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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

D

Debt Something that is owed in exchange for goods or services rendered.

Deed An official document that confirms the holder’s ownership of land or property.

Defamation A false statement that is damaging to the reputation of another individual. If the defamatory statement is written, it is called ‘libel’, while if it is spoken, it is called ‘slander’.

Defence In a courtroom, ‘defence’ refers to the defendant and their lawyer’s efforts to prove their innocence or reduce their sentence.

Deponent An individual testifying at a deposition during a court case. A deponent is usually under oath, meaning that they have promised to provide only true information while on the stand.

Derogation The relaxation of a particular law, usually by the addition of a subsequent act that reduces its power. Not to be confused with abrogation, which is when a law is completely abolished.

Diminished responsibility A legal defence whereby it is argued that the defendant cannot be held fully accountable for their actions – and, as such, is not criminally liable – on the basis that their mental abilities were impaired at the time of the crime.

Disbursement Payments that a lawyer makes to third parties while preparing for a court case – for example, for expert reports or medical analyses.

Discharge In a legal context, to discharge an individual means to release them from prison or any other legal obligation such as jury duty.

Domicile An individual’s permanent and principal residence.

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