters. The main purpose of the action is to compensate
dependants for loss of the financial support they could have expected to receive
from the deceased. However, damages for bereavement may be claimed, on the
death of a spouse or an unmarried minor child, by the surviving spouse of the
former or the parents of the latter; other relatives have no claim. The amount
awarded is currently fixed at £7500. Funeral expenses can be recovered if incurred.
federal state  A state formed by the amalgamation or union of previously
autonomous or independent states. A newly created federal state is constitutionally
granted direct power over the subjects or citizens of the formerly independent
states. As such, the new federal state becomes a single composite international legal
person. Those former entities that comprise it have consented to subsume their
former sovereignty into that of the federal state, although they retain their identity
in municipal law. Examples of federal states include the USAand Switzerland.
fee n. A legal estate (other than leasehold) in land that is capable of being inherited.
Since the Law of Property Act 1925 the term's only modern significance is in the
phrase *fee simple absolute in possession. All other such estates that formerly
existed in fee are now equitable interests only.
fee farm rent See RENTCHARGE.
fee simple absolute in possession  One of only two forms of ownership of
land that, under the Lawof Property Act 1925,can exist as a legal estate (see also
TERM OF YEARS ABSOLUTE). All others take effect as equitable interests. Fee simple
indicates ownership that is not liable to end upon any person's death, with the
expiration of time, or on the failure of a particular line of heirs. Absolute means
that the owner's rights are not conditional or liable to terminate on the occurrence
of any event (except the exercise of a right of *re-entry - Law of Property
(Amendment) Act 1926). In possessionmeans that the owner's rights are immediate,
thus future interests do not qualify, but possession need not imply actual physical
occupation (for instance, a person in receipt of rents and profits can be said to be in
fee tail   A legal estate in land that was abolished by the Law of Property Act 1925.
It can now exist only as an equitable *entailed interest, and no new entailed
interests can be created since 1997.
felony n.  Formerly, an offence more serious than a *misdemeanour. Since 1967the
term has been abandoned (although it is retained in pre-1967statutes that are still in
force) and the law formerly relating to misdemeanours now applies to felonies. See
feme covert [Anglo-French] Amarried woman, under the *coverture of her
feme sole   [Anglo-French] An unmarried woman. The term includes a widow or
divorcee or a woman whose marriage has been annulled.
fieri facias
ferry n. A public highway by boat across water connecting places where the public
have rights (usually of way) granted by royal charter or acquired by *prescription.
feudal system A political, economic, and social system in which the main social
bond was the relationship between the Lord and others and in which this personal
relationship was inseparable from a proprietary relationship that existed between
them. It was introduced into England as a result of the Norman Conquest (1066). At
its centre was the doctrine of tenures. All the land in the country was regarded as
being owned by William I as the result of his conquest, and thereafter only the
Crown could own land. The subject could merely hold it on a tenure, either directly
from the Crown or indirectly through an intermediate superior. Such lands as
William did not retain in his own possession he parcelled out to his barons. Holding
directly from him, they were known as tenants-in-chief, and the tenures on which
they held were knight service (which involved a duty to render military service for
a specified number of days in each year), sergeanty (the performance of personal
services), or frankalmoign (services of a religious character). Tenants-in-chief
subgranted portions of their lands to lesser men to hold by tenure from them, the
lesser men did likewise, and so on. The process of subgranting was called
subinfeudation, and a man's immediate superior was known as his mesne lord.
The principal tenures by which land was held through subinfeudation were knight
service, frankalmoign, and socage (the rendering of agricultural or other services of
a fixed nature, including the payment of money). All these tenures were free
tenures. Much land was, however, held by unfree tenure, known as *copyhold: its
tenant (a villein) was required to give any type of labour demanded of him.
The system of tenures did not continue as an active force for more than a few
centuries. The services to be performed were gradually commuted to money
payments (quit rents), tenures were virtually reduced to socage and copyhold by the
Statute of Military Tenures (or Tenures Abolition Act) 1660,and copyhold was
converted into socage by the Law of Property Act 1922. However, the theory that the
subject cannot own the land itself remains at the roots of land law; what he can
own is an *estate in land, which entitles him to enjoy the land as much as if he did
own it.
fiction n. An assumption that something is true irrespective of whether it is really
true or not. In English legal history fictions were used by the courts during the
development of forms of court action. They enabled the courts to avoid cumbersome
procedures, to make remedies available when they would not be otherwise, and to
extend their jurisdiction. For example, the action of *trover was originally based on
the defendant's finding the claimant's goods and taking them for himself. In time, it
became unnecessary to prove the "finding": a remedy was granted on the basis only
of proving that the goods were the claimant's and that the defendant had taken
fiduciary  [from Latin: fiducia, trust] 1. n. A person, such as a trustee, who holds a
position of trust or confidence with respect to someone else and who is therefore
obliged to act solely for that person's benefit. 2. adj. In a position of trust or
confidence. Fiduciary relationships include those between trustees and their
beneficiaries, company promoters and directors and their shareholders, solicitors and
their clients, and guardians and their wards.
fieri facias (fi. fa.)  [Latin: you should cause to be done] A writ of execution to
enforce the payment of a debt when judgment has been entered against the debtor.
The writ can also be used to enforce a judgment for payment of damages. The writ
fieri feci
is addressed to the *sheriff requiring him to seize the property of the debtor in
order to pay the debt, interest, and costs.
fieri feci [Latin: I have caused to be done] The report of the *sheriff or other
appropriate officer saying how much he has recovered by levying execution under a
writ of *fieri facias.
fi. fa.   See FIERI FACIAS.
final act  A document containing a formal summary of the proceedings of an
international conference. The signature appended to the final act is not regarded as
binding on the signatory state with regard to the treaties it refers to. For the
document to be binding, a separate signature is required followed by *ratification.
In rare circumstances, the final act can constitute a *treaty.
final judgment The *judgment in civil proceedings that ends the action, usually
the judgment of the court at trial. Appeal against a final judgment may be made
without leave of the court. Compare INTERIM JUDGMENT.
final process A *writ of execution on a judgment or decree.
Finance Bill A parliamentary Bill dealing with taxation matters, usually
introduced each year to enact the Budget proposals.
financial assistance  (in company law) A loan, guarantee, security, indemnity, or
gift by a registered company or any of its subsidiaries made for the purpose of
assisting someone to acquire its shares. Under the Companies Act 1985,this is
unlawful unless it can be shown that the company's principal purpose for giving
the assistance was not to finance the acquisition of its shares or that the assistance
was an incidental part of another, larger, purpose of the company. A *private
company may make such transactions, however, if the directors make a declaration,
supported by the company's auditors, to the effect that the company is able to pay
all its debts for at least one year following the assistance being given. In addition,
the Companies Act 1985lays down a strict timetable for providing the assistance,
which must be complied with by the private company.
financial provision order An order for periodical payments or a lump sum
made for the purpose of adjusting the financial position of the parties to a marriage
and any children of the family. Such orders may be made on or after the granting
of a decree of divorce, nullity, or judicial separation or when one party to the
marriage has failed to provide, or to make a proper contribution towards, reasonable
maintenance for the other or a child of the family. On divorce, judicial separation,
or nullity, the court also has the power to make *property adjustment orders. In
determining whether to make financial provision orders, the court has a very wide
discretion under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.It has an overriding
duty to give first consideration to the welfare of any child under the age of 18 years
and to try to achieve a *clean break wherever possible. The Act lists seven matters
that the court must take into account as part of the circumstances it is to consider.
These include: the financial resources and needs each of the parties has or is likely
to have in the foreseeable future; the age of the parties and the length of the
marriage; the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the
marriage; the contributions that each of the parties has made to the welfare of the
family, which include looking after the home or caring for the family; and the
conduct of the parties, but only where it would be very unjust to ignore such
conduct. A recent landmark case in this area made it clear that the implicit
objective of section 25 is to achieve a fair outcome and that there should be no
discrimination between husbands and wives and their respective roles (i.e. if one
spouse stays at home while the other goes out to work, this fact is immaterial). A
starting point should be that assets are equally divided, unless there is a good reason
financial relief Any or all of the following: *maintenance pending suit orders,
*financial provision orders, *property adjustment orders, and court orders for
maintenance during the marriage and for the maintenance of children (see CHILD
SUPPORT MAINTENANCE). The court has powers to set aside transactions made by a
husband or wife with the intention of preventing a spouse from making a claim for
financial relief, or to prevent such a transaction from taking place (see AVOIDANCE OF
DISPOSITION ORDER). Financial relief provisions for children, other than in matrimonial
proceedings, are consolidated in the Children Act 1989;for example, it is possible for
unmarried parents and those in whose favour a residence order is made to obtain
financial relief. In addition, children over the age of 18have an independent right to
seek financial relief from their parents.
financial year For statutes referring to finance, the period fixed by a statute of
1854as the 12 calendar months ending on 31 March. Annual public accounts are
made up for this period. For income-tax purposes, the year runs to 5 April.
Companies and other bodies are free to choose their own financial years for
accounting purposes. See also TAX YEAR.
fine n. 1. A sum of money that an offender is ordered to pay on conviction. Most
*summary offences are punishable by a fine with a fixed maximum, in accordance
with a standard scale of five levels. These are currently (2001) as follows: level 1 -
£200; level 2 - £500; level 3 - £1000; level 4 - £2500; level 5 - £5000. Under the
Criminal Justice Act 1991, before fixing afine, a court must enquire into the
financial circumstances of the offender and the amount of the fine fixed by the
court should, in addition, reflect the seriousness of the offence. Sometimes provision
is made for imprisonment in cases of failure to pay the fine. Afine may also be
imposed instead of, or in addition to, any other punishment for someone convicted
on indictment (except in cases of murder). This fine is at large, i.e. the amount is at
the discretion of the judge. Fines are often imposed upon companies for breach of
statutory obligations; although the sums may be relatively small, companies will try
to avoid being fined because of the bad publicity this may cause.
When imposing a fine on an offender under the age of 16 (see JUVENILE OFFENDER),
the court is not normally empowered to order the offender to pay the fine himself
unless his parent or guardian cannot be found or it would be unreasonable in the
circumstances to expect his parent or guardian to pay it. Otherwise the offender
pays unless payment by the parent or guardian is more appropriate.
2. A lump-sum payment by a tenant to a landlord for the grant or renewal of a
lease. See also PREMIUM.
firearm n.  For the purposes of the Firearms Act 1968,any potentially lethal weapon
with a barrel that can fire a shot, bullet, or other missile or any weapon classified as
a *prohibited weapon (even if it is not lethal). The Act creates various offences in
relation to firearms. The main offences include: (1) buying or possessing a firearm
without a licence; (2)buying or hiring a firearm under the age of 17 or selling a
firearm to someone under 17 (similar offences exist under the Crossbows Act 1987 in
relation to crossbows); (3)possessing a firearm under the age of 14;(4)supplying
firearms to someone who is drunk or insane; (5)carrying a firearm and suitable
ammunition in a public place without a reasonable excuse; (6)trespassing with a
firearm; (7)possessing a firearm with the intention of endangering life; (8)using a
fire damage
firearm with the intention of resisting or preventing a lawful arrest; (9) having a
firearm with the intention of committing an indictable offence; (10) possessing a
firearm or ammunition after having previously been convicted of a crime; and (11)
having a firearm in one's possession at the time of committing or being arrested for
such offences as rape, burglary, robbery, and certain other offences. The Firearms
Act 1982 extends the provisions of the 1968Act to imitation firearms that can be
easily converted to firearms and a 1988Act strengthened controls over some of the
more dangerous types of firearms, shotguns, and ammunition.
The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997bans all handguns above .22 calibre. The
public may own and use less powerful pistols in secure gun clubs. The pistols may
not be removed from the clubs without prior permission of the police. The Act also
provided for the establishment of licensed gun clubs, tightened police licensing
procedures, and introduced stronger police powers to suspend or revoke certificates.
Anyone who uses a handgun must have a licence. The police have powers to revoke
certificates when good reasons for possessing the gun no longer exist. Illegal
possession of a prohibited weapon carries a maximum sentence of 10 years'
imprisonment. The government proposes to extend the ban to include all privately
owned handguns; legislation is expected to be in force by the end of 1997.
Under the Theft Act 1968 someone who has with him a firearm or imitation
firearm while committing *burglary is guilty of aggravated burglary. For the
purposes of this Act, a firearm may include an airgun, air pistol, or anything that
looks like a firearm. See alsoOFFENSIVE WEAPON; REPEAT OFFENDER.
fire damage An occupier of land or buildings is not liable for a fire that begins
there accidentally (Fires Prevention (Metropolis) Act 1774). Liability is imposed if the
fire is caused by negligence, nuisance, or a non-natural user of the land or if the
fire, having started accidentally, is negligently allowed to spread.
first offender A person with no previous conviction by a criminal court. A court
of summary jurisdiction (see MAGISTRATES' COURT) is not empowered to send a person
to prison for a first offence, unless it is satisfied that there is no other appropriate
method of dealing with that person. See also SENTENCE.
fiscal year  See TAX YEAR.
fishery n. See PISCARY.
fishery limits The area of sea over which a state claims exclusive fishing rights,
except as agreed in treaties with other states. British fishery limits extend to 200
nautical miles from the baselines used for measuring the *territorial waters. Fishery
limits may be limited or restricted by bilateral or multilateral fishing treaties or
agreements, such as the EU's *Common Fisheries Policy. The UK Merchant Shipping
Act 1988preventing "quota hopping" (see QUOTA) in British waters by non-UK EU
vessels, such as Spanish and Dutch vessels, was held unlawful by the European Court
of Justice in 1996.See alsoEXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE.
fit for habitation A statutory implied covenant applied to certain tenancies at a
very low rent. Premises are regarded as not reasonably fit for habitation if they are
defective in one or more of the following: repair, stability, freedom from damp,
natural lighting, ventilation, water supply, drainage and sanitary conveniences,
facilities for cooking and for storage and preparation of food, and disposal of waste
water. These provisions are currently under review. A landlord normally has no
obligation to see that premises are fit for habitation when the statutory provisions
do not apply. There is an implied term that furnished tenancies are fit for
habitation at the commencement of the tenancy.
flagrante delicto
fitness for purpose A standard that must be met by one who sells goods in the
course of a business. When the buyer makes known to the seller any particular
purpose for which the goods are being bought, there is an implied condition that
the goods are reasonably fit for that purpose, except when the circumstances show
that the buyer does not rely (or that it is unreasonable for him to rely) on the skill
or judgment of the seller.
fixed charge See CHARGE.
fixed-date summons Formerly, a summons in the county courts used to initiate
actions in which a claim was made for any relief other than the payment of money.
Such a claim is now made by means of a *claim form.
fixed penalty notice A notice given to a person who has committed a traffic
offence entitling that person to discharge any liability to conviction by payment of
a prescribed amount of money in accordance with the Road Traffic Offenders Act
fixed-sum credit Any facility (other than *running-account credit) under a
*personal-credit agreement by which the debtor is entitled to receive credit, either
in one amount or by instalments.
fixed term  A tenancy or lease for a fixed period. The date of commencement and
the length of a lease must be agreed before there can be a legally binding lease. It
may take effect from the date of the grant, an earlier date, or a date up to 21 years
ahead. At the end of the fixed term, the lease or tenancy comes to an end
automatically: there is no need for a notice to quit. However, if the tenancy is an
*assured tenancy, it will continue at the end of the term as a *statutory periodic
tenancy unless it is brought to an end by *surrender of tenancy or a court order. See
fixture n. A chattel that has been annexed to land or a building so as to become a
part of it, in accordance with the maxim quicquid plantatur solo, solo cedit
(whatever is annexed to the soil is given to the soil).Annexation normally involves
actual affixation, but a thing resting on its own weight can be regarded as annexed
if it can be shown that it was intended to become part of the land or to benefit it.
Fixtures become the property of the freeholder, subject to certain rights of removal
(as,for example, in the case of *trade fixtures and certain agricultural fixtures). A
vendor of land may retain the right to fixtures as against the purchaser by express
provision in the contract.
flag of convenience The national flag of a state flown by a ship that is
registered in that state but is owned by a national of another state. A state whose
law allows this practice can grant, in return for financial considerations, nationality
and the right to fly its national flag to virtually any ship without stipulating any
requirements, such as those relating to the safety of the ship and crew, the
nationality of the vessel's owner, or the country of construction. Before a state is
justified in extending its nationality to a ship, or permitting a ship to fly its flag, it
seems that there must be some effective link connecting the ship with the state.
Hence a flag of convenience may only be validly granted when a genuine link exists,
though what constitutes such a link remains unclear. See alsoFLAG STATE JURISDICTION.
flagrante delicto  [Latin] In the commission of an offence. Certain types of *arrest
can only be made when a person is in the act of committing an offence (see
ARRESTABLE OFFENCE). The phrase is most commonly applied to the situation in which
flag state jurisdiction
a person finds his or her spouse in the act of committing adultery. Someone who
kills his or her spouse in this situation may have a defence of *provocation.
flag state jurisdiction The rule whereby, exceptions applying, a ship on the
*high seas is subject only to the jurisdiction of the flag state, i.e. that state
permitting it the right to sail under its flag (see FLAG OF CONVENIENCE).
floating charge See CHARGE.
flotation n. A process by which a public company can, by an issue of securities
(shares or debentures), raise capital from the public. It may involve a prospectus
issue, in which the company itself issues a *prospectus inviting the public to
acquire securities; an offer for sale, in which the company sells the securities on
offer to an issuinghouse,which then issues a prospectus inviting the public to
purchase the securities from it; or a placing, whereby an issuing house arranges for
the securities to be taken up by its own or another's clients in the expectation that
they will ultimately become available to the public on the open market. See also
f.o.b. contract (free on board contract) A type of contract for the international
sale of goods in which the seller's duty is fulfilled by placing the goods on board a
ship. There are different types of f.o.b. contract: the buyer may arrange the shipping
space and the procurement of a bill of lading and nominate the ship to the seller; he
may nominate a general ship and leave it to the seller to place the goods on board
and to procure a bill of lading; or the seller may be asked to make all the shipping
arrangements for which the buyer will pay. The risk of accidental loss or damage
normally passes to the buyer when the goods are loaded onto the ship. Insurance
during the sea transit is the responsibility of the buyer. f.o.b. is a defined *incoterm
in Incoterm 2000.
following trust property  See TRACING TRUST PROPERTY.
football hooliganism The Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985
contains finable offences of possessing alcohol, being drunk, or causing or
permitting the carriage of alcohol on trains and vehicles capable of carrying nine or
more passengers; the vehicle must be carrying two or more passengers to or from a
"designated sporting event" (mainly Footballl.eague club and international fixtures),
and normal scheduled coach or train services are excluded. A constable who
reasonably suspects that a relevant offence is being or has been committed may stop
the vehicle or train and search it or the suspected offender. It is also an offence to
be drunk or to possess alcohol or (unless lawful authority is proved) fireworks and
similar objects (but not matches or lighters) in the viewing area within two hours
before, during, or one hour after the event, or while trying to enter. Under the
Public Order Act 1986,persons convicted of the above alcohol-related offences, or
offences committed at the football ground, can be excluded by the courts from
football matches. Admission to a designated football match is controlled under the
Football Spectators Act 1989and is subject to the control of disorderly behaviour
there under the Football (Offences) Act 1991. Under the Football Spectators Act 1989,
a banning order may be made to prohibit an offender from attending a football
match in England and Wales. Such an order may also require that the offender
surrender his passport to prevent him travelling to a football match abroad. See also
footpath n. Under the Highways Act 1980,any *highway (other than a *footway)
over which the public have a right of wayan foot only.
foreign agreement
footway n. Under the Highways Act 1980, any way over which the public have a
right of wayan foot only and which is part of a highway that also comprises a way
for the passage of vehicles. Compare FOOTPATH.
forbearance n. A deliberate failure to exercise a legal right (e.g.to sue for a debt).
A forbearance to sue at a debtor's request may be *consideration for some fresh
promise by the debtor. A promise not to enforce a claim that is bad in law may still
be consideration if the claim is believed to be valid. A requested forbearance, even if
it is not binding, may have more limited effects either at common law or in equity
(e.g. in certain circumstances it may not be revoked without reasonable notice).
force majeure [French) Irresistible compulsion or coercion. The phrase is used
particularly in commercial contracts to describe events possibly affecting the
contract and that are completely outside the parties' control. Such events are
normally listed in full to ensure their enforceability; they may include *acts of God,
fires, failure of suppliers or subcontractors to supply the supplier under the
agreement, and strikes and other labour disputes that interfere with the supplier's
performance of an agreement. An express clause would normally excuse both delay
and a total failure to perform the agreement.
forcible entry A common-law offence (as amended by various statutes) that
applied under certain circumstances when force was used to gain entry to premises.
The common-law offence has been replaced by a statutory *arrestable offence of
using or threatening violence against people or property in order to secure entry
into premises (Criminall.aw Act 1977). The offence only applies if there is someone
present on the premises who is opposed to the entry and the offender knows of this.
The fact that the offender is the legal owner or occupier of the premises is not in
itself a defence. However, there is a special defence if the offender can prove that he
was at the relevant time a displaced *residential occupier or protected intending
occupier who requires the property for his residence and has a qualifying freehold
or leasehold interest, tenancy, or licence and was seeking to gain entry or to pass
through premises that form an access to his own place of residential occupation.
These provisions do not apply to landlords seeking to regain possession and it is a
summary offence to make false statements when claiming to be a protected
occupier. It is not an offence, however, for a person unlawfully evicted from his
own home to use force to re-enter, subject to the common-law rule that the force
must not be excessive. The police may use force to enter with lawful authority. See
foreclose down   See REDEEM UP, FORECLOSE DOWN.
foreclosure n. A remedy available to a mortgagee when the mortgagor has failed
to payoff a *mortgage by the contractual date for redemption. The mortgagee is
entitled to bring an action in the High Court, seeking an order fixing a date to pay
off the debt; if the mortgagor does not pay by that date he will be foreclosed, i.e. he
will lose the mortgaged property. If, after this order (a foreclosure order nisi) is
made, the mortgagor does not pay on the date and at the place (usually a room in
the Royal Courts of Justice) named, the foreclosure is made absolute and the
property thereafter belongs to the mortgagee. However, the court has discretion to
allow the mortgagor to reopen the foreclosure and thereby regain his property. The
remedy is unpopular: the mortgagee's *power of sale may be more useful; moreover,
if the mortgaged property is worth less than the loan, the mortgagee cannot sue for
the balance, a point that has recently re-acquired significance. See also REPOSSESSION.
foreign agreement An agreement or contract the proper law of which is the law
foreign bill
of some country other than England and Wales, Northern Ireland, or Scotland. See
foreign bill  Any bill of exchange other than an *inland bill. The distinction is
relevant to the steps taken when the bill has been dishonoured (see DISHONOUR).
foreign company A company incorporated outside Great Britain but having a
place of business within Great Britain. Foreign companies are subject to provisions
of the Companies Acts relating to registration, accounts, name, etc. See OVERSEA
foreign enlistment The offence under the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870 of
enlisting oneself or others (except with the licence of the Crown) for armed service
with a foreign state that is at war with a state with which the UK is at peace. A
foreign state for this purpose includes part of a province or persons exercising or
assuming powers of government. It is also an offence under the Act (again, except
with licence) to build or equip any ship for such service or to fit out any naval or
military expedition for use against a state with which the UK is at peace.
foreign judgments The *judgment of a foreign court may be enforced in
England provided that the foreign court was competent and that the judgment is
for a definite sum and is final and conclusive. At common law a foreign court is
regarded as competent if (1) the judgment debtor, being a defendant in the original
court, submitted to the jurisdiction of that court by voluntarily appearing in the
proceedings otherwise than for the purpose of either protecting or obtaining the
release of property seized (or threatened with seizure) in the proceedings or of
contesting the jurisdiction of that court; (2) the judgment debtor was claimant in or
counterclaimed in the proceedings in the original court; (3) the judgment debtor,
being a defendant in the original court, had agreed before the proceedings
commenced to submit to the jurisdiction of that court or of the courts of that
country; or (4) the judgment debtor, being a defendant in the original court, was
resident in the country of that court when the proceedings were instituted (or, in
the case of a corporation, had its principal place of business in that country).
In addition to the common-law rule, foreign judgments may be registered for
enforcement by the English courts under a number of statutory powers, notably
those contained in the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933 and the
Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982,which derive from such international
conventions as the *Brussels Convention and the Lugano Convention.
foreign law For the purposes of *private international law, any legal system
other than that of England. A foreign legal system may be the system of a foreign
state (one recognized by public *internationallaw) or of a law district. Thus the law
of Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and Isle of Man and the law of
each of the American or Australian states or Canadian provinces is a separate
foreign law. When an element of foreign law arises in an English court, it is usually
treated as a question of fact, which must be proved (usually by expert evidence) in
each case. The English courts retain an overriding power to refuse to enforce (or
even to recognize) provisions of foreign law that are against English public policy,
foreign penal or revenue laws, or laws creating discriminatory disabilities or status.
foresight n. Awareness at the time of doing an act that a certain consequence may
result. In the case of some crimes (e.g. *wounding with intent) an *intention by the
accused to bring about a certain consequence must be proved before he can be
found guilty; foresight is not enough (see also ULTERIOR INTENT). However, conviction
for many crimes (including *wounding) requires only that the accused foresaw a
specified consequence as likely or possible. In all cases where foresight suffices for
liability, the court may not assume that the defendant had foresight merely because
the particular consequence that occurred was the natural and likely consequence of
his acts. See also RECKLESSNESS.
forfeiture n. Loss of property or a right as a consequence of an offence or of the
breach of an undertaking. There are three main situations in which the courts may
order forfeiture of property. (1) Property that is illegally possessed is subject to
forfeiture. (2)Any property relating to an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act
1971or the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986 (see CONTROLLED DRUGS) may be
forfeited and either destroyed or dealt with as the court sees fit (this includes the
proceeds of the sale of drugs). (3)Property may be forfeited if it is legally possessed
but used (or intended to be used) to commit a crime (e.g.a getaway car) when the
owner has previously been convicted of an offence. Property confiscated under this
heading is held by the police for six months and then disposed of.
