8. Glossary

actus reas: proof that a criminal defendant did all the things leading to a crime.

appellant: a party that is appealing a criminal or civil decision in a lower court.

caveat emptor: buyer beware.

consideration: something of value which must be given by the offerer to make a contract valid.

creatures of statute: created by a statute (e.g. PEO act) and able to exercise powers defined in statute.

creditor: is owed money by a debtor.

cross-examination: examining the other parties witness.

debtor: owes money to a creditor.

defendant: in criminal court, the defendant has been accused of a criminal act. In civil cases the defendant has been accused of wrong doing causing “injury”.

examination in chief: examining your own client.

expert evidence: a witness cannot give an opinion but an expert witness can.

Force Majeure: a force that interrupts the normal conduct of business, and as a result is a cause for delay, such as floods, wars, etc. There are typically clauses in contracts to cover these cases.

general damages: pain and suffering from the result of negligence.

guarantee: A promise of performance if all other avenues fail. For example if an insurance firm guarantees bill payment by a company, and the company fails to pay, the company must be pursued before the insurance company.

indemnity: A promise of performance. Consider the example of the insurance firm (see guarantee) that indemnified the debts of a company. If the company fails to pay their debts, the insurance firm can be approached without pursuing the company first.

leading questions: these questions are allowed during cross-examination only.

litigation: a civil lawsuit.

mens reas: a guilty mind.

non est factum: it is not his deed. This is a plea whereby a defendant either alleges that he did not execute the deed in question, or that he was laboring under a mistake as to its nature, when he executed the same.

onus of proof: in criminal court the prosecution is obliged to show through a balance of probabilities that the weight of evidence is against the defendant.

options contract: keeps a contract open for extension.

plaintiff: those that have made charges or brought a lawsuit. In the criminal courts this is often the crown, in the civil courts this is the injured party.

privity of contract: the legal relationship between two or more parties in a contract.

propriety of contract: this describes the legal relationship between parties in a contract.

resipsa loquitur: self evident.

respondent: a party that is arguing that a decision of a lower court be upheld. They oppose and appeal.

special damages: lost income, special care, equipment and other loses resulting from negligence.

stare decisis: a binding decision.

statute: these over-rule all levels of common law in all courts.

ultra-vires -

victim impact statements: these statements about the personal effects of crime can have an impact on the sentencing of a criminal.