accused
  a person charged with a criminal offence - a defendant

Act of God
  an unforeseeable event brought about by natural causes - such as an earthquake or a tornado

bylaws
  laws passed by municipal governments

civil disobedience
the deliberate refusal to obey a law in order to pressure the government to change the law

civil law
private law

common law 
the body of law that has gradually developed as judges have made decisions in cases they've heard

constitution
a law establishing the fundamental principles on which a nation is based

criminal law
the branch of public law that sets out certain acts as crimes and punishes those acts

crown prosecutor 
a lawyer employed by the government to prosecute those accused of criminal offenses

damages 
money awarded a plaintiff by a court to compensate for a wrong suffered

defendant
 
the party being sued in a civil suit;  the party charged with an offence in a criminal case

due diligence 
the defense that the defendant took all reasonable precautions but that some harm resulted anyway

ecosystem
a dynamic system made up of living organisms and their non-living environment that interact as a unit

environment
 
everything that surrounds something or someone

environmental impact assessment 
a formal evaluation of a project before it takes place to determine its potential environmental effects and to suggest safeguards or alternatives if necessary

environmental review
  a process of assessing potential harm that a proposed project might do to the environment and weighing that harm against likely benefits

expert witness
a witness called to give evidence in an area of technical expertise - such as a doctor, engineer, or scientist

indictable offence
a serious criminal offense

injunction
a court order directing a person not to do something

jurisdiction
authority, such as the power to make laws

legislation
  law that has been passed by a governing body

legislators
the people elected to govern a country or some part of it (such as a province)

liable
 
legally responsible

lobby 
to present a specific viewpoint on issues to the government in the attempt to persuade it to create, repeal, or change laws so as to support the viewpoint

negligence 
the failure of a person to use reasonable care that results in an injury or loss to another

nuisance 
one party's unreasonable interference with the right of another party to make use of his or her property

patriate 
return to one's country

plaintiff 
the party bringing a civil suit against another party

precedent 
a court decision that lower courts must follow wen making decisions in similar cases

private law 
civil law - law that governs the relations between individuals

public law 
criminal law - law that governs the relations between government (law) and private citizens

public nuisance 
a nuisance involving a large number of people or all the residents of an area

quash 
to declare void

regulatory offence
an offence created by a regulation based on a statute rather than by a statute itself

repeal
 
to withdraw a law

slander 
to utter untrue statements that damage another's reputation

statute 
a law passed by a governing body

stay
to stop something from happening

strict liability 
liability that results when a legal activity causes harm to another, even if no negligence was involved

summary conviction offence 
a relatively minor criminal offence that is tried quickly

sustainable development
the use of natural resources that meets the needs of people today while conserving for the future

tort
  a civil wrong other than a breach of contract

treaty 
a contractual agreement made between two or more separate political authorities - such as sovereign nations or states/provinces

to go onto another person's land without permission

ultra vires 
a Latin expression meaning beyond the power - that is, beyond the authority a government has to make laws