Most *leases provide for the landlord to terminate the lease when the tenant is in
breach of his covenants. The landlord must follow a particular procedure before
effecting forfeiture. From 24 January 1996 a freeholder cannot forfeit a lease for
nonpayment of a service charge unless the lessee accepts the charge or the
*leasehold valuation tribunal agrees. In the case of forfeiture for nonpayment of
rent, the landlord must make a formal demand for the rent unless the lease
exempts him from the need to do this. When other covenants have been breached,
the landlord must serve a statutory notice on the tenant specifying the breach,
requiring him to put it right where this is possible, and requiring compensation in
money if appropriate. If the tenant fails to comply with the notice the landlord may
proceed with forfeiture. This may be done through court proceedings for possession
or, more rarely, by *re-entry. A landlord loses his right of forfeiture if he treats the
lease as continuing when he is entitled to forfeit it. This is known as waiver of
forgery n. The offence of making a "false instrument" in order that it may be
accepted as genuine, thereby causing harm to others. Under the Forgery and
Counterfeiting Act 1981, an "instrument" may be a document, a stamp issued by the
Post Office or the Inland Revenue, or any device (e.g.magnetic tape) in which
information is recorded or stored. An instrument is considered to be "false" if, for
example, it purports to have been made or altered (1) by or on the authority of
someone who did not in fact do so; (2)on a date or at a place when it was not; or (3)
by someone who is nonexistent. In addition to forgery itself, it is a criminal offence
under the Act to copy or use a false instrument, knowing or believing it to be false.
It is also an offence merely to have in one's possession or control anyone of certain
specified false instruments with the intention of passing them off as genuine. It is
also an offence to make or possess any material that is meant to be used to produce
any of the specified false instruments. These specified instruments include money
or postal orders, stamps, share certificates, passports, cheques, cheque cards and
credit cards, and copies of entries in a register of births, marriages, or deaths. All the
above offences are punishable on indictment by up to ten years' imprisonment and
upon summary trial to a *fine at level 5 on the standard scale and/or six months'
The Act also deals with the offences of counterfeiting currency (notes or coin),
with or without the intention of passing it off as genuine; possessing counterfeit
currency; passing it off; making or possessing anything which can be used for
counterfeiting; and importing or exporting counterfeit currency. It is also an
offence to reproduce any British currency note (e.g. to photocopy a £5 note), even in
artwork, and, under certain circumstances, to make an imitation British coin. Some
of these offences are subject to the same penalties as forgery.
forum n.   [from Latin: public place] The place or country in which a case is being
heard. If a case involving a foreign element is brought in the English courts, the
forum is England. See LEX FORI.
forum non conveniens   [Latin: not in agreement with the judicial forum] A
doctrine that permits a court to decline to accept jurisdiction over a case, so that
the case may be tried in an alternative forum (i.e. a foreign court). Such decisions are
almost entirely at the court's discretion, except that the party seeking a forum non
conveniens decision must submit to the effective jurisdiction of the alternative court.
The stay will be granted by the court if it is satisfied that a foreign court having
competent jurisdiction is available and that the case may be tried more suitably for
the interests of all the parties and the ends of justice in that court. The factors that
courts generally consider in making this decision include the location of witnesses,
exhibits, and documents, the language of the witnesses and documents, the
citizenship of the claimants, and the law applicable to the dispute.
In general, the burden of proof rests on the defendant to persuade the court to
exercise its discretion to grant a stay, but if the court is satisfied that another court
is available, the burden will then shift to the claimant to show that there are special
circumstances requiring that the trial should nevertheless take place in the first
forum prorogatum  [Latin] Prorogated jurisdiction, which occurs when a power is
conferred - by the consent of the parties and following the initiation of proceedings
- upon the International Court of Justice, which otherwise would not have
adjudicated. Such consent can be indicated in an implied or informal way or by a
succession of acts.
forum rei [Latin: forum of the thing] The court of the country in which the
subject of a dispute is situated.
forum shopping   The practice of choosing a country in which to bring a legal
case through the courts on the basis of which country's laws are the most
favourable. In some instances there is a choice of jurisdiction.
foster child   A child who is cared for by someone other than its natural or
adopted parents or a person having parental responsibility (see FOSTER PARENT). Local
authorities are obliged by law to supervise the welfare of foster children within
their area and to inspect and control the use of premises as foster homes. Foster
children do not include children who are looked after by relatives or guardians or
boarded out by a local authority or voluntary organization.
foster parent A person looking after a *foster child. Foster parents have no legal
rights over the children they foster, who may be removed from their care by their
parents or legal guardian. They may, however, apply to have the child made a ward
of court or apply for a residence order (see SECTION 8 ORDERS) when a child has lived
with them for three years (or within that period if the local authority gives its
consent), which will invest them with parental responsibility. If the child has been
living with them for at least 12 months they may apply to adopt him.
four-day order A supplemental order of a civil court fixing the time for the
performance of an act in cases in which no time has been fixed by the principal
fraudulent conveyance
order. In the Chancery Division this is known as a four-day order although four days
is not invariably the time fixed.
four unities  See JOINT TENANCY.
franchise n. 1. (in constitutional law) A special right conferred by the Crown on a
subject. Also known as a liberty, it is exemplified by the right to hold a market or
fair or to run a ferry. 2. (in constitutional law) The right to vote at an election. To
qualify to vote at a parliamentary or local-government election, a person must be a
*commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, must be aged 18 or
over, must be shown on the register of electors governing the election (see ELECTOR)
as resident on the qualifying date in the parliamentary constituency or local
government area concerned, and must not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote.
Those incapacitated are peers and peeresses in their own right (for parliamentary
elections only, and not including peers of Ireland), persons serving sentences of
imprisonment, persons convicted during the preceding five years of certain offences
relating to elections or to the bribery of public officials, and persons who are
incapable of understanding the nature of their acts. 3. (in commercial law) A licence
given to a manufacturer, distributor, trader, etc., to enable them to manufacture or
sell a named product or service in a particular area for a stated period. The holder of
the licence (franchisee) usually pays the grantor of the licence (franchisor) a royalty
on sales, often with a lump sum as an advance against royalties. The franchisor may
also supply the franchisee with a brand identity as well as finance and technical
expertise. Franchises are common in the fast -food business, petrol stations, travel
agents, etc. A franchise contract in the ED must comply with regulation 4087/88,
which sets out which provisions are permitted and which are banned under ED
*competition law.
franked income  Formerly, income that a person or a company received on which
*advance corporation tax had been paid. In the case of an individual the tax paid
was imputed (see IMPUTATION SYSTEM) to the basic income-tax liability of the recipient.
In the case of a company, it was imputed to its own liability to corporation tax.
fraud n. A false representation by means of a statement or conduct made
knowingly or recklessly in order to gain a material advantage. If the fraud results in
injury to the deceived party, he may claim damages for the tort of *deceit. A
contract obtained by fraud is voidable on the grounds of fraudulent
*misrepresentation. See alsoCONSTRUCTIVE FRAUD. In relation to crime, see CHEAT;
fraud on a power An exercise of a *power of appointment that, although made
to an object within the class chosen by the donor, was made in circumstances that
render it void. Examples are when the appointor intended to obtain a benefit for
himself or another or when there was a deliberate intention to defeat the intentions
of the donor of the power.
fraud on the minority An improper exercise of voting power by the majority of
members of a company. It consists of a failure to cast votes for the benefit of the
company as a whole and makes a resolution voidable. Examples are the ratification
of an expropriation of company property by the directors (themselves the majority
shareholders) and alteration of the articles of association to allow the compulsory
purchase of members' shares when this is not in the company's interests. Actual or
threatened fraud on the minority may give rise to a *derivative action.
fraudulent conveyance A transfer of land made without valuable
*consideration and with the intent of defrauding a subsequent purchaser. An
fraudulent misrepresentation
example of fraudulent conveyance is when A, who has contracted to sell to B,
conveys the land to his associate C in order to escape the contract with B.Under the
Law of Property Act 1925,B is entitled to have the conveyance to C set aside by the
fraudulent misrepresentation See MISREPRESENTATION.
fraudulent trading Carrying on business with the intention of defrauding
creditors or for any other fraudulent purpose, e.g. accepting advance payment for
goods with no intention of either supplying them or returning the money. Such
conduct is a criminal offence and the court may order those responsible to
contribute to the company's assets on a *winding-up. See alsoWRONGFUL TRADING.
freeboard n. Under the Merchant Shipping (Safety and Load Line Conventions) Act
1932, the vertical distance measured amidships from the upper edge of the deck line
to the upper edge of the load line mark.
freedom from encumbrance The freedom of property from the binding rights
of parties other than the owner. In contracts for the sale of goods, unless the seller
makes it clear that he is contracting to transfer only such title as he or a third
person may have, there is an implied *warranty that the goods are free from any
charge or encumbrance not disclosed or known to the buyer before the contract was
freedom of association A right set out in Article 11of the European
Convention on Human Rights and now part of UK law as a consequence of the
*Human Rights Act 1998.This right protects freedom of peaceful assembly,
including the right to form and join trade unions and similar bodies. It is a
*qualified right; as such, the public interest can be used to justify an interference
with it providing that this is prescribed by law, designed for a legitimate purpose,
and proportionate. The right of those in the armed forces, the police, and the
administration of the state is protected only to the extent that any interference
with this right must be prescribed by law.
freedom of expression A right set out in Article 10 of the European Convention
on Human Rights and now part of UK law as a consequence of the *Human Rights
Act 1998."Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a
democratic society, one of the basic conditions for its progress and for the
development of every man...it is applicable not only to 'information' or 'ideas' that
are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference,
but also to those that offend, shock or disturb...such are the demands of that
pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no 'democratic
society'." Convention jurisprudence gives different weight to different kinds of
expression. The most important expression - political speech - therefore is likely to
be protected to a much greater extent than the least important - commercial
Freedom of expression is a *qualified right; as such, the public interest can be
used to justify an interference with it providing that this is prescribed by law,
designed for a legitimate purpose, and proportionate.
freedom of testation A person's right to provide in his will for the distribution
of his estate in whatever manner he wishes. The principle is restricted by the
powers of the court to set aside a will made by a person of unsound mind (see
TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY) and to award *reasonable financial provision from an estate
to certain relatives and dependants of the deceased under the Inheritance (Provision
for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
freedom of thought. conscience. and religion Aright set out in Article 9 of
the European Convention on Human Rights and now part of UK law as a
consequence of the *Human Rights Act 1998. While freedom of thought itself is an
*absolute right, and as such not subject to public-interest limitations, the right to
manifest one's beliefs or religion is a *qualified right; therefore the public interest
can be used to justify an interference providing that this is prescribed by law,
designed for a legitimate purpose, and proportionate.
free elections  A right set out in Article 3 of the First Protocol to the European
Convention on Human Rights and now part of UK law as a consequence of the
*Human Rights Act 1998. The state has a duty to hold free elections at reasonable
intervals by secret ballot, under conditions that will ensure the free expression of
the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature. This duty does not apply
to local elections (local authorities are not the legislature but the European
Parliament is), and there is no duty to use any particular system of voting
(proportional representation or first past the post).
free from average See AVERAGE.
freehold n. The most complete form of ownership of land: a legal estate held in
*fee simple absolute in possession.
freeing for adoption   Giving consent in general terms to the *adoption of one's
child, as opposed to consenting to an adoption by particular prospective adopters.
The procedure is used by an *adoption agency in cases in which the parents freely
agree that the child may be adopted, or their consent is dispensed with by the court
on one of the statutory grounds. Once an order is made, the parental rights and
duties are transferred to the adoption agency, who may then proceed to arrange for
the child's adoption without asking the parents' consent or notifying them who the
adopters are. Adoption law is currently under review: if recommendations are
adopted, freeing orders will be abolished.
free movement  The movement of goods, persons, services, and capital within an
area without being impeded by legal restrictions. This is a basic principle of the
*European Community, whose treaty insists on the free movement of goods
(involving the elimination of customs duties and quantitative restrictions between
member states and the setting up of a *Common External Tariff) as well as the free
movement of services, capital, and persons (including workers and those wishing to
establish themselves in professions or to set up companies). See also EXHAUSTION OF
free on board   See F.O.B. CONTRACT.
freezing injunction  An injunction, now consolidated in statute, that enables the
court to freeze the assets of a defendant (whether resident within the jurisdiction of
the English court or not). This prevents the defendant from removing his assets
abroad and thus makes it worthwhile to sue such a defendant. The remedy is
draconian and has become very popular, both in the commercial world and outside
it; any person seeking the remedy, however, must himself disclose all material
information to the court. Before the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules in
1999, freezing injunctions were known as Mareva injunctions, from the case Mareva
Campania NavieraSA. v InternationalBulkcarriers SA (1975).
freight n   1   The profit derived by a shipowner or hirer from the use of the ship
by himself or by letting it to others, or for carrying goods for others. 2. The
amount payable under a contract (of affreightment) for the carriage of goods by sea.
frustration of contract
frustration of contract The unforeseen termination of a contract as a result of
an event that either renders its performance impossible or illegal or prevents its
main purpose from being achieved. Frustration would, for example, occur if the
goods specified in a sale of goods contract were destroyed (impossibility of
performance); if the outbreak of a war caused one party to become an enemy alien
(illegality); or if X were to hire a room from Y with the object (known to Y) of
viewing a procession and the procession was cancelled (failure of main purpose).
Unless specific provision for the frustrating event is made, a frustrated contract is
automatically discharged and the position of the parties is, in most cases, governed
by the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943.Money paid before the event can
be recovered and money due but not paid ceases to be payable. However, a party
who has obtained any valuable benefit under the contract must pay a reasonable
sum for it. The Act does not apply to certain contracts for the sale of goods,
contracts for the carriage of goods by sea, or contracts of insurance.
fugitive offender A person present in the UK who is accused of committing an
offence in a Commonwealth country or a dependent territory of the UK and is liable
to be surrendered for trial under the Fugitive Offenders Act 1967.The requirements
for surrender are similar to those for *extradition to a foreign state, except that no
treaty is involved.
full age See MAJORITY.
full powers A document produced by the competent authorities of a state
designating a person (or body of persons) to represent the state for negotiating,
adopting, or authenticating the text of a *treaty, for expressing the consent of the
state to be bound by a treaty, or for accomplishing any other act with respect to a
treaty. See also SIGNATURE OF TREATY.
full representation See COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICE.
fully mutual housing association A housing association whose rules restrict
membership to people who are tenants or prospective tenants of the association and
prevent the granting or assigning of tenancies to those who are not members. Fully
mutual housing associations are exempt from the *assured tenancy provisions.
funeral expenses The reasonable cost of a deceased person's burial, which is the
first priority for payment from his estate.
future goods Goods to be manufactured or acquired by a seller after a contract
of sale has been made. Future goods must be distinguished as the subject of a
contract of sale from existing goods, which are owned or possessed by a seller.
future interest Any right to property that does not take effect immediately. An
example is B's interest in property held in trust for A for life and then for B.Under
the Law of Property Act 1925future interests in land (with the exception of *future
leases) can exist as equitable interests only and not as legal estates.
future lease  A lease that confers on the tenant the right to possession of land
only from a specified future time. A lease, or contract to grant a lease, that is made
in consideration of a capital payment or a rent and will take effect more than 21
years after its commencement is void under the Law of Property Act 1925. Subject to
this, a future lease can qualify as a legal estate in land
game n. Wild animals or birds hunted for sport or food. The Game Acts define
these as including hares, pheasants, partridges, grouse, heath or moor game, black
game, and bustards. The right to game belongs basically to the occupier, although in
leases it is frequently reserved to the landlord rather than the tenant. See also
gaming (gambling) n. Playing a game in order to win money or anything else of
value, when winning depends on luck. There are various restrictions upon gaming,
dependmg on whether It takes place in controlled (i.e. licensed or registered) or
uncontrolled premises. If the premises are uncontrolled, it is illegal to playa game
that involves playing against a bank or a game in which each player does not have
an equal chance or the chance of winning is weighted in favour of someone other
than the players (e.g. a promoter or organizer), unless the game takes place in a
private house in the course of ordinary family life. Thus one cannot play roulette
with a zero in uncontrolled premises, but one may play such games as bridge, whist,
poker, or cribbage. It is also illegal (subject to one or two exceptions) to game when
a charge is made for the gaming or a levy is charged on the winnings. Gaming in
any street or any place to which the public has access is illegal, except for dominoes,
cribbage, or any game specially authorized in a pub (provided the participants are
over 18). If the premises are controlled (either by the grant of a licence or by
registration as a gammg club), the restrictions applying to uncontrolled premises
apply unless they have been permitted by regulation. Thus casino-type games may
be played on controlled premises for commercial profit if permission has been
obtained, but only by members of licensed or registered clubs and their guests.
There are also restrictions relating to playing on Sundays, and no one under 18 may
be present when gaming takes place. It is illegal to use, sell, or maintain gaming
machines without a certificate or licence.
gaming contract A contract involving the playing of a game of chance by any
number of people for money or money's worth. A wagering contract is one
involvi.ng two parties only, each of whom stands to win or lose something of value
accordmg to the result of some future event (e.g.a horse race) or to which of them
is correct about some past or present fact; neither party can have any interest in the
contract except his stake. In general, gaming and wagering contracts are by statute
null and void and no action can be brought to recover any money paid or won under
garden leave clause A clause in an employment contract that provides for a
long period of notice by the employer, during which the employee will be
remunerated in full but will not be required to attend at the workplace. The use of
such clauses is increasing by employers wishing to safeguard trade secrets or, more
Importantly, prevent a highly skilled employee from leaving to undertake work for
a rival firm. An employee wishing to leave, or one who has been head-hunted, could
be required to serve 'garden leave' for a period of up to one year in order to
lawfully terminate his existing contract. Throughout the period of garden leave an
employee will be subject to all the normal contractual restraints. Management sees
the use of such clauses as an expensive, but reliable and enforceable, alternative to
traditional *restraint of trade clauses. Moreover, these clauses may be enforced by
way of injunction without encountering the difficulties that arise with respect to
restraint of trade clauses, which are notoriously difficult to draft and enforce.
garnishee n. A person who has been warned by a court to pay a debt to a third
party rather than to his creditor. See GARNISHEE PROCEEDINGS.
garnishee proceedings A procedure by which a judgment creditor may obtain a
court order against a third party who owes money to, or holds money on behalf of,
the judgment debtor. The order requires the third party to pay the money (or part
of it) to the judgment creditor. For example, if the judgment debtor has £1000in a
bank account and judgment has been entered against him for £500, the court may
order the bank to pay £500 direct to the judgment creditor.
gazumping n. The withdrawal by a vendor from a proposed sale of land in the
expectation of receiving a higher price elsewhere after agreeing the price with a
purchaser but before a legally binding contract has been made (see EXCHANGE OF
CONTRACTS). The first prospective purchaser has no legal right either to compel the
vendor to sell to him or to recover his wasted expenditure (such as surveyor's and
solicitor's charges) unless an agreement, such as a <lock-out agreement, has been
gender reassignment A physiological and ultimately surgical procedure, under
medical supervision, for the purpose of changing a person's sexual characteristics.
The process is undertaken by *transsexuals (estimated to number some 5000 in the
UK). Initially discrimination in the workplace with respect to a person's sexual
orientation or transsexualism was outside the ambit of the Sex Discrimination Act
1975 (see SEX DISCRIMINATION). The definition of sex within that Act referred to
discrimination on grounds of biological gender and hence covered discrimination
only between men and women. As a result of a series of test cases taken before both
the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, the UK Sex
Discrimination Act must now be construed to include both sexual orientation and
transsexualism within its definition. However with respect to transsexualism, as
gender reassignment is an ongoing process, it was necessary to introduce supporting
regulations, to clarify the protections to be given at the workplace to a transsexual
undergoing this process. The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations
1999 bring UK law into line with the decision of the European Court of Justice in P v
S and Cornwall CountyCouncil 1996, the case in which discrimination on grounds of
gender reassignment was ruled to be contrary to European Community law.
The Regulations provide protection against discrimination by employers at all
stages of the reassignment process, starting when an individual indicates an
intention to begin reassignment. The Regulations also cover recruitment procedures,
vocational training, and discrimination with respect to pay (see EQUAL PAY). The Sex
Discrimination Act as amended by the Regulations outlaws direct discrimination and
provides for employees who are absent from work to undergo treatment to be
treated no less favourably than they would be if the absence was due to sickness or
personal injury. The protection is extended to postoperative treatment on a
transsexual's return to work. A defence to a claim of unlawful treatment is also
provided in relation to the employment in question, if being a man or woman is a
genuine occupational qualification for the job. This could arise, for example, if an
employee recruited to a sex-specific post begins the gender reassignment process, or
if the job involves the holder of the post to perform intimate physical body
general improvement area
searches, or if the nature or location of the establishment makes it impracticable for
the holder of the job to live elsewhere than on the premises provided by the
employer and the issue of decency and privacy must be taken into consideration.
itie Department for Work and Pensions (formerly Employment) has produced a
guide to the implementarion of these Regulations. It offers further assistance to
employers on such issues as: whether or not an employee should be redeployed
following treatment, the amount of time off necessary for surgical procedures, and
the expected point or phase of change of name and personal details and the required
amendments to records and systems. Further assistance given relates to
confidentiality issues: informing line managers, colleagues, and clients. The guide
also offers advice on agreeing a procedure between the employee and employer
regarcung a changing in dress code and agreeing when individuals will start using
smgle-sex facilities at the workplace in their new gender.
general act  See TREATY.
general agent See AGENT.
General Agreemen.t on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) An international treaty
signed in 1947 to provide for some measure of world free trade with the aim of
reducing high tariffs on goods. Its objectives in extending free trade have been
achieved in a series of eight negotiations (rounds); the last of these, the Uruguay
Round (1986-94), led to the establishment of the *World Trade Organization and
further agreement to ensure more free trade around the world.
general and special damages A classification of *damages awarded for a tort
or a breach of contract, the meaning of which varies according to the context.
1. General damages are given for losses that the law will presume are the natural
and probable consequence of a wrong. Thus it is assumed that a libel is likely to
injure the reputation of the person libelled, and damages can be recovered without
proof that the claimant's reputation has in fact suffered. Special damages are given
for losses that are not presumed but have been specifically proved.  2. General
damages may also mean damages given for a loss that is incapable of precise
estimation, such as *pain and suffering or loss of reputation. In this context special
damages are damages given for losses that can be quantified, such as out-of-pocket
expenses or earnings lost during the period between the injury and the hearing of
the action.
General Assembly  (oftheUN)See UNITED NATIONS.
general average  See AVERAGE.
