Pardon To forgive an offender for their crime and set aside any outstanding punishments to which they have been sentenced.
Parole The release of a prisoner before the end of their sentence. While ‘on parole’ and back in the wider community, the offender must comply with specified conditions, or else be returned to prison to complete their sentence.
Party An individual or entity that represents one side of a legal proceeding, transaction, contract or accident.
Passing off To misrepresent your business by falsely stating or implying that it’s connected with another.
Patent A licence that gives the holder the sole right to produce, recreate and sell an invention.
Patricide The act of killing one’s own father.
Pawn To provide a moneylender or pawnbroker with a piece of personal property as security for a loan.
Payment into Court Money given to the court, to be held until a lawsuit determines how the money should be distributed between claiming parties.
Per Pro Often used when signing documents on another individual’s behalf, in order to indicate you have been delegated to act with their authority.
Perjury A crime whereby the offender knowingly makes an untrue claim under oath.
Personal Guarantee An agreement whereby one party agrees to act as another’s guarantor, meaning that they will assume liability for any outstanding debts they might incur.
Personal Injury A physical or psychological injury that negatively impacts an individual’s wellbeing.
Personal Property All of the objects owned by an individual, apart from land or buildings.
Personal Representative An individual who is responsible for managing another person’s affairs, such as the settling of a deceased person’s estate.
Personation The fraudulent act of impersonating another person while voting in a general election.
Perverting the course of justice When an individual attempts to prevent justice from being served through their actions or words.
Plaintiff The party that claims it has been a victim of wrongdoing, and so initiates legal proceedings against another party.
Plea The formal response given by an individual who has been accused of a crime in a court of law. In the UK, defendants can plead either guilty or not guilty.
Plea Bargain When a defendant and prosecutors reach a deal in which the defendant pleads guilty to a less serious charge (and so secures a more lenient sentence) and the prosecutors drop the more serious charges (and so avoids a lengthy court case).
Pleadings Legal documents formally outlining the plaintiff’s claims and the defendant’s response during a lawsuit.
Pledge To provide a creditor with personal property to act as security for a debt, to be returned once full repayment has occurred.
Plenipotentiary An individual who has been granted full powers to act on behalf of another individual or entity. For example, a diplomat who has been authorised to act as an ambassador for their government in a foreign country.
Poaching To illegally hunt or catch animals on another person’s land.
Polygamy The practice of being married to multiple people simultaneously.
Power of Appointment The right, conferred by the owner, to dispose of their property.
Power of Attorney The legal right to act in the place of another individual.
Preamble A piece of writing that introduces a statute or contract and establishes the logic upon which the document is based.
Precedent A binding rule or persuasive principle, established during a previous legal case, which can be brought to bear on future similar cases.
Preference Shares Shares that entitle their holders to a fixed regular payment (dividend).
Preferential Creditor A creditor who has the right to be paid before other creditors in cases where a debtor’s assets are liquefied.
Privy Council A private council of senior politicians who act as advisers to the British Sovereign.
Privy Purse The private income of the British Sovereign.
Pro Rata From the Latin ‘in proportion’. Refers to a proportional division of a sum of money.
Probate The legal process whereby the authenticity of a will is proven and the estate is administered.
Probation In a legal context, probation refers to a period of time during which an offender is spared a prison sentence on the condition that he/she complies with certain rules and regulations.
Product Liability Legal culpability for injuries caused by defective or dangerous products that have been made available to the public.
Prosecution The attempt to prove that an individual has committed the crime for which they stand accused.
Provocation Behaviour that provokes another person to commit a crime by inciting an emotional response, such as rage.
Proxy An individual who has the legal authority to represent another person or entity.
Public Mischief The crime of intentionally providing police with false information, causing then to initiate an unnecessary investigation.
Public Nuisance This term refers to minor crimes that adversely impact the general public by obstructing, damaging or inconveniencing them.
Putative Father A man who claims to be the biological father of a child born out of wedlock, but whose legal relationship to the child has not been established.