• Cheek

What the F is: legal edition (pt2)

Updated: Feb 28

Our 'What the F is' section breaks down big, complex concepts in digestible formats.

When I started this legal glossary, I thought it would be a 'one and done' scenario, but the list kept growing. This glossary covers the legal basics from letters D to H, to provide you with a more informed understanding of the law and its language - outside of SVU. To read the A - C glossary, click here.


Damages:

A court order for money to be paid to someone to compensate them for a loss. Different categories of damages exist e.g. exemplary damages, punitive damages, special damages.


Defamation:

The damage caused to a person’s reputation by publishing or communicating false statements about them.


Depositions:

A record of evidence provided on oath during a committal hearing.


Discovery:

Required sharing of documents between parties before a case is heard in court.


Duty of Care:

The obligation to take reasonable care to avoid harming someone or something.


Easement:

A legal right over another person’s land. This does not necessarily relate to ownership rights, but predominantly to rights over things like shared driveways and 'right of way' stipulations.


Enduring Power:

Authority directed to a person to make decisions on behalf of another. The authority remains valid even when that person is no longer mentally competent. Can be financial or medical in nature.


Estoppel:

The legal rule that prevents a person from going back on what they stipulated they would do in an agreement, which has been relied on by another person, resulting in a disadvantage to them.


Ex Parte:

An application to a court made by one party where the other party is not aware of the court action.


Executor:

The person named in a will who ensures the person’s intentions are carried out.


Extradition:

Sending a person from one country to another country to face criminal charges.


Fiduciary:

An obligation to act honestly and for the benefit of another person, a specific relationship.


Fraud:

A dishonest action or omission with the intention to deceive someone.


Guardian:

A person who is legally responsible for the care of another person.


Hearsay:

Statements that have not been seen or heard by the witness, but has been told to them by another person. Think of it as gossip as opposed to a first hand account or experience, usually not allowed in court.