General Council of the Bar of England and Wales See BAR COUNCIL.
general defences  Common-law defences to any common-law or statutory crimes:
WIth one exception (*insanity), these defences relate to *involuntary conduct. A
defendant should be acquitted when the magistrates or jury have a reasonable doubt
as to whether he was entitled to a general defence. By contrast, special defences
are confined to individual offences, are usually of statutory origin, and usually place
a *burden of proof on the defendant to show that he acted reasonably. See also
general equitable charge Aclass of *land charge, registrable under the Land
Charges Act (see REGISTRATION OF ENCUMBRANCES), that affects a *legal estate in land
but neither arises under a trust nor is secured by deposit of the title deeds.
general improvement area   Apredominantly residential areain which a
housing authority considers that it should improve or help to improve living
general issue
conditions by improving dwellings or amenities (or both). See also HOUSING ACTION
general issue A plea in which every allegation in the opposite party's pleading is
denied. In civil proceedings it is no longer permitted. Instead, each allegation must
be specifically admitted or denied. In criminal cases the defendant pleads the
general issue by pleading *not guilty and cannot generally be required to disclose
the nature of his defence until his own case is presented (but see ALIBI).
general legacy See LEGACY.
general lien See LIEN.
general meeting A meeting of company members whose decisions can bind the
company. Certain reserved powers, specified by the Companies Act, can only be
exercised by a general meeting. These include alteration of the memorandum and
articles of association, removal of a director before his term of office has expired,
*alteration of share capital, the appointing of an auditor other than upon a casual
vacancy, and putting the company into voluntary winding-up. Powers may also be
reserved by the articles of association of a particular company. Powers other than
reserved powers are usually delegated in the articles to the directors. The general
meeting can overrule the directors' decision in relation to these delegated powers by
*special resolution, but this will not affect the validity of acts already done; it could
also, while exercising reserved powers, dismiss the directors or alter the articles and
thus the delegation. General meetings are either *annual general meetings or
*extraordinary general meetings. Unless the articles of association provide or the
court orders otherwise, at least two company members must be present personally.
general participation clause  A clause in the *Hague Conventions of 1899and
1907.The clause, concerning the conduct of hostilities, stipulates that the
Conventions shall be binding upon the belligerents only so long as all belligerents
are parties to the Convention. The effect of this clause was to significantly weaken
the effectiveness of the Hague Convention rules.
general power  See POWER OF APPOINTMENT.
general power of investment A power, introduced by the Trustee Act 2000,
that allows a trustee to make any kind of investment that he could make if he were
absolutely entitled to the assets of the trust fund. Previously, trustees were only
permitted to make certain *authorized investments. This much wider general power
of investment may be expressly excluded in the trust instrument. There are still
some restrictions on investments in land. In exercising the general power of
investment, the trustees are required by the Act to consider criteria relating to the
suitability of the proposed investment to the trust and the need for diversification
of investment within the unique circumstances of the trust. Trustees are also
required by the Act to review the investments from time to time with the same
standard criteria in mind. Before investing, the trustee must obtain and consider
proper advice, unless he reasonably considers it unnecessary or inappropriate to do
general principles of law According to the Statute of the *International Court
of Justice, the source for rules of international law can be found in what it terms
"General Principles of Law". The majority of Western jurists consider that these
principles should be based on those underlying the municipal legal systems of
civilized states, especially those of Europe and the USA. These jurists also consider
the general principles to be a law-creating source that is independent of either
treaties or custom. Due to their possible bias towards certain Western capitalist
countries, these propositions have proved highly contentious in the Third World and
Socialist countries, which have endeavoured to limit the scope of the principles.
general safety requirement A standard of safety that consumer goods must
meet in order to comply with the Consumer Protection Act 1987and the General
Product Safety Regulations 1994.The goods are required to be reasonably safe having
regard to all the circumstances, e.g. the way the goods are marketed, including any
instructions or warnings about their use; their compliance with published safety
standards for goods of that kind; and whether reasonable steps could be taken to
make them safer. Suppliers of consumer goods who fail to meet the safety
requirement commit an offence.
general verdict   1. (in a civil case) A *verdict that is entirely in favour of one or
other party.  2. (in a criminal case) A verdict either of *guilty or *not guilty.
general warrant A warrant for arrest that does not name or describe the person
to be arrested, or a search warrant that does not specify the premises to be searched
or the property sought. Such warrants are usually illegal, although they may
sometimes be expressly authorized by statute (see POWER OF SEARCH). Someone
arrested under an illegal general warrant can claim damages for *false
imprisonment. Sometimes, however, Parliament grants a general power of arrest
while searching premises with a search warrant, e.g. under the Betting, Gaming and
Lotteries Act 1963.
general words  Words in a *conveyance describing rights and benefits that are
incidental to the land (such as easements and profits á prendre) and that are
conveyed with it. Under the Law of Property Act 1925 such words are no longer
necessary, since a conveyance of land is deemed to include all such ancillary rights
unless a contrary intention is expressed in the document.
genetic fingerprinting   See DNA FINGERPRINTING.
Geneva Conventions  Aseries of international conventions on the laws of war,
the first of which was formulated in Geneva in 1864. The 1864 and 1906 Conventions
protect sick and wounded soldiers; the Geneva Protocol of 1925prohibits the use of
gas and bacteriological warfare; the three Conventions of 1929 and the four
Conventions of 1949protect sick and wounded soldiers, sailors, and prisoners of war,
and the 1949 Conventions protect, in addition, certain groups of civilians. The First
Protocol of 1977supplements the 1949Conventions, extending protection to wider
groups of civilians, regulating the law of bombing, and enlarging the category of
wars subject to the 1949 Conventions (to include, for example, civil wars). The 1949
Conventions are accepted by many states and are generally considered to embody
customary international law that relates to war. See alsoHAGUE CONVENTIONS; MARTENS
genocide n.  Conduct aimed at the destruction of a national, ethnic, racial, or
religious group. Genocide, as defined in the United Nations Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 1948, includes not only killing
members of the group, but also causing them serious physical or psychological
harm, imposing conditions of life that are intended to destroy them physically or
measures intended to prevent childbirth, or forcibly transferring children of the
group to another group, if these acts are carried out with the intention of
destroying the group as a whole or in part. Destruction of a cultural or political
group does not amount to genocide. The Genocide Convention 1948 declares that
genocide is an international crime; the parties to the Convention undertake to
punish not only acts of genocide committed within their jurisdiction but also
complicity in genocide and conspiracy, incitement, and attempts to commit
genocide. The Convention has been enacted into English law by the Genocide Act
1969. It is generally considered that the Convention embodies principles of
customary international law that bind all nations, including those that are not
parties to the Convention. See also WAR CRIMES; HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION.
ghetn    A Jewish religious divorce, executed by the husband d.elivering a bill. of .
divorce (which must be handwritten according to specific detailed rules) to hIS WIfe
in the presence of two witnesses. In theory a ghet does not require a court
procedure, but in practice it is usually executed through a court because of the
many complexities of the relevant religious law. See also EXTRAJUDICIAL DIVORCE.
gift n.  A gratuitous transfer or grant of property. A legally valid gift must
normally be effected by deed, by physical delivery in the case of chattels, or by
*donatiomortis causa; the donor must intend ownership to pass as a gift. However,
an imperfect gift (i.e.one for which the legal formalities have not been observed)
may be treated as valid in equity in certain circumstances (see, for example,
(PROPRIETARY) ESTOPPEL). A gift by will takes effect only on the death of the testator.
gift aid   A system for individuals and companies to dónate money to charities and
for the charities to recover the tax paid on these donations (thus mcreasmg the
value of the donation by 28% in 2001-02). The taxpayer must make a gift aid
declaration to the charity, stating that the payment is to be treated as gift aid. This
system was first introduced in 1990,but tax relief was subject to the donation being
of a minimum value, most recently £250. From April 2000, the system was extended
to gifts of any value, including regular and one-off payments. It replaces the *deed
of covenant in favour of charities from that date, although existing covenants
remain valid.
gift over A provision in a will or other settlement enab.ling an interestin
property to come into existence on the termination or failure of a prior mterest.
gipsy (gypsy) n.  A person of a nomadic way of life with no fixed abode. Formerly,
local authorities had a duty to provide sites for gipsies resortmg to their areas. (The
strict definition of gipsy as a member of the Romany race did not apply for this
purpose, but the term did not include travelling showmen or New Age travellers.)
Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994this duty IS abolished,
although local authorities may provide sites if they wish. See alsoTRESPASS;
glue sniffing See INTOXICATION.
going public  The process of forming a *public company or of reregistering a
*private company as a public company.
golden handshake  A payment, usually very large, made to a director or other
senior executive who is forced to retire before the expiry of an employment
contract (e.g.because of a takeover or merger) as compensation for loss of office. It
is made when a contract does not allow payment in lieu of notice. The first £30,000
is often tax-free.
golden hello  Alump-sum payment to entice an employee of senior level to join a
new employer. Whether or not the payment is tax-free depends on the nature of the
golden share  See SHARE.
good behaviour A term used in an order by a magistrate or by a Crown Court
upon sentencing. The person named in the order should "be of good behaviour"
towards another person (the complainant). The court may order that the person
named enter into a *recognizance, and if he does not comply with the order he may
be imprisoned for up to six months. The procedure may be used against anyone who
has been brought before the court if there is a fear that he may cause a breach of
the peace or if he is the subject of a complaint by someone (which need not be based
on the commission of a criminal offence).
good consideration See CONSIDERATION.
good faith   Honesty. An act carried out in good faith is one carried out honestly.
Good faith is implied by law into certain contracts, such as those relating to
commercial agency. See alsoUBERRIMAE FIDEI.
good leasehold title A form of title to registered leasehold land (see LAND
REGISTRATION) that is equivalent to absolute leasehold title (see ABSOLUTE TITLE) except
that the landlord's right to grant the lease is not guaranteed. Good leasehold title
usually occurs when the lease appears valid on the face of it but the documents
proving the landlord's title, or any superior lessor's title, have not been registered at
the Land Registry.
good offices A technique of peaceful settlement of an international dispute, in
which a third party, acting with the consent of the disputing states, serves as a
friendly intermediary in an effort to persuade them to negotiate between
themselves without necessarily offering the disputing states substantive suggestions
towards achieving a settlement. See alsoCONCILIATION; MEDIATION.
goods pl. n. Personal chattels or items of property. Land is excluded, and the
statutory definition in the Sale of Goods Act 1979 also excludes *choses in action and
money. It includes *emblements and things attached to or forming part of land that
are agreed to be severed before sale or under a contract of sale.
goodwill n. The advantage arising from the reputation and trade connections of a
business, in particular the likelihood that existing customers will continue to
patronize it. Goodwill is a substantial item to be taken into account on the sale of a
business; it may need to be protected by prohibiting the vendor from setting up in
the same business for a stated period in competition with the business he has sold.
government circulars Documents circulated by government departments on
behalf of ministers, setting out principles and practices for the exercise of
ministerial powers delegated to others. These may provide mere administrative
guidelines or they may be intended to have legislative effect (i.e.as *delegated
legislation), in which case any purported exercise of the delegated powers is invalid
unless it complies with them. See ULTRA VIRES.
government department An organ of central government responsible for a
particular sphere of public administration (e.g.the Treasury). It is staffed by
permanent civil servants and is normally headed by a minister who is politically
responsible for its activities and is assisted by one or more junior ministers, usually
responsible for particular aspects of departmental policy.
government-in-exile n. A government established outside its territorial
jurisdiction. Following the German defeat of Poland in 1939,the Polish government
transferred its operations to London and thereby became a government-in-exile.
Grand Committees, Scottish and Welsh
Grand Committees, Scottish and Welsh  Committees of the House of
Commons involved with matters relating to Scotland and Wales, respectively. The
former consists of the 72 members representing Scottish constituencies and 10-15
other members. A Bill certified by the Speaker as relating exclusively to Scotland
may by standing orders of the House be referred to the Committee for its second
reading, and the Committee also debates other purely Scottish matters. The Welsh
Grand Committee, which consists of the 38 members representing Welsh
constituencies and up to 5 others, is purely deliberative. It considers matters relating
exclusively to Wales but is not empowered to undertake second readings.
grant n.  1. The creation or transfer of the ownership of property (e.g. an estate or
interest in land) by written instrument; for example, the grant of a lease. See also LIE
IN GRANT. 2. A *grant of representation.  3. The allocation of money, powers, etc., by
Parliament or the Crown for a specific purpose.
grant of representation  Authority granted by the court to named individuals
or to a *trust corporation to administer the estate of a deceased person. The grant is
of *probate when the will is proved by the executors named in it or of *letters of
administration when the deceased died intestate, the deceased's will did not appoint
executors, or the executors named do not prove the will.
grants in aid   Central government grants towards local authority expenditure,
comprising specific grants for particular services (e.g. the police) and rate support
grants to augment income generally.
grave hardship  (in divorce proceedings) If a divorce petition is based on a five-
year separation, the respondent may oppose the grant of the *decree nisi on the
ground that the dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial or other
hardship and that it would be wrong in all the circumstances to dissolve the
marriage. Such applications rarely succeed. See also DIVORCE.
Gray's Inn  One of the four *Inns of Court, situated in Holborn. The earliest claims
for its existence are c. 1320.
Greater London  A local government area consisting of the 32 London boroughs
(12inner, and 20 outer), the *City of London, and the Inner and Middle Temples. A
Greater London Council was established by the Local Government Act 1972but
abolished by the Local Government Act 1985 with effect from 1 April 1986. London
borough councils, which are unitary (single-tier) authorities, are elected every fourth
year, counting from 1982 (see also LOCAL AUTHORITY). In 1998 Londoners voted in favour
of government proposals to elect a *Mayor of London and a *London Assembly to
operate from 2000; the Great London Authority Act 1999 enacted these proposals (see
also GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY). The City of London is distinct in both constitution
and functions. The Temples have limited independent functions (e.g.public health),
but are administered in many respects by the City's Common Council.
Greater London Authority Abody created by the Greater London Authority Act
1999 and consisting of the *Mayor of London and the *London Assembly. Its
principal purposes are to promote economic development and wealth creation, social
development, and the improvement of the environment in Greater London. The
*London Development Agency was created to further the first of these aims.
green form  Under the Legal Aid Act 1988,the form upon which an application for
legal advice and/or legal assistance could be made by those within the financial
limits on eligibility. Persons receiving certain specified social security allowances
automatically qualified for green form advice. The name referred to the colour of
group action
the application form used. As from 1 April 2000, the *legal aid scheme was replaced
by differing levels of legal service provided by the *Community Legal Service, under
which the service offered by the green form scheme is most broadly covered by the
level of service entitled legal help.
green paper  See COMMAND PAPERS.
grievous bodily harm (GBH) Serious physical injury. Under the Offences Against
the Person Act 1861 there are several offences involving grievous bodily harm. It is
an offence, punishable by up to five years' imprisonment, to inflict (by direct acts)
grievous bodily harm upon anyone with the intention of harming them (even only
slightly); if the intention was merely to frighten the victim the defendant is guilty
of *assault and *battery. It is an offence, punishable by a maximum sentence of life
imprisonment, to cause grievous bodily harm to anyone with the intention of
seriously injuring them or of resisting or preventing lawful arrest. "Causing" in this
offence includes indirect acts, such as pulling a chair away from a person so that he
falls and breaks his arm. If a person intends to cause grievous bodily harm but his
victim actually dies, he is guilty of murder, even though he did not intend to kill
him. Causing grievous bodily harm may also be an element in some other offence,
e.g. *burglary. The courts have said that judges should not attempt to define
grievous bodily harm for the jury, but should leave it to them, in every case, to
decide whether the harm caused was really serious. See alsoWOUNDING WITH INTENT.
gross   See IN GROSS.
gross indecency A sexual act that is more than ordinary *indecency but falls
short of actual intercourse. It may include masturbation and indecent physical
contact, or even indecent behaviour without any physical contact. It is an offence
for a man to commit an act of gross indecency with another man unless both
parties are over 18, consent to the act, and it is carried out in private. This is
punishable by up to two years' imprisonment or, if one of the parties is under 18, by
up to five years' imprisonment. It is also an offence to cause or arrange for a man to
commit an act of gross indecency with another man, even if the act is carried out in
private and between consenting adults. It is an offence, punishable by up to two
years' imprisonment, to commit an act of gross indecency with or towards a child
(of either sex) under the age of 14 or to incite a child to commit such an act.
gross negligence A high degree of *negligence, manifested in behaviour
substantially worse than that of the average reasonable man. Causing someone's
death through gross negligence could be regarded as *manslaughter if the accused
appreciated the risk he was taking and intended to avoid it, but showed an
unacceptable degree of negligence in avoiding it.
ground rent A rent reserved by a long lease of land. For example when a house or
flat is sold on a lease for 99 years, the lessor may reserve a small annual rent payable
throughout the term as well as the capital price payable on the grant of the lease. In
essence, a ground rent ignores the value of the buildings on the land. *Building
leases are sometimes granted in return for a ground rent rather than a capital sum.
group accounts  *Accounts required by law to be prepared by a registered
company that has a *subsidiary company. Group accounts deal with the financial
position of the company and its subsidiaries collectively.
group action  A procedure in which a large number of claims arising out of the
same event, or against the same defendant, are dealt with together (e.g.proceedings
by the victims of a plane crash for damages for personal injury). The court exercises
more direct control over the *interim (interlocutory) proceedings in such cases than
guarantee n. 1. A secondary agreement in which a person (the guarantor) is liable
for the debt or default of another (the principal debtor), who is the party primarily
liable for the debt. A guarantee requires an independent *consideration and must be
evidenced in writing. A guarantor who has paid out on his guarantee has a right to
be indemnified by the principal debtor. Compare INDEMNITY. 2. See WARRANTY.
guarantee company  See LIMITED COMPANY.
guarantee payment Under the Employment Rights Act 1996,the sum that an
employer must pay to an employee for whom he is unable to provide work during
the whole of any working day or shift. However, an employee is not entitled to a
guarantee payment if he is laid off because of industrial action affecting his own or
an associated employer, if he unreasonably refuses other suitable work, or if he fails
to comply with the employer's reasonable requirements for ensuring that he is
available for work if and when needed. Generally, employees only become entitled to
a guarantee payment after four weeks' *continuous employment in the business;
one employed for a specific task that is not expected to last more than 12 weeks and
one having a fixed-term employment contract of a year or less do not qualify at all.
The payment is limited to the employee's basic wage for the relevant shift, subject
to a maximum prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State for Work
and Pensions and reviewed annually. An employee is not entitled to more than five
guarantee payments in any period of three months. The statutory payment is offset
by any amount payable to the employee under his employment contract while he is
laid off. An employee may complain to an employment tribunal if his employer fails
to pay him any sum due as a guarantee payment, and the tribunal can order the
employer to pay the sum due.
guard dog A dog kept specifically for the purpose of protecting people, property,
or someone who is guarding people or property. Under the Guard Dogs Act 1975it is
a summary offence punishable by fine to use a guard dog, or to allow its use, unless
either it is secured and cannot roam the premises freely or a handler is controlling
it. The Act does not, however, affect civil liability for injuries or damage caused by
the dog, which depends on the law of tort (see CLASSIFICATION OF ANIMALS). In some
cases the owner may be criminally liable for injury caused by a guard dog; for
example, if it kills someone, the owner may be guilty of manslaughter by gross
negligence or of constructive *manslaughter. See alsoDANGEROUS ANIMALS.
guardian n. One who is formally appointed to look after a child's interests when
the parents of the child do not have *parental responsibility for him or have died.
Appointment can be made either by the courts during *family proceedings, if it is
considered necessary for the child's welfare, or privately by any parent with
parental responsibility. Under the Children Act 1989a private appointment does not
have to be by deed or will but merely made in writing, dated, and signed by the
person making it. A guardian automatically assumes parental responsibility for the
guardian ad litem See CHILDREN'S GUARDIAN.
guardianship order An order, made under the Mental Health Act 1983,placing a
person over the age of 16 who has been convicted of an offence and who is suffering
from any of certain types of mental illness under the guardianship of a local social
services authority or an approved person. It has been proposed by the Law
Commission that it should no longer be possible to appoint an individual as
guillotine n. A House of Commons procedure for speeding up the passing of
legislation: a means whereby government can control the parliamentary timetable
and limit debate. The number of days allowed for a Bill's Committee and Report
stages is limited by an allocation-of-time order moved by the government; the total
time available is then allotted between particular portions of the Bill.When the
time limit for any portion is reached, debate on it ceases and all outstanding votes
are taken forthwith. Compare CLOSURE.
guilty ad).  1. An admission in court by an accused person that he has committed
the offence with which he is charged. If there is more than one charge he may plead
guilty to some and *not guilty to others. 2. A *verdict finding that the accused has
committed the offence with which he was charged or some other offence of which
he can be convicted on the basis of the evidence in the case. See alsoCONVICTION.
guilty knowledge The knowledge of facts or circumstances required for a
person to have *mens rea for a particular crime. Knowledge is usually actual
knowledge, but when a person deliberately ignores facts that are obvious, he is
sometimes considered to have "constructive" knowledge.
guilty mind  See MENS REA.
gunboat diplomacy The settling of disputes with weaker states by the threat of
*use of force. The phrase derives from the Victorian colonial empire, in which
gunboats and other naval vessels were often utilized in order to coerce local rulers
to accept the terms and trade of British merchants.
gypsy n. See GIPSY.
habeas corpus  A prerogative writ used to challenge the validity of a person's
detention, either in official custody (e.g.when held pending deportation or
extradition) or in private hands. Deriving from the royal prerogative and therefore
originally obtained by petitioning the sovereign, it is now issued by the Divisional
Court of the Queen's Bench Division, or, during vacation, by any High Court judge.
If on an application for the writ the Court or judge is satisfied that the detention is
prima facie unlawful, the custodian is ordered to appear and justify it, failing which
release is ordered.
habitual residence The place or country in which a person has his home.
Habitual residence is necessary in order to establish *domicile.
hacking n. Gaining unauthorized access to a computer system. This is a summary
offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.Under this Act it is also an offence,
triable summarily or on indictment, to engage in hacking with the intention of
committing another offence (e.g. theft, diverting funds), or to destroy, corrupt, or
modify computer-stored information or programs while hacking. This offence can
be committed either through using one computer to gain access to another
computer or simply by gaining access to one computer only. *Copyright protection
applies. See alsoDATA PROTECTION.
Hague Conventions The Hague Conventions for the Pacific Settlement of
International Disputes: a series of international conventions on the laws of war (3 in
1899and 13 in 1907). The 1899Conventions established a *Permanent Court of
Arbitration, which was active before the Permanent Court of International Justice
and the *International Court of Justice functioned. The Hague Conventions are still
in force but their provisions are often inapplicable to modern warfare. See also
half a year (in a lease) A *fixed term that begins on a quarter day and ends on the
next but one quarter day.
half blood  See CONSANGUINITY.
half-pay A method of remunerating officers who are retained on the active list
but are not for the time being required to perform military or naval duties. It is
now only applicable to field marshalls.
half-secret trust (semi-secret trust) A trust whose existence is disclosed on the
face of the will or other document creating it but the beneficiaries of which are
undisclosed, though known to the secret trustee(s). See also SECRET TRUST.
handguns  See FIREARM.
handling stolen goods Dishonestly receiving goods that one knows or believes
to be stolen or undertaking, arranging, or assisting someone to retain, remove, or
dispose of stolen goods. Under the Theft Act 1968,this is an offence subject to a
maximum sentence of 14 years' imprisonment. "Stolen goods" include not only goods
that have been the subject of theft but also anything that has been obtained by
"blackmail or *deception. The theft or other crime may have occurred at any time
and anywhere in the world, provided the handling occurs in England or Wales. There
is also a provision to extend the concept of stolen goods to the proceeds of their sale.
Thus if Asteals goods, sells them for £3000, and gives part of the money to B, Bis
guilty of handling if he knows the money represents the proceeds of the sale of
stolen goods. If Athen buys a car with the rest of the £3000 and Cagrees to dispose
of the car for A, knowing or believing that it was bought with the proceeds of sale
of stolen goods, C will also be guilty of handling, since he has "undertaken to dispose
of stolen goods". The crime is therefore very widely defined; it also covers, for
instance, forging or providing new documents and number plates for stolen cars
and contacting and negotiating with dealers in stolen property (fences). See also
Hansard n.  The name by which the Official Report of Parliamentary Debates is
customarily referred to (after the Hansard family, who - as printers to the House of
Commons - were concerned with compiling reports in the 19th century). Reporting
was taken over by the government in 1908, and separate reports for the House of
Commons and the House of Lords are published by The *Stationery Office in daily
and weekly parts. They contain a verbatim record of debates and all other
proceedings (e.g. question time). Members of Parliament have the right to correct
anything attributed to them, but may not make any other alterations. In certain
circumstances Hansard may be used to discover the will of Parliament, as an aid to
judicial statutory interpretation when legislation is unclear. Compare JOURNALS.
harassment n. Under amendments made in 1994to the Public Order Act 1986,an
offence is committed when harassment, alarm, or distress is caused to the victim. See
harassment of debtors  Behaviour designed to force a debtor or one believed to
be a debtor to pay his debt. This is a criminal offence, punishable by fine, if the debt
is based on a contract and the nature or frequency of the acts subject the debtor (or
members of his household) to alarm, distress, or humiliation. Harassment also
includes false statements that the debtor will face criminal proceedings or that the
creditor is officially authorized to enforce payment and using a document that the
creditor falsely represents as being official. The offence may overlap with the crime
of *blackmail, but it will also cover cases in which the creditor believes he is
entitled to act as he does (which might not amount to blackmail).
harassment of occupier The offence of a landlord (or his agent) using or
threatening violence or any other kind of pressure to obtain possession of his
property from a tenant (the residential occupier) without a court order. The offence
is found in the Protection from Eviction Act 1977and includes interfering with the
tenant's peace or comfort (or that of the tenant's household), withdrawing or not
providing services normally required by the tenant (e.g. cutting off gas or electricity,
even when the bills have not been paid), and preventing the tenant from exercising
any of his rights or taking any legal or other action in respect of his tenancy. The
Act does not apply, however, to a displaced residential owner, as opposed to a
landlord (see alsoFORCIBLE ENTRY). The Protection from Harassment Act 1997prohibits
harassment; the offence is punishable with a jail sentence of up to five years. See also
harbouring n.  Hiding a criminal or suspected criminal. This will normally
constitute the offence of *impeding apprehension or prosecution. See also ESCAPE.
hard law
hard law See SOFT LAW.
harmonization of laws  The process by which member states of the EUmake
changes in their national laws, in accordance with *Community legislation, to
produce uniformity, particularly relating to commercial matters of common
interest. The Council of the European Union has, for example, issued directives on
the harmonization of company law and of units of measurement. Compare
hay bote  See ESTOVERS.
headings pl. n. Words prefixed to sections of a statute. They are treated in the
same way as *preambles and may be used to assist in resolving an ambiguity.
Health and Safety Commission  Abody responsible for furthering the general
purposes of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974,for example by advising and
promoting research and training. It also appoints a Health and Safety Executive,
which shares with local authorities responsibility for enforcing the Act and operates
for this purpose through such inspectorates as the Factories and Nuclear
Installations Inspectorates. See also SAFETY AT WORK.
