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Political Terms

Political Terms

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Published by: Zarif Aminyar on Jul 09, 2011
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  • PART-I
  • Administration
  • Agenda-setting
  • Anarchic order
  • Anarchism
  • Anomic group
  • Aristocracy
  • Associational group
  • Asymmetrical federalism
  • Auction politics
  • Auditor general
  • Authoritarianism
  • Authority
  • Backbencher
  • Balance of payments
  • Balance of power
  • Behavioural revolution
  • Bicameralism
  • Bill
  • Binational state
  • Bipolar
  • Bureaucracy
  • Cabinet solidarity
  • Caucus
  • Central agency
  • Checks and balances
  • Citizenship
  • Classical liberalism
  • Coalition government
  • Coalition
  • Code civil
  • Code of law
  • Coercion
  • Collective (public) goods
  • Collective security
  • Cominform
  • Comintern
  • Common law
  • Communications (mass) media
  • Communism
  • Comparative politics
  • Confederation
  • Confidence
  • consent of the governed
  • Conservationism
  • Conservatism
  • Consociationalism
  • Constituency
  • Constitution
  • Constitutionalism
  • Constructive vote of confidence
  • Convention
  • Corporatism
  • Coup d¶état
  • Credit
  • Crown corporation
  • Current accounts surplus
  • Custom
  • Customary law
  • Debit
  • Deep ecology
  • Deficit
  • Delegate
  • Democratic centralism
  • Department of finance
  • Deputy minister
  • Deregulation
  • Devolution
  • Despotism
  • Dictator
  • Dictatorship of the proletariat
  • Diplomacy
  • Direct democracy
  • Disallowance
  • Discretion
  • Distributive laws
  • Downsizing
  • Doxa
  • Electoral college
  • Elite
  • Empirical
  • Episteme
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Equality of result
  • Equality of right
  • Equality rights
  • Ethnic group
  • Executive
  • Executive federalism
  • Extractive laws
  • Faction
  • Fascism
  • Federalism
  • Feminism
  • First international
  • Formal±legal institutions
  • Fragment theory
  • Free riders
  • Free vote
  • Free-market environmentalism
  • Functions
  • Gerrymander
  • Head of government
  • Head of state
  • Human rights
  • Ideological party
  • Ideology
  • Influence
  • Informal institutions
  • Initiative
  • Institutional group
  • Interest (pressure) group
  • Interest party
  • International law
  • International monetary fund
  • International order
  • International regimes
  • International relations
  • Intervention
  • Item veto
  • Judicial committee of the privy council
  • Judicial activism
  • Judicial review
  • Judiciary
  • Junta
  • Jurisprudence
  • Justice
  • Laissez-faire
  • Law
  • Legal positivism
  • Legislature
  • Legitimacy
  • Liberal democracy
  • Liberal feminism
  • Liberalism
  • Limited government
  • Limited state
  • List system
  • Lobbying
  • Logrolling
  • Magna carta
  • Majority government
  • Merit recruitment
  • Microcosm
  • Ministerial responsibility
  • Ministry
  • Minority government
  • Mixed economy
  • Modernization
  • Monarchy
  • Monism
  • Movement party
  • Multinational state
  • Multiparty system
  • Multipolar
  • Nation
  • National interest
  • Nation-state
  • Natural authority
  • Natural law
  • Neoconservatism
  • New international economic order
  • Nonassociational (latent) group
  • Normative
  • Notwithstanding clause
  • Official opposition
  • Oligarchy
  • One-party-dominant system
  • Opposition
  • Order-in-council
  • Parliamentary sovereignty
  • Party discipline
  • Patriarchy
  • Peace-building
  • Permanent secretary
  • Personal freedom
  • Personal party
  • Philosopher±king
  • Planning
  • Plebiscite
  • Pluralism
  • Plurality
  • Policy community
  • Polis
  • Political alienation
  • Political consultant
  • Political culture
  • Political economy
  • Political patronage
  • Political party
  • Political philosophy
  • Political police
  • Political process
  • Political socialization
  • Politics
  • Polity
  • Polyarchy
  • Popular sovereignty
  • Portfolio
  • Post-materialism
  • Power
  • Pragmatic party
  • Precedent
  • Preferential (alternative) ballot
  • Prerogative
  • Prime minister¶s office
  • Priming
  • Primus inter pares
  • private law
  • Private member's bill
  • Privatization
  • Privy council
  • Privy council office
  • Proclamation
  • Progressive tax
  • Proletariat
  • Property franchise (suffrage)
  • Proportional representation (pr)
  • Provincial courts
  • Public authority
  • Public debt
  • Public law
  • Qualified majority
  • Race
  • Radical feminism
  • Readings
  • Realism
  • Recall
  • Red tory
  • Redistribution
  • Referendum
  • Reform liberalism
  • Regressive tax
  • Regulative laws
  • Regulatory agency
  • Report stage
  • Representative democracy
  • Residual powers
  • Responsible government
