Glossary of Terms

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Abortion - the termination of human pregnancy.

Acceptance: One of three requirements for a valid contract under common law (the other two being offer and consideration). A contract does not become legally binding until one party has made an offer and the other party indicates his readiness to accept the terms of the offer. Acceptance must be unconditionally communicated to the offeror while the offer is still open. Acceptance of an offer can, in certain circumstances, be implied by conduct.

ADR: Alternative dispute resolution (such as arbitration, mediation and conciliation).

Adverse possession: Possession of land, without legal title, for long enough – normally 12 years – to be recognized as the legal owner (“squatter’s rights”).

Affidavit: a written statement made on oath.

Aggravated Assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.

Alibi: A defence claim that the accused was somewhere else at the time a crime was committed.

Arson attack: is the crime of intentionally and maliciously setting fire to buildings, wildland areas, vehicles or other property with the intent to cause damage.

App: An app (short for application) is a software program. An app typically refers to software used on smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices. Apps are usually available through application distribution platforms, such as the Apple App Store and Google Play. Some apps are free while others must be bought.

Appeal: a proceeding, taken by a party to a case who is dissatisfied with a decision made, to a court having authority to review or set aside that decision.

Appearance: a document which indicates that a defendant, having being served with a summons to a Circuit Court or High Court civil action, intends to defend the action.

Appearance and defence: a document which indicates that a defendant, having been served with a claim notice to a District Court civil action, intends to defend the action.

Attorney General: Legal adviser to the Government, appointed by the President on the advice of the party in power.


Bail: the temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial, sometimes on condition that a sum of money is lodged to guarantee their appearance in court.

Balance of probabilities: in a civil trial, the plaintiff does not have to convince the judge that he or she is right 'beyond reasonable doubt'. It is enough to prove the case on the balance of probabilities - this means that the plaintiff must prove their version of events is more likely, or more believable, than the defendant's.

Battery: Battery was defined at common law as "any unlawful and or unwanted touching of the person of another by the aggressor.

Barring order: an order preventing the person against whom the order is made (the respondent) from entering the family home or using or threatening violence against the person who applied for the order (the applicant) or other family members.

Barrister: Specialist in litigation and advocacy who receives instructions from a solicitor.

Bench Warrant: An order issued by a judge for the arrest of a person

Beneficiary: Person who receives a gift under a will, or for whose benefit property is held by an executor or trustee.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The standard in a criminal case requiring that the jury be satisfied to a moral certainty that every element of a crime has been proven by the prosecution. This standard of proof does not require that the state establish absolute certainty by eliminating all doubt, but it does require that the evidence be so conclusive that all reasonable doubts are removed from the mind of the ordinary person.

Bias: inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.

Binding law: used to describe an agreement, contract, etc. that cannot be changed or stopped: Once signed, these documents are legally binding.
Book of Quantum of Damages in 2004. It is a guide book used by PIAB and the courts when assessing compensation for personal injury claims. It provides a general guide as to the amounts that may be assessed in respect of specified types of injuries, depending on their severity and the length of time they may take to heal. The law requires the Personal Injuries Board and the Courts to have regard to the Book of Quantum when assessing personal injury compensation claims.

Breach of contract: Failure or refusal to fulfil a term of a contract. The injured party may bring an action for damages, for enforcement or for cancellation of the agreement.

Breath Test Testing someone’s breath to see how much alcohol is in their blood.

Burden of Proof: A rule of evidence that requires a party to a court action to prove something, otherwise the contrary will be assumed by the court. For example, in criminal trials, the prosecution has the burden of proving the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (because of the presumption of innocence).

The act of illegal entry with the intent to steal.


Care order: an order placing a child in the care of Tusla (the Child and Family Agency) until he or she reaches the age of eighteen or a shorter period as determined by the court.

Case law: Published court decisions which establish legal precedents, binding lower courts.

