Legal Jargon

The process at a hearing whereby a party’s solicitor or barrister can ask follow up questions to issues that were raised during the cross examination.

A witness statement is a formal document, addressed to the Court, in which a witness sets out all the facts that they are aware of that apply to the case. They are normally treated as ‘evidence in chief’.

Undertakings are a common part of the legal process, and are defined as a legally-binding promise to do, or not do, something.

The person(s) appointed in a will to take care of the deceased’s children until they reach adulthood at the age of 18.

A written declaration (statement) signed before a Justice of the Peace or a person who is authorised to administer oaths (such as a solicitor) but which is not sworn on any religious book (not “made upon oath”).

In conveyancing matters this is a document similar to a statement made under oath (affidavit), however, it is not sworn. Statutory declarations are commonly used to allow a person to declare something to be true for the purposes of satisfying some legal requirement or regulation when no other evidence is available – for example the use of a right of way.

In a court action, the respondent is the person who did not make the court application.

An in depth report undertaken by CAFCASS or the local authority at the direction of the court, dealing with issues such as the children’s wishes and feelings, safeguarding and any welfare concerns raised by a party. A report should make recommendations as to where a child lives, appropriate levels of time with the other parent and set out any other suggestions the CAFCASS officer may have for the improvement of contact for a child.

The formal requirement to give or send documents to an interested party in accordance with specific rules.

The process where the parties agree the outcome without the matter progressing to trial.

Where documents are privileged, a party can refuse to disclose these documents as part of the disclosure exercise. The two main examples of privilege are documents created between a solicitor and a client (legal professional privilege) and negotiations between parties with a view to settling litigation (negotiation privilege).

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