  • Royal assent
  • Rule of law
  • Runoff system
  • Scientific socialism
  • Second international
  • Security dilemma
  • Separation of powers
  • Shadow cabinet
  • Single-member-plurality system (smp)
  • Single-party system
  • Single transferable vote (stv)
  • Social democrats
  • Socialism
  • Social justice
  • Society
  • Sovereign
  • Special (ad hoc) committee
  • Spoils system
  • Spontaneous order
  • Standing committee
  • Stare decisis
  • State
  • Stateless society
  • Statism
  • Statute
  • Structuralism
  • Subjects
  • Suffragism
  • Superior courts
  • Symbolic laws
  • Syndicalism
  • Third international
  • Totalitarianism
  • Traditional authority
  • Treasury board
  • Tribe
  • Trustee
  • Two-party system
  • Two-party-plus system
  • Typology
  • Tyranny
  • Ultra vires
  • unitary system
  • Unwritten constitution
  • Utopian socialism
  • Veto
  • Violence
  • Vote of censure
  • Welfare state
  • White house staff
  • Wilderness preservationism
  • World trade organization
  • Zionism
  • PART ±II
  • Acquittal
  • Active judge
  • Administrative office of the united states courts (ao)
  • Admissible
  • Adversary proceeding
  • Affidavit
  • Affirmed
  • Alternate juror
  • Alternative dispute resolution (adr)
  • Amicus curiae
  • Answer
  • Appeal
  • Appellant
  • Appellate
  • Appellee
  • Arraignment
  • Assets
  • Assume
  • Automatic stay
  • Bail
  • Bankruptcy
  • Bankruptcy court
  • Bankruptcy estate
  • Bankruptcy judge
  • Bankruptcy petition
  • Bench trial
  • Brief
  • Business bankruptcy
  • Capital offense
  • Case file
  • Case law
  • Caseload
  • Cause of action
  • Chambers
  • Chief judge
  • Class action
  • Clerk of court
  • Collateral
  • Community service
  • Complaint
  • Concurrent sentence
  • Confirmation
  • Consecutive sentence
  • Consumer bankruptcy
  • Consumer debts
  • Contingent claim
  • Contract
  • Conviction
  • Counsel
  • Court
  • Court reporter
  • Count
  • Creditor
  • Damages
  • Debtor
  • Defendant
  • Debtor's plan
  • Declaratory judgment
  • De facto
  • Default judgment
  • De jure
  • De novo
  • Deposition
  • Discharge
  • Dischargeable debt
  • Disclosure statement
  • Discovery
  • Dismissal with prejudice
  • Dismissal without prejudice
  • Disposable income
  • Docket
  • En banc
  • Equitable
  • Equity
  • Evidence
  • Exclusionary rule
  • Exculpatory evidence
  • Executory contracts
  • Exempt assets
  • Exemptions, exempt property
  • Ex parte
  • Face sheet filing
  • Family farmer
  • Federal public defender
  • Federal public defender organization
  • Felony
  • File
  • Fraudulent transfer
  • Fresh start
  • Grand jury
  • Habeas corpus
  • Hearsay
  • Home confinement
  • Impeachment
  • In camera
  • Inculpatory evidence
  • Indictment
  • In forma pauperis
  • Information
  • Injunction
  • Insider (of corporate debtor)
  • Interrogatories
  • Issue
  • Joint administration
  • Joint petition
  • Judge
  • Judgeship
  • Judicial conference of the united states
  • Jurisdiction
  • Jury
  • Jury instructions
  • Lawsuit
  • Lien
  • Liquidation
  • Liquidated claim
  • Magistrate judge
  • Mental health treatment
  • Misdemeanor
  • Mistrial
  • Moot
  • Motion
  • Motion to lift the automatic stay
  • Motion in limine
  • No-asset case
  • Nolo contendere
  • Nondischargeable debt
  • Nonexempt assets
  • Objection to dischargeability
  • Objection to exemptions
  • Opinion
  • Oral argument
  • Panel
  • Parole
  • Party in interest
  • Petition preparer
  • Per curiam
  • Petit jury (or trial jury)
  • Petition
  • Petty offense
  • Plaintiff
  • Plan
  • Plea
  • Pleadings
  • Prebankruptcy planning
  • Preferential debt payment
  • Presentence report
  • Pretrial conference
  • Pretrial services
  • Priority
  • Priority claim
  • Probation
  • Probation officer
  • Proof of claim
  • Pro per
  • Property of the estate
  • Pro se
  • Prosecute
  • Pro tem
  • Reaffirmation agreement
  • Record
  • Redemption
  • Remand
  • Reverse
  • Sanction
  • Schedules
  • Secured creditor
  • Secured debt
  • Senior judge
  • Sentence
  • Sentencing guidelines
  • Service of process
  • Settlement
  • Sequester
  • Small business case
  • Statement of intention
  • Standard of proof
  • Statute of limitations
  • Sua sponte
  • Subordination
  • Subpoena
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Substantial abuse
  • Substantive consolidation
  • Summary judgment
  • Supervised release
  • Temporary restraining order
  • Testimony
  • Toll
  • Tort
  • Transfer
  • Transcript
  • Typing service
  • Afghan attorney
  • Afghan trustee
  • Undersecured claim
  • Undue hardship
  • Unlawful detainer action
  • Unliquidated claim
  • Unsecured claim
  • Uphold
  • Venue
  • Verdict
  • Voir dire
  • Voluntary transfer
  • Wage garnishment
  • Witness
  • Writ
  • Writ of certiorari


