Search warrant A court order that gives police the authority to search a private person, building or vehicle for evidence relating to a crime.
Security of tenure A tenant’s legal right to remain in their home unless legally evicted.
Sedition Behaviour aimed at inciting rebellion against government.
Sentence The punishment laid down on an individual for committing a crime, as decreed by a court of law.
Separation order A legal declaration that a married couple, although still legally married, are living apart as unmarried individuals.
Sequestration This is an act of taking, seizing or stealing something from the possession of its owner for the benefit of a creditor or the state.
Settlement This is when two opposing parties resolve their differences either before or after court action takes place.
Settlor In a legal context, an individual who settles property on trust law with the aim of benefitting beneficiaries. Also known as a ‘trustor’, ‘grantor’ or ‘donor’.
Shorthold tenancy The letting of a property by a non-resident private landlord, lasting between one to five years.
Slander To make false claims about another individual that damage their reputation.
Small claims court A court that hears civic cases concerning minor disputes between parties involving no serious crime or large sums of money.
Smuggling The crime of secretly transporting items across an international border.
Solicitor A type of lawyer who prepares legal cases, advises on legal matters, and can represent clients in some of the lower courts.
Squatter An individual who inhabits a piece of real estate without permission from the landowner.
Statutory demand A formal written request from a creditor for the payment of a debt.
Statutory instrument A type of legislation that enables an Act of Parliament to be enforced or changed without the passing of a new Act. Also known as ‘secondary legislation’, ‘delegated legislation’ and ‘subordinate legislation’.
Stipendiary magistrate A magistrate who is legal qualified, receives a stipend or payment for their work, and has the power to sit alone to hear cases. Also known as a ‘district judge’.
Subject to contract If an arrangement is ‘subject to contract’, no legally binding obligation exists until all involved parties have entered into a formal agreement.
Subpoena An official document calling an individual to give evidence as a witness during a court case.
Subrogation The practice of substituting one individual with another in respect to legal matters such as rights, claims and securities.
Subsidiary A business where at least half of its shares are owned by another company (often referred to as the ‘parent company’ or ‘holding company)’.
Summary judgement A judgement that finds in favour of one party over another without the need for a full trial.
Summary offence A minor offence that can be proceeded against without a jury trial and/or indictment, allowing it to pass through the legal system more quickly.
Summary proceedings A rapid form of litigation employed for matters that require swift resolution.
Summons An official order to appear in court before a judge or magistrate.
Superior Court A court that holds jurisdiction over all other courts in the country.
Supervision order A court order that a child be placed under the supervision of a particular authority figure.
Supra Literally translates from the Latin for ‘above’. In legal research, the term indicates that any references being made have already been cited earlier in the document.
Surcharge A payment that must be made in addition to money already owed.
Surety An individual who promises to ensure that another person performs an action that is required of them by law.
Suspended sentence When an offender receives a prison sentence, but it is suspended (put off) for up to two years. During this time, if they comply with certain conditions, they may then be spared prison.