Caveat: (Latin: let him beware.) A formal warning. Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) is a warning to buyers to check for themselves things which they intend to buy, so they cannot later hold the vendor responsible for the faulty condition of the item. The Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 extends the rights of consumers in this area.

Central Criminal Court: The High Court sitting to deal with serious criminal offences, such as rape and murder.

Certified list: a list of cases certified by barristers as being ready for hearing.
Chambers: Judge’s personal rooms, where he may hear matters in private.

Charge: Form of security for payment of a debt.

Cheque: Form of bill of exchange where the order to pay is given to a bank holding the payor’s funds.

Chief Justice: A Chief Justice is the most important judge of a court of law, especially a supreme court.

Child: Person under 18.

Circuit Court: Court above the District Court and below the High Court, with power to award damages.

Circuit Judge: Judge of the Circuit Court

Civil bill: a document used to commence a civil case in the Circuit Court, it gives details of the parties to the case and details of the claim being made.

Claim notice: a document used to commence a civil case in the District Court, it gives details of the parties to the case and details of the claim being made.

Coercion: means forcing a person to do something that they would not normally do by making threats against their safety or well-being,

Collusion: Illegal and usually secret agreement between two or more people to deceive a court.

Commit: To do something. "To commit" a crime.

Common law: Judge-made law which has developed over centuries, also referred to as “unwritten” law. Common law (as practised in Ireland, England and the USA) is often contrasted with civil law systems (such as in France or Germany) where laws are set down in a written code.

Community Service: special condition the court imposes that requires an individual to work–without pay–for a civic or non-profit organisation.

Company: Legal entity which permits a group of shareholders to create an organisation to pursue set objectives. A company may have legal rights which are usually reserved for individuals, such as the power to sue and be sued, own property, hire employees or lend and borrow money.

Commissioner for oaths: a person entitled to administer oaths and take affidavits.

Concurrent Sentence: Prison terms for two or more offenses to be served at the same time, rather than one after the other. Example: Two five-year sentences and one three-year sentence, if served concurrently, result in a maximum of five years behind bars.

Consecutive sentence: Prison terms for two or more offenses to be served one after the other. Example: Two five-year sentences and one three-year sentence, if served consecutively, result in a maximum of 13 years behind bars.

Contempt: Deliberate disregard of a court order.

Contract: Agreement between two or more persons which obliges each party to do (or refrain from doing) a certain thing. A valid contract requires an offer, acceptance of that offer and consideration.

Contract law: Contract law is the basis of all commercial dealings. The terms of a contract may be express or implied. Express provisions may be varied by statute. Unfair contract terms are now excluded by legislation, and, in areas such as employment and the sale of goods, the law imports a wide range of implied terms into new and existing contracts.

Contributory negligence: Negligence which is not the primary cause of a tort, but which combined with the act or omission of another person to cause the damage. In the case of a car crash, for example, an injured driver who was not wearing a seat belt may be found contributorily negligent for his injuries.

Conviction: A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.
Court of Appeal: Voted into Ireland by the people in 2014. A court that hears both civil and criminal cases.

Consensual: An activity is consensual when all parties agree to it.

Conveyance: Written document transferring property from one person to another. Conveyances are usually drafted by solicitors.

Costs: The legal expenses of an action, such as lawyers’ fees, witness expenses and other fees paid out in bringing the matter to court. The rule is generally that “costs follows the event”, which means that the loser normally pays the legal costs of both sides. The judge has the final decision and may decide not to make an order on costs.

Counsel: Barrister(s).

Crime: Act or omission forbidden by criminal law. The commission of a crime is punishable by a fine, imprisonment or some other form of punishment. Crimes are divided into minor offences (which may be tried in the District Court) and indictable offences, which are tried by a judge and jury in the Circuit Court or Central Criminal Court.

Crimes Against Property: Offences in this category include robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. One offence is counted for each distinct operation, except in the case of motor vehicle theft for which one offence is counted for each stolen vehicle.