Health Authority Abody through which the health service is administered and
supplied at district level. Health Authorities came into being in April 1996 with the
merger of the District Health Authorities and the Family Health Service Authorities
(see NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE), with the aim of ensuring better coordination of
purchasing across primary and secondary health care. They are responsible for
developing strategies to improve health and for securing a wide range of health-care
services for their populations.
health records  Records kept by the National Health Service about patients. Under
the Access to Health Records Act 1990,from 1 November 1991most patients were
given the right to see their health records. The patient does not have to give a
reason for wanting access and can authorize someone else, such as his solicitor, to
obtain access on his behalf. It is a policy of the Department of Health that
individuals are permitted to see what has been written about them and that health-
care providers should make arrangements to allow patients to see, if they wish,
records other than those covered by the 1990 Act. This Act has been amended by the
Data Protection Act 1998 (see also DATA PROTECTION).
Health Service Commissioners  Commissioners (one each for England and
Wales) instituted by the National Health Service Reorganization Act 1973.They
investigate complaints by members of the public of hardship or injustice suffered
through failure in a health-care service and other cases of maladministration by a
*Health Authority. They also now investigate complaints about general
practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, and opticians. Complaints must be made directly
to a Commissioner within one year of the date on which the matter first came to
the complainant's notice. Certain matters (e.g. alleged professional negligence) are
excluded from investigation. Both offices are in practice held by the *Parliamentary
Commissioner for Administration.
hearing n. The trial of a case before a court. Hearings are usually in public but the
public may be barred from the court in certain circumstances (see IN CAMERA).
Hearing Officer An officer of the *European Court of Justice whose role was
established in 1982 after criticism of the administrative nature of the decision-
making process of the Commission in *competition law cases. His terms of
reference were published in the Commission's XXth Report on Competition Policy.
heirs of the body
He organizes and chairs hearings, decides the date, duration, and place of hearings,
seeks to ensure protection of the interests of defendants, and supervises the
preparation of minutes of hearings. He will, in addition, prepare his own report of a
hearing and make recommendations as to the future conduct of the matter.
hearsay evidence  Evidence of the statements of a person other than the witness
who is testifying and statements in documents offered to prove the truth of what
was asserted. In general, hearsay evidence is inadmissible (the rule against hearsay)
but this principle is subject to numerous exceptions. In civil cases, the Civil Evidence
Act 1995abolished the rule against hearsay. The 1995Act provides that what in civil
litigation would formerly have been called "hearsay evidence" may be used when a
notice of the intention to reply on that evidence is given. It is for the court to
decide at trial what weight to put on any particular evidence, whether it is hearsay
or not. At common law, there are numerous exceptions applicable to both civil and
criminal cases, e.g. *declarations of deceased persons, evidence given in former trials,
*depositions, *admissions, and *confessions. Some exceptions apply only to criminal
cases, e.g. *dying declarations and statements admitted under the Criminal Justice
Act 1988 (which makes most first-hand hearsay and certain business documents
hedgerow n. A row of shrubs or small trees bordering a field or lane. Hedging of
ancient origin is protected under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997. Farmers are
required to notify local authorities of their intention to uproot a hedgerow,
allowing time for a protection order to be issued; the notification period is
currently 42 days. Failure to comply with the regulations is punishable by an
unlimited fine.
heir n. Before 1926,the person entitled under common law and statutory rules to
inherit the freehold land of one who died intestate. The Administration of Estates
Act 1925 abolished these rules of descent and the concept of heirship, except that
*entailed interests and in certain rare cases the property of mental patients devolve
according to the old rules. In addition, the Law of Property Act 1925provides that a
conveyance of property in favour of the heir of a deceased person conveys it to the
person who would be the heir under the old rules. Where these exceptions apply, an
heir apparent is the person (e.g.an eldest son) who will inherit provided that he
outlives his ancestor; an heir presumptive is an heir (e.g. a daughter) whose right to
inherit may be lost by the birth of an heir with greater priority (e.g.a son). See also
heir apparent See HEIR.
heirloom n. A *chattel that, by custom or close association with land, passed on
the owner's death with his house to his heir and did not form part of his residuary
estate. Heirlooms now pass to the deceased's personal representatives unless special
provision is made for them to pass to the heir direct. When heirlooms are held,
together with land, under a settlement, the *tenant for life is entitled under the
Settled Land Act 1925 to sell the heirlooms. The price is payable to the trustees as
*capital money.
heir presumptive See HEIR.
heirs of the body Lineal descendants who were entitled to inherit freehold land
under the rules applying on intestacy before the Administration of Estates Act 1925.
A conveyance of land "to A and the heirs of his body" creates an *entailed interest
that devolves to descendants only, according to the old rules. Thus (1) males are first
in priority and the principle of primogeniture applies, e.g. an older son is preferred
Helms-Burton Act
to a younger; (2)in the absence of male heirs, females in equal degree share the land
equally; and (3)lineal descendants of an heir represent him, thus the son of an older
son who dies will inherit to the exclusion of a younger son.
Helms-Burton Act   The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act
1996: an Act of the US Congress under which nationals of third states dealing with
US property expropriated by the Cuban revolutionary state, using such property, or
benefiting by it may be sued for damages before American courts and even face
being barred from entry into the United States.
hereditament n. 1. Historically, any real property capable of being passed to an
*heir. Corporeal hereditaments are tangible items of property, such as land and
buildings. Incorporeal hereditaments are intangible rights in land, such as
easements and profits a prendre. 2. A unit of land that has been separately assessed
for rating purposes.
Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO)   The government's official publisher,
which was privatized on 1 October 1996. Most of its functions were taken over by
The *Stationery Office; however, certain of its functions have been retained. These
include administration of Crown and Parliamentary copyright, overseeing the
functions of the Queen's Printer in relation to Acts of Parliament, statutory
instruments, and some other material of an official or legislative nature, the
administration of the library subsidy, and provision of official publications to
members of the European Parliament. It operates as part of the Office of Public
Services in the Cabinet Office. The Copyright Unit of Her Majesty's Stationery Office
handles day-to-day administration in this area.
high contracting parties  The representatives of states who have signed or
ratified a *treaty. From the point of view of international law it is immaterial
where the treaty-making power resides (e.g. in ahead of state, a senate, or a
representative body): this is a question determinable by the constitutional law of the
particular contracting state concerned. Other nations are entitled only to demand
from those with whom they contract a defacto capacity to bind the society that
they represent. The House of Lords has held that the determination of who the high
contracting parties are is to be based upon the terms of the individual treaty in
question. Thus the signatories, as well as the parties, can be considered to be high
contracting parties.
High Court of Justice   A court created by the Judicature Acts 1873-75, forming
part of the *Supreme Court of Judicature. Under Part 7 of the *Civil Procedure
Rules, which sets out the rules for starting proceedings, the High Court is restricted
to (1)personal injury claims of £50,000 or more, (2) other claims exceeding £15,000, (3)
specialist High Court claims that are required to be placed on a specialist list (e.g.
the Commercial List), and (4)claims that are required by statute to be commenced in
the High Court. The High Court has *appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal
matters. It is divided into the three Divisions: the *Queen's Bench Division,
*Chancery Division, and *Family Division.
high seas   The seas beyond *territorial waters, i.e.the seas more than 12 miles
from the coasts of most countries. The English courts have jurisdiction to try
offences committed by anyone anywhere on the high seas in a British ship. They also
have jurisdiction to try offences committed anywhere in the world on board a
British-controlled aircraft while it is in flight. Sometimes these offences amount to
the special crimes of "hijacking or *piracy.
historic buildings
The high seas as defined by Article 86 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
1982 exclude the *exclusive economic zone. However, the freedoms of all states to
fly over, navigate, lay submarine cables, etc., in the exclusive economic zone, as
stated in the earlier Geneva Convention on the High Seas 1958, have been preserved
in Article 58 (1) of the UN Convention. See also LAW OF THE SEA.
highway n.  A road or other way over which the public may pass and repass as of
right. Highways include *footpaths, *bridle ways, *driftways, carriage ways, and cul-
de-sacs. Navigable rivers are also highways. A highway is created either under
statutory powers or by dedication (express or implied) by a landowner and
acceptance (by use) by the public. Once a highway has been created, it does not cease
to be a highway by reason of disuse. Obstructing a highway is a public nuisance (see
alsoOBSTRUCTION), and misuse of the public right to pass and repass over a highway is
a trespass against the owner of the subsoil of the highway.
hijacking n.  Seizing or exercising control of an aircraft in flight by the use or
threat of force (the term derives from the call "Hi Jack," used when illegal alcohol
was seized from bootleggers during Prohibition in the United States). Hijacking is
prohibited in international law by the Tokyo Convention 1963, which defines the
conditions under which jurisdiction may be assumed over hijackers, but does not
oblige states to exercise such jurisdiction and does not create an obligation to
extradite hijackers. There is also a Hague Convention of 1970 and a Montreal
Convention of 1971 creating the offences of unlawfully seizing or exercising control
of an aircraft by force or threats and of sabotaging aircraft; these conventions
provide for compulsory jurisdiction as well as extradition. In English law, hijacking
and similar offences are governed by the Hijacking Act 1971, the Protection of
Aircraft Act 1973, and the Aviation Security Act 1982.
hire   1. vb.   To enter into a contract for the temporary use of another's goods, or
the temporary provision of his services or labour, in return for payment. In the case
of goods, the person hiring them is a bailee (see BAILMENT). 2. n. a. The act of hiring.
b. The payment made under a contract of hire.
hire purchase  Amethod of buying goods in which the purchaser takes possession
of them as soon as he has paid an initial instalment of the price (adeposit) and
obtains ownership of the goods when he has paid all the agreed number of
subsequent instalments and exercises his option to purchase the goods. A hire-
purchaseagreement differs from a *credit sale agreement and a sale-by-
instalments contract because in these transactions ownership passes when the
contract is signed. It also differs from a contract of *hire, because in this case
ownership never passes. Hire-purchase agreements were formerly controlled by
government regulations that stipulated the minimum deposit and the length of the
repayment period. These controls were removed in July 1982. Hire-purchase
agreements were also formerly controlled by the Hire Purchase Act 1965, but most
are now regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974. In this Act a hire-purchase
agreement is regarded as one in which goods are bailed in return for periodical
payments by the bailee; ownership passes to the bailee if he complies with the terms
of the agreement and exercises his option to purchase.
A hire-purchase agreement often involves a finance company as a third party. The
seller of the goods sells them outright to the finance company, which enters into a
hire-purchase agreement with the hirer. In this situation there is generally no direct
contractual relationship between the seller and the buyer.
HM Procurator General
HM Procurator General  See TREASURY SOLICITOR.
holder n. The person in possession of a *bill of exchange or promissory note. He
may be the payee, the endorsee, or the bearer. A holder may sue on the bill in his
own name. When value (which includes a past debt or liability) has at any time been
given for a bill, the holder is a holder for value, as regards the acceptor and all who
were parties to the bill before value was given. A holder in due courseis one who
has taken a bill of exchange in good faith and for value, before it was overdue, and
without notice of previous dishonour or of any defect in the title of the person who
negotiated or transferred the bill. He holds the bill free from any defect of title of
prior parties and may enforce payment against all parties liable on the bill.
holding company  See SUBSIDIARY COMPANY.
holding out Conduct by one person that leads another to believe that he has an
authority that does not in fact exist. By the doctrine of *estoppel, the first person
may be prevented from denying that the authority exists. For example, a person
who wrongly represents himself as being a partner in a firm will be as liable as if
he were in fact a partner to anyone who gives credit to the firm on the faith of the
holding over The action of a tenant continuing in occupation of premises after
his lease has expired. If this is without the landlord's consent, the landlord may
claim damages from the tenant. If, however, a landlord accepts rent from a tenant
who is holding over, a new tenancy is created.
holograph n. A document written completely by the hand of its author; for
example, a will in the testator's own handwriting.
homeless person Under the Housing Act 1996, one who has no living
accommodation that he is entitled to occupy, or is unlawfully excluded from his
own living accommodation, or whose accommodation is mobile and cannot be placed
in a location where he is permitted to reside in it. Certain homeless people (e.g. the
elderly or infirm or those with dependent children) have a statutory right to
permanent local-authority accommodation or, if they became homeless intentionally,
to temporary accommodation.
home-loss payment Additional compensation paid under the Land Compensation
Act 1973to a person on the compulsory acquisition of his property if he has
occupied it as his principal residence throughout the preceding five years.
Home Secretary The minister in charge of the Home Office, who is responsible
throughout England and Wales for law and order generally (including matters
concerning the police and the prison and security services) and for a variety of other
domestic matters, such as nationality, immigration, race relations, extradition, and
deportation. He also advises the sovereign on the exercise of the *prerogative of
homicide n  The act of killing a human being. Unlawful homicide, which
constitutes the crime of *murder, *manslaughter, or *infanticide, can only be
committed if the victim is an independent human being (see ABORTION), the act itself
causes the death (see CAUSATION), and the victim dies within a year after the act
alleged to have caused the death. A British citizen may be tried for homicide
committed anywhere in the world. Lawful homicide occurs when somebody uses
reasonable force in preventing crime or arresting an offender, in self-defence or
hot pursuit, right of
defence of others, or (possibly) in defence of his property, and causes death as a
homosexual conduct Sexual behaviour between persons of the same sex. The
acts of *buggeryand *gross indecency are not crimes if the act is committed in
private and both parties are over the age of 16 and consent to the act. Lesbianism is
not a criminal act.
honorarium ri.  A payment or reward made to a person for services rendered by
him voluntarily.
honour clause   An express statement in a *contract that an agreement is
intended to be binding in honour only. The courts will usually allow it to take effect
and so will not enforce the agreement.
horizontal agreements Agreements between companies at the same level of
trade; for example, agreements between two or more manufacturers or wholesalers,
rather than between a manufacturer and a distributor (compare VERTICAL
AGREEMENTS). Horizontal agreements that restrict competition may infringe the
competition provisions of *Article 81 of the Treaty of Rome and the Chapter I
prohibition in the Competition Act 1998. Most *cartels are horizontal agreements.
hospital order An order of the Crown Court or a magistrates' court authorizing
the detention in a specified hospital (for a period of 12 months, renewable by the
hospital managers) of a convicted person suffering from *mental disorder. Unless a
*restriction order has also been made, discharge while an order is in force may be
authorized by the managers or the doctor in charge or directed by a *Mental Health
Review Tribunal.
hostage n. A person who is held as a security. Under the Taking of Hostages Act
1982,it is an offence, punishable in the English courts by a maximum sentence of
life imprisonment, to take anyone as a hostage against his will anywhere in the
world and to threaten to kill, injure, or continue to hold him hostage in order to
force a state, international governmental organization, or person to do or not to do
something. This is an extraditable offence, but prosecutions may only be brought
with the consent of the Attorney General. See alsoHIJACKING; KIDNAPPING; TERRORISM.
hostile witness An *adverse witness who wilfully refuses to testify truthfully on
behalf of the party who called him. A hostile witness may, with the permission of
the court, be cross-examined by that party, for example by putting to him a
*previous statement that is inconsistent with his present testimony.
hotchpot n. The bringing into account, on distribution of an intestate's estate, of
certain benefits separately conferred on the beneficiaries. In the case of total
intestacy, the Administration of Estates Act 1925 expressly brings the *rule against
double portions into operation. It provides that property given by the intestate
during his lifetime to any of his children must be brought into account, unless a
contrary intention is expressed or appears from the circumstances. Thus if A gives
£10,000 to his son B,and dies intestate leaving an estate worth £50,000to which his
children Band C are entitled equally, Bwill in fact receive £20,000and C £30,000. The
rule applies only to lifetime gifts made by way of advancement (i.e. as permanent
provision and not for maintenance or temporary purposes). In the case of partial
intestacy, benefits conferred by the will on a surviving spouse and on the deceased's
issue (i.e. his children, grandchildren, and remoter direct descendants) are also
brought into account.
hot pursuit, right of The right of a coastal state to pursue a foreign ship within
house bote
its *territorial waters (or possibly its contiguous zone) and there capture it if the
state has good reason to believe that this vessel has violated its laws. The hot pursuit
may - but only if it is uninterrupted - continue onto the *high seas, but it must
terminate the moment the pursued ship enters the territorial waters of another
state, as such pursuit would involve an offence to the other state; in these
circumstances *extradition should be employed instead.
house bote  See ESTOVERS.
housebreaking n. Forcing one's way into someone else's house. If this is carried
out with the intention of committing certain specified crimes in the house, or if,
after breaking into a house, certain crimes then take place, the housebreaking
amounts to *burglary. It is also a statutory offence, which is punishable by up to
three years' imprisonment, if a person has with him any article that he intends to
use in connection with burglary, theft, or criminal deception. In addition to the
usual housebreaking implements, this includes such things as rubber gloves to
conceal fingerprints.
House of Commons The representative chamber of *Parliament (also known as
the Lower House), composed of 659 Members of Parliament (MPs) elected for 529
single-member constituencies in England, 72 in Scotland, 40 in Wales, and 18 in
Northern Ireland (see ELECTION; FRANCHISE). The total number of MPs may within
certain limits be varied as a result of constituency changes proposed by the
*boundary commissions.
A number of people are disqualified from membership. They include those under
21,civil servants, the police and the regular armed forces, most clergy (but not
Nonconformist ministers), aliens, those declared bankrupt, convicted prisoners and
people guilty of corrupt or illegal practices, the holders of most judicial offices (but
not lay magistrates), and the holders of a large number of public offices listed in the
House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975. Public offices that disqualify include
stewardship of the *Chiltern Hundreds and the Manor of Northstead. The number
of members who may hold ministerial office is limited to 95. The House of Lords
Act 1999removed an earlier disqualification on hereditary peers from voting and
from being elected members of the House of Commons. The Removal of Clergy
Disqualification Bill,when enacted, will permit all clergy to be MPs.
The House is presided over by the Speaker,who is elected from among
themselves by the members at the beginning of each Parliament. The Speaker is
responsible for the orderly conduct of proceedings, which must be supervised with
complete impartiality, and is the person through whom the members may
collectively communicate with the sovereign. The Leader of the Houseis a
government minister responsible for arranging the business of the House in
consultation with the Opposition.
House of Commons Commission A body established in 1978to supervise the
staffing of the House. It consists of the Speaker, the Leader of the House, and four
other members, one of whom is appointed by the Leader of the Opposition.
House of lords The second chamber of *Parliament (also known as the Upper
House), which scrutinizes legislation and has judicial functions. The House of Lords
Act 1999substantially changed the constitution of the House by excluding
hereditary peers from a place in the House as of right, although for a transitional
period 92 were allowed to remain on merit. Of these, 75 were elected by their own
political party or by cross-bench (usually non-party-political) groups. A further 15
hereditary peers were elected to act as Deputy Speakers or Committee chairmen.
Two hereditary royal appointments were also retained: the Earl Marshal and the
housing benefit
Lord Great Chamberlain. The other members of the Lords are (as at July 2001) life
peers (592) or bishops (26), comprising the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the
Bishops of London, Durham, and Winchester, and 21 other Anglican bishops selected
according to seniority of appointment. Long-term reform of the Lords is currently
being debated; a white paper published in November 2001proposed the following
composition of the Lords: 120 members to be elected by the public, 120 non-party-
political members to be selected by the *House of Lords Appointments Commission,
up to 332 members to be nominated by party leaders, and 16 bishops.
The House is presided over by the *Lord Chancellor and its business is arranged, in
consultation with the Opposition, by a government minister appointed Leader of
the House. The Lords is the final court of appeal in the UK in both civil and
criminal cases, although it refers some cases to the *European Court of Justice for a
ruling. In its judicial capacity the Lords formally adopts opinions delivered by an
Appellate Committee (of which there are two), and it is a constitutional convention
that the only peers who may participate in the proceedings of the committee are
the Lord Chancellor, the *Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, and others who have held
high judicial office.
House of lords Appointments Commission  Abody that recommends people
for appointment as non-party-politicallife peers and vets all nominations for
membership of the House of Lords. Set up by the Government following the House
of Lords Act 1999, which modernizes the Lords, the Commission is an independent
nondepartmental public body staffed by civil servants.
housing action area  An area declared to be such by a housing authority on the
grounds that living conditions in it are unsatisfactory and should be dealt with
comprehensively over a five-year period. This is done by special measures to improve
the standards and management of accommodation and the well-being of the
inhabitants. A housing action area may incorporate a *general improvement area. See
housing action trust (HAT) A statutory trust set up for a particular area with
the objects to secure: the repair and improvement of housing in the area; its proper
and effective management; greater diversity of kinds of tenure of the housing; and
the improvement of social and living conditions in the area generally. In their areas,
housing action trusts can be given power to exercise most of the functions of a
housing authority and the planning control and public-health functions of local
authorities. Local authority housing can be transferred to a housing action trust by
government order if a majority of the tenants agree. A housing action trust must
achieve its objects as quickly as possible and is then dissolved and its property
disposed of. Housing action trusts were introduced by the Housing Act 1988.
housing association  A non-profit-making organization whose main purpose is to
provide housing. A *fully mutual housing association is excepted from the *assured
tenancy provisions. The *Housing Corporation can make grants to housing
associations registered by them.
housing association tenancy A tenancy in which the landlord is a housing
association, a housing trust, or the Housing Corporation. The Housing Act 1996 gave
certain housing association tenants a right to buy their homes, and they may be able
to obtain a grant towards the purchase price.
housing benefit  Abenefit payable by local authorities to those with no or very
low incomes who pay rent for their housing. There are two types: *rent rebates,
Human Rights Act
paid to the local authority's own needy tenants, and rent allowances, paid to tenants
other than their own (e.g. Housing Association tenants).
Housing Corporation  Abody with functions under the Housing Associations Act
1985and the Housing Act 1988. These include maintaining a register of *housing
associations, promoting and assisting the development of - and making and
guaranteeing loans to - registered housing associations and unregistered *self-build
societies, and providing dwellings for letting or sale.
Housing for Wales  Abody set up under the Housing Act 1988,having the
functions of the *Housing Corporation in respect to property and housing
associations in Wales. It was abolished by the Government of Wales Act 1998,its
functions being transferred to the Secretary of State pending transfer of powers to
the Welsh Assembly (1999).
Housing Ombudsman  An official appointed, under the Housing Act 1996,to deal
with complaints against registered social landlords (not including local authorities).
The first Housing Ombudsman was appointed with effect from 1 Apnl1997; he IS III
charge of the *Independent Housing Ombudsman.
housing subsidy An annual contribution from central government funds,
payable under the Housing Act 1985,towards the provision of housing by local
authorities and new town corporations.
housing trust  A trust set up to provide housing, or whose funds are devoted to
charitable purposes and which in fact uses most of its funds for the provision of
housing. If it is a *fully mutual housing association, it is exempted from the
*assured tenancy provisions. See alsoHOUSING ACTION TRUST.
human assisted reproduction   Techniques to bring about the conception and
birth of a child other than by sexual intercourse between the parties. It includes
artificial insemination by the husband (AIH)or by a donor (Dr), in vitro fertilization
(NF), and egg and embryo donation. Such methods mean it is no longer possi.ble to
base legal parentage solely on genetic links. Under terms of the Human Pertilization
and Embryology Act 1990,the legal mother is the woman who has given birth to the
child, regardless of genetic parentage, unless the child is subsequently adopted or a
*section 30 order is made. However, the Act is not retrospective and the position of
children conceived or born before the Act came into force has yet to be resolved.
The legal father is generally the genetic father except when the latter is a donor
whose sperm is used for licensed treatment under the 1990 Act, or when the donor's
sperm is used after his death. If a wife conceives as a result of assisted reproduction.
her husband may be regarded as the child's legal father, even If he 1S not the genetic
father, as long as he consented to her treatment. However, this does not hold for all
purposes. For example, in a recent case it was ruled that a peer's "son" born by
donor insemination could not inherit his father's title when It was found after the
peer's death that his wife had been impregnated by sperm from a third party
(rather than from her husband) at the relevant clinic.
It is an offence to use female germ cells from an embryo or fetus, or to make use
of embryos created from such germ cells, for the purpose of providing a fertility
service. Such practice is already banned by the *Human Fertilization and
Embryology Authority. The offence is triable only on *indictment and is punishable
with up to ten years' imprisonment.
Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority Abody, established under
the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990, that monitors, controls, and
reviews research involving the use of embryos and issues licences for such research
and for treatment in *human assisted reproduction. It must also maintain a register
of persons whose gametes are kept or used for such purposes and of children born
as a result. Children over the age of 18 can apply to the Authority for information
concerning their ethnic and genetic background.
humanitarian intervention   The interference of one state in the affairs of
another by means of armed force with the intention of making that state adopt a
more humanitarian policy, usually the protection of human rights of minority
groups. Despite debate, such intervention is not recognized as legal under the UN
Charter. However, states continue to rely on humanitarian grounds as justification
for military action; examples of humanitarian intervention include Vietnam's
invasion of Cambodia (1978), the declaration by the USA, the UK, Russia, and France
of an air exclusion zone in southern Iraq in an effort to protect the Shia Marsh
Arabs (1992), and military actions to protect the Muslim population of Kosovo (1999).
human rights  Rights and freedom to which every human being is entitled.
Protection against breaches of these rights committed by a state (including the state
of which the victim is a national) may in some cases be enforced in international
law. It is sometimes suggested that human rights (or some of them) are so
fundamental that they form part of *naturallaw, but most of them are best
regarded as forming part of treaty law.
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) spells out most
of the main rights that must be protected but it is not binding in international law.