Administration The organized apparatus of the state for the preparation and implementation of legislation and policies, also called bureaucracy. Agenda-setting Controlling the focus of attention by establishing the issues for public discussion. Anarchic order Order resulting from mutual coordination in the absence of a higher authority. Anarchism A stateless society that allows total individual freedom. Anomic group Spontaneously formed interest group with concern over a specific issue. Aristocracy A form of government in which a minority rules under the law. Associational group Formally organized group which articulates the interests of its members over long periods of time. Asymmetrical federalism A federal system of government in which powers are unevenly divided between provinces, i.e. Some provinces have greater responsibilities or more autonomy than others. Auction politics A danger in democratic politics in which state power may be "sold" to the highest bidding groups.

Auditor general The official of parliament whose staff audit the expenditures of government departments and who provides an annual report on instances of funds being unlawfully or unwisely spent. Authoritarianism A system of government in which leaders are not subjected to the test of free elections. Authority A form of power based on consensus regarding the right to issue commands and make decisions. Backbencher Members of parliament on the government side who sit on the backbenches and are not in cabinet, or those similarly distant from shadow cabinet posts in opposition parties. Balance of payments A state's running account of economic transactions (exports and imports) with the rest of the world. Balance of power policythe active prevention of any one state becoming too strong by the major powers in the system. Balance of power The distribution of power in a system such that no one state may overwhelm others. Behavioural revolution The introduction of more empirical analysis into the study of government and politics.


Bicameralism A system of government in which the legislature is divided into two chambers, an upper and lower house. Bill A piece of legislation under consideration by a legislative body. Binational state Two nations co-existing within one state. Bipolar An international system in which there are two dominant nation-states. Bourgeoisie. A marxist term referring to those who own the means of production. Bureaucracy A type of administration characterized by specialization, professionalism, and security of tenure. Cabinet solidarity A convention that all cabinet ministers publicly support whatever decisions the cabinet has taken, regardless of their personal views. Caucus a meeting of legislators of any one party to discuss parliamentary strategy and party policy. Central agency. Government agencies such as the pmo, the pco, the treasury board, and the finance department that have certain coordinating functions across the whole federal public service. Charismatic authority


Code of law A comprehensive set of interrelated legal rules. Coalition government A parliamentary government in which the cabinet is composed of members of more than one party. Coalition An alliance between two or more political units in response to opposing forces.Authority based on the admiration of personal qualities of an individual. Code civil The unique system of civil law used in quebec. Citizenship Legal membership in a community known as a nation-state. legislative and judicial branches of government. Classical liberalism A liberal ideology entailing a minimal role for government in order to maximize individual freedom. and these powers check and balance each other. Coercion A form of power based on forced compliance through fear and intimidation. Collective (public) goods Goods and services enjoyed in common and not divisible among individuals. Checks and balances A system of government in which power is divided between the executive. Collective defence 4 .

Comintern "communist international". Confidence support for the government by the majority of the members of parliament. Confederation A federal system of government in which sovereign constituent governments create a central government but balance of power remains with constituent governments. Communications (mass) media A general term for all modern means of conveying information. Comparative politics An area of political study concerned with the relative similarities and differences of political systems. 5 . also known as the third international. Common law The accumulation of judicial precedents as the basis for court decisions. Cominform "communist information bureau".An alliance among states against external threats. the communist international organization between the two world wars. Communism A political ideology characterized by a belief in eliminating exploitation through public ownership and central planning of the economy. an international communist organization after world war ii. Collective security A commitment by a number of states to join in an alliance against member states that threaten peace.

Constitutionalism The belief that governments will defer to the rules and principles enshrined in a constitution and uphold the rule of law. but not until that majority approves another government (e. Conservatism A political ideology generally characterized by a belief in individualism and minimal government intervention in the economy and society. Consociationalism A form of democracy in which harmony in segmented societies is maintained through the distinctive roles of elites and the autonomy of organized interests. Constructive vote of confidence a system in which the majority in the lower house can bring down the government. Conservationism The attempt to manage natural resources in order to maximize benefits over a long period of time. Contracting out 6 . Constituency A electoral district with a body of electors who vote for a representative in an elected assembly. Constitution The fundamental rules and principles by which a state is organized.consent of the governed People's acceptance of the form of government under which they live. also a belief in the virtue of the status quo and general acceptance of traditional morality.g. In germany).

Crown corporation Corporations owned by the government that assume a structure similar to a private company and that operate semi-independently of the cabinet. Payments for the import of goods). Coup d¶état A forceful and unconstitutional change of government. Payments for the export of goods). Credit Any transaction which brings money into the country (e. 7 . often by a faction within the military or the ruling party. Convention A practice or custom followed in government although not explicitly written in the constitution or in legislation. Customary law Rules of conduct developed over time and enforceable in court.g.The hiring of private organizations to provide public services.g. Current accounts surplus A state selling more to the world than it is buying. Corporatism The organization of liberal democracies in such a way that the state is the dominant force in society and the activities of all interests in society are subordinate to that force. Custom A generally accepted practice or behaviour developed over time. Debit Any transaction which sends money out of the country (e.

which in theory acts in the interests of the people. 8 . Deregulation A government policy designed to remove regulations on market activity.Deep ecology A form of environmentalism holding that nature and the natural order should be valued over individual human happiness. and advises the minister. Democratic centralism The concentration of power in the leadership of the communist party. Deficit Occurs when the value of a state's imports is more than the value of its exports. Delegate A representative role in which the individual subordinates his/her views to those of their constituents. Despotism An individual ruling through fear without regard to law and not answerable to the people. Department of finance The government department that has overall responsibility for the government's finances and its role in the economy. Deputy minister The canadian public servant who heads each government department. Devolution A system of government in which the sovereign central government devolves (delegates) power to regional governments. manages the department.

