CHECK YOUR ENGLISH VOCABULARY FOR LAW
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CHECK YOUR ENGLISH VOCABULARY FOR
A & C Black London
First edition published 1996
Second edition published 1998
Third edition published 2006
A & C Black Publishers Ltd
38 Soho Square, London W1D 3HB
© Copyright Rawdon Wyatt 2006
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced in
any form without the permission of the publishers.
A CIP entry for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN-10: 0 7136 7592 6
ISBN-13: 978 0 7136 7592 4
Text typeset by A & C Black
Printed in Italy by Legoprint
A & C Black uses paper produced with elemental chlorine-free pulp,
harvested from managed sustainable forests.
This book has been written for anyone working or training to work in the legal profession,
or for anyone whose job requires them to have a working knowledge of legal words and
terms. The various exercises throughout the book focus on the key vocabulary that you
might be expected to understand and use on a day-to-day basis.
You should not go through the exercises in this book mechanically. It is better to choose
areas that you are unfamiliar with, or areas that you feel are of specific interest or
importance to yourself.
Each exercise is accompanied by a full answer key at the back of the book. This key also
gives you other information about particular vocabulary items (for example, words with
similar meanings, alternative words and expressions, etc) that are not covered in the
When you are doing the exercises, there are a few important points you should consider:
1. Many of the words, expressions and accompanying notes are based primarily on the
English and Welsh legal system. However, there are also many \'generic\' words which can be
applied across the international legal spectrum, and would be recognised in other places
such as the USA and Canada.
2. Not all of the vocabulary practised in this book is legal vocabulary per se (see page 45 to
find out what this expression means), but would be used in a legal context (for example, at
a trial or tribunal, or when producing a contract or negotiating business terms).
3. A lot of the words and expressions which have been presented here in a particular context
(for example, words connected with a criminal law procedure) might also \'cross over\' into
other areas of law. A jury, for example, is usually employed at a criminal trial, but might also
be used in some civil cases, such as libel.
It is very important to keep a record of new words and expressions that you learn. On page
64 of this book, you will find a vocabulary record sheet which you can photocopy as many
times as you like and use to build up a \'bank\' of useful words and expressions. It is
accompanied on the following page by a sample sheet that shows you how to record a
particular vocabulary item. Keep your record sheets in a file or folder and review them on a
regular basis so that the words and expressions become an \'active\' part of your legal
We recommend that you keep a good dictionary with you, and refer to it when necessary.
Many of the words and expressions in this book (together with their definitions) can be
found in the A & C Dictionary of Law. For general vocabulary reference, the Macmillan
English Dictionary is also an excellent resource.
No vocabulary book can possibly contain all of the legal words and expressions that you are
likely to come across or need, so it is important you acquire new vocabulary from other
sources. On the next page you will find a short list of useful sources that were consulted
during the writing of this book, and you should also read as much as possible from a variety
of other sources, including journals, papers and case reports (many of which are available on
For reference see Dictionary of Law 4th edition (A & C Black 0-7475-6636-4).
1. Before you begin: Essential words
2. Business law 1: Key adjectives
4. Business law 2: Key nouns
6. Business law 3: Key verbs
9. Business law 4: Key expressions
11. Consumer rights
13. Contracts 1
15. Contracts 2
17. Corporate responsibility 1: The
18. Corporate responsibility 2:
19. Corporate responsibility 3:
21. Corporate responsibility 4: Financial
and ethical integrity
23. Court orders and injunctions
24. Court structures
25. Crime 1: Crime categories
26. Crime 2: Name the offence
28. Crime 3: Criminal procedure (part 1)
29. Crime 4: Criminal procedure (part 2)
31. Dispute resolution
32. Employment and human resources
34. European courts, institutions, etc
36. The family
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