There are two international covenants, however, that bind the parties who have
ratified them: the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The United Nations
has set up a Commission on Human Rights, which has power to discuss gross
violations of human rights but not to investigate individual complaints. The Human
Rights Committee, set up in 1977, has power to hear complaints from individuals,
under certain circumstances, about alleged breaches of the 1966 Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights. There are also various regional conventions on human rights,
some of which have established machinery for hearing individual complaints. The
best known of these is the *European Convention on Human Rights (enacted in
English law as the *Human Rights Act 1998)and the Inter-American Convention on
Human Rights (covering South America).
Human Rights Act   Legislation, enacted in 1998,that brought the *European
Convention on Human Rights into domestic law for the whole of the UK on 2
October 2000. In the past the use of the Convention was limited to cases where the
law was ambiguous and public authorities had no duty to exercise administrative
discretion in a manner that complied with the Convention.
The Act creates a statutory general requirement that all legislation (past or
future) be read and given effect in a way that is compatible with the Convention.
Section 3 provides that all legislation, primary and secondary, whenever enacted,
must be read and given effect in a way that is compatible with Convention rights
wherever possible.
The Act requires public authorities - including courts - to act compatibly with
the Convention unless they are prevented from doing so by statute. This means that
the courts have their own primary statutory duty to give effect to the Convention
unless a statute positively prevents this. Section 7 gives the *victim of any act of a
public authority that is incompatible with the Convention the power to challenge
the authority in court using the Convention, to found a cause of action or as a
defence. The Act introduces a new ground of illegality into proceedings brought by
way of judicial review, namely, a failure to comply with the Convention rights
hybrid Bill
protected by the Act, subject to a 'statutory obligation' defence. Secondly, it will
create a new cause of action against public bodies that fail to act compatibly with
the Convention. Thirdly, Convention rights will be available as a ground of defence
or appeal in cases brought by public bodies against private bodies (in both criminal
and civil cases). Section 7(5) imposes a limitation period of one year for those
bringing proceedings.
However, only persons classified as "victims" by the Act are able to enforce the
duty to act compatibly with the Convention in proceedings against the authority,
and only victims will have standing to bring proceedings by way of judicial review.
Most private litigants, at least in private law proceedings, will count as victims.
The Convention rights that have been incorporated into the Act are: Articles 2 to
12, 14,16, 17,18;Articles 1 to 3 of the First Protocol; and Articles 1 and 2 of the Sixth
Protocol (individual rights are subjects of entries in this dictionary). See ABSOLUTE
The Act requires any court or tribunal determining a question that has arisen in
connection with a Convention right to take into account the jurisprudence of the
Strasbourg organs (the European Court and Commission of Human Rights and the
Committee of Ministers). This jurisprudence must be considered "so far as, in the
opinion of the court or tribunal, it is relevant to the proceedings in which that
question has arisen", whenever the judgment, decision, or opinion to be taken into
account was handed down.
Section 19 provides that when legislation is introduced into Parliament for a
second reading, the introducing minister must make a statement, either (1) to the
effect that, in his view, the legislation is compatible with the Convention, or (2) that
although the legislation is not compatible with the Convention, the government still
wishes to proceed. If it is not possible to read legislation so as to give effect to the
Convention, then the Act does not affect the validity, continuing operation, or
enforcement of the legislation. In such circumstances, however, section 4 empowers
the high courts to make a declaration of incompatibility. Section 10 and schedule
2 provide a 'fast-track' procedure by which the government can act to amend
legislation in order to remove incompatibility with the Convention when a
declaration of incompatibility has been made.
The Act gives a court a wide power to grant such relief, remedies, or orders as it
considers just and appropriate, provided they are within its existing powers.
Damages may be awarded in civil proceedings, but only if necessary to afford *just
satisfaction; in determining whether or not to award damages and the amount to
award, the court must take account of the principles applied by the European Court
of Human Rights.
Sections 12 and 13 provide specific assurances as to the respect that will be
afforded to *freedom of expression and *freedom of thought, conscience, and
religion: these are 'comfort clauses' for sections of the press and certain religious
organizations.                                                                                     .            .
The Act does not make Convention rights directly enforceable against a private
litigant, nor against a quasi-public body with some public functions if it is acting in
a private capacity. But in cases against a private litigant, the Act still has an effect
on the outcome, because the court will be obliged to interpret legislation in
conformity with the Convention wherever possible; must exercise any judicial
discretion compatibly with the Convention; and must ensure that its application of
common law or equitable rules is compatible with the Convention.
hybrid Bill See BILL
hybrid power  See POWER OF APPOINTMENT.
hypothecation n. 1. A mortgage granted by a ship's master to secure the
repayment with interest, on the safe arrival of the ship at her destination, of money
borrowed during a voyage as a matter of necessity (e.g.to pay for urgent repairs).
The hypothecation of a ship itself, with or without cargo, is called bottomry; that
of its cargo alone is respondentia. It is effected by a bond, and the bondholder is
entitled to a maritime *lien. 2. An authority given to a banker, usually as a letter
of hypothecation, to enable the bank to sell goods or property that have been
pledged to it as security for a loan. It applies only when the goods remain in the
possession of the pledgor.
identity n. (in the law of evidence) See EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY.
ignorance of the law See MISTAKE.
ignorantia juris non excusat [Latin] Ignorance of the law is no excuse, i.e. no
defence against criminal or other proceedings arising from its breach. The Statutory
Instruments Act 1946 modifies the rule slightly (see STATUTORY INSTRUMENT). See also
ignoring traffic signals  Failing to comply with traffic signs, traffic lights, or
road markings. Anumber of different offences are included in this category, all
concerned with breaches of the rules relating to traffic signals as laid down in the
Highway Code. All these offences are subject to a fine, *endorsement (carrying 3
penalty points under the *totting-up system), and *disqualification at the discretion
of the court. Sometimes charges may also be brought under the head of *careless
and inconsiderate driving or *dangerous driving, depending on the circumstances. It
is also an offence not to comply with road directions given by a uniformed police
officer acting in the course of his duties or engaged in a traffic census or survey.
Prosecutions for ignoring traffic signals or police directions are subject to a
*notice of intended prosecution.
illegal contract  A contract that is prohibited by statute (e.g. one between traders
providing for minimum resale prices) or is illegal at common law on the grounds of
*public policy. An illegal contract is totally void, but neither party (unless mnocent
of the illegality) can recover back any money paid or property transferred under It
(see EX TURPI CAUSA NON ORITUR ACTIO). Related transactions may also be affected. A
related transaction between the same parties (e.g. if X gives Y a promissory note for
money due from him under an illegal contract) is equally tainted with the illegality
and is therefore void. The same is true of a related transaction with a third party
(e.g. if Z lends Xthe money to pay Y)if the original illegality is known to him. In
certain circumstances, illegal contracts may be saved by *severance.
illegal trust  A trust that contravenes statute, morality, or public policy. Such a
trust is void and of no effect.
illegitimacy n.  The status of a child born out of wedlock Although evidence of
illegitimacy is readily available from the entry in the birth register relating to the
child's parents, it is usual for a short form of birth certificate to be issued, which   .
makes no mention of the parents. Entry in the register of the name of a man who IS
not married to the mother (which may only be done with the consent of the
mother) is evidence of his paternity.
The effect of the Family Law Reform Act 1987 is that, for nearly all purposes,
children are to be treated alike, whether or not their parents are married to one
another. The parents of illegitimate children have much the same rights, duties, and
responsibilities in relation to them as they have for their legitimate children. The
father of an illegitimate child is under a duty to maintain the child in the same way
as his duty to maintain legitimate children (see CHILD SUPPORT MAINTENANCE), but does
not automatically have *parental responsibility for that child. Illegitimate children
are able to inherit property under wills (unless the contrary intention is apparent)
and on intestacy in the same way as if they were legitimate. However, the Family
Law Reform Act 1987did not remove all distinctions between legitimate and
illegitimate children, notably in relation to entitlement to British citizenship and
succession to the throne of England and to titles of honour.
It is nowbecoming more usual to use the term "child of unmarried parents" for
children born out of wedlock, rather than "illegitimate child".
illusory appointment The giving of property under a *power of appointment
that confers little or no benefit to one or more objects of the power. Before 19th-
century legislation such appointments were void; they are now valid.
illusory trust A conveyance by a debtor to a trustee on trust for his creditors,
which in some cases may be revoked. This is contrary to the normal rule that an
*executed trust is irrevocable.
immigration n. The act of entering a country other than one's native country
with the intention of living there permanently. Immigration into the UKis subject
to control under the Immigration Acts 1971 and 1988,as amended by the
Immigration and Nationality Act 1999. This control extends to all potential entrants
except those to whom the Act gives the right of abode in the UKand except
citizens of the Republic of Ireland. Nationals of other member states of the EU will
also be exempted from control as from a date to be set by the Secretary of State. As
originally enacted, the Act gave the right of abode to all citizens of the UKand
Colonies who either owed their status to their own (or a parent's or grandparent's)
birth, registration, or naturalization in the UK or were or became at any time
settled in the UKand had at that time been ordinarily resident there for at least
five years. Commonwealth citizens had the right of abode if one of their parents
was a citizen of the UKand Colonies by reason of birth in the UK. Aperson having
the right of abode was termed a patrial. As from 1 January 1983 the Act was
amended by the British Nationality Act 1981 to confine the right of abode to British
citizens as defined by that Act (see BRITISH CITIZENSHIP) and to *commonwealth
citizens enjoying it before the Act came into force; the term patrial was discarded.
With minor exceptions, a person subject to immigration control may not enter or
remain in the UK except with leave, which may be granted either indefinitely or for
a limited period; if leave is granted for a limited period, an immigrant is subject to
further conditions (e.g. conditions restricting employment). The 1971 Act itself gave
indefinite leave to stay to those not entitled to the right of abode but who were
lawfully settled in the UKwhen it came into force. Whether or not leave is needed,
whether it should be granted, and whether a time limit and any other conditions
should be imposed are decided initially by immigration officers acting in accordance
with immigration rules made by the Secretary of State. Appeals against the decisions
of immigration officers are made to adjudicators at the ports of entry, and thence
to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal.
Under the Immigration (Carriers' Liability) Act 1987,the owners of ships and
aircraft are liable to pay a penalty of £1000 in respect of any person who arrives in
the UKon their ship or aircraft and who seeks leave to enter the UKwithout proper
documents (e.g.passport or visa). Under the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996,from
27 January 1997it has been a criminal offence for an employer to employ anyone
subject to immigration control. Breach of this Act leads to fines of up to £5000.
Employers must ask new employees taken on or re-employed after that date for
evidence of residential status, such as national insurance documents and EU
Immigration Appeal Tribunal
passports; this request must be made in a nondiscriminatory way, which does not
breach racial discrimination legislation.
Immigration Appeal Tribunal A tribunal appointed by the Lord Chancellor,
under the Immigration Act 1971, to hear appeals against immigration and
deportation decisions. It has a legally qualified chairman and is subject to the
supervision of the *Council on Tribunals.
immoral contract A contract based on sexual immorality, such as a contract of
prostitution. Such contracts are *illegal contracts on the grounds that they
contravene *public policy.
immovables pl. n. Tangible things that cannot be physically moved, particularly
land and buildings.
immunity n. Freedom or exemption from legal proceedings. Examples include the
immunity of the sovereign personally from all legal proceedings (see ROYAL
PREROGATIVE); the immunity of members of the House of Commons and the House of
Lords from proceedings in respect of words spoken in debate (see PARLIAMENTARY
PRIVILEGE); *judicial immunity; and the immunity from the jurisdiction of national
courts enjoyed by members of diplomatic missions and by foreign sovereigns (see
imparlance n. Permission given to a defendant to delay his answer to the
claimant's claim, to enable him to attempt to settle the claim amicably.
impeachable waste  *Waste that results in liability on the part of the person
who commits it. Thus when a tenant commits impeachable waste his landlord may
sue him for damages or obtain an injunction to prevent him committing any
further waste.
impeding apprehension or prosecution Giving assistance to a person one
knows to be guilty of an *arrestable offence with the intention of preventing or
delaying his arrest or prosecution (e.g. providing a hiding place or destroying
evidence). There are also special offences of (1) agreeing not to disclose information
that might help to convict or prosecute a criminal (see COMPOUNDING AN OFFENCE),
(2)refusing to aid a police officer when asked to help stop a breach of the peace,
(3) *obstructing a police officer, and (4) *wasting police time by giving them
misleading information. See also ESCAPE.
imperfect gift See GIFT.
imperfect trust  See EXECUTORY TRUST.
impersonation n. Pretending to be another person. It is an offence to
impersonate a woman's husband in order to persuade her to have sexual intercourse
(rape), to impersonate the holder of a Crown office in order to gain access to
prohibited places, and to impersonate a police officer, a variety of public officials, a
voter, or a juror. Obtaining property, services, or certain financial advantages
through impersonation may amount to a crime of *deception.
implementation n. The process of bringing any piece of legislation into force. EU
directives, which are not directly applicable (see COMMUNITY LEGISLATION), are
implemented at national level by member states by Act of Parliament or regulation.
In the UK this may be done by statute or by statutory instrument or regulation.
implied condition A term or obligation implied by law in a contract, any breach
of which will entitle the innocent party not only to damages but to treat the
contract as discharged (see CONDITION). In a contract of sale of goods there are
implied conditions that the seller has the right to sell the goods, that the goods will
correspond with the contract description, and, in the case of sales in the course of
business, that the goods are of *satisfactory quality and fit for the buyer's declared
implied contract A contract not created by express words but inferred by the
courts either from the conduct of the parties or from some special relationship
existing between them.
implied malice  *Mensrea that the law considers sufficient for a crime, although
there is no intention to commit that crime. The term is usually now used only in
relation to murder, referring to the intention to cause *grievous bodily harm (see
implied term  A provision of a contract not agreed to by the parties in words but
either regarded by the courts as necessary to give effect to their presumed
intentions or introduced into the contract by statute (as in the case of contracts for
the sale of goods; see CAVEAT EMPTOR). An implied term may constitute either a
*condition of the contract or a warranty; if it is introduced by statute it often
cannot be expressly excluded. Compare EXPRESS TERM.
implied trust A trust that arises either from the presumed but unexpressed
intention of the settlor or by operation of law. Equity imposes an obligation to
create such trusts by inference from the facts, including the conduct or relationship
of the parties. An implied trust may be subdivided into or overlap with *resulting
trusts and *constructive trusts.
implied use  See RESULTING USE.
impossibility n. A *general defence that arises when compliance with the
criminal law is physically impossible. This is most likely to arise in the context of
crimes of omission. Thus one cannot be found guilty of failing to report a road
traffic accident of which one was unaware. However, under the Criminal Attempts
Act 1981 one may be convicted of attempting the impossible (see ATTEMPT).
impossibility of performance The impossibility of carrying out a contract,
which occurs, for example, when it relates to subject matter that does not exist. The
event making fulfilment impossible may arise either before or after the contract is
made. In the former case (e.g.if X agrees to sell Y a horse that, unknown to either, is
already dead) the contract is void for *mistake. In the latter case (e.g. if the horse
dies between contract and performance) the contract will be discharged under the
doctrine of *frustration of contract.
impotence n. The inability of either partner to have normal sexual intercourse (see
alsoCONSUMMATION OF A MARRIAGE). In the case of a married couple this is sometimes
called canonical disability (i.e. a disability recognized by canon law, including that
of the Roman Catholic Church, as a ground for annulment of the marriage). If the
impotence is permanent and incurable, the marriage is voidable and either party
may apply for a nullity decree. Impotence must be distinguished from *wilful
refusal to consummate.
improvement n. (of rented premises) An addition or alteration that improves the
premises from the tenant's point of view; it does not necessarily have to increase the
value of the premises. In the case of a lease that contains an obligation by the tenant
to obtain the landlord's consent before making improvements, the landlord cannot
withhold his consent unreasonably. He can, however, claim from the tenant any
improvement notice
expense or loss he suffers as a result and he can require the tenant, at the end of
the tenancy, to put the premises back into the condition they were in before the
improvement was carried out. When rented dwellings lack certain basic amenities,
such as a bath, the local authority can require the landlord to provide these
amenities and carry out other repairs and improvements after service of an
*improvement notice. In the case of business tenancies and agricultural holdings,
the tenant can claim compensation for improvements.
improvement notice 1. A local-authority notice requiring a person to provide a
dwelling under his control with certain standard amenities (e.g. a bath). If he fails to
do this the authority may do so at his expense. 2. A notice requiring any person
responsible for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974(or associated
legislation) to take steps to remedy the breach or prevent its repetition. Compare
imputability n. The principle that internationally illegal acts or omissions
contributing to the damage to foreign property, and caused in some way by organs
of the state apparatus, are attributable to the state and therefore incur that state's
responsibility. Thus, there must have been state participation in the act before there
can be *state responsibility for it.
imputation n. An allegation of misconduct or bad character made by an accused
against the prosecutor or one of his witnesses. When this occurs the accused may
(under the Criminal Evidence Act 1898), with *leave of the court, be cross-examined
about his own *previous convictions and bad character. Under the Criminal Justice
and Public Order Act 1994allegations made against the character of a deceased
victim may lead to cross-examination of the accused as to his character.
imputation of unchastity A statement imputing unchastity or adultery to a
woman or girl, which is defamatory and actionable whether or not it has caused
actual financial or material loss. See SLANDER; DEFAMATION.
imputation of unfitness or incompetence A statement calculated to
disparage someone in his office, profession, calling, trade, or business, which is
defamatory and actionable whether or not it has caused actual financial or material
imputation system Formerly, a system of taxation applying to the payment of
*corporation tax on the distributed profits of a company. In this system, which
came into force in the UK in April 1973, that part of the tax paid by the company as
*advance corporation tax (ACT) was imputed to the shareholders and their dividends
are franked (see FRANKED INCOME) accordingly. ACTwas abolished in April 1999.
imputed notice An *agent's knowledge of facts that the law presumes the
person employing him (the *principal) to have, irrespective of his actual knowledge
of those facts. A purchaser of land has imputed notice of all matters relating to the
purchase of which his agent (e.g.a solicitor) has (or ought reasonably to have)
inadmissible reason  (in employment law) A reason for dismissing an employee
that is based on his membership or participation in the activities of an
*independent trade union or his refusal to become or remain a member of a union.
Dismissal for an inadmissible reason is always treated as *unfair dismissal, and the
employee may apply to an *employment tribunal regardless of his age and length of
continuous employment. See alsoCOMPENSATION.
incitement to racial hatred
in camera   [Latin: in the chamber] In private. A court hearing must usually be
public but the public may be barred from the court or the hearing may continue in
the judge's private room in certain circumstances; for example, when it is necessary
for public safety or when a child gives evidence in a case involving indecency.
incapacity (incompetence) n.  Alack of full legal competence in any respect; for
example, the incapacity of mentally disordered persons to conclude valid contracts
(see CAPACITY TO CONTRACT). A person suffering from incapacity is frequently referred
to as a person under disability.
incapacity benefit  A state benefit that replaced invalidity benefit and sickness
benefit in April 1995. It is paid at three basic rates, the two highest of which are
taken into account as taxable income. Short-term incapacity benefit is payable at the
lower rate for the first 28 weeks of incapacity and at the higher rate for the
29th-52nd weeks. Long-term benefit is payable, at the highest rate, after 52 weeks.
Those claiming the benefit must complete a questionnaire about the activities they
can engage in; after 28 weeks they must undergo a medical test to assess their
capacity for work-related activities as well as submitting a questionnaire. Doctors
must certify in all cases the material supplied.
incest n.  Sexual intercourse between a man and his mother, daughter, sister, half-
sister, or granddaughter or between a woman over the age of 16 and her father, son,
brother, half-brother, or grandfather. Even if both parties consent, incest is a
criminal offence if the parties know of their relationship. It is punishable by up to
seven years' imprisonment (or, with a girl under the age of 13,by a maximum
sentence of life imprisonment), but no prosecution may be brought without the
consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The relationships listed above include
illegitimate relationships. It is a statutory offence for a man to incite a girl under
the age of 16 to have incestuous intercourse with him, but being under 16, she
would not be guilty of any crime if intercourse took place.
Inchmaree clause   A clause frequently inserted in marine insurance policies to
provide cover for a variety of risks that are not covered as *perils of the seas. It
provides protection against such events as accidents in loading or discharging cargo
or taking on fuel, bursting of boilers, breakage of shafts, and explosions on board
ship or elsewhere. It also provides cover for negligence of the ship's master, officers,
or crew.
inchoate adj.   Incomplete. Certain acts, although not constituting a complete
offence, are nonetheless prohibited by the criminal law because they constitute
steps towards the complete offence. These inchoate offences include *incitement,
*attempt, and *conspiracy. One may be guilty of inciting someone to commit the
crime of incitement or of attempting to incite, but one cannot be guilty of
incitement to conspire or of attempting to conspire.
incitement n. Persuading or attempting to persuade someone else to commit a
crime. If the other person then actually carries out the criminal act, the inciter
becomes a participator in the crime and is guilty of aiding and abetting it. If the
other person does not carry out the crime, the person who attempted to persuade
him to do so may nonetheless be guilty of the crime of incitement. Incitement may
be by means of suggestion, persuasion, threats, or pressure, by words or by
implication; for example, advertising an article for sale to be used to commit an
offence may constitute incitement to commit that offence.
incitement to racial hatred  See RACIAL HATRED.
income support
income support An income-related benefit payable under the Social Security Acts
to persons over 16 whose income and savings do not exceed a prescribed amount,
and who are not working 16 or more hours a week, and (if applicable) whose spouses
or cohabitants (see COHABITATION) are not working 24 hours or more a week, and who
are incapable of or unavailable for work (for example, because they are disabled or a
lone parent). lt replaced supplementary benefit from April 1988. Since October 1996
the unemployed who would formerly have been recipients of income support have
received instead a *jobseeker's allowance.
income tax A tax on a person's wages or salary and on most other sources of
income, including unearned income and the profits from an unincorporated
business. The amount of tax is based on a person's entire income for the year, less
certain allowances, on a progressive scale. The effect is that those with higher
incomes pay higher rates of tax.
The allowances (for 2001-02) include a personal allowance of £4535; a children's
tax credit of £5200, which may be shared between a child's parents; and pension
contributions. The children's tax credit is restricted to 10%. Other reliefs are
available to older taxpayers (over 65) and the blind.
The first £1880 of taxable income is charged at 10% (this is known as the starting
rate). Taxable income from £1881 to £29,400 is charged at 22% (the basic rate). Any
income over £29,400 is charged at 40% (the higher rate). Although assessed annually,
in many cases tax is deducted at source, in particular by employers under the *Pay
As You Earn (PAYE) system. Nonresidents in the UK are subject to income tax if
their income originates in the UK,as are UK residents who receive income from
abroad. However, there are agreements with many countries to give relief against
double taxation. Certain income is exempt from tax, including interest on national
savings certificates, some social security benefits, and redundancy payments up to
Income tax was introduced as a temporary measure in 1799. It is renewed annually
in a Finance Act, which traditionally enacts the Chancellor of the Exchequer's
Budget proposals. The types of taxable income are set out in the Income and
Corporation Taxes Act 1988 under five schedules:
A: income from UK land;
C: public revenue dividends;
D: profits or gains from trades, professions, and vocations; interests, annuities and
annual payments; income from securities and possessions outside the UK;
E: *emoluments from offices and employments; pensions;
F: dividends and distributions from UK companies.
incompetence n. See INCAPACITY.
incompletely constituted trust
incorporation n. 1. The formation of an association that has corporate
personality, i.e. a personality distinct from those of its members. A corporation
(such as a company) has wide legal capacity (subject to the doctrine of *ultra vires): it
can own property and incur debts. Company members have no liability to company
creditors for such debts (though they may be under some liability to their company).
An incorporated company has its own rights and liabilities and legal proceedings in
respect of them should be brought by and against it in its own name (but see
DERIVATIVE ACTION). lt can be convicted of crimes; when *mens rea is a requirement of
the offence, the mens rea of the officers responsible may be attributed to the
company. A company is usually incorporated by *registration under the Companies
Act 1985 but there are other methods (e.g. by royal charter or private Act of
incorporation by reference 1. Reference in a will to another document without
which the will cannot be understood (the document then forms part of the will). For
example, a will leaving a specified sum "to each of the persons listed in my
notebook" incorporates the notebook. The document must be clearly identified in
the will, in existence at the date of the will, and clearly referred to as being in
existence at that date. 2. Reference to named contract terms, for example on the
back of a railway ticket, saying where the terms can be seen for those who want to
read them. This will often be sufficient to incorporate the terms by reference into
the contract, although the other party may not have taken the opportunity to read
the terms. However, there are risks in incorporation; for example, it is harder to
enforce an exclusion of liability clause (see EXEMPTION CLAUSE) if the terms are merely
incorporated by reference.
incorporeal hereditament See HEREDITAMENT.
incoterm n. An international trade term. Incoterms, the best known of which are
*c.i.f. and *f.o.b.,are used as an international shorthand in commercial agreements.
A glossary of these terms, the latest edition of which is Incoterms 2000, is
published by the International Chamber of Commerce. It sets out definitions of the
various incoterms, which deal with such matters as which party to a contract is
responsible for transport of the goods, who insures them in transit, and who
arranges payment of customs duties.
incriminate vb. 1. To charge with a criminal offence. 2. To indicate involvement
in the commission of a criminal offence. A witness in court need not answer a
question if, in the judge's opinion, the answer might expose him to the danger of
criminal prosecution. A witness does not have this protection when his answer
might lead only to civil action against him.
incumbrance n. See ENCUMBRANCE.
indecency n. Conduct that the average man would find shocking or revolting.