Diplomacy A system of formal. an appointed individual given exceptional powers in times of crisis. Doxa Greek word for an opinion that may be at least partly true but cannot be fully expounded. 9 . Discretion The flexibility afforded government to decide something within the broader framework of rules. even though it has received royal assent from the lieutenant-governor of the province. under which the cabinet can nullify any provincial law. Direct democracy A system of government based on public decisions made by citizens meeting in an assembly or voting by ballot. Distributive laws Laws designed to distribute public goods and services to individuals in society. Downsizing Reduction of the size and scope of government. regularized communication that allows states to peacefully conduct their business with each other. Dictatorship of the proletariat A revolutionary seizure of power by the "vanguard" of society. the communist party. Disallowance A power given to the federal government in the constitution act. 1867. which then rules in the name of the working class.Dictator In roman law.

15) that prohibits governments from discriminating against certain categories of people. Episteme Greek word for knowledge that can be demonstrated by logical argument from first principles. Elite A small group of people with a disproportionate amount of public decisionmaking power. 10 . Equality rights A section of the charter of rights and freedoms (s. or religious association. national. Ethnic group A group whose common identity is based on racial. Equality of opportunity The equalization of life chances for all individuals in society. regardless of economic position.Electoral college The body which formally chooses the president of the united states. Equality of result The equalization of outcomes of social and economic processes. Empirical Political analysis based on factual and observable data in contrast to thoughts or ideas. Equality of right Application of the law in the same way to all.

political power. Feminism The belief that society is disadvantageous to women. economic opportunity and intellectual recognition. Executive federalism A federal process directed by extensive federal-provincial interaction at the level of first ministers. Federalism A system of government in which sovereignty is divided between a central government and several provincial or state governments.Executive A small group of elected officials who direct the policy process. First international A loose association of socialist parties and labour unions in western europe. and deputy ministers. organized in 1864. and limitations on the state. democracy. Fascism An extreme form of nationalism that played on fears of communism and rejected individual freedom. and oversee the vast array of departments and agencies of government. systematically depriving them of individual choice. 11 . Extractive laws Laws designed to collect taxes from citizens to pay for governing society. Faction An association of individuals organized for the purpose of influencing government actions favourable to their interests. departmental ministers. liberal individualism. now known as interest groups.

Free riders Those who enjoy a collective good without helping to pay for it. A specialized group of individuals. for example interest groups to articulate interests. Free-market environmentalism The view that environmental problems are best solved by property rights and markets. Free vote A legislative vote in which members are not required to toe the party line. Government. Gerrymander Manipulating constituency boundaries for partisan election purposes. Fragment theory A theory (proposed by louishartz) which argues that colonial societies such as canada originated as fragments of the larger european society and that these societies have remained marked throughout their history by the conditions of their origin. Head of government The person in effective charge of the executive branch of government. 12 . institutions and agencies which make and enforce public decisions. the prime minister in a parliamentary system. Functions The special activity or purpose structures serve in the political process.Formal±legal institutions Institutions which are explicitly created by a constitution.

Ideological party A type of political party which emphasizes ideological purity over the attainment of power.Head of state An individual who represents the state but does not exercise political power. Informal institutions Institutions which are an integral part of the political process. Influence A form of power based on the ability to persuade others to share in a desired objective. 13 . Ideology A system of beliefs and values that explains society and prescribes the role of government. Institutional group Groups which are closely associated with the government and act internally to influence public decisions. Initiative The initiation of legislative action on a particular issue by way of a voters' petition. Human rights Rights thought to belong to all people simply because they are human beings. but which are not established by a constitution. Interest (pressure) group Organizations whose members act together to influence public policy in order to promote their common interest.

Interest party A political party with a single interest or purpose. the presentation of a view on the law without representing one of the parties in the litigation. mechanisms and understandings to manage the co-existence and interdependence of states. Intervention In a court case. International order The combination of major actors. 14 . International monetary fund An international organization created to prevent another collapse in the world monetary system through the stabilization of national currencies throughout the world. Judicial committee of the privy council A british court that functioned as canada's final court of appeal until 1949. International law The body of rules governing the relationships of states with each other. rules. such as the green party. International relations An area of political study concerned with the interaction of independent states. International regimes The pattern of regular cooperation governed by implicit and explicit expectations between two or more states. Item veto The power of an american president or state governor to veto particular components of a bill rather than reject the entire legislation.

Justice The virtue of protecting individuals' possessions within the acknowledged rules of conduct. Judiciary The branch of government with the power to resolve legal conflicts that arise between citizens. Laissez-faire The non-intervention of the state in the economy. Law Enforceable rules of conduct. Junta A spanish word meaning a group of individuals forming a government. Jurisprudence The philosophy and analysis of law. Judicial review The power of the courts to declare legislation unconstitutional (ultra vires). Legal positivism A theory holding that law is the command of the sovereign. or between levels of government. Legislature A representative assembly responsible for making laws for society. 15 . especially after a revolution or coup d'etat.Judicial activism The willingness and inclination of judges to overturn legislation or executive action. between citizens and governments.

