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Flashcards in Definitions Deck (152)
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A legal relationship created (in lifetime or on death) by a settlor through which assets are placed under the control of a trustee either for the benefit of a beneficiary or a specified purpose


Specific performance

A court compelling a person to carry out a promise which they have given to another



A court order compelling a person to do something or prohibiting them from doing something


Promissory estoppel

an insured who has broken a warranty cannot enforce the contract unless they can prove that the insurers clearly indicated, by their words or conduct, that they do not intend to rely on the breach of warranty as a defence to further liability under the policy, e.g. renewing the policy


Private Members' Bills

Bills which are introduced by individual Members of Parliament rather than by Government and unless they have Government support are unlikely to become law


Consolidating Act

One which repeals all previous legislation on a subject and re-enacts it in one logically arranged statute; no new law is created but existing statutory enactments are brought under one umbrella


Codifying Act

Sometimes Government may decide not only to consolidate current legislation on a particular topic, but to include also principles embodied in case law. Therefore in most cases all the law on a particular topic, including existing statute and case law is reduced to a single code.


Retroactive (retrospective) legislation

Legislation which affects acts done or rights acquired before it came into effect


Delegated legislation

Acts of Parliament often law down only a general framework of rules, leaving the detail to be filled in by civil servants in the appropriate ministry, so rules are conferred


Enabling Acts (Parent Acts)

Acts which confer power on persons or bodies (particularly Government Ministers)


Delegated (subordinate) legislation

Rules made under the authority of Enabling Acts, which have the same legal force as primary legislation


Statutory instruments

Most Enabling Acts which give Ministers and their civil servants power to enact delegated legislation, stipulate that the powers in question are to be exercised in the form of departmental regulations or orders, known collectively as statutory instruments


Orders in council

When power of special importance is delegated by statute, such as power concerning constitutional matters, it is usually conferred on the Privy Council. An Order in Council is drafted by a minister and comes into force when approved by a meeting of the Privy Council where at least 3 Privy Councillors are present. The powers in question are effectively exercised by the Cabinet.



Statutory authority may be given to certain bodies, particularly local authorities, to make bye-laws which are of local application - require the approval of the appropriate Minister


Common law rule

Rules which the courts themselves have developed to assist with interpretation


Literal rule

According to the rule, words and phrases should be construed by the courts in their ordinary sense, and the ordinary rules of grammar and punctuation should be applied. If, applying this rule, a clear meaning emerges, then this must be applied. The courts will not try to establish whether this represents what Parliament intended when the legislation was passed.


'Noscitur a sociis' rule

Subsidiary literal rule - a general principle that a word must be determined by its context


'Ejusdem generis' rule

Subsidiary literal rule - under this rule the meaning of any general term depends upon any specific words which precede it


Golden rule

Where the meaning of words in a statute, if strictly applied, would lead to an absurd result, and there is an alternative interpretation which avoids the absurdity, the courts are entitled to choose that latter meaning and to assume that Parliament did not intend the absurdity


Mischief rule

Sometimes called the rule in Heydon's case, from the decision in 1584 in which it was first set out. Under this rule, the judge will consider the meaning of the words in the Act in the light of the abuse or 'mischief' which the Act was intended to correct, and choose the interpretation which makes the Act effective in suppressing this mischief.



Tortious liability arises from the breach of a duty primarily fixed by the law; such duty is towards persons generally and its breach is redressable by an action for unliquidated damages



The amount of damages is not fixed in advance but will be decided by the court, according to the seriousness of the injury that has been caused



The parties to a contract will have agreed, in advance, a fixed amount of compensation to be paid if there is a breach of contract



Any act which directly causes the claimant to fear an attack on their person



The hostile application by the defendant of physical force, even though it might be slight, to the claimant



Not just personal spite or ill-will but any improper motive


False imprisonment

Occurs when the defendant imposes total bodily restraint on the claimant, preventing them from going where they want to go. No physical contact is necessary.



(Trespass to goods) If the defendant deliberately deals with the goods which is inconsistent with the rights of the person who owns or possesses them, they can be sued for conversion; in this case the defendant does more than merely meddle or interfere with the goods


Trespasser 'ab initio'

If a person enters land lawfully but abuses their right to be there they are treated as a trespasser from the moment they entered the land



Generally includes anything beneath its surface and all space above the land so tunnelling beneath or crossing the airspace of another may be a trespass. Non-consumer organisations often have statutory power to work beneath private land to extract coal or other minerals, and similarly, aircraft operators are generally permitted to overfly private land.