For Law Students

Important Words for Legal Drafting


Expedient – To Prioritize , to rush
Cavil – Argument by which a conclusion evidently false , is drawn from a principle evidently true. Elusive – Difficult to find , catch or achieve.
Scuffle – a short , confused fight or struggle at close quarters.
Credential – a qualification, achievement , quality, or aspect of a person ‘s background , especially when used to indicate their suitability for something.
Oblivious – Unaware.
Accustomed – Customary ; usual.
Treacherous – Guilty of or involving betrayal.
Erudite – learned.
Accentuating – More noticeable.
Crescendo – Progressive increase in intensity.
Tedious –Too long , slow or dull.
Dreadful – involving great suffering.
Enigma – Mysterious or difficult to understand.
Sceptical – Doubtful.
Sardonic – grimly mocking or cynical.
Habeas corpus – a prerogative writ to a person who detains another in custody and which commands him to produce or ‘ have the body of that person before him ‘
Mesne – middle, intervening or tame by nature.
Per se – by itself
Nocumentum – an annoying , unpleasant or obnoxious thing or ptactice.
Non obstante – notwithstanding
Prima facie – on the face of it.
Aequitas – Equity i.e fair or just according to natural law.
Bona fide – in good faith.
Certiorari – a writ of a superior court calling forth the records and entire proceedings of an inferior court or a writ by which causes are removed from an inferior court into a superior court.
Obiter dictum – an incidental and collateral opinion uttered by a judge while delivering a judgement and which is not binding.
Pari material – on the same material.
Pendente lite – during the process of litigation.
Supra – above.
Status quo – the state in which the things are , or were.
Volkogeist – general awareness of the people.
Res judicata – a case or suit already decided.
RE – in the matter of.
Ratio Legis – according to spirit of law
Scienter – knowledge ; an allegation in a pleading that the thing has been done knowingly.
Ex gratia –as an act of grace or favour.
In rem – an act , proceeding or right available against the world at large, as opposed to in personam.
Noscitur a socits – a word known by its associates , i.e the meaning of a word cab be gathered from the context.
Res sub judicata – a matter under judicial consideration.
Ad hoc – created or done for a particular purpose as necessary.
Pertinent – Relevant or applicable to a particular matter , apposite.
Curative petition – question arises whether an aggrieved person is entitled to any relief against the final judgment / order of the Supreme Court, after dismissal of a review petition
Erect –rigidly upright or straight.
Advent – arrival of a notable person or thing.
Submergence – to cover ; bury.
Vicinity –the area near or surrounding a particular place.
Detention –the act of detaining someone or the state of being in official custody.
Rebuttable – an instance of rebutting evidence or an accusation.
Preclude – prevent from happening ; make impossible.
Discrepancy – an illogical or surprising lack of compatibility or similarity between two or more facts. Superannuation – pension paid to a retired employee who has contributed to a superannuation fund.
Ordinance – An authoritative order
Promulgation – to make known by open declaration; publish ; proclaim formally or put into operation. Consortium – the right of association and companionship with one’s husband or wife
Averred – allege as a fact in support of a plea
Estoppel – the principle which precludes a person from asserting something contrary to what is implied by a previous action or statement of that person or by a previous pertinent judicial determination.
Plenary – unqualified ; absolute
Impugned – dispute the truth , validity or honesty of ( a statement or motive ) ; call into question.
Prejudiced – harm or injury that results or may result from some action or judgement.
Legal Luminary – a person who inspires or influences others , especially one prominent in a particular sphere.
Plagiarised – the act of appropriating the literary composition of another , or parts or passages of his writings , or the ideas or language of the same , and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.
Evacuee – A person evacuated from a place of danger.
Demarcate – Set the boundaries or limits of.
Unfettered – not confined or restricted
Discernible – able to be discerned ; perceptible.

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