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 form of discrimination where an employee suffers a detriment because they have raised a discrimination complaint themselves or have supported another individual with their complaint.

Someone who has agreed to stay in hospital of their own free will. They are free to discharge themselves and decide whether or not to follow a treatment plan.

Where an owner chooses to register unregistered land. There is no compulsory requirement to register unregistered land at the Land Registry unless a “trigger event” such as a sale, mortgage or other transaction occurs. There can be benefits of having your land registered, such as a state-backed guarantee, protection against fire and lost Title Deeds. The Land Registry offers a reduced fee for voluntary registrations.

A contract term that, if breached, gives the aggrieved party the opportunity to terminate the contract and/or make a claim for damages or losses.

A written agreement between an owner and a service provider such as an electricity or telephone company to give the company a right for cables or pipes to pass over or under the property.

Disclosing or reporting a wrongdoing at work which affects others. Employees gain protection when disclosing certain information, which means that they cannot suffer a detriment or be dismissed because of the disclosure. This is sometimes referred to as “making a protected disclosure”.

The legal document in which a person sets out how they wish to leave their estate (assets such as house and bank accounts) when they die. A will may also appoint named guardians for the deceased’s children.

The ‘without prejudice’ rule means that statements made in discussions or communications as part of a genuine attempt to settle a dispute are private and cannot later be put before the Court as evidence of admissions against the interests of the party that made them. For example, a suggestion of a way to settle a dispute made by one party during mediation cannot later be used to indicate that the party had accepted responsibility or to frame any compensation or damages. ‘Without prejudice’ exists to encourage parties to negotiate an agreement rather than depend on the court to make a judgement, both to save cost and reduce pressure on Court. The contents of ‘without prejudice’ communications cannot be divulged to the Court unless it is “without prejudice save as to costs”, when it can then be divulged after the final hearing has been dealt with or the case has been settled.

In the context of an employment dispute, ‘without prejudice’ refers to private settlement discussions that should not be referred to in regular correspondence or to the Employment Tribunal. These can be to settle the dispute, or sometimes employers use this term to discuss possible exit packages with an employee.

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’.

Legally binding rules that, among other things, set out the minimum rest and break periods to which employees are entitled each day/week, and the maximum working hours. Typically, working time should not exceed 48 hours per week.

Usually this occurs when an employee is dismissed without any, or the correct, period of notice that is required either in their contract of employment or by statute. Wrongful dismissal is not the same as unfair dismissal, although both may apply to the same case.

This is generally for lower value and less complicated claims. It is usually not cost-effective to obtain legal advice.

The statutory time limit for making a claim. This varies depending on the case type.

An offence that can only be tried in the Crown Court, (although all cases have to commence in the Magistrates Court).

Another word for “seller”.

A penalty imposed by the court on those convicted of offences.

An order made by the planning authority identifying a tree or group of trees as protected and requiring the authority’s permission before any branches may be removed or the trees felled.

Legislation which preserves and protects employees’ terms and conditions when a business or undertaking, or part of one, is transferred to a new employer.

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