Glossary of Legal Terms – R
Rape: The common law crime of forcing a female to have sexual intercourse against her will. In legal terms the meaning has been replaced by various statutory offences which forbid any forced unlawful sexual acts.
1. To consent or approve in retrospect.
2. To adopt.
Ratio decidendi: Literally meaning ‘the reasons for a decision’, the legally binding principle in a case.
Real property: Land and the all the things that go with it.
Rebut: To counter or disprove arguments or evidence presented by the opposing side in a trial. To defeat, repel, contradict, prove otherwise.
Receiver: A court appointed person to deal with the business affairs of an insolvent or bankrupt company.
Receiving stolen goods: To knowingly receive goods which have been obtained illegally.
Reciprocity: The exchanging of privileges between countries, states or people.
Recognisance: A promise made to a court to do something.
Recourse: Remedies and rights under the law.
Rectify: To order the correction of an error.
Registrar: The principal administrative officer of a court.
Release: To give away, discharge, a legal right.
Remedy: The means by which the breach of a right or benefit is compensated, cured or prevented.
Remote: Too removed or indirect to allow a remedy.
Repeal: To cancel or take back.
Representative payee: An institution or a person who is designated to receive money on behalf of another person who is unable to handle such affairs.
Repudiate: To cancel or renounce.
Res ipsa loquitur: Latin meaning ‘things speak for themselves’.
Rescind: Cancel, terminate or revoke.
Residuary estate: All property in the estate which is not specifically mentioned in a will.
Residue: That which remains, what is left.
Respondent: The person who is defending an appeal.
Respondent superior: Latin meaning ‘let the master answer’.
Restitution: To restore something to its rightful owner, to restore a person to the position held before the breaking of a contract.
Restraining order: An order by the courts stopping someone from doing something.
Restrictive covenant: A usage restriction of land to protect property, neighbouring landholders or surrounding property values.
Resume: To compulsorily acquire.
Resumption order: To resume the use of private property by the public.
Retainer: Moneys paid to a solicitor to keep his or her services.
Reversion: The legal interest in property which a person keeps after transferring a part interest in the property to someone else.
Revoke: To take back or withdraw.
Right: A benefit or interest which is recognised by law.
Right of action: The right to bring legal proceedings.
Riot: A disturbance of the peace and terrorise others by three or more people.
Robbery: To take goods or money in the presence of the victim by using threats of violence or physical injury.