There are common-law offences of outraging public decency and conspiring to
outrage public decency (see CONSPIRACY); examples might include staging an indecent
exhibition, keeping a *brothel, or *indecent exposure. Indecency is a question of fact
that is left in each case to the jury to decide. See also GROSS INDECENCY.
indecent assault An *assault or *battery in circumstances of indecency. Indecent
assult is punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment. *Consent is normally a
defence, except when the victim is under the age of 16. Touching or attempting to
touch the genitals of another person without their consent would constitute an
indecent exposure  Exposing one's body in public in a way that outrages public
decency. When the exposure (by a man or woman) goes far beyond the generally
accepted standards of decency and at least two people could have seen it, it amounts
to a common-law offence, even if no one was actually disgusted or upset; such
conduct is also punishable under the Vagrancy Act 1824. If a man exposes his
genitals to a woman, even in private, with the intention of insulting her, he is guilty
of a statutory offence and is liable to imprisonment. Such conduct, if threatening or
frightening, may also amount to an *indecent assault.
indefeasible adj. Incapable of being made *void.
indemnity n. An agreement by one person (X) to pay to another (Y)sums that are
owed, or may become owed, to him by a third person (Z). It is not conditional on the
third person defaulting on the payment, i.e.Y can sue X without first demanding
payment from Z. If it is conditional on the third person's default (i.e. if Z remains
the principal debtor and must be sued for the money first) it is not an indemnity
but a *guarantee. Unlike a guarantee, an indemnity need not be evidenced in
An indemnity insurancepolicy is taken out for the benefit of a mortgagee
(lender) when a high proportion (often 80%)of the purchase price for a domestic
property is borrowed. Such indemnity policies have been held by the courts not
normally to be for the benefit of the mortgagor (borrower), although the mortgagor
pays the premiums on the policy; only the mortgagee can make a claim. See also
indemnity basis  A basis of *assessment of costs under which the receiving party
recovers all costs incurred except any that have been unreasonably incurred or are
of an unreasonable amount. The receiving party is given the benefit of any doubt on
questions of reasonableness.
indenture n. (mainly historical) A deed, generally one creating or transferring an
estate in land (e.g.a conveyance or a lease).
independent contractor A person or firm engaged to do a particular job of
work, as opposed to a person under a *contract of employment. An independent
contractor is his own master, bound to do the job he has contracted to do but
having a discretion as to how to do it. A taxi-driver, for example, is the independent
contractor of the passenger who hires him. A person who uses an independent
contractor is not generally vicariously liable for torts committed by the contractor,
but may be in exceptional cases; situations in which *vicarious liability may be
incurred include those in which the contractor is employed in particularly
hazardous activities, or to perform statutory duties, or to work on or over (but not
merely near) the highway, or is specifically authorized to commit a negligent act.
Independent Housing Ombudsman A body set up under the Housing Act 1996,
under the control of the *Housing Ombudsman, to ensure protection for housing
association tenants against landlord mismanagement and to attempt to resolve
disputes for housing association tenants.
independent trade union A trade union holding a certificate of independence
issued by the *Certification Officer. A certificate will only be issued if the union is
not under the domination or control of any employer, group of employers, or
employers' association and is not liable to any interference from them tending
towards such control. A union that is refused a certificate of independence may
appeal to the *Employment Appeal Tribunal. Trade unions that do not hold a
certificate of independence cannot conclude a collective agreement restricting
employees' rights to strike and have no statutory right to certain information that
employers must disclose to recognized independent trade unions (see DISCLOSURE OF
INFORMATION). Only officials of independent trade unions have a statutory right to
time off work to pursue union activities and duties. Rules regarding the dismissal of
an employee for an *inadmissible reason and rules that prohibit employers from
taking other action to deter employees from participating in a union only apply if
the union holds a certificate of independence.
index maps  Maps kept in the Land Registry showing the position and extent of
every registered estate in land. The index maps can be searched to find out if a
particular piece of land has an estate registered in respect of it.
indictable offence An offence that may be tried on *indictment, i.e. by jury in
the Crown Court. Most serious common-law offences are indictable (e.g.murder,
rape) and many are created by statute. When statute creates an offence without
specifying how it is to be tried, it is automatically an indictable offence. An attempt
to commit an indictable offence is itself an indictable offence; the same is not true
for a *summary offence. Some indictable offences, if not very serious, may be tried
either by magistrates or on indictment (see OFFENCES TRIABLE EITHER WAY).
indictment n. A formal document accusing one or more persons of committing a
specified *indictable offence or offences. It is read out to the accused at the trial. An
indictment is in a particular form. It is headed with the name of the case and the
place of trial. There is then a statement of offence, stating what crime has allegedly
been committed, followed by particulars of offence, i.e. such details as the date and
place of the offence, property stolen, etc. If the accused is charged with more than
one offence, each allegation and charge appears in a separate paragraph called a
count. Counts may, however, be framed in the alternative, i.e. two or more counts
may charge different offences arising out of the same allegation of fact but the
defendant may be convicted of only one of them; for example, when a defendant is
charged as a principal in one count and as an accessory in another in respect of the
indigenous peoples Those peoples and nations that have a historical continuity
with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories and
consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing in
those territories (or parts of them). Forming a non-dominant sector of the prevailing
society, they exhibit a determination to preserve, develop, and transmit to future
generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their
continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social
institutions, and legal systems. Examples of indigenous peoples include the Sami
(Lapps) in Scandinavia and the Cymry (Welsh) in the United Kingdom.
indirect evidence  See CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.
Individual Savings Account (lSA) A type of savings account on which no tax is
payable. There are three main types of property (components) that can be included
in an ISA: cash, stocks and shares, and life assurance policies. These can be included
all in one ISA- a maxi-ISA, or separately in mini-ISAs. In each tax year a taxpayer
can invest in either one maxi-ISA (which must include stocks and shares) or up to
three mini-ISAs - one each for cash, stocks and shares, and life assurance. No tax is
payable on any of the income from ISA savings and investments, including
dividends, interest, and bonuses, and no capital gains tax is payable on gains arising
on ISAinvestments. The ISAmanager will arrange for tax credits attached to
dividends from UK companies to be paid into the ISAuntil 5 April 2004. The insurer
does not have to pay tax on income or capital gains on investments (including
claiming tax credits on dividends from UK companies) used to back ISAlife
assurance policies; no tax is payable when the policy pays out. Money can be
withdrawn at any time without losing tax relief. The maximum that may be
invested in ISAsin the tax year 2001-02 is £7000.
indivisible contract  See PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACT.
indorsement n. See ENDORSEMENT.
inducement n. 1. The promise of some advantage (e.g.bail) held out by a person in
authority in relation to a prosecution to a person suspected of having committed a
criminal offence. At common law a confession made after an inducement was
inadmissible. It may now render the confession unreliable, and therefore
inadmissible, under the terms of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. 2. See
inducing breach of contract  See PROCURING BREACH OF CONTRACT.
industrial death benefit A state pension formerly payable to the widow of a
man who had died from injuries sustained in the course of his employment or from
a prescribed industrial disease. The system came to an end in April 1988.However,
widows whose husbands die after that date as a result of an industrial accident or
disease are entitled to widows' benefit and retirement pensions, their husbands
being deemed to have satisfied the contribution conditions in full.
industrial democracy Participation in company management by employees. This
may take the form of including directors elected by employees on the board of
directors. See alsoEMPLOYEES' SHARE SCHEME.
industrial dispute See TRADE DISPUTE.
industrial injuries disablement benefit A pension or lump sum payable by
the state to a person disabled by injury or a prescribed industrial disease sustained
or contracted in the course of his employment. The benefit is payable as a weekly
amount. The amount of the benefit depends on the degree of disablement, which is
assessed by a specialist or a board of two doctors. To be entitled to benefit, the
disablement must be assessed as being at least 14%of total disability (1% in the case
of pneumoconiosis, byssinosis, and diffuse mesothelioma). The benefit is payable if
the claimant is still suffering disability 15 weeks or more after the date of the
accident or onset of the disease. It is payable for a period assessed as the time for
which the claimant is likely to suffer the disability. The assessment can be reviewed
if the claimant's condition deteriorates or if he is still disabled at the end of the
period of assessment.
industrial tribunal  See EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL.
inevitable accident An accident that could not have been prevented by the
exercise of ordinary care and skill.
infant (minor) n. Since 1969,a *child under the age of 18.Certain rights (such as
rights of parental responsibility, the right to make a child a ward of court, and the
right to withhold consent to marriage) only apply to infants. Other rights (such as
the right to marry with consent) are governed by different age limits, often 16.
Infants have a limited *capacity to contract.
infanticide n. The killing of a child under 12 months old by its mother. If the
mother can show that the balance of her mind was disturbed because of the effects
of the childbirth or lactation, she will be found guilty of infanticide, rather than
murder, and punished as though she was guilty of *manslaughter. Most cases of
infanticide are dealt with by probation or discharge. See alsoDIMINISHED
inferior court Any of the courts that are subordinate to *superior courts, having
a jurisdiction limited to a particular geographical area, size of claim, or type of case.
Their decisions are normally subject to appeal to a superior court, and the exercise
of their jurisdiction may be subject to control by a superior court. In England and
Wales, *county courts and *magistrates' courts are inferior courts.
information n. See LAYING AN INFORMATION.
informed consent  The doctrine that determines the information to be disclosed
to a patient to render his consent to treatment lawful. In the USA, the doctrine is
based upon the "prudent patient" criterion, i.e. the nature, depth, and amount of
information is judged by the physician as that required by a prudent patient. In the
UKthe doctrine is based upon the "prudent physician" criterion, i.e. the nature,
depth, and amount of information is judged by the physician as that which is
necessary for the patient. Failure to disclose such information will render any
treatment unlawful.
informer n   Aperson who gives information to the police about crimes committed
by others. An informer who is himself involved in the crimes may sometimes
receive a lighter sentence in return for cooperation with the police that leads to the
conviction of other offenders. However, the police may not employ their own
informers to participate in crimes and then arrest the criminals, and a police
informer who pretends to join a plot to commit a crime may himself be guilty of
*conspiracy. It is nevertheless generally thought that if a police informer pretends
to help in committing a crime with the intention of frustrating it, he will not be
considered an *accessory if he fails to prevent the crime taking place.
in gross  Absolute, i.e. existing in its own right and not as ancillary to land or any
other thing. For example a profit á prendrecan exist in gross, conferring rights on
persons whether or not they own land capable of benefiting. An easement cannot
exist in gross since there must be a dominant tenement.
inherent vice   An inherent defect in certain goods that makes them liable to
damage. Some fibres, for example, are liable to rot during shipment. If a carrier or
insurer of such goods has not been warned of the inherent vice, he will not be liable
for damage resulting directly from the defect.
inheritance n.  1. The devolution of property on the death of its owner, either
according to the provisions of his will or under the rules relating to intestacy
contained in the Administration of Estates Act 1925 as amended. 2. Property that a
beneficiary receives from the estate of a deceased person.
inheritance tax  Atax introduced by the Finance Act 1986to replace capital
transfer tax. The tax is payable on the value of a person's estate on death added to
the value of lifetime gifts in the seven years preceding death and on certain other
lifetime gifts. At present (2001-02) there are two rates of tax: nil on estates up to
£242,000; 40% on estates over that figure. The tax charged on lifetime gifts made
within the seven years before the death of the donor is reduced on a sliding scale
according to how long before death the gift was made. Other lifetime gifts are
charged at half the death rate. There are anumber of exemptions, including gifts
between husband and wife, gifts to charities and political parties, and gifts for
national purposes or for the public benefit.
inhibition n.  (in land law) An entry in the proprietorship register relating to
registered land (see LAND REGISTRATION) that prohibits the registration of any dealing
with the land (such as a transfer or mortgage) for a specified time or until a
specified event occurs or until further order or entry. An inhibition may be
registered on the application of any person having a sufficient interest; for example,
when the owner of land claims that another has become registered as proprietor by
fraud. The Chief Land Registrar has total discretion whether to make or cancel any
order or entry, but an inhibition must be registered when a receiving order in
inhuman treatment or punishment
bankruptcy is made against the proprietor or when registered land is transferred to
the incumbent of a benefice.
inhuman treatment or punishment Treatment that causes intense physical
and mental suffering. The prohibition on inhuman treatment or punishment as set
out in Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights is now part of UK
law as a consequence of the *Human Rights Act 1998. This right is an *absolute
right; inhuman treatment or punishment can never be justified as being in the
public interest, no matter how great that public interest might be. Public
authorities have a limited but positive duty to protect this right from interference
by third parties.
injunction n. A remedy in the form of a court *order addressed to a particular
person that either prohibits him from doing or continuing to do a certain act (a
prohibitory injunction) or orders him to carry out a certain act (a mandatory
injunction). For example, a prohibitory injunction may be granted to restrain a
nuisance or to stop the infringement of a copyright or trademark. A mandatory
injunction may be granted to order a person to demolish a wall that he has built in
breach of covenant. The remedy is discretionary and will be granted only if the
court considers it just and convenient to do so; it will not be granted if damages
would be a sufficient remedy.
Injunctions are often needed urgently. A temporary injunction (interim or
interlocutory injunction) may therefore be granted at a special hearing pending
the outcome of the main hearing of the case. If it is granted, the claimant must
undertake to compensate the defendant for any damage he has suffered by the
grant of the injunction if the defendant is successful in the main action. If
judgment is given for the claimant in the main action, a perpetual injunction is
granted. A person who fails to abide by the terms of an injunction is guilty of
*contempt of court. See alsoFREEZING INJUNCTION; QUIA TIMET.
injurious falsehood   See MALICIOUS FALSEHOOD.
injury n. 1. Infringement of a right. 2. Actual harm caused to people or property.
inland bill  A *bill of exchange that is (or on the face of it purports to be) both
drawn and payable within the British Islands or drawn within the British Islands
upon some person resident there. All other bills are foreign bills. Unless the
contrary appears on the face of a bill, the holder may treat it as an inland bill. The
distinction is relevant to the steps taken when a bill has been dishonoured (see
Inland Revenue, Board of The body responsible for the care, management, and
collection of most taxes within the UK.The officials of which it is made up are the
Commissioners. The day-to-day administration is carried out by civil servants.
Inspectors of Taxes are responsible for assessing taxes, which are collected by
Collectors of Taxes (see also SELF-ASSESSMENT). A taxpayer can appeal against an
inspector's assessment either to the General Commissioners for his district (lay
persons appointed to hear appeals) or to a Special Commissioner (a full-time official
appointed by the Treasury to hear appeals).
in limine [Latin] Preliminary; used, for example, to describe an objection or
in loco parentis [Latin] In place of a parent: used loosely to describe anyone
looking after children on behalf of the parents, e.g. foster parents or relatives. In
law, however, only a guardian or a person in whose favour a residence order is made
stands in loco parentis; their rights and duties are determined by statutory provisions.
Inner Temple An *Inn of Court situated in the Temple between the Strand and
the Embankment. The earliest recorded claim for its existence is 1440. Its Hall and
Library were destroyed by bombing in World War II but have since been rebuilt.
innocent misrepresentation See MISREPRESENTATION.
innocent passage  See TERRITORIAL WATERS.
innominate terms (intermediate terms) Terms of a contract that cannot be
classified as *conditions or *warranties. The parties to a contract may label the
terms of the contract as either conditions or warranties and those labels will usually
be respected by the courts provided that the result is reasonable. Similarly, certain
terms have traditionally been treated as conditions or warranties even though they
have not been labelled as such (for example, time clauses in mercantile contracts are
to be treated as conditions). Innominate terms are those that will not fit the above
categories. The remedy for breach of an innominate term will depend on whether or
not the breach is of a fundamental nature, i.e. that the injured party has been
deprived of substantially the whole of the benefit of the contract. If the injured
party has been so deprived, he will be entitled to treat the contract as repudiated
and claim damages. If not, he will be entitled to damages only. See alsoBREACH OF
Inns of Chancery Formerly, Inns similar but subordinate to the *Inns of Court,
to which they were attached (for example, Staple Inn and Barnard's Inn were
attached to Gray's Inn). Originally they were societies in which students prepared for
admission to the Inns of Court; later they became societies of attorneys. They were
dissolved in the late 19th century.
Inns of Court Ancient legal societies situated in central London; every *barrister
must belong to one of them. These voluntary unincorporated associations have the
exclusive right of call to the Bar. The early history of the Inns is disputed, but they
probably began as hostels in which those who practised in the common law courts
lived. These hostels gradually evolved a corporate life in which *Benchers, barristers,
and students lived together as a self-regulating body. From an early date they had an
important role in legal education. In modern times four Inns survive: *Gray's Inn,
*Inner Temple, *Lincoln's Inn, and *Middle Temple.
Inns of Court and Bar Educational Trust See COUNCIL OF LEGAL EDUCATION.
innuendo n. In an action for *defamation, a statement in which the claimant
explains the defamatory meaning of apparently innocent words that he alleges are
defamatory. The claimant must set out in his particulars of claim the facts or
circumstances making the words defamatory.
in personam [Latin: against the person] Describing a court action or a claim made
against a specific person or a right affecting a particular person or group of people
(compare IN REM). The *maxim of equity "equity acts in personam" refers to the fact
that the Court of Chancery issued its decrees against the defendant himself, who
was liable to imprisonment if he did not enforce them.
inquest n. An inquiry into a death the cause of which is unknown. An inquest is
conducted by a *coroner and often requires the decision of a jury of 7-11 jurors. It
must be held in the case of a sudden death whose cause is unknown or suspicious, a
death occurring in prison, or when the coroner reasonably suspects that the death
was caused by violent or unnatural means. Inquests are not, however, criminal
proceedings; witnesses are usually cross-examined only by the coroner and the strict
laws of evidence do not apply. If unlawful *homicide is suspected, and criminal
proceedings are likely, the coroner will usually adjourn the inquest (and must do so
if requested to by a chief police officer). If the inquest jury find that a particular
person caused the death in circumstances amounting to homicide, that person may
stand trial. It is an offence to dispose of a body with the intention of preventing an
inquest being held.
inquiry n. (in international law) An attempt to discover the facts surrounding an
international incident that is the subject of a dispute between two or more parties
by means of an impartial investigative body. Such an investigation is intended to
promote a successful resolution of the dispute. In treaty law each of the *Bryan
Treaties and a number of other treaties between South and Central American states
provided for the establishment of permanent commissions of inquiry. In 1967,the
UN General Assembly adopted a resolution supporting the institution of such
impartial fact-finding and requested the Secretary-General to establish a register of
experts whose services could be used by states in specific disputes. See also
inquisition n. A document containing the verdict of a coroner's *inquest. It
consists of the caption (details of the coroner, jury, and the inquest hearing), the
verdict (identification of the body and probable cause of death), and the attestation
(signatures of the coroner and jurors). An open verdict may be recorded when there
is insufficient evidence of the cause of death.
inquisitorial procedure A system of criminal justice, in force in some European
countries but not in England, in which the truth is revealed by an inquiry into the
facts conducted by the judge. In this system it is the judge who takes the initiative
in conducting the case, rather than the prosecution or defence; his role is to lead the
investigations, examine the evidence, and interrogate the witnesses. Compare
in re   [Latin; in the matter of] A phrase is used in the headings of law reports,
together with the name of the person or thing that the case is about (for example,
cases in which wills are being interpreted). It is often abbreviated to re, in which
form it is used in headings to letters, etc.
in rem   [Latin: against the thing] 1. Describing a right that should be respected by
other people generally, such as ownership of property, as distinct from a right *in
personam. 2. Describing a court action that is directed against an item of property,
rather than against a person or group of people. Actions in rem are a feature of the
*Admiralty Court.
insanity n. (in criminal law) A defect of reason, arising from mental disease, that is
severe enough to prevent a defendant from knowing what he did (or what he did
was wrong). A person accused of a crime is presumed sane and therefore responsible
for his acts, but he can rebut this presumption and escape a conviction if he can
prove (see BURDEN OF PROOF) that at the time of committing the crime he was insane.
For purposes of this defence, insanity is defined by the McNaghten Rules. These
were formulated by judges after the trial of Daniel McNaghten (1843), who killed the
Prime Minister's secretary by mistake for the Prime Minister, under the delusion
that the government was persecuting him, and was acquitted on the grounds of
insanity. According to the rules, the defendant must show that he is suffering from
a defect of reason arising out of "a disease of the mind". This would usually include
most psychoses, paranoia, and schizophrenic diseases, but psychopaths and those
inspection of property
suffering from neuroses or subnormality would not normally fall within the terms
of the rules. The defendant must also show that, as a result of the defect of reason,
he either did not know the "nature and quality" of his acts, i.e.he did not know
what he was doing (for example, if he put a child on a fire, thinking it was a log of
wood) or he did not know that his acts were wrong, even if he knew their nature
and quality (for example, if he knew he was murdering, but did not know that this
was wrong). If the defendant is suffering from an insane delusion, he is treated as
though the delusion was true and will have a defence if there would normally be
one on those facts (for example, if he kills someone under the insane delusion that
he is acting in self-defence, since self-defence is a defence). Medical evidence may be
brought, but the jury are entitled to form their opinion on the facts. If found to be
insane the defendant is given a special verdict of "not guilty by reason of insanity"
and may be admitted to hospital. In cases of homicide, the accused must be sent to
hospital (usually a *special hospital, such as Broadmoor). Because of the consequences
of successfully pleading it, in practice insanity was usually only pleaded to avoid the
death penalty. However, a defendant who puts his mental state in issue (e.g.by
raising a defence of *diminished responsibility on a murder charge) might have to
change his plea to guilty to avoid being treated as pleading insanity (though he is
entitled to appeal against an insanity verdict).
Magistrates' courts are not empowered to return a special verdict. They will either
grant a complete acquittal, if the defendant's evidence of mental abnormality
amounts to a denial that he had any necessary *mens rea for the crime, or they may
make a *hospital order, if the crime with which he is charged is one for which they
could usually imprison him.
If someone in custody for trial is suffering from mental illness or severe
subnormality, he may be detained in hospital and not brought to trial until he is fit.
A person who is insane at the time of his trial, in the sense that he does not
understand the charge and cannot properly instruct his lawyers, may be found
*unfit to plead.
insider dealing  Taking advantage of specific unpublished price-sensitive
information to deal in *securities to make a profit or avoid a loss. Under the
Criminal Justice Act 1993,dealings by insiders and those who have acquired
information from insiders may be a criminal offence. Improperly disclosing such
information or encouraging others to deal is also prohibited.
insolvency practitioner A person appointed to officiate in the *winding-up of a
company or in *bankruptcy proceedings. The Insolvency Act 1986requires the
appointment of a qualified practitioner to act as a *liquidator, an *administrative
receiver, the supervisor of a *voluntary arrangement, or a *trustee in bankruptcy.
Under the Act, a person is only authorized to act in such a capacity if he has met
certain statutory requirements, including membership of an approved professional
body (such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales or the
Insolvency Practitioners Association).
inspection by judge See VIEW.
inspection of property (in court procedure) The High Court or the county
courts may order the inspection, photographing, preservation, custody, and
detention of any property that is (or may become) the subject matter of proceedings
or in respect of which any questions may arise in proceedings. Such an order may be
made before the issue of proceedings, in respect of any property that may become
instant committal
the subject matter of subsequent proceedings. Once proceedings have started, an
order may be made in respect of property in the possession of a party, provided that
the application is in respect of a physical thing (not details of a manufacturing
process, for example), and an order may be made if the property is in the possession
of a non-party. In each instance, the order is sought by isuing an application notice
supported by evidence.
instant committal   A short committal under section 1 of the Criminal Justice Act
institutional constructive trust See CONSTRUCTNE TRUST.
instrument n. A formal legal document, such as a will, deed, or conveyance, which
is evidence of (for example) rights and duties. The *European Convention on Human
Rights is a living instrument in that it must be interpreted in the light of present-
day conditions rather than by trying to ascertain the meaning of those who drafted
it over fifty years ago. See also STATUTORY INSTRUMENT.
insufficient evidence A direction by a judge to a jury that, as a matter of law,
the evidence does not entitle them to make a certain finding. For example, if there
is insufficient evidence for a conviction, the judge may direct the jury to return a
verdict of not guilty.
insulting behaviour See THREATENING BEHAVIOUR.
insurable interest An interest (financial or otherwise) in the subject matter of a
contract of *insurance, which provides the person insured with the right to enforce
the contract. An insurable interest (e.g. ownership of goods insured) distinguishes a
contract of insurance from a wager or bet. An interest is required by statute for
various types of insurance contract (e.g. life insurance).
insurance n.  A contract in which one party (the insurer) agrees for payment of a
consideration (the premium) to make monetary provision for the other (the
insured) upon the occurrence of some event or against some risk. For such contracts
to be enforceable, there must be some element of uncertainty about the events
insured against and the insured must have an *insurable interest in the subject
matter of the contract. (The term assurancehas the same meaning as insurance but
is generally used in relation to events that will definitely happen at some time or
another (especially death), whereas insurance refers to events that mayor may not
happen.) There are two types of insurance: indemnity insurance, which provides an
indemnity against loss and in which the measure of the loss is the measure of
payment (e.g.afire policy); and contingency insurance, which involves payment on
a contingent event and in which the sum paid is not measured by the loss but stated
in the policy (e.g. a life policy). A contract of insurance is one requiring the utmost
good faith (see UBERRIMAE FIDEI) and is voidable if a party fails in preliminary
negotiations to disclose a fact material to the risk (see NONDISCLOSURE; VOIDABLE
CONTRACT). Innocent or fraudulent *misrepresentation may also render the contract
voidable, or the contract may be terminated for breach of an essential term (see
WARRANTY). Particular types of insurance include *life assurance, fire insurance,
motor-vehicle insurance (see THIRD-PARTY INSURANCE), *marine insurance, liability
insurance, and guarantee insurance. There is considerable statutory regulation of
insurance business.
