Understand the Terminology of Legal Research
The assorted terminology of legal research consists of an extended glossary of legal terms, the entirety of which is too great to be categorized here. should absolutely know and understand if one is to become in anyway engaged with the legal process and specifically with legal research.
Primary to these legal terms is the understanding of the various forms of law that exist in society. In most legal research, the common phrase used to describe an individual law is “statute.” The term “statutes” also infers that a law has a set starting point, which is why it is often used more often in legal discourse rather than the vernacular term “law.”
Terms like “act” and “code” can be synonyms for “law” or “statutes,” but they can also have slightly different meanings. A code is a term generally applied to a list of statutes or laws that serve a larger, unified purpose. However, the laws that are part of these lists can than sometimes be referred to as “codes.” legal terms in most legal literature will be statute or law.
Differing from statutes are “regulations,” which can also sometimes be referred to as administrative laws or authorizing statutes. Regulations have no less power than legislated statutes, but they are still answerable to the laws of judicial review.
Common legal terms that will be seen often in legal research are the terms precedent, opinion, and the Latin term stare decisis. It is significant part of the system of checks and balances, as once a law has been determined to be rejected by judicial review it becomes inactive. The case’s admission or rejection for review has no bearing on the statute that has been contested by the case at hand.
When a court enacts judicial review on a law, determining whether it should be rejected or enforced, it will tender an opinion, which will explain the legal findings of the court. Once a court has rendered a judgement on a case, it becomes what is called a precedent, or binding precedent, which is to be used as benchmark by which the law questioned is to be determined from then on. Precedents can be contested, provided that the court who renders the precedent agrees to hear a case that argues against the precedent at a later date.