Jargon Buster Criminal Law Category - D-F

Defendant

A person who appears in court because they are being sued, standing trial or appearing for sentence.

Disclosure

A three-tiered system in criminal proceedings which ensures vital information on both sides of a court case can be seen by all parties: 

  1. Primary disclosure is the duty of the prosecutor to disclose material to the defence which undermines the case against the accused. Primary disclosure is triggered where the accused faces trial in a magistrates' court and pleads not guilty, or the case is transferred for trial by jury; 
  2. A defence statement sets out the general nature of the defence, indicating matters on which the accused takes issues with the prosecution and why. A defence statement is compulsory for an accused facing trial by jury, and is optional for an accused facing a summary trial; 
  3. Secondary disclosure takes place as soon as possible after receiving a defence statement, and provides details of any information which had not previously been disclosed and which might reasonably be expected to assist the accused's defence as set out in the defence statement. In civil proceedings, all relevant documents have to be disclosed unless they are governed by privilege (see privilege below).

District Judge (Magistrates' Courts) (DJ MC)

Known as stipendiary magistrates before 2000, district judges are full-time members of the judiciary and deal with a broad range of cases appearing before magistrates' courts - especially the lengthier and more complex criminal cases and care cases relating to children. They may sit with lay magistrates or alone.

Embezzlement

Dishonestly appropriating another's assets for one's own use

Fraud

An act or instance of deception