Logrolling The act of vote-trading among legislators in the process of getting legislation passed. majority rule and constitutionalism. Liberal feminism The advocacy of equal rights between men and women. Legitimacy Belief in the "rightness" of rule. Liberalism A theory of international relations stressing the rule of law. Liberal democracy A system of government characterized by universal adult suffrage. political equality. List system A form of proportional representation in which the elector votes not for individuals but for parties who have lists of candidates running for office. Lobbying An activity of interest groups aimed at influencing governors and the public to achieve a favourable policy decision(s).Legislature The branch of government responsible for making laws for society. Limited state See limited government. 16 . Limited government A state restricted in its exercise of power by the constitution and the rule of law.

Mixed-member-proportional (mpp) 17 .Magna carta (great charter) a document signed by king john in 1215. Mixed economy An economy based on both private and public (government-controlled) enterprises. Ministerial responsibility The principle that cabinet ministers are individually responsible to the house of commons for everything that happens in their department. Merit recruitment A system of hiring public servants on the basis of qualifications rather than on party preference or other considerations. Minority government A parliamentary government in which the government party has less than 50 percent of the seats in the legislature. conceding that the king is subject to law. Microcosm The idea that a governing body should be a miniature replica of the society it represents. Ministry The entire group of mps appointed by the prime minister to specific ministerial responsibilities. Majority government A parliamentary government in which the party in power has over 50 percent of the seats in the legislature.

such as a national liberation movement. Modernization The gradual replacement of traditional authority with legal authority.Electoral system in which voters cast two ballots. Nationalism 18 . one for a local candidate running in a territorial constituency (first-past-the-post) and the other for a list of candidates put forward by a political party (list system). National interest Interests specific to a nation-state. Multiparty system A party system in which there are three or more major contenders for power. Monism Exclusive emphasis on a single principle or interest. Multinational state Three or more nations co-existing under one sovereign government. Multipolar A system of actions involving several states. Movement party A type of political party which emerges from a political movement. Monarchy Form of government in which a single person rules under the law. including especially survival and maintenance of power. Nation Individuals whose common identity creates a psychological bond and a political community.

Nonassociational (latent) group A group which lacks formal organization but has the potential for mobilizing politically. Natural law Rules of conduct binding on humankind by virtue of human rationality alone. but believe in reducing its role via downsizing. which allows federal or provincial legislatures to pass laws that may violate certain sections of the charter. and deregulation.The feeling of loyalty and attachment to one's nation or nation-state. Neoconservatism An ideological term characterizing parties or politicians who not only advocate an end to government expansion. privatization. New international economic order A revision of the international economic system in favour of third world countries. and strong support for its interests. Normative Political analysis based on values. Nation-state A state with a single predominant national identity. Natural authority Authority based on spontaneous deference to an individual's knowledge or social position. 19 . commitments and ideas. Notwithstanding clause Section 33 of the charter of rights and freedoms.

Peace-building A process for working towards objectives associated with peaceful coexistence of combatants. Patriarchy The domination of society by men. as predetermined in the party caucus and enforced by the party whip. given a special role to play in the legislative process. Ombudsman. Opposition Those members of parliament who are not part of the government of the day. Order-in-council Decision by cabinet which carries legal force. Oligarchy A form of government in which a minority rules outside the law. An official with the power to investigate complaints against government administration.Official opposition In a parliamentary system. Peacekeeping 20 . the largest of the opposition parties. One-party-dominant system A party system in which there are political alternatives but a single political party dominates the political process as a result of the overwhelming support of the electorate. Parliamentary sovereignty The supreme authority of parliament to make or repeal laws. Party discipline The convention that all mps within any party vote together.

Permanent secretary The british equivalent of a canadian deputy minister. Personal party A type of political party founded by a single.The interposition of lightly armed military forces between combatants who have agreed to stop fighting. Philosopher±king Plato's view of the ideal individual who rules in the common interest and is directed by wisdom and virtue rather than the constraint of law. Pluralism The open competition of political interests. overwhelmingly influential political leader. 21 . Plebiscite Another term for an advisory referendum. Personal freedom The absence of coercion in various aspects of life. Policy community The network of individuals and organizations deeply involved in a particular area of public policy. Plurality A voting decision based on assigning victory to the largest number of votes. not necessarily a majority. Planning Production and allocation of resources determined by a central authority.

Political process The interaction of organized political structures in making and administering public decisions for a society. 22 . Political patronage Government appointments made as a payoff for loyal partisan activity. reflective and conceptual methods. Political alienation The sense of estrangement from political power. and orientations that individuals in a society hold regarding their political system. Political party An organized group that makes nominations and contests elections in the hope of influencing the personnel and policy of government. values. Political economy The study of the involvement by the state in the economy of the nation-state. Political philosophy An area of political study based on historical. beliefs. Political police Forces reporting directly to a political leader who uses them for political purposes rather than law enforcement.Polis Greek city-state. Political consultant A professional advisor who puts his/her political expertise to work in the private and public sectors. Political culture Attitudes.