Insurers are either insurance companies or *Lloyd's underwriters. Insurance
companies are regulated by statute, aimed, among other things, at ensuring the
insurance companies have sufficient funds to meet all claims made on them.
Insurance brokers negotiate insurance contracts with insurance companies or
Lloyd's underwriters on a commission basis and usually handle claims on their
clients' behalf. In the event of a claim the insured receives either the amount agreed
in the policy or an appropriate sum that is calculated by an independent insurance
insurance broker See INSURANCE.
insurance company See INSURANCE.
insurance policy A formal document issued by an insurer setting out the terms
of a contract of *insurance. Insurance contracts are not required by law to be in
writing. Before the issue of a policy an insurer may issue a cover note, which is
itself a temporary contract of insurance.
insurgency n. A state of revolt against constituted authority by rebels who are not
recognized as *belligerent communities. Hence, recognition by nation X of a state of
insurgency in nation Y means that while the former nation acknowledges a state of
rebellion or revolt in nation Y,it is not yet prepared to extend recognition of a state
of belligerency to that nation. Such a decision is based upon the relative proportion
and success of the rebellion or revolt within state Y.
intangible property *Property that has no physical existence: *choses in action
and incorporeal *hereditaments.
intellectual property Intangible property that includes *patents, *trade marks,
*copyright, and registered and unregistered *design rights.
intention n. The state of mind of one who aims to bring about a particular
consequence. Intention is one of the main forms of *mens rea,and for some crimes
the only form (for example, in the crime of threatening to destroy someone's
property, with the intention that he should fear that the threat will be carried out).
A person is assumed to intend those consequences of his acts that are inevitable but
cannot be presumed to intend a consequence merely because it is probable or
natural. In the latter case, the jury must decide, on all the available evidence,
whether or not in fact the accused did intend the consequences. For purposes of the
law of murder, however, a person is presumed to intend to cause death if he
foresees that it is a highly likely consequence of his acts. This is sometimes known as
oblique intention. Intention is often contrasted with *recklessness and should not
be confused with *motive. For some purposes, offences are divided into crimes of
basic intent or specific intent (see INTOXICATION). See alsoULTERlOR INTENT.
Intention to injure is also a constituent element of some torts, particularly those
dealing with business relations (e.g. *conspiracy, *intimidation, *procuring breach of
intention of testator The meaning that a testator intends his will to have. In
interpreting a will, the court seeks to give effect to the intention of the testator as
expressed in the will, even if capricious or eccentric. If the intention of the testator
is to be challenged, this can only be done by an application under the Inheritance
(Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975(see FAMILY PROVISION). There are rules
of construction to enable the testator's intention to be ascertained where it is not
clear from the face of the will (see ARMCHAIR PRINCIPLE; INTERPRETATION OF WILLS).
interest n. (in land law) A right in or over land. It may comprise equitable
ownership of the land (such as the interest of the tenant for life under a
settlement), where the legal estate is owned by trustees; or the benefit of some
other right over the land of another, such as an easement or rentcharge. Interests of
the latter type can be legal or equitable, but under the Law of Property Act 1925
interest in expectancy
only interests owned on terms equivalent to a *fee simple absolute in possession or
a *term of years absolute qualify as legal interests. A person interested in land is
one who has rights in it. See also EQUITABLE INTERESTS.
interest in expectancy Any future interest in property.
interfering with subsisting contract  See PROCURING BREACH OF CONTRACT.
interfering with trade or business   The tort of deliberately interfering with
the trade or business of another person by unlawful means, thereby causing damage
to that person. Liability in this tort is wider than in the tort of *procuring breach
of contract, since it is not necessary to show that an existing contract has been
interfered with or broken. The operation of the tort in *trade disputes is limited by
interfering with vehicles Under the Criminal Attempts Act 1981, it is an
offence, punishable with up to three months' imprisonment and(or a fine, for a
person to interfere with a vehicle or anything it carries with the intention that he
or someone else will steal the vehicle or any of its contents or take the vehicle
without the owner's consent. The offence was introduced when the *sus law was
abolished. A constable may arrest anyone he reasonably suspects of this offence. It is
also a *summary offence, under the Road Traffic Act 1988,to get onto a vehicle on a
road or local authority car park or to tamper with its brakes or other part of its
mechanism without lawful authority or reasonable cause. See alsoCONVEYANCE.
interfering with witnesses Attempting to prevent a witness from giving
evidence or to influence the evidence he gives. Making improper threats against
witnesses may amount to the common-law offence of *perverting the course of
justice; persuading a witness to tell a lie constitutes - in addition to this - the
offence of subornation of *perjury. It is also perverting the course of justice to put
pressure upon a witness to give evidence or to pay him money to testify in a
particular way. Sometimes interfering with witnesses may also amount to
*contempt of court. There is also a separate common-law offence of tampering
with witnesses when one uses threats to persuade them not to give evidence. See
interim   See INTERLOCUTORY.
interim appeal. (interlocutory appeal) An appeal against an order made during
the pre-trial stage of civil litigation. Appeals from district judges and masters are to
the High Court or a county court circuit judge, and appeals from a decision of a
county court circuit judge or a High Court judge are to the Court of Appeal (Civil
Division). Any appeal can only be made if permission to appeal is granted.
interim injunction (interlocutory injunction) See INJUNCTION.
interim judgment (interlocutory judgment) A decision by the court in civil
proceedings that only deals with part of the matter in dispute. Compare FINAL
interim measures (in competition law) Temporary sanctions that the European
Commission and the UK Office of Fair Trading have powers (by decision and under
the Competition Act 1998,respectively) to impose on businesses that are in breach of
the competition rules, pending a final decision. This ensures that permanent damage
is not done to the party who has complained of a breach of the rules. The interim
measures may consist of requiring the offending company to resume supplies of
goods to the complainant or to remedy the conduct of which complaint has been
made in some other way. See also INTERIM RELIEF.
international carriage
interim payment Payment on account by a defendant of any damages, debt, or
other sum (excluding costs) that he is liable to pay to the claimant. The High Court
(but not the county courts) may order a defendant to make an interim payment.
When damages are claimed, it is necessary to show that (1) the defendant has
admitted liability; or (2)the claimant has already obtained judgment for damages to
be assessed; or (3) if the action proceeded to trial the claimant would obtain
judgment for substantial damages.
interim proceedings (interlocutory proceedings) The preliminary stages in
civil proceedings, such as statements of case and disclosure of documents, which
occur between the issue of the claim form and the trial. Their principal functions
are to define the issues that will have to be decided at the trial and to prevent
interim relief (interlocutory relief) A temporary remedy, such as an interim
*injunction or *interim payment, granted to a claimant by a court pending the
interim rent Rent that a landlord can request a court to fix for a *business
tenancy when he has given the tenant notice to quit or when the tenant has applied
for a new tenancy.
interlineation n. Writing between the lines of a document. The effect is the same
as that of an *alteration.
interlocutory ad}.  During the course of proceedings. Before the introduction of
the Civil Procedure Rules in 1999, the term was applied to certain processes in civil
proceedings occurring between initiation of the action and the final judgment (e.g.
interlocutory injunction, interlocutory proceedings). Under the Rules, it has been
replaced by the term interim.
intermediate terms  See INNOMINATE TERMS.
internal waters All rivers, canals, lakes (excluding international ones), and
landlocked seas, the waters of ports, bays, and roadsteads, and the waters on the
landward side of the *baseline of the territorial sea. Within its internal waters, a
coastal state exercises civil and criminal jurisdiction over foreign merchant ships
and also administrative functions, such as enforcing customs and fishing
regulations. Compare TERRITORIAL WATERS.
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD; World
Bank) A specialized agency of the United Nations. It developed from the
international monetary and financial conference held at Bretton Woods, New
Hampshire, in 1944 and was established by 44 nations in 1945. Its central purpose is
to spur economic growth in developing states through the provision of loans and
technical assistance to their respective governments. The IBRD currently has 181
international carriage The carriage of persons or goods between two or more
nations, which is regulated by various international conventions. The international
carriage of goods by sea is governed by the Hague Rules(1924), the Hague-Visby
Rules(1968), and the Hamburg Rules(1978, not yet in force); that of goods by road
by the Geneva Convention (1956); and that of goods by rail by a convention of 1980.
(See alsoCARRIAGE OF GOODS BY AIR.) There are also conventions regulating the
international carriage of passengers by sea, rail, and road. The UK is a party to
various of these conventions and has legislated to give them legal effect; for
example, the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1971 covers the Hague-Visby Rules.
International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice A court at The Hague, consisting of 15 judges
elected for 9-year terms of office, that has power to determine disputes relating to
international law. It was set up by the United Nations in succession to the
Permanent Court of International Justice, and all members of the UN are
automatically parties to the Statute of the Court. No state may be brought before
the Court in contentious proceedings unless it has accepted its jurisdiction, either by
agreement in a particular case or by recognition of the authority of the Court in
general, in respect of any dispute with another state accepting the general
jurisdiction of the Court (the principle of reciprocity; see also OPTIONAL CLAUSE). The
Court may also give advisory opinions (see ADVISORY JURISDICTION), which do not bind
the parties but are of great *persuasive authority.
International Criminal Court A permanent court to try individuals for the
most serious offences of global concern. In July 1998, 160 nations decided to establish
this court; the Statute of the Court will enter into force after 60 countries have
ratified it. Crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court are genocide, war crimes, and
crimes against humanity, such as widespread or systematic extermination of
civilians, enslavement, torture, rape, forced pregnancy, persecution on political,
racial, ethnic, or religious grounds, and enforced disappearances. The Court's Statute
lists and defines all these crimes to avoid ambiguity. The seat of the Court will be at
The Hague, in the Netherlands, but it will be authorized to try cases in other venues
when appropriate.
international law (jus gentium, law of nations)   The system of law regulating
the interrelationship of sovereign states and their rights and duties with regard to
one another. In addition, certain international organizations (such as the *United
Nations), companies, and sometimes individuals (e.g.in the sphere of *human rights)
may have rights or duties under international law. International law deals with such
matters as the formation and recognition of states, acquisition of territory, war, the
law of the sea and of space, treaties, treatment of aliens, human rights, international
crimes, and international judicial settlement of disputes. The usual sources of
international law are (1) *conventions and *treaties; (2)international *custom, in so
far as this is evidence of a general practice of behaviour accepted as legally binding
(see OPINIO JURIS); (3) the *general principles of law recognized by civilized nations.
International law is also known as public international law to distinguish it
from *private international law, which does not deal with relationships between
International Law Commission (lLe) A body established in 1947by General
Assembly Resolution 174 (II) and acting under Article 13 of the United Nations
Charter. The ILCconsists of 25 members of recognized competence in international
law who are elected for five-year periods by the General Assembly from a list of
candidates nominated by the member states of the UN. The mission of the ILCis to
promote the progressive development of international law by preparing draft
conventions on subjects that have not yet been regulated by international law and
by codifying the law. It produces annual reports of current problems.
international legal personality In the international community, entities who
are endowed with rights and obligations under public international law are said to
have international legal personality. The entities with this legal personality include
states, international organizations, *nongovernmental organizations, and to some
limited extent private individuals and corporations within a state.
international minimum standard (in international law) A minimum standard
of treatment that must always be observed with regard to the treatment of foreign
interpretation of statutes
nationals. This standard consists of at least the right to life, liberty, and free access
to the courts and to the protection of property (especially fair compensation for the
nationalization of property). The international minimum standard has proved to be
contentious with developing countries and Socialist states, who believe that it
merely advances Western economic imperialism. See alsoESPOUSAL OF CLAIM;
International Sea Bed Authority A body, based in Jamaica, that is charged with
responsibility for the 1982Convention on the Law of the Sea. See LAW OF THE SEA.
international supply contract A contract for the sale of goods made by parties
whose places of business (or habitual residences) are in the territories of different
states. The limitations imposed by the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977on the extent
to which a person may exclude or restrict his liability (e.g.by an *exemption clause)
do not apply to such a contract if (1) when it is made, the goods are in carriage (or
due to be carried) from one state to another; (2)the offer and its acceptance take
place in different states; or (3) the goods are to be delivered in a state other than
that in which the offer and acceptance take place. However, other statutes may
apply to such contracts, and in many countries the Vienna Convention on the
International Sales of Goods and world trade rules under the *General Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the *World Trade Organization (WTO) will apply.
interpleader n. A procedure used to decide how conflicting claims against the
same person should be dealt with. It applies when there are two or more claims
against the applicant (whether or not court proceedings have been issued) that
conflict with each other; for example, when two or more people claim the same
goods that are being held by the applicant. The court decides how the matter should
be dealt with; it may, for example, direct that there should be a court action
between the rival claimants.
Interpleader can be of two types. A stakeholder's interpleader applies to any
person holding any debt, goods, or chattels in respect of which there are rival claims.
A sheriff's interpleader applies when the applicant is the *sheriff, who has to deal
with rival claims after execution of a writ of *fieri facias when a third party (e.g. a
television rental company) claims that the goods seized belong to him. In the county
courts, special forms of summons are prescribed irrespective of whether
proceedings have commenced or not. In the High Court, the application is by *claim
form if proceedings have yet to start, and by ordinary application notice if
proceedings have already been issued.
interpretation (construction) n. The process of determining the true meaning of
a written document. It is a judicial process, effected in accordance with a number of
rules and presumptions. So far as is relevant, the rules and presumptions applicable
to Acts of Parliament (see INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES) apply equally to private
documents, such as deeds and wills.
Interpretation Act  An Act of 1978(originally 1889) that defines a number of
common words and expressions and provides that the same definitions are to apply
in all other Acts except those specifically indicating otherwise. For example, "person"
includes (in addition to an individual) any body of persons corporate or
interpretation clause A clause in a written document that defines words and
phrases used in the document itself. In an Act of Parliament it is called an
interpretation section. See also INTERPRETATION ACT.
interpretation of statutes The judicial process of determining, in accordance
interpretation of wills
with certain rules and presumptions, the true meaning of Acts of Parliament. The
principal rules of statutory interpretation are as follows.
(1) An Act must be construed as a whole, so that internal inconsistencies are avoided.
(2)Words that are reasonably capable of only One meaning must be given that
meaning whatever the result. This is called the literal rule.
(3)Ordinary words must be given their ordinary meanings and technical words their
technical meanings, unless absurdity would result. This is the golden rule.
(4)When an Act aims at curing a defect in the law any ambiguity is to be resolved
in such away as to favour that aim (the mischief rule).
(5)The ejusdem generis rule (of the same kind): when a list of specific items
belonging to the same class is followed by general words (as in "cats, dogs, and other
animals"), the general words are to be treated as confined to other items of the same
class (in this example, to other domestic animáis).
(6) The rule expressio unius est exe/usio alterius (the inclusion of the one is the
exclusion of the other): when a list of specific Ítems is not followed by general
words it is to be taken as exhaustive. For example, "weekends and public holidays"
excludes ordinary weekdays.
The House of Lords has ruled against the existence of an alleged social policy
rule, which would enable an ambiguous Act to be interpreted so as to best give
effect to the social policy underlying it. Ambiguities may occasionally be resolved by
referring to external sources; for example, the intention of Parliament in regard to
a proposed Act, as revealed by ministers during its passage through Parliament, may
be discovered by reference to *Hansard.
There are some general presumptions relating to the interpretation of statutes.
They are presumed (1) not to bind the Crown (including the sovereign personally); (2)
not to operate retrospectively so far as substantive (but not procedural) law is
concerned; (3)not to interfere with vested rights (particularly without
compensation); (4)not to oust the jurisdiction of the courts; and (5) not to derogate
from constitutional rights or international law. But clear words or necessary
implication may override these presumptions. A consolidating statute is presumed
not be intended to alter the law, but this does not apply to codifying statutes, which
may be concerned with clarifying law that was previously unclear. Penal and taxing
statutes are subject to strict construction, i.e. if after applying the normal rules of
interpretation it is still doubtful whether or nr>t a penalty or tax attaches to a
particular person or transaction, the ambiguity must be resolved in favour of the
interpretation of wills   The process of determining the true meaning of wills to
give effect, as far as possible, to the testator's intention expressed in the will (see
INTENTION OF TESTATOR). Generally the words usc'd are given their ordinary
grammatical meaning. If the words used are ambiguous, either in themselves or in
the light of surrounding circumstances, extrinsic evidence may be admitted to assist
in ascertaining the testator's intention. The process of construing a will by reference
to the circumstances surrounding the testator when he made his will is commonly
known as the *armchair principle. Such evidence may not be used to contradict a
clear expression in the will. The golden rule i$ to adopt a construction that will
avoid an *intestacy, on the basis that if the testator went to the trouble of making a
will, he presumably did not intend to die intestate. There are also many detailed
rules relating to the meaning of particular phiases and to imprecise gifts for
charitable purposes.
interregnum n. 1. The period between the death of a sovereign and the accession
of his or her successor.  2. Temporary rule exercised during such a period. In the UK
a sovereign's death does not result in an interregnum (see DEMISE OF THE CROWN).
interrogation n. The questioning of suspects by the police. Suspects are not
obliged to answer such questions (see RIGHT OF SILENCE), and the right of the police to
question suspects is governed by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the
Codes of Practice made under it. The Codes deal with such matters as the rights of
the suspect to communicate with third parties, rights to legal advice and to medical
treatment, and advice to the police on the administering of a *caution, the provision
of interpreters, and the keeping of records concerning all these matters. There are
special provisions relating to the interrogation of juveniles, the mentally ill, and the
mentally handicapped. The provisions of the 1984 Act and its Codes must now be
read subject to the requirements of the *Human Rights Act 1998.See also CONFESSION.
interrogatory n.  Formerly, a formal written question submitted by one party to
civil litigation to another party and required to be answered on oath. Since the
introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules in 1999,this procedure has been replaced
by a request for further information.
in terrorem  [Latin] Intimidating. The doctrine of in terrorem applies to conditions
attached to gifts of personal property in wills or elsewhere. Such conditions are in
terroremif it is apparent that the donor does not really intend the recipient to lose
the gift, but is merely making an idle threat; for example, when a donor makes a
gift subject to a condition against marriage without another person's consent but
does not make provision for the disposal of the gift if the recipient does not comply
with the condition. Such conditions are void.
interstate trade  Trade between states. EU competition rules (see COMPETITION LAw)
apply only when an anticompetitive agreement or *abuse of a dominant position
will affect trade between member states. Whether or not interstate trade is affected
is therefore crucial to any competition analysis. Agreements relating to imports or
exports are most likely to affect interstate trade, but so might an agreement
between two businesses situated in one member state, depending on the terms or
effect of the agreement.
intertemporal law The law that international courts apply when a long time has
elapsed since the conclusion of a treaty, to take into account changes that have
taken place in international law since the treaty was formulated and changes in the
meaning of the expressions in the treaty. The existence of a right (e.g. to a
territorial claim) should be based not only on the law in effect at the time the right
was created, but also on the international law as applied to the continued existence
of that right. The legitimacy of a title to territory must be renewed by the claimant
intervention n.  Action taken to intervene in markets, for example to support
prices, in the EU or within similar trading groups throughout the world. In the EU
it occurs in relation to the *Common Agricultural Policy. The European Commission
buys surplus produce at an agreed intervention price; the produce may be stored
until prices alter. This practice formerly led to butter or meat "mountains", but
goods held in intervention in this way have now largely been dissipated.
intestacyn.  The state in which a person dies without having made a will disposing
of all his property. A total intestacy occurs when the deceased leaves no will at all
or a will that only appoints executors but does not dispose of any property; a
partial intestacy arises when a will deals with only part of the testator's estate. The
Administration of Estates Act 1925 as amended and orders made under it govern the
manner in which an intestate estate is to be administered, the persons entitled to
inherit, and the amounts and proportions of the estate they receive. The rules
relating to intestacy reflect the importance accorded to familial relationships: the
surviving spouse is given the larger share of the estate.
intimidation n. 1. The act of frightening someone into doing something.
Intimidation is not in itself a crime, but it may constitute part of a crime. For
example, it is a crime to have sexual intercourse with a woman if her agreement
was obtained by intimidation. It is a crime to intimidate a juror or witness in
relation to proceedings with which he is connected (see CONTEMPT OF COURT). If one
intimidates someone into handing over money or property, this may amount to
theft, and in some cases to blackmail. There are also special statutory offences of
threatening to destroy or damage someone else's property and threatening to kill
someone. A person who commits a crime when intimidated by others may
sometimes have a defence of *duress. See alsoTHREAT.
Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994it is also an offence to
intimidate a person whom the offender believes to be a potential or actual witness
or juror. The offender must, however, have an intention to obstruct an investigation
or the course of justice although this will be presumed where it is proved that he
did an act that intimidates with that intention. Similar offences exist with regard to
reprisals against potential witnesses or jurors. On *summary conviction the
maximum penalty is six months' imprisonment and/or a fine up to the statutory
maximum of £5000,and on *indictment it is five years' imprisonment and/or an
unlimited fine.
2. A tort in which A, with the intention of injuring B,either directly threatens B
with some unlawful act or threatens C with an unlawful act in order to make him
cause damage to B.Thus if A threatens to do an unlawful act to B's employer (C)
unless he dismisses B,and C succumbs to the threat, B has an action for intimidation
against A for causing the loss of his job. It is irrelevant that C was entitled to
dismiss Band did not act unlawfully: the essence of the tort is A's unlawful threat.
The operation of the tort in *trade disputes is limited by statute.
intoxicating liquor For the purposes of the Licensing Act 1964,spirits, wine, beer,
porter, cider (including perry), and any other fermented, distilled, or spirituous
intoxication n. The condition of someone who is drunk or under the influence of
drugs. Although intoxication itself is not an offence (but see DRUNKENNESS), it is an
element in a number of offences. These include *drunken driving, being found
drunk in a public place, being drunk and disorderly in a public place, and being
drunk in a public place while possessing a loaded firearm. It is also an offence to
supply or offer to supply to a person under 18 a substance (e.g. a glue or solvent)
whose fumes are likely to be inhaled by that person for the purpose of causing
When a person is so intoxicated that he is incapable of forming the *mens rea
required to be guilty of a particular crime, he is usually entitled to be acquitted if
the crime is one that requires a specific intention (but not if it requires a basic
intention). A crime is one of basic intent if the mens rea required does not go
beyond the *actus reus of the crime (for example, rape, in which the actus reus is
sexual intercourse without the woman's consent and the mens rea is intention to
have sexual intercourse without her consent, or recklessness whether she consents
or not). A crime is one of specific intent if the mens rea required goes beyond the
actus reus(for example, theft, in which the actus reusis merely appropriating
someone else's property, but the mens rea - in addition to the intention of
invitation to treat
appropriating it - requires an intention to deprive the owner of it for good).
Intoxication will not be a defence, however, if the crime is one of specific intent
that can be committed by being reckless and the indictment is framed in terms of
recklessness. For example, if a drunken person sets fire to a building and endangers
the lives of people in it, he may be guilty of destroying property being reckless as to
whether life would be endangered, even though he was unaware of the risk He
could not, however, be guilty of damaging property intending to endanger life.
Intoxication is not a defence if a person deliberately drinks or takes drugs in order
to give himself Dutch courage to commit a crime.
intra vires  [Latin: within the powers] Describing an act carried out by a body (such
as a public authority or a company) that is within the limits of the powers
conferred on it by statute or some other constituting document (such as the
memorandum and articles of association of a company). Compare ULTRA VIRES.
introductory tenancy Atenancy granted by a local authority or housing action
trust that is intended as a probationary tenancy for 12 months. This will not be a
*secure tenancy until the end of the 12 months. If the landlord wishes to seek
possession during the introductory tenancy, he must serve notice on the tenant, who
has 14 days to seek a review. After the review has been completed, the landlord must
notify the tenant of the decision and give reasons if the decision to evict stands.
invalid care allowance  Ataxable benefit under the Social Security Acts, payable
in certain circumstances to a person of working age who is not gainfully employed
because he (or she) is regularly and substantially engaged in caring for a severely
disabled relative. Those earning over £72 per week (2001) cannot claim.
invalidity benefit  A former benefit under the Social Security Acts that replaced
sickness benefit after 28 consecutive six-day weeks. From April 1995 sickness and
invalidity benefits were replaced by *incapacity benefit.
inventory n. A detailed list of assets or property. Alease of furnished premises or
a contract for the sale of chattels will usually contain an inventory from which the
particular items can be identified. Under the Administration of Estates Act 1925,
personal representatives must produce on oath an inventory of the deceased's estate
when called upon by the court (this duty is effectively discharged by lodging an
Inland Revenue account).
investigation of a company An inquiry into the running of a company made
by inspectors appointed by the Department of Trade and Industry acting under Part
XIVof the Companies Act 1985 or the Financial Services Act 1986.It may be ordered
by the Secretary of State, on his own initiative or upon application by the
shareholders or the company itself, or by the court. Such an inquiry may be held to
supply company members with information or to investigate fraud, *unfair
prejudice, nominee shareholders, or *insider dealing. The inspectors' report is
usually published.
investigative help  See COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICE.
investment company A public listed company with a business of investing its
funds mainly in securities in order to spread investment risk and give company
members the benefit derived from the management of its funds. Investment
companies must give notice in prescribed form to the Companies Registry. Under
the Companies Act 1985they are subject to special provisions in relation to
invitation to treat See OFFER.
invitee ri.  A person permitted to enter land or premises for a purpose in which the
occupier of the land has a material interest. An example of an invitee is a customer
in vitro fertilization (IVF)  See HUMAN ASSISTED REPRODUCTION.
involuntary conduct Conduct that cannot be controlled because one is suffering
from a physical or mental condition or is acting under *duress. Involuntary conduct
will often give rise to a defence of *automatism, although it may not be a defence if
one is aware of one's condition or induced it oneself. Sometimes conduct may be
regarded as involuntary if one is in control of one's faculties; for example, when the
brakes of a car suddenly fail; this will also afford a defence to a driving offence
IR35   A rule introduced with effect from 6 April 2000 that requires an individual
who provides services to an employer through an intermediary (such as a limited
company) to be taxed on the basis that he is an employee rather than self-employed.
