Jargon Buster Civil Law Category - J-L


An officer appointed to administer the law and who has authority to hear and try cases in a court of law


The decision or sentence issued by a court in legal proceedings

Judgment set aside

A judgment or order can be set aside (made void) at the request of a party to the case in certain circumstances, for example if they were too ill to attend court on the day of the judgment

Judgment on liability

See Default judgment


i) Relating to the Administration of justice or to the judgment of a Court

ii) A judge or other officer empowered to act as a judge

Judicial directions

See directions

Judicial discretion (civil)

Judges have the power to decide how best to manage the case on the individual facts. They do not necessarily have to look at how similar cases are managed. The judge has very wide case management powers under Rule 3 of the civil procedure rules to decide on the evidence parties produce how best to manage their case

Judicial review

The High Court can review decisions of inferior (lower) courts, public bodies and other bodies to ensure that the decision making process has been lawful

Junior Counsel

(see Counsel; Silk) A member of the bar: the branch of the legal profession which has rights of audience before all Courts


The area and matters over which a court has legal authority


The letting of land or tenements, e.g. rent etc, for property for a prescribed period


Leave means ‘permission’. Some steps in legal action require the permission of the court. For example a losing party may be granted leave to appeal.

Legal Aid / Public Funding

State funded assistance, for those on low incomes, to cover legal fees.

Legal counsel

See Counsel, Barrister, Solicitor

Legal representation

See Counsel, Barrister, Solicitor


Responsibility or obligation. For example, a debt is a liability or responsibility.


A written and published statement/article which infers damaging remarks on a persons reputation


Permission to carry out an act that would otherwise be considered illegal

Listing Questionnaire

This form is used to ensure that all issues are resolved and that the parties are ready for trial. Used for Fast track and Multi track claims only

Litigant in person

A person who starts or defends a case without legal representation. Such a person is entitled to be accompanied by another person who may advise them, but may not address the court


Legal proceedings or court action. Litigation can be either civil or criminal proceedings.

Litigation friend

A person who conducts legal proceedings on behalf of a child or a mentally incapacitated person