Criminal Case: A court case that starts because of a crime.

Criminal Homicide: The unlawful killing of one human being by another

Cross-examination: In a trial, each side calls its own witnesses and may also question the other side’s witnesses under oath. Examination-in-chief is the questioning of a party’s own witnesses; cross-examination involves questioning the other side’s witnesses. A party may not put leading questions (which suggest the answer, or require a simple yes or no) to his own witness, but he may ask such questions in cross-examination.

Custody: is the right to the physical care and control of a child. ... When the court is making its decision about who should have custody of the child, the most important factor for it is the welfare of the child

Cyberbullying: Bullying carried out through the use of information and communication technologies and other online technologies. Placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people is regarded as bullying behaviour.


Dail Eireann: is the lower house of the Oireachtas, where the government sits.

Damages: Financial compensation ordered by a court to offset losses or suffering caused by another person’s action or inaction. Damages are typically awarded in claims for breach of contract, negligence or breach of statutory duty.

Debt relief notice: one of three debt resolution mechanisms introduced by the Personal Insolvency Act, 2012 to help mortgage-holders and others with unsustainable debt to reach agreements with their creditors. It allows for the write-off of qualifying debt up to €20,000, subject to a three-year supervision period.

Debtor: Person who owes money, goods or services to a creditor. If a court judgment has been registered against the person owing the money, he is known as a judgment debtor.

Deed: Written and signed document which sets out the agreement of the signatories in relation to its contents. Under common law, a deed had to be sealed – marked with an impression in wax. A deed is delivered by handing it to the other person. Usually a deed (or some other written evidence) is required in relation to actions involving land.

Defence: Response to claim by plaintiff.

Defamation: the action of damaging the good reputation of someone; slander or libel.

Defendant: a person against whom an action is brought; a person charged with a criminal offence.

Defence of Property: Affirmative defence in criminal law or tort law where force was used to protect one's property.

Disinhibition: A lack of restraint that occurs when people aren’t directly confronted with the negative consequences of bullying behaviour online. People posting messages on the internet tend not to feel as responsible for their actions or words as they might otherwise.

Disorderly Conduct: Any behaviour that tends to disturb the public peace or decorum, scandalise the community, or shock the public sense of morality.

Director of Public Prosecutions: Independent official who decides whether to prosecute in criminal cases and in whose name all criminal prosecutions are taken.

District Court: Lowest court in the Irish judicial system, with power to award damages up to £5,000 in civil cases.

District Judge: Judge of the District Court, addressed as “Judge”.

Domestic Violence:  is not physical violence alone. Domestic violence is any behaviour the purpose of which is to gain power and control over a spouse, partner, girl/boyfriend or intimate family member. Abuse is a learned behaviour; it is not caused by anger, mental problems, drugs or alcohol, or other common excuses.

Domicile: A person’s fixed and permanent residence; a place to which, even if he is temporarily absent, he intends to return. Legally, a person may have many residences or several nationalities, but only one domicile.

Driving Under the Influence: Driving or operating a motor vehicle or common carrier while mentally or physically impaired as the result of consuming an alcoholic beverage or using a drug or narcotic.

Drunkenness: To drink alcoholic beverages to the extent that one's mental faculties and physical coordination are substantially impaired. Exclude driving under the influence.

Due Process: fair treatment through the judicial system and a right to be heard in a court of law before a judge even those who have committed heinous crimes such as murder or rape.

Duress: Threats or force preventing – or forcing – a person to act other than in accordance with free will. A contract signed under duress is voidable at the option of the person forced to sign it. Duress may invalidate a marriage.

Duty of Care: a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others.


Easement: A right over a neighbour’s land or waterway. Rights-of-way are the most common easements, but others include the right to tunnel under another’s land, to emit smoke or fumes, to access a dock and to use a well. An easement that is not used for a long time may be lost.

