Glossary of Legal Terms – C
Capital Offence: A crime which carries the death penalty
Cargo: Goods carried on board a ship.
Case law: Principals which have been established by judges concerning particular cases which are used as reference for future determinations of similar cases.
Causa Mortis: Latin for ‘incase of death’
Cause of action: A legal action.
- 1. A warning.
- 2. A legal document lodged against the title of Torrens title land which claims an interest in that piece of land.
- 3. A legal document lodged which will prevent the registration of a bill of sale.
Caveat emptor: Meaning ‘Let the buyer beware’.
Certificate of Title: The document of title to a piece of land
Cestui que trust: A trust beneficiary.
Chamber Magistrate: A qualified officer of the Attorney Generals department who is able to give free legal advice to members of the public eligible for that service
Champerty: An agreement made illegally where a person agrees to pay someone elses legal fees in return for a share of the proceeds.
Charge: A security which is given over property.
Charterparty: A written agreement for the chartering of a ship to carry cargo
Chattels: Property which is not freehold land; divided into two- categories:
(i) chattels real: interests in land other than freehold.
(ii) chattels personal: movable and tangible personal property.
Chose: A thing. Choses can be divided into choses in action and choses in possession.
Chose in action: Personal property that is intangible such as a right to be paid a debt.
Chose in possession: Personal property that is tangible, goods or chattels.
Citation: An order made in writing which orders a person to appear in court; to quite a passge from a statute, court judgement or other legal authority.
Civil action: Any legal action other than a criminal proceeding.
Clerk of the Court: Person who files legal documents, issues summonds and subpoenas and has access to al court records.
Codical: An amendment to a will which changes or explains some part of it. It must be signed with the same legal requirements of the will itself.
Cohabitation agreement: A document which deals with the financial arragements during a cohabitting relationship and what would happen ifthatrelationship is no longer valid.
Collateral: Literally meaning “side-by-side”; in contract law, an agreement in addition to the main agreement.
Collusion: An agreement made in secret which aims to cheat someone or defraud them of legal rights or any other rights.
Common law: A law system based on traditions and customs and on decisions made in previous cases as distinct from legislation.
Committal proceedings: In indictable offences, the proceedings held to inquire whether a prima facie case lies against the accused.
Company: Commonly used to refer to a corporation, generally a limited company. The use of the word “company” or abbreviated form “co” in a business name generally denotes a firm rather than a limited company.
Company Title: An arrangement where a company owns a block of houses, land or other property where individuals own shares n that property.
Complainant: (plaintiff) person who initiates a lawsuit.
Complaint: Document giving a brief description of the facts outlining the laintiffs reasons for a lawsuit.
Conciliation: Resolving of a dispute by way of negotiation without the need of a final order by a court.
Condonation: To forgive or pardon an offence or a civil wrong by way of acting as if it had never taken place.
Confiscate: To seize property legally without payment.
Consanguinity: Kinship or blood relationship. Connection between persons with the same ancestor
Consensus ad idem: Where all the parties involved are in agreement’ a meeting of the minds.
Consequential damages: Damage, injury or losses which are not caused directly by an act but as a result of that act.
Consignment: Sending of goods to another party to be sold by them.
Conspiracy: An agreement between persons to do an illegal act or to do a legal act but by illegal means.
Constitutional law: All rules of law which directly or indirectly effect the distribution of the sovereign power; that is law relating to the legislature or the judiciary.
Constructive: Where a liability, or knowledge, is implied by law without reference to the actual intention or knowledge; as opposed to actual.
Contempt of court: An intentional disregard for the authority of the court ie, disobeying court rules.
Contingent: Dependent upon something.
Contra proferentum: Against the person who alleges it.
Contract: A legally binding agreement between persons, corporations or persons and corporations.
Contracting out: Where the parties agree to exclude something from the contract.
Convey: To transfer ownership.
Conveyance: Assignment, transfer (generally of real estate); the document that transfers title of land under the old system
Convicted: To be ound guilty of a criminal act or illegal act.
Cooling off period: A time of inaction to reconsider.
Copyright: Legal protection given to an author, artist, designer etc for the exclusive right to use said property.
Corporation: An organisation, company or business formed by a group of people with a legal entity and rights which is separate to the individuals.
Counterpart: A true copy.
Covenant: A solemn promise generally contained in a deed; an agreement to do or not to do something.
Creditor: Company or person to whom someone owes money.
Custody: Responsibilty for keeping and caring for a person or property. Can also be for the legal confinement of a person.