Popular sovereignty Supreme authority residing in the consent of the people. Power The ability to get other individuals to do as one wants them to do. Politics A process of conflict resolution in which support is mobilized and maintained for collective action. Polyarchy Robert dahl's term for pluralist forms of liberal democracy. in which there is competition between many different interests. 23 . Portfolio The administrative responsibility carried by a minister.Political socialization The process by which political culture is transmitted from generation to generation. usually some combinations of departments and other agencies. Post-materialism The shift in values since the late 1940s from public order and material prosperity to self-fulfilment. Polity A form of government characterized by popular sovereignty but exercised within a constitutional framework to prevent the oppression of the minority by the majority rule. Pragmatic party A type of political party concerned primarily with winning elections.

Precedent A previous judicial case used as an example for deciding the case at hand. Preferential (alternative) ballot Electoral system in which voters rank the candidates. Prerogative The residual powers of the crown that can be exercised at its own discretion. Prime minister¶s office Support staff appointed by the prime minister to carry out political functions. Priming The selective portrayal of political events and personalities by the media which in turn affects public opinion. Primus inter pares Latin phrase meaning "first among equals." private law Laws controlling relations between individuals. Private member's bill Public bills introduced in the legislature by members who are not in the cabinet. Privatization The sale of government-owned assets or activities to the private sector. Privy council A ceremonial body made up of all present and former cabinet ministers. Privy council office A governmental department that supports the prime minister, cabinet, and cabinet committees in devising government policy.


Proclamation The announcement of the official date a new law will take effect. Progressive tax A tax rate which increases as the amount of one's income increases. Proletariat A marxist term referring to those who sell their labour to the bourgeoisie; the working class. Property franchise (suffrage) The requirement that citizens own a stipulated amount of property to receive the right to vote. Proportional representation (pr) An electoral system in which the share of seats won closely matches the share of popular votes received. Provincial courts Courts created by provincial statute, staffed by judges appointed by the province to deal with matters such as small claims and minor criminal offences. Public authority Authority based on institutional office-holding. Public debt The accumulated sum owed by the government to its creditors. Public law Laws controlling the relations between the state and individuals in society. Qualified majority The raising of the simple majority requirement of "50 percent plus one" to a higher level, in order to protect the rights of the minority.


Race A group of individuals differentiated through distinct physical characteristics and common ancestry. Radical feminism A belief that men and women constitute "sexual classes" and that women's subordinated status is the result of a system which is controlled by men. Readings First, second and third readings representing the introduction and debate of proposed bills in the legislative chambers. Realism A theory of international relations holding that struggles are resolved on the basis of power of conflicting parties. Recall The ability of voters in a constituency to remove their elected representative from office by means of a petition. Red tory A conservative with collectivist leanings. Redistribution The process of reallocating wealth and income to achieve an economic or social objective. Referendum A decision on policy proposals by a direct vote of the electorate. Reform liberalism A liberal ideology which advocates a larger role for the state in providing equality of opportunity.


e. Representative democracy A system of government based on the election of decision-makers by the people. Residual powers Those powers in a federal system of government not explicitly allocated in a constitution. The canadian human rights commission.Regressive tax A tax that weights more heavily on low incomes. and it must resign or call an election if and when it is defeated on a vote of nonconfidence. Responsible government A form of government in which the political executive must retain the confidence of a majority of the elected legislature or assembly. 27 . Regulatory agency Government agencies established to administer regulative laws in certain fields. of individuals and governments. Royal assent The approval of a bill by the crown. are subject to an institutionalized set of rules and regulations.g. Rule of law Belief that all actions. Report stage The stage in the legislative process after the second reading when the house debates the committee's report on a proposed bill. Regulative laws Laws that control individual and organizational behaviour.

28 . Single-member-plurality system (smp) An electoral system in which the candidate with the most votes wins. established in 1889. Scientific socialism The term marx and engels used to stress that their ideology was based on analysis of class conflict.Runoff system An electoral system in which additional rounds of balloting are held (with trailing candidates dropped) until a candidate receives a majority of the votes cast. Single-party system A party system in which there exists only one party and no political alternatives are legally tolerated. and judicial branches of government. even though that win may not represent 51% of the votes. Separation of powers The separation of powers between executive. with the absence of anarchists. The right of members of a group to control their own collective affairs. Selfgovernment. Security dilemma The spiral of preparations and tensions which emerge when the protective actions of one state lead to countermeasures by another state. Shadow cabinet The cohesive group of specialized critics in the official opposition party. legislative. Second international The reunion of socialist and labour parties in europe.

the political executive is entitled to appoint large numbers of supporters to the bureaucracy. but they do so by ranking the candidates in their order of choice.Single transferable vote (stv) A form of proportional representation in which electors vote for individuals rather than party lists. and public ownership. Special (ad hoc) committee Legislative committees appointed for special. regulation. after successfully winning an election. Socialism A leftist political ideology that emphasizes the principle of equality and usually prescribes a large role for government to intervene in society and the economy via taxation. political pluralism. peaceful change. Spoils system The assumption that. temporary purposes. 29 . redistribution. Society A self-sufficient group of individuals living together under common rules of conduct. Social justice The partial equalization of wealth and income to reach a more desirable outcome. Sovereign The highest or supreme political authority. such as to investigate a problem before the government prepares legislation on the subject. and constitutional government. Social democrats Socialists emphasizing popular consent.

the basis of the common law system. An approach to international relations positing the sovereign state as the focus for understanding the nature and workings of the international system. State Combination of people. especially in the economic system. Structuralism A theory of international relations stressing the impact of world economic structures on the political. Stare decisis The legal principle that precedents are binding on similar subsequent cases. and sovereign government. State-centric. social. cultural and economic life of countries.Spontaneous order The pattern of mutual coordination that emerges as individuals pursue their own interests in society. Stateless society A society without a sovereign government. 30 . Statute A specific piece of legislation. Statism The heavy intervention of the state in societal affairs. territory. Standing committee Legislative committees that are set up permanently and parallel government functions.