Emergency care order: an order placing a child under the care of Tusla for a maximum period of eight days if the court considers that there is a serious risk to the health or welfare of a child.

Emoji/emoticon: A representation of a facial expression, such as a smile or frown, created by various combinations of keyboard characters. Emoji are generally used in electronic communications to convey the writer’s feelings or intended tone.

Entrapment: The act of inducing a person to commit a crime so that a criminal charge will be brought against him.

Ethereal app: An app where messages self-destruct or disappear from the recipient’s phone after a few seconds.

Ethnicity: the fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.

Evidence: Testimony of witnesses at a trial, or the production of documents or other materials to prove or disprove a set of facts. Evidence may be direct or circumstantial (that is evidence from which a fact may be presumed). The best evidence available – such as original, rather than copy, documents – must generally be presented to a court.

Executor: Person appointed by a testator to administer a will. The executor is a personal representative whose duties include burying the dead, proving the will, collecting in the estate, paying any due debts and distributing the balance according to the wishes of the deceased.

Explicit content: According to the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, any photo, video or audio recording that shows a child engaged in sexual activity, or that focuses specifically on the genital region of a child is considered as child pornography and thus illegal. It is less clear whether content that is provocative rather than sexually explicit is illegal. Part (d) of the act could be interpreted so that almost any provocative content produced or sent by a child could be considered as child pornography. Ultimately only a court would decide if particular content could be considered illegal under this section.

Extradition: The arrest and handover of a person wanted for a crime committed in another country, usually under the terms of an extradition treaty. A person may not be extradited from Ireland for a political offence.


Forgery and Counterfeiting: The altering, copying, or imitating of something without authority or right, with the intent to deceive or defraud by passing the copy or thing altered or imitated as that which is original or genuine; or the selling, buying, or possession of an altered, copied, or imitated thing with the intent to deceive or defraud.

Fraud: Dishonest conduct designed to persuade another person to give something of value by lying, repeating something that is or ought to have been known by the fraudulent party to be false or suspect, or by concealing a relevant fact from the other party. Fraud allows a court to void a contract or to set aside a judgment, and can result in criminal liability. A person who defrauds creditors of a company may be held personally liable.

Fundamental: a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based.


Gambling: To unlawfully bet or wager money or something else of value; assist, promote, or operate a game of chance for money or some other stake; possess or transmit wagering information; manufacture, sell, purchase, possess, or transport gambling equipment, devices or goods; or tamper with the outcome of a sporting event or contest to gain a gambling advantage.

Garda: a member of the Irish police force.

Goodwill: Intangible business asset based on the good reputation of a business and resulting attraction and confidence of repeat customers and connections. Part of the sale price of a business may be for goodwill, in which case the seller may not solicit former customers for his new business.

Gross negligence: Act or omission in reckless disregard of the consequences for the safety or property of another; more than simple carelessness or neglect. Gross negligence by an employee may justify summary dismissal.

Group chat: A messaging feature that allows users to communicate with a group of friends at once.

Guarantor: Person who pledges collateral for another’s contract.

Guilty Plea: When someone admits, out loud or in writing, that they committed a certain crime.


Harassment: A criminal offence which is said to occur when any person harasses another, without lawful authority, by persistently pestering, besetting or communicating with him or her. Harassment is deemed to occur where a person seriously interferes with the other’s peace and privacy or causes alarm, distress or harm to the other. Legislation has been used to prosecute individuals in cases of telephone harassment and stalking and harassment carried out over the internet.

Hate Crime: A criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin; also known as a bias crime.

Hearsay: Evidence of which a witness does not have direct knowledge from his own senses but which is based on what others have said. Hearsay evidence is normally only admissible in court proceedings to show that a statement was made, not to prove the truth of the contents of the statement.

High Court: Court above the Circuit Court with full jurisdiction to decide all matters of law and fact. High Court judges – male and female.


