Glossary of Legal Terms – I
Illegal: Against or not authorised by the law.(illicit or unlawful)
Illegitimate: Contrary to the law or not lawful.
Illusory promise: A promise that pledges nothing, because the
promisor can choose whether or not to honor it or because it is vague. Such promises are not
legally binding. For example, if you get a new job and promise to work
for three years, unless you resign sooner, you haven’t made a valid
contract and can resign or be fired at any time.
Immediate relative: Of a close family relation.
Immunity: Exemption from duties, liabilities or penaltys normally applicable.
Incest: Sexual relations between two people who are closely related and cannot be legally married.
Incriminate: To make accusations of a person being involved in a crime.
In terrorem: Latin for ‘in fear’
Indemnity: Security against loss, injury or damages.
Indict: Charging a person formally for commiting a crime.
Informed consent: An agreement to allow something to happen or do something , made with
complete knowledge of all relevant facts, such as the risks involved or
any available alternatives.
Infraction: The violation of a statute, law or ordinance.
Infringement: The violation of a law or of a right.
Ingress: An entrance, or the act of entering.
Inherit: To receive property from a person who has died.
Injunction: A court order to do, not to do or to stop doing something specific.
In loco parentis: Latin meaning ‘in place of the parents’
Inquest: Legal investigation by a coroner or jury into the cause of death.
Insanity: To be of a state of mind where the person does not understand the implications of his or her actions.
Insolvency: Being unable to pay debts (bankruptcy)
Instrument: A formal legal document.
Intellectual property law: The area of law that regulates the use and ownership of creative works.
Interlocutory decree: A judgement of the court that is not final until the judge decides other matters in the case or until enough time has passed to see if the interim decision is working.
Interrogatories: A series of written questions given to the plaintiff or defendant or both in a lawsuit before a trial, which must be answered under oath and in writing.
Inter vivos: Latin meaning ‘between living persons’
Intestate: To die without leaving a legal will.
Inure: To benefit a person or to take effect.
Ipse dixit: Latin meaning ‘he himself said it’.
Ipso facto: latin meaning ‘by the fact itself’.
Irreconcilable differences: Differences between spouses that are considered sufficiently severe to make married life together more or less impossible.
Irrevocable trust: A permanent trust. Once you create it, it cannot be revoked, changed or amened in any way.
Issue: A term generally meaning all your children and their children down
through the generations, including grandchildren, great-grandchildren,
and so on. Also called “lineal descendants.”