Totalitarianism A modern form of despotic rule in which the state undertakes to remake society according to an ideological design. Syndicalism A variation of socialism in which the workers own or control the factory or workplace. 31 . Suffragism A political movement by women to obtain the right to vote in an election. Symbolic laws Laws designed to create special meaning for society. Treasury board A cabinet committee and government department whose primary responsibility is to oversee government spending. such as the adoption of a national anthem. staffed by judges appointed by the federal government. established in 1921. Third international The political organization in which the official ideology was marxist-leninism or communism. Traditional authority Authority based on birthright and custom. courts organized by provincial statute.Subjects Members of a society who are not involved in the political process of that society. Superior courts in canada.

Tyranny A form of government in which one person rules arbitrarily. Literally. Ultra vires Term used to describe an action which exceeds the conferred constitutional powers of the actor. Trustee A representative who acts independently in deciding what is in the best interests of his or her constituents. Unwritten constitution An uncodified constitution established through traditional practice. Typology A broad classification scheme of governmental systems.Tribe A community of people tied together by a myth of common ancestry. Two-party-plus system A party system in which there are two major contenders for power of approximately equal strength plus one or more minor parties able to win seats but not to control the government. "beyond the power. 32 . Two-party system A party system in which there are two credible contenders for power and either is capable of winning any election." unitary system A system of government in which a single sovereign government rules the country.

Violence The utilization of physical force or power as a means of achieving ends. Zionism Jewish nationalist movement advocating establishment of a jewish nationstate. World trade organization An international organization created to provide the ground rules for international trade and commerce.Utopian socialism Early-nineteenth century socialism based on a universal appeal to reason. White house staff Special advisors to the president. Veto The authorized power of a president to reject legislation passed by congress. 33 . part of the executive office and similar to the canadian prime minister's office. Vote of censure A motion of nonconfidence requiring the prime minister and the cabinet to resign. Welfare state The provision for redistributive benefits such as education and health services by the state. Wilderness preservationism A form of environmentalism positing the intrinsic importance of wilderness for humankind.

PART ±II LEGAL TERMS Acquittal A jury verdict that a criminal defendant is not guilty. under the direction and supervision of the judicial conference of the united states. and performing many other administrative and programmatic functions. Adversary proceeding A lawsuit arising in or related to a bankruptcy case that begins by filing a complaint with the court. Admissible A term used to describe evidence that may be considered by a jury or judge in civil and criminal cases. it means that the court of appeals has concluded that the lower court decision is correct and will stand as rendered by the lower court. or the finding of a judge that the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction. a "trial" that takes place within the context of a bankruptcy case. Administrative office of the united states courts (ao) The federal agency responsible for collecting court statistics. Affidavit A written or printed statement made under oath. Active judge A judge in the full-time service of the court. Compare to senior judge. 34 . administering the federal courts' budget. Affirmed In the practice of the court of appeals. that is.

the case. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." Appellant The party who appeals a district court's decision." it is advice formally offered to the court in a brief filed by an entity interested in. 35 . Appellate About appeals. but not a party to. articulating the grounds for defense. Most forms of adr are not binding. the Afghan circuit courts of appeals review the decisions of the Afghan district courts. Appeal A request made after a trial by a party that has lost on one or more issues that a higher court review the decision to determine if it was correct." one who appeals is called the "appellant. usually seeking reversal of that decision.Alternate juror A juror selected in the same manner as a regular juror who hears all the evidence but does not help decide the case unless called on to replace a regular juror. Amicus curiae Latin for "friend of the court. For example. an appellate court has the power to review the judgment of a lower court (trial court) or tribunal." the other party is the "appellee. Answer The formal written statement by a defendant in a civil case that responds to a complaint. and involve referral of the case to a neutral party such as an arbitrator or mediator. Alternative dispute resolution (adr) A procedure for settling a dispute outside the courtroom.

told of the charges in an indictment or information. under specified conditions designed to assure that person's appearance in court when required. Bankruptcy A legal procedure for dealing with debt problems of individuals and businesses. Assume An agreement to continue performing duties under a contract or lease. Also can refer to the amount of bond money posted as a financial condition of pretrial release. Arraignment A proceeding in which a criminal defendant is brought into court. including real and personal. garnishments. Bankruptcy administrator 36 . foreclosures. prior to trial. Automatic stay An injunction that automatically stops lawsuits.Appellee The party who opposes an appellant's appeal. and most collection activities against the debtor the moment a bankruptcy petition is filed. of a person accused of a crime. tangible and intangible. and asked to plead guilty or not guilty. Assets Property of all kinds. Bail The release. and who seeks to persuade the appeals court to affirm the district court's decision.