Images: A type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. sexting: The exchange and sharing of sexual text, video, and photographic content using mobile phones, apps, social networking services and other internet technologies. While technical definitions sometimes include the exchange of pornographic content, we use the term sexting to describe the sharing of explicit images that are self-created.

In camera: in private, in particular taking place in the private chambers of a judge, with the press and public excluded.

Incarceration: Imprisonment in a jail or penitentiary.

Incriminate: To hold yourself or another person responsible for criminal actions.

Indictment: (a) a formal document setting out certain kinds of charges against an accused person or (b) the process by which those charges are presented against the accused.

Indictable offence: an offence which, if committed by an adult, is triable on indictment.

Injunction: an order of the court directing a party to an action to do, or to refrain from doing,

Innocent: Found by a court to be not guilty of criminal charges;

Interim barring order: an immediate order, requiring the person against whom the order is made (the respondent) to leave the family home, pending the hearing of an application for a barring order.

Interim care order: an order, granted when an application for a care order has been or is about to be made, requiring that the child named in the order be placed in the care of Tusla.

Intestate: dying without making a valid will.

Irish government: consists of approx. 15 cabinet ministers, including minister for health, justice, social welfare, children. Taoiseach in essence is the boss with the Tánaiste acting as his deputy.


Judicial review: a legal remedy available in situations where a body or tribunal is alleged to have acted in excess of legal authority or contrary to its duty.

Judicial separation: a decree granted by the court relieving spouses to a marriage of the obligation to cohabit.

Judiciary: The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judicial branch has the power to change laws.

Junior counsel: Barrister who has not “taken silk” or been called to the Inner Bar.

Jurisdiction: (a) the power of a court or judge to hear an action, petition or other proceeding, or (b) the geographical area within which such power may be exercised.

Jury: a body of people (typically twelve in number) sworn to give a verdict in a legal case on the basis of evidence submitted to them in court.

Juvenile: A person under 18 years of age.


Kin: Relationship by blood.


Landlord: Owner of a building or land who leases the land, building or part thereof, to another person, who is called the tenant or lessee.
Lawyer: a person who practises or studies law, especially (in the UK) a solicitor or a barrister or (in the US) an attorney.

Lease: Contract between a property owner and another person for temporary use of property, in exchange for rent.

Legal Aid: Government scheme providing advice or assistance from a solicitor or barrister free or at a reduced rate.

Legal professional privilege: Confidential communications between a lawyer and client may not be revealed in court unless the client, expressly or impliedly, waives the privilege. The communications must relate to court proceedings or intended litigation.

Liability: Any legal obligation or duty, now or in the future. A person who is liable for a debt or wrongful act is the person responsible for paying the debt or compensating for the wrongful act. If a court finds a person to be contributorily liable, he will bear part of the responsibility for the act or omission.

Licence: Permission to do something on or with someone else’s property which, if it were not for the licence, could be legally prevented or could give rise to an action in tort or trespass. A common example is allowing a person to cross the licensor’s lands, which would otherwise constitute trespass. Licences, unlike easements, may be revoked at will, unless supported by some form of payment or consideration. Licences which are not based on a contract and which are fully revocable are called simple or bare licences.

Limitation of actions: The State of Limitations sets down times within which proceedings must be brought. If no action is taken within the prescribed time limits, any future action is said to be statute-barred.

Liquidation: Sale of all the assets of a company or partnership by a liquidator and use of the proceeds to pay off creditors. Any money left over is distributed among shareholders or partners according to their interests or rights.

Liquidated debt: a claim for a specified amount of money.


Manslaughter: The killing of another person through reckless behaviour.

Mediation: Form of alternative dispute resolution involving an agreed mediator acting as a facilitator to help the parties negotiate an agreement. The mediator does not adjudicate on the issues or force a compromise; only the parties involved can resolve the dispute. The result of a successful mediation is called a settlement.