This requires deduction of tax at source under the PAYE (*Pay As You Earn) rules
and gives less favourable treatments for the deduction of expenses than formerly.
irrebuttable presumption See PRESUMPTION.
irresistible impulse An uncontrollable urge to do something. Irresistible impulse
is not usually a defence in law and it will not afford a defence of *insanity, unless it
arises out of a disease of the mind as defined by the McNaghten Rules. When,
however, an impulse is irresistible in that the body reacts in an instinctive way to it,
there may be a defence of *involuntary conduct. An irresistible impulse may also
constitute *diminished responsibility. See also PROVOCATION.
irretrievable breakdown  (of a marriage) See MARITAL BREAKDOWN; DIVORCE.
irrevocable adj. Incapable of being revoked. For example, *powers of appointment
may be made irrevocable. On the other hand, a testator of sound mind can revoke
his will at any time.
issue n. 1. The matter in dispute in a court action.  2. The children or other lineal
descendants of a person. 3. The total of bank notes in circulation within a country.
issued capital  See AUTHORIZED CAPITAL.
issue estoppel   *Estoppel arising in relation to an issue that has previously been
litigated and determined between the same parties or their predecessors in title. The
issue must be an essential element of the claim or defence in both sets of
proceedings. Unlike estoppel per rem judicatam, it does not prevent fresh evidence
from being introduced in relation to the issue previously determined. This type of
estoppel does not arise in criminal cases and its scope in civil cases is uncertain.
itemized pay statement The written statement that, under the Employment
Rights Act 1996,an employer must provide for every employee who works eight or
more hours a week, on or before each occasion wages or salaries are paid. The
statement must contain the following information: (1) the employee's gross pay for
the period; (2) the amounts and reason for any deductions; (3) the net amount paid;
and (4)the method of calculating the net pay when different parts are calculated
differently (e.g.if the pay is partly a basic wage and partly a commission or bonus
payment). The statement need not contain details of fixed deductions if it contains
an aggregate amount of these deductions and the employer has given the employee,
either before or at the time of payment, a standing written statement of fixed
deductions that contains the following particulars of each deduction: (1) the amount;
(2)the intervals at which the deduction is made; (3) the purpose for which it is made.
The standing statement of fixed deductions must be reissued within 12 months of
its first being issued and not more than every 12 months after that and it must
incorporate any amendments. An employee can apply to an *employment tribunal if
his employer fails to provide the statutory statement or reason for deductions. The
tribunal can order the employer to provide statements and also to refund any
unexplained deductions in respect of a period up to 13 weeks before the application.
IVF   In vitro fertilization. See HUMAN ASSISTED REPRODUCTION.
jactitation of marriage A false assertion that one is married to someone to
whom one is not in fact married. Proceedings for jactitation were abolished by the
Family Law Act 1986 but an injunction may be sought to restrain such claims being
made and may be useful in preventing a presumption of marriage from arising.
Jobseeker's Agreement An agreement that must be signed by a claimant for
the *jobseeker's allowance and his Employment Service adviser. The agreement sets
out any restrictions on the claimant's availability for work and outlines the type of
work being sought and the plans the claimant has made for seeking work.
jobseeker's allowance (JSA)  A taxable benefit that replaced both
unemployment benefit and income support for jobseekers from 7 October 1996.
Those with national insurance contributions can claim contribution-based JSA,
which is paid for up to six months. Those without NI contributions can claim
income-based JSA,which is payable for as long as the claimant satisfies the rules. JSA
is only paid to those who are available for work, are actively seeking work, and who
have signed a *Jobseeker's Agreement.
joinder of causes of action The combination in one action of several causes of
action against the same defendant. Although any number of causes of action may be
joined in the first instance, the court may order that they be severed if the joinder
would cause procedural difficulties.
joinder of charges The joining of more than one charge of a criminal offence
together in the same *indictment. This may be done when the charges are based on
the same facts or are part of a series of offences of the same or similar character.
joinder of defendants Mentioning two or more defendants in one count of an
*indictment and trying them together. It is possible to join two or more defendants
even if one of them is the principal offender and the other an accessory; if they are
separately indicted, however, they cannot subsequently be tried together. Sometimes
(e.g.in cases of conspiracy) it is usual to join two or more defendants; one may be
convicted even if all his co-conspirators named in the count are acquitted and even
though conspiracy by definition requires more than one participant. Two or more
defendants may also be joined in one indictment if they are charged with different
offences, if the interests of justice require this; for example, if two witnesses
commit perjury in relation to the same facts in the same proceedings. Defendants
who have been jointly indicted will normally only be tried by separate trials if a
joint trial might prejudice one or more of them; for example, when evidence
against one accused is not admissible against the other or when the prosecution
wish to call one of the defendants to give evidence against another.
joinder of documents The connecting together of two or more documents so
that, jointly, they fulfil statutory requirements when one of the documents alone
would be insufficient.
joinder of parties The combination as claimants or defendants of two or more
persons in a single action. Joinder may take place with the permission of the court
or when separate actions would result in some common question of law or fact
arising in all the actions, and all claims in the action are in respect of or arise out of
the same transaction or series of transactions. See alsoJOINDER OF DEFENDANTS.
joint tortfeasors
joint and several  Together and in separation. If two or more people enter into
an obligation that is said to be joint and several, their liability for its breach can be
enforced against them all by a joint action or against any of them by individual
action. See alsoJOINT TORTFEASORS.
Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments (Joint Scrutiny Committee) A
committee of both Houses of Parliament whose function is to examine most
delegated legislation (particularly *statutory instruments of a general character) and
to draw Parliament's attention to it on a number of specified grounds; for example,
if it imposes a tax, has retrospective effect, has been unduly delayed in publication,
or is badly drafted. The Committee consists of seven members appointed by each
joint tenancy Ownership of land by two or more persons who have identical
interests in the whole of the land (compare TENANCY IN COMMON). A joint tenancy can
only arise when four conditions (the four unities) are satisfied. (1) Each joint tenant
must be entitled to possession at the same time. (2)The estate or interest each has in
the land must be identical; each joint tenant is entitled to the whole property and
has no exclusive entitlement to any separate part of it (see UNDIVIDED SHARES). (3) Each
must have the same *title to the land, i.e. their ownership must be traced from the
same instrument, such as a conveyance "to A and Bas joint tenants". (4)Each joint
tenant's interest must *vest at and subsist for the same time. Under a joint tenancy
the right of survivorship applies: thus ownership of the entire interest in the
property passes automatically on the death of one joint tenant to the survivor(s).
The last survivor becomes the sole and absolute owner.
Under the Law of Property Act 1925 a distinction is made between a legal and an
equitable joint tenancy. When two or more persons hold the *legal estate, they
invariably hold it as joint tenants, and the right of survivorship applies. When the
conveyance to them contains no words indicating that they are entitled to the
property in *undivided shares (words of *severance), they hold as joint tenants in
equity and the right of survivorship again applies. However, when they take distinct
and separate shares, or when the equitable joint tenancy has been terminated (as by
notice of severance, *partition, etc.), the equitable interest is held by them as tenants
in common. However the equitable (or beneficial) interests are structured, the legal
estate is always held by joint tenants as trustees upon a statutory *trust of land
(Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996; TOLATA), and the trustees are
accountable to those who hold the equitable interests - in the proportions to which
they are entitled if they are tenants in common - for the property. The owners in
equity have many rights under the trust of land, such as the right to be consulted
and the right to occupy the property. Any joint tenant may apply to the court
under section 14 of TOLATA for an order relating to the exercise by the trustees of
any of their functions, including sale of the property. The court may make such
order as it thinks fit.
joint tortfeasors Two or more people whose wrongful actions in furthering a
common design cause a single injury. For example, if two men searching for a gas
leak both applied a naked light to a gas pipe and caused an explosion, they are joint
tortfeasors. But if a single injury is caused by several people acting without a
common design they are not joint, but concurrent tortfeasors. An example of
concurrent tortfeasors would be two motorists in separate cars, both driving
negligently and causing a collision in which a pedestrian is injured. In both cases,
the injured claimant is entitled to sue any or all of the tortfeasors for his whole
judicial discretion
loss; if he obtains a judgment against one tortfeasor that is not satisfied, he may
proceed against the others. A tortfeasor liable for damage may recover contribution
from other tortfeasors (whether joint or concurrent) liable for the same damage. See
joint venture A commercial undertaking entered into by two or more parties,
often by setting up a separate joint-venture company in which all partners have
shares, to enable resources and skills to be shared. Joint ventures are defined in a
European Commission *notice of 31December 1994as "undertakings which are
jointly controlled by two or more other undertakings." In practice joint ventures
encompass a broad range of operations, from merger-like operations to cooperation
for particular functions, such as research and development, production, or
distribution. A Commission notice of 23 December 1992sets out how cooperative
joint ventures are treated under the ED competition rules.
joint will  A will comprising a single document executed by two or more persons
as the will of all of them. It is treated as the separate will of each testator, and
probate will be granted separately on the death of each. A joint testator may revoke
the will only insofar as it applies to himself. A joint will is a convenient instrument
for the exercise of a power conferred on persons jointly to appoint by will (see
POWER OF APPOINTMENT) but has no other practical benefit. Compare MUTUAL WILLS.
Journals pl. n. The authentic record of proceedings in Parliament, as opposed to
the verbatim record of debates (see HANSARD). There are two series published
annually: Journalsof the House of Lords (beginning in 1509) and Journals of the House
of Commons (beginning in 1547).
jUdge n. A state official with power to adjudicate on disputes and other matters
brought before the courts for decision. In English law all judges are appointed by
the Crown, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor in the case of *circuit judges and
High Court *puisne judges and on the advice of the Prime Minister in the case of
judges of the *Court of Appeal and the *Lords of Appeal in Ordinary. All judges are
experienced legal practitioners, mostly barristers, but solicitors can be appointed if
they possess the relevant *advocacy qualification. The independence of the higher
judiciary is ensured by the principle that they hold office during good behaviour
and not at the pleasure of the Crown (with the exception of the Lord Chancellor).
They can only be removed from office by a resolution of both Houses of Parliament
assented to by the Queen. Their salaries are a charge on the *Consolidated Fund and
are not voted annually. Circuit judges may be removed by the Lord Chancellor for
incapacity or misbehaviour. All judicial appointments are pensionable and there is a
compulsory retirement age of 70 years, but this can be extended to 75 if considered
to be in the public interest. See alsoJUDICIAL IMMUNITY. Compare MAGISTRATE.
jUdge advocate A barrister or solicitor who advises a *court martial on questions
of law. He is appointed by the Judge Advocate-General's Department or, in the case
of naval courts martial, by the Judge Advocate of the Fleet. At the conclusion of the
evidence the judge advocate sums up the case to the members of the court.
Judge Advocate-General's Department A department that advises the
Secretary of State for Defence and the Defence Council on matters relating to the
administration of military law and reviews proceedings of army and air-force courts
judge in his own cause See NATURAL JUSTICE.
Judges' Rules  Formerly, rules of practice drawn up by the High Court governing
the questioning and charging of suspects by the police. They were replacedby a
*code of practice issued under the provisions of the Police and Criminal EVIdence
Act 1984.See also INTERROGATION.
judgment n. 1. A decision made by a court in .respect of the matter before it.
Judgments may be interim (interlocutory), deciding a particular Issue pnor to the
trial of the case; or final, finally disposing of the case. They may be in personam,
imposing a personal liability on a party (e.g. to pay damages); or in rem, determining
some issue of right, status, or property binding people generally. 2. The process of
reasoning by which the court's decision was arrived at. In English law it is the
normal practice for judgment to be given in open court or, in some appellate
tribunals, to be handed down in printed form. If the Judgment contains rulings on
important questions of law, it may be reported in the *law reports. See also
judgment creditor The person in whose favour a court judgment is made
against a debtor.
judgment debtor A person against whom a court judgment has been entered,
ordering him to pay money that he owes (the judgment debt).See also ENFORCEMENT
judgment in default See DEFAULT.
judgment summons A summons, issued on the application of a person entitled
to enforce a judgment, that requires a judgment debtor to appear and be examined
on oath as to his means. If it can be shown that the debtor had the means to pay the
debt but has failed to do so the judge may make an order committing him to prison,
suspended for as long as specified instalments are paid. Since the virtual abolition of
imprisonment for debt, this procedure has been available only in respect of certain
*maintenance orders and judgments for payment of certam taxes and state
judicial cognizance See JUDICIAL NOTICE.
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council  Atribunal, created by the Judicial
Committee Act 1833,consisting of the Lord Chancellor, Lord President of the Council
and ex-Lords President, Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, and other members of the
*Privy Council who have been Lords of Appeal in Ordinary or who have held high
judicial office. Certain judges of Commonwealth. countries who are Privy
Counsellors are also members. The Committee's jurisdiction IS to hear appeals from
courts in dependent territories and those Commonwealth countries.that have
retained appeals to the Privy Council since attaimng independence: It alsohears
appeals under certain statutes. The Committee's decisions are nottechnically
judgments but merely advice to the Crown: they do not become.fmal until
incorporated into an *Order in Council. For this reason also, until 19.66 dissenting
opinions were not disclosed. The Committee's deCISIOns are. not binding as precedents
upon English courts but are merely of *persuasive authonty.
judicial dictum  See OBITER DICTUM.
judicial discretion  The power of the court to take some step, grant a remedy,. or
admit evidence or not as it thinks fit. Many rules of procedure and evidence are III
discretionary form or provide for some element of discretion. In criminal cases,
under the provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, the court may
judicial immunity
exclude prosecution evidence if its admission would have such an adverse effect on
the fairness of the proceedings that the court ought not to admit it. The *Court of
Appeal is reluctant to review the exercise of discretion by trial judges.
judicial immunity The exemption of a *judge or *magistrate from personal
actions for damages arising from the exercise of his judicial office. The immunity is
absolute in respect of all words or actions of the judge while acting within his
*jurisdiction and extends to acts done without jurisdiction provided that they were
done in good faith.
judicial notice ijudicial cognizance) The means by which the court may take as
proven certain facts without hearing evidence. Notorious fads (i.e. matters of
common knowledge) may be judicially noticed without inquiry; some other facts
(e.g. matters that can easily be checked in a standard work of reference and are
reasonably indisputable) may be noticed after inquiry. When judicial notice has been
taken, *evidence in rebuttal is not permitted.
judicial precedent See PRECEDENT.
judicial review   The simplified procedure by which, since 1977, prerogative and
other remedies have been obtainable in the High Court against inferior courts,
tribunals, and administrative authorities. On an application for the judicial review
of a decision, the Court may grant a *quashing order, *mandatory order,
*prohibition order, *declaration, or *injunction; it may also award damages.
judicial separation order An order by the courts that ahusband and wife do
not have to cohabit. The order does not terminate the marriage but it does free the
parties of marital obligations. Judicial (or legal) separation is appropriate when there
are religious objections to divorce or when the parties have not finally decided upon
divorce. The grounds for separation are the same as those for *divorce. The courts
have the same powers in relation to financial orders and children as they do when
granting a divorce.
judicial trustee  Atrustee appointed by the court under the Judicial Trustee Act
1906,either as sole trustee or as co-trustee. He is an officer of the court, is subject to
the court's control, and is entitled to such remuneration as the court allows. In
practice, the *Public Trustee has replaced a trustee appointed under the Act.
junior barrister Any barrister who is not a *Queen's Counsel. The word "junior"
does not necessarily imply youth or lack of seniority: many members of the Bar
remain juniors throughout their careers.
jure gestionis  [Latin] Describing commercial transactions by bodies that are
owned by the state but are not regarded as organs of the state. In international law
the state accepts responsibility for such transactions and does not claim immunity.
jure imperii [Latin] Describing transactions by state bodies or representatives, such
as diplomats. In international law the state maintains immunity from such
transactions. Compare JURE GESTIONIS.
juridical adj.  Relatingto judicial proceedings or the law. Juridical days were days
on which legal business could be transacted.
jurisdiction n. 1. The power of a court to hear and decide a case or make a certain
order. (For the limits of jurisdiction of individual courts, see entries for those
courts.)  2. The territorial limits within which the jurisdiction of a court may be
exercised. In the case of English courts this comprises England, Wales, Berwick-upon-
Tweed, and those parts of the sea claimed as *territorial waters. Everywhere else is
said to be outside the jurisdiction. 3. The territorial scope of the legislative
competence of Parliament. See SOVEREIGNTY OF PARLIAMENT.
In international law, jurisdiction can be exercised on a number of grounds, based
on the following principles: (1) the territorial principle (that the state within whose
boundaries the crime has taken place has jurisdiction, irrespective of the nationality
of the transgressor); (2)the nationality principle (that a state has the power of
jurisdiction over one of its nationals for an offence he has committed in another
state); (3) the protective principle (that a potentially injured state can exercise
jurisdiction in all cases when its national security is threatened): (4) the passive
personality principle (that a state has jurisdiction if the illegal act has been
committed against a national of that state); and (5) the universality principle (when
the accused has committed a crime in breach of a rule of *jus cogens, i.e. a crime
against humanity, any party having custody of the alleged lawbreaker is permitted
to bring criminal proceedings against him).
juris et de jure  [Latin] Of law and from law: an irrebuttable *presumption is so
juristic person (artificial person) An entity, such as a *corporation, that is
recognized as having legal personality, i.e. it is capable of enjoying and being subject
to legal rights and duties. It is contrasted with a human being, who is referred to as
a natural person.
juror n. A member of a *jury. Each juror must swear that he will faithfully try the
case and give a true verdict according to the evidence; failure to do so is contempt
of court. Jurors are chosen from the electoral register; they must be aged between
18 and 70 and must have been resident in the UK for a period of at least five years
since the age of 13. The following are ineligible for jury service: (1) past and present
holders of any judicial office; (2)solicitors, barristers, members of a court staff,
police officers, and others concerned with the administration of justice, if they have
held the office within the preceding 10 years; (3) clergymen; and (4)the mentally ill.
Members of Parliament, full-time members of the armed forces, and practising
doctors, chemists, and vets may claim excusal from jury service and there are also
special categories of discretionary excusal. A practising member of a religious
society or order the tenets or beliefs of which are incompatible with jury service are
excused from service as of right. Anyone who has ever been imprisoned for five
years or more, or who has been imprisoned for more than three months within the
preceding 10 years, or who is on bail, is disqualified from jury service.
A defendant is entitled to challenge individual jurors (see CHALLENGE TO JURY); if he
succeeds in his challenges, another person takes the place of the challenged juror. A
person who appears to be suffering from a disability that could impair performance
of their duties as juror must now be brought before the judge so that he may form
an opinion as to their suitability.
jury n. A group of *jurors (usually 12) selected at random to decide the facts of a
case and give a verdict. Most juries are selected to try crimes but juries are also used
in coroner's *inquests and in some civil cases (e.g. defamation actions). The judge
directs the jury on points of law (see DIRECTION TO JURY) and sums up the evidence of
the prosecution and defence for them, but he must leave the jury to decide all
questions of fact themselves. He must also make it clear to them that they are the
only *triers of fact and must acquit the defendant unless they feel sure that he is
guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The verdict of a jury should, if possible, be
unanimous, but when there are at least 10 people on the jury and they cannot reach
a unanimous verdict, a *majority verdict is acceptable. Many offences must be tried
by a jury; many others may be tried by a jury or by magistrates (see INDICTABLE
It is a criminal offence to attempt to influence a jury's discussions or to question
them about their discussions when the case is over. See also CONTEMPT OF COURT;
jus n.  [Latin] A law or right.
jus accrescendi [Latin] See RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP. locum non habet
jus accrescendi inter mercatores pro beneficio commercii locum non
habet [Latin: for the advancement of commerce there is no place for the right of
survivorship between merchants] A maxim stating the principle that equity will
treat as tenants in common (see TENANCY IN COMMON) those in partnership whose
interest in partnership property is at common law a *joint tenancy. Thus on the
death of a partner his interest in the partnership property is part of his estate
rather than belonging to the surviving partners.
jus civile  [Latin: civil law]  1. *Municipal law. 2. The whole body of Roman law.
jus cogens   [Latin: coercive law] A rule or principle in international law that is so
fundamental that it binds all states and does not allow any exceptions. Such rules
(sometimes called peremptory norms) will only amount to jus cogens rules if they
are recognized as such by the international community as a whole. A treaty that
conflicts with an existingjus cogens rule is void, and if a new jus cogens rule
emerges, any existing treaty that conflicts with it automatically becomes void. States
cannot create regional customary international law that contradicts jus cogens rules.
Most authorities agree that the laws prohibiting slavery, genocide, piracy, and acts
of aggression or illegal use of force are jus cogens laws. Some suggest that certain
human rights provisions (e.g. those prohibiting racial discrimination) also come
under the category of jus cogens.
jus gentium  [Latin: the law of peoples] See INTERNATIONAL LAw.
jus in re aliena  [Latin] A right in the property of another (see ENCUMBRANCE). It is
contrasted with jus in re propria - a right in one's own property.
jus naturale  [Latin: natural law] The fundamental element of all law. See NATURAL
jus sanguinis   [Latin: law relating to blood] The principle that the nationality of
children is the same as that of their parents, irrespective of their place of birth. This
contrasts with *jus soli, whereby nationality is dependent on place of birth. In states
in which the jus sanguinis principle applies (i.e. France and Germany), a conflict of
jurisdiction may arise when a child is born of parents who are citizens of another
state. For example, a child born in the United States of French parents is an
American citizenjure soli, but a French citizenjure sanguinis. His effective
citizenship will depend upon the jurisdiction within which he happens to be in; in
the United States he is a US citizen; in France, a Frenchman; in any other country he
is both.
Conflicts resulting from the simultaneous presence of these contrasting claims of
allegiance are generally settled between states by deferring jus sanguinisto jus soli
when the state asserting its primary claim of allegiance has defacto jurisdiction of
the individual in question. Most jurisdictions (including the United Kingdom and the
United States) now adopt within their nationality law a combination of jus soliand
jus sanguinis.
justifying bail
jus soli [Latin: law relating to the soil (of one's country)] The rule by which birth in
a state is sufficient to confer nationality, irrespective of the nationality of one's
parents (compare JUS SANGUINIS). The United Kingdom and the United States originally
adhered to a strict version of this principle. Thus the children of an *alien, born on
the territory of the host state, would from their birth adopt the nationality of that
state. Most jurisdictions (including the United Kingdom and the United States) now
adopt a combination of jus soli and jus sanguinis.
just and equitable winding-up A *compulsory winding-up on grounds of
fairness. This may occur, for example, when the purpose of the company cannot be
achieved, when the management is deadlocked or has been guilty of serious
irregularities, or, in small companies run on the basis of mutual trust between
members, when the majority have exercised their legal rights in breach of a
common understanding between the members when the company was formed. No
order will be made if another form of *minority protection would be more
appropriate. See also UNFAIR PREJUDICE.
jus tertii [Latin: right of a third party] A defence raised by a party who is sued in
respect of property alleging that some third party has a better claim to the property
than the claimant. The Torts (Interference with Goods)Act 1977provides that this is
a good defence to an action in *conversion, but a special procedure is laid down for
the joinder of the third party in the action.
justice n. A moral ideal that the law seeks to uphold in the protection of rights
and *punishment of wrongs. Justice is not synonymous with law - it is possible for
a law to be called unjust. However, English law closely identifies with justice and
the word is frequently used in the legal system; for example, in justice of the peace,
Royal Courts of Justice, and administration of justice.
justice of the peace (JP) A person holding a commission from the Crown to
exercise certain judicial functions for a particular commission area. JPs are
appointed on behalf of and in the name of the Queen by the Lord Chancellor and
may be removed from office in the same way. On reaching the age of 70 they are
placed on a supplemental list and cease to be able to exercise any judicial functions.
Their principal function is to sit as *magistrates in the *magistrates' courts but
they may also sit in the *Crown Court when it is considering committals for
sentence and appeals from magistrates' courts, sign warrants of arrest and search