Mens rea: (Latin: guilty mind) Most crimes require proof of guilty intention before a person can be convicted. The prosecution must prove either that the accused knew his action was illegal or that he was reckless or grossly negligent. Some offences (such as drunken driving) are matters of strict liability, which means that the intention or state of mind of the person committing the offence is irrelevant.

Messaging services: Allow users to send texts in real time, using the internet. When these apps are used on mobile phones, often they are used as a cheaper substitution for regular text messaging.

Minor: Person under the age of 18 who is not married (or has not been married). A minor may only enter into certain contracts, such as those for necessaries or an apprenticeship. An Irish resident under the age of 18 may not legally marry, even if the ceremony takes place in a place (such as Northern Ireland) where the minimum age for marriage is under 18.

Misogyny: is defined as the ''hatred or fear of women''

Misrepresentation: False material statement which induces a party to enter into a contract; grounds for rescission of the contract.

Mitigating Circumstances: Those which do not constitute a justification or excuse for an offense but which may be considered as reasons for reducing the degree of blame.

Mortgage suit: a form of proceeding to recover a debt owed to the holder of security on property – by forcing the sale of the property (usually on foot of a judgment mortgage or an equitable mortgage).

Murder: The unlawful killing of a human being with deliberate intent to kill.


Negligence: Carelessness. A person who owes a duty of care to someone else and breaches it by lack of reasonable care may be liable in damages for negligence. The negligence may involve a positive deed or a failure to act. If no damage results, there can be no action. The standard of care required is usually that of the reasonable man, but a person who claims to have special skills (such as a surgeon) owes a higher duty of care.

Next of kin: Person’s nearest blood relation. The expression has come to describe those persons most closely related to a dead person and therefore due to inherit his property if there is no will.

Non-consensual: The sharing of online content without the permission of the person who owns the content (usually pictures or videos).

Nolle prosequi: the entering by the prosecution of a stay on criminal proceedings (not to be confused with an acquittal).

Notary public: a legal practitioner, usually a solicitor, who witnesses the signing of documents or makes copies of them in order to verify their authenticity, especially for use abroad.

Nude selfies: Colloquial term used by teenagers to describe self-produced intimate images.

Nuisance: Substantial unlawful use of one’s property or interference with another’s property to the extent of unreasonable annoyance or inconvenience to a neighbour or to the public. Private nuisance might be caused by smells, noise, smoke, dust, fumes, vermin, obstruction or a wide range of other activities or inactivity. The remedies would include abatement (an order to cease the nuisance), damages and/or an injunction.

Nullity: an act or thing that is legally void.


Oath: a form of words by which a person calls his/her god to witness that what he says is the truth, or that what he/she promises to do he will do.

Offence: An act that violates (breaks) the law.

Overrule: is an objection, the trial judge allows the question or evidence in court. If the judge agrees with the objection, he/she states "sustained" if he/she disagrees its is overruled.


Parole: The release of a prison inmate–granted by the Irish Parole Board–after the inmate has completed part of his or her sentence in a Irish prison. When the parolee is released to the community, he or she is placed under the supervision of a probation officer.

Penalties: fines, paying money to charity, community service, criminal records, probation and custodial sentences

Perjury: The criminal offense of making a false statement under oath.

Personal insolvency arrangement: one of three debt resolution mechanisms introduced by the Personal Insolvency Act, 2012 to help mortgage-holders and others with unsustainable debt  to reach agreements with their creditors. It applies to the agreed settlement and/or restructuring of secured debts up to a total of €3 million (as well as unsecured debts) over a period of six years.

Petition: document used to commence certain civil proceedings in the High Court (for example, application to wind up a company, have a person adjudicated bankrupt).

Plaintiff: a person who brings a legal action against another.
Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges.

Plenary summons: document used to commence certain civil proceedings (for example, claims for non- specific damages, libel, nuisance) in the High Court where pleadings and oral evidence are required.

Practise at the Bar: Be a member of the Law Library and work as a barrister.

Prejudice: preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

Pro bono: Free of charge.

Probation: Sentencing option by the courts. With probation, instead of sending an individual to prison, the court releases the person to the community and orders him or her to complete a period of supervision monitored by a probation officer and to abide by certain conditions.

Prostitution: The unlawful promotion of or participation in sexual activities for profit.

Prosecutor: The person who institutes legal proceedings against another, usually the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Pupillage: The first year that a barrister practises must be spent as a pupil with an approved Dublin-based barrister. This is also known as a one-year ‘pupillage’ or ‘devilling’ and is unpaid. The pupil or devil must carry out their ‘master’s’ instructions and learn about the nature of professional practice.

Presidents Role: The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the president does exercise certain limited powers with absolute discretion. The president acts as a representative of the Irish state and guardian of the constitution. The president's official residence is Áras an Uachtaráin in Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Protection order: an interim order, granted when an application for a safety/barring order has been made, prohibiting the person against whom the order is made (the respondent) from committing further acts of violence or threatening violence.


Rape: Rape is when a person intentionally penetrates another's vagina, anus or mouth with a penis, without the other person's consent.

Reasonable Doubt: An accused person is entitled to acquittal if, in the minds of the jury, his or her guilt has not been proved beyond a "reasonable doubt;" that state of minds of jurors in which they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction as to the truth of the charge.

Remand: placing (a defendant) on bail or in custody, especially when a trial is adjourned.

Report: When users encounter illegal, abusive or inappropriate content on a social networking service, they should use the report-abuse mechanisms to notify the social networking service of the content. Moderators of the service then review the content in light of the report and remove any content that violates their policies.

Revenge porn: A practice where sexting content is maliciously distributed, without consent, to gain revenge and cause public humiliation. right to be forgotten: Under European data protection regulations, citizens have a right to be forgotten and to request that certain information about them be removed from search engine results. selfies/self-created

Revenue summons: a form of summary summons heard on affidavit, used by the Revenue Commissioners to commence civil proceedings in the High Court to recover sums due (for example, unpaid taxes).

Revocation: The act of voiding or cancelling something, usually probation or a driver's license.

Robbery: breaking into another person’s property by means of force or fear.


Safety order: an order prohibiting the person against whom the order is made (the respondent) from committing further acts of violence or threatening to do so. It does not prevent the respondent from entering the family home.

Same sex marriages: marriage between partners of the same sex.

Seanad Eireann: is the upper house of the Oireachtas which also comprises of the President of Ireland and Dail Eireann.

Search Warrant: A written order issued by a judge that directs a law enforcement officer to search a specific area for a particular piece of evidence.

Self-Defence: The claim that an act otherwise criminal was legally justifiable because it was necessary to protect a person or property from the threat or action of another.
Sentence: The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime.

Separation of Powers: is the idea that a government functions best when its powers do not rest in a single authority but are instead divided among different branches. This system separates and blends the powers of the government so that each branch balances out the others.

Setting down for trial: a request that an action be allocated a date for hearing.

Sextortion: A form of extortion where the criminal threatens to distribute explicit content of the victim unless the victim pays a sum of money or sends more explicit content

Sharing/distribution: This involves sharing content produced or distributed by another social network user with your social network of friends or followers. Sharing content greatly increases the amount of people that the content reaches.

Small claims court: is where consumer and businesses can take complaints inexpensively. No solicitors needed.

Smartphone: A mobile phone that is capable of performing many of the functions of a computer. A smartphone typically has a large screen and an operating system capable of running general purpose apps.

Social networking: Connecting, communicating and collaborating with others on the internet via online communities. Social networking services can provide an outlet for creativity and expression. Care should be taken by students when disclosing personal information on social networking services.

Solicitor: is a qualified legal professional who provides expert legal advice and support to clients.

Special exemption order: an order allowing a licensee to sell alcohol outside the normal licensing hours subject to certain conditions.

Special summons: document used to begin certain civil proceedings (for example, equity claims, mortgage enforcement, administration of trusts) in the High Court to be heard on affidavit (that is, not oral evidence).

Specific performance: an order of a court which requires a party to perform a specific act, usually what is stated in a contract for example, contracts for the sale, purchase or lease of land.  It is an alternative to awarding damages, and is a discretionary equitable remedy.

Stenographer: a person whose job is to transcribe speech in shorthand - "a court stenographer"

Summary offence: An offence to do with traffic, drugs or criminal damage, heard by a court with a judge and no jury.

Summons: A document which sets out the main points of a case. They are used in civil and minor criminal trials.

Supreme Court: This is the court of final appeal for both civil and criminal cases

Supervision order: an order allowing Tusla to monitor a child considered to be at risk.  The child is not removed from his or her home environment. A supervision order is for a fixed period of time not longer than 12 months initially.

Suspended Sentence: In criminal law, this means the defendant doesn't have to serve the sentence at the time the sentence is imposed.

Suspicion: Arrested for no specific offense and released without formal charges being placed.


Tiger kidnapping: or tiger robbery involves two separate crimes. The first crime usually involves an abduction of any person or thing someone highly values. Instead of demanding money, the captors demand that a second crime be committed on their behalf.

Tort law: A civil wrong. The branch of law that deals with civil offences is called tort law. Tort law is concerned mainly with injuries to the person, reputation, property or business. For example, if someone harms your reputation by making false statements about you, you may have a right to be paid for the damage they caused. A tort may occur even though the tortfeasor (the person who commits the tort), does not intend to harm another person. Most tort cases today result from motor accidents.

Tortfeasor: A person who commits a tort (civil wrong).

Treaty: is where governments around the world reach agreements with each other and they must stick to these agreements if they want to do business with each other.

TUSLA: the Child and Family Agency - is a statutory organisation, established in January 2014 under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013. Under Section 8 of the Act, it is required to: Support and promote the development, welfare and protection of children.


Unconstitutional: not in accordance with the political constitution or with procedural rules.

Unfounded: False or baseless complaints.

Urine Test: A medical test of a urine sample to see if it contains evidence of alcohol or some other drug.


Vandalism: To wilfully or maliciously destroy, injure, disfigure, or deface any public or private property, real or personal, without the consent of the owner or person having custody or control by cutting, tearing, breaking, marking, painting, drawing, covering with filth, or any other such means as may be specified by local law.

Verdict: a decision on an issue of fact in a civil or criminal case or an inquest-"the jury returned a verdict of not guilty"

Victim blaming: When a victim is held responsible for his/her own violation. An example of victim blaming is when a victim of non-consensual sharing of explicit content is blamed for sharing the content in the first place.

Violation: A breach of a right, duty, or law.

Violent disorder: is when 3 or more people are together at a place, and they use, or threaten to use violence, and their conduct would cause someone of reasonable firmness, who was present at that place to fear for their or someone else’s safety.

Voting Age: is a minimum age established by law that a person must attain before they become eligible to vote in a public election. In Ireland it is set at 18 years.


Ward of Court: A person, especially a child or someone legally incapable of managing their own affairs, placed under the control or protection of a guardian or of a Court.

Wardship: When an application is made to make a child or a person of unsound mind a ward of court. The court will then look after their affairs.

Warrant: Most commonly, a court order authorizing law enforcement officers to make an arrest or conduct a search. An application seeking a warrant must be accompanied by an affidavit which establishes probable cause by detailing the facts upon which the request is based.

Weapons: The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, concealment, or use of firearms, cutting instruments, explosives, incendiary devices, or other deadly weapons.

Winding-up: The process by which a company's life is ended by the Court.


Xenophobia: dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.