) Bench trial A trial without a jury. a unit of the district court. The estate technically becomes the temporary legal owner of all of the debtor's property. Bankruptcy judge A judicial officer of the united states district court who is the court official with decision-making power over federal bankruptcy cases. estates. (there is an official form for bankruptcy petitions. is responsible for supervising the administration of bankruptcy cases. monitoring creditors' committees. in which the judge serves as the fact-finder. Burden of proof 37 . Brief A written statement submitted in a trial or appellate proceeding that explains one side's legal and factual arguments. Bankruptcy petition A formal request for the protection of the federal bankruptcy laws. monitoring plans and disclosure statements. and trustees. Bankruptcy court The bankruptcy judges in regular active service in each district. monitoring fee applications. like the united states trustee. Bankruptcy estate All interests of the debtor in property at the time of the bankruptcy filing. and performing other statutory duties.An officer of the judiciary serving in the judicial districts of alabama and north carolina who.

Capital offense A crime punishable by death. Case law The law as established in previous court decisions.The duty to prove disputed facts. Case file A complete collection of every document filed in court in a case.) Business bankruptcy A bankruptcy case in which the debtor is a business or an individual involved in business and the debts are for business purposes. Akin to common law. (see standard of proof. Cause of action A legal claim. Chief judge The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court. A synonym for legal precedent. a plaintiff generally has the burden of proving his or her case. Claim 38 . In civil cases. which springs from tradition and judicial decisions. chief judges are determined by seniority. the government has the burden of proving the defendant's guilt. The chapter of the bankruptcy code dealing with cases of cross-border insolvency. Caseload The number of cases handled by a judge or a court. Chambers The offices of a judge and his or her staff. In criminal cases.

Example: two five-year sentences and one three-year 39 . Clerk of court The court officer who oversees administrative functions. Community service A special condition the court imposes that requires an individual to work ± without pay ± for a civic or nonprofit organization. rather than one after the other. in which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant. Common law principles can be changed by legislation. of individuals or other entities sue on behalf of the entire class. Collateral Property that is promised as security for the satisfaction of a debt.A creditor's assertion of a right to payment from a debtor or the debtor's property. The district court must find that the claims of the class members contain questions of law or fact in common before the lawsuit can proceed as a class action. Common law The legal system that originated in england and is now in use in the united states. The clerk's office is often called a court's central nervous system. or class. which relies on the articulation of legal principles in a historical succession of judicial decisions. Class action A lawsuit in which one or more members of a large group. Concurrent sentence Prison terms for two or more offenses to be served at the same time. Complaint A written statement that begins a civil lawsuit. especially managing the flow of cases through the court.

Example: two five-year sentences and one three-year sentence. Contingent claim A claim that may be owed by the debtor under certain circumstances. Consumer debts Debts incurred for personal. if served consecutively. as opposed to business. 40 .g. a term also used to refer to the lawyers in a case. where the debtor is a cosigner on another person's loan and that person fails to pay. Consecutive sentence Prison terms for two or more offenses to be served one after the other. Counsel Legal advice. result in a maximum of 13 years behind bars.. needs. Conviction A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant. Contract An agreement between two or more people that creates an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing. Confirmation Approval of a plan of reorganization by a bankruptcy judge. Consumer bankruptcy A bankruptcy case filed to reduce or eliminate debts that are primarily consumer debts. e. if served concurrently.sentence. result in a maximum of five years behind bars.

" Court reporter A person who makes a word-for-word record of what is said in court. Count An allegation in an indictment or information. Defendant An individual (or business) against whom a lawsuit is filed. 41 . Creditor A person to whom or business to which the debtor owes money or that claims to be owed money by the debtor. generally by using a stenographic machine.Court Government entity authorized to resolve legal disputes. Debtor A person who has filed a petition for relief under the bankruptcy code. charging a defendant with a crime. and then produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request. Damages may be compensatory (for loss or injury) or punitive (to punish and deter future misconduct). Debtor's plan A debtor's detailed description of how the debtor proposes to pay creditors' claims over a fixed period of time. as in "the court has read the briefs. Each allegation is referred to as a count. Damages Money that a defendant pays a plaintiff in a civil case if the plaintiff has won. Judges sometimes use "court" to refer to themselves in the third person. An indictment or information may contain allegations that the defendant committed more than one crime. shorthand or audio recording.

For example.Declaratory judgment A judge's statement about someone's rights. a plaintiff may seek a declaratory judgment that a particular statute. Notable exceptions to dischargeability are taxes and student loans. Deposition An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Default judgment A judgment awarding a plaintiff the relief sought in the complaint because the defendant has failed to appear in court or otherwise respond to the complaint. meaning "in law." something that exists by operation of law. A discharge releases a debtor from personal liability for certain debts known as 42 . Appellate review de novo implies no deference to the trial judge's ruling. De jure Latin. in a criminal case. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses. or to be used later in trial. Defendant In a civil case. to obtain discovery. as written. violates some constitutional right. the person or organization against whom the plaintiff brings suit. meaning "in fact" or "actually. De novo Latin. See discovery. Discharge A release of a debtor from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts. meaning "anew. De facto Latin." a trial de novo is a completely new trial. the person accused of the crime." something that exists in fact but not as a matter of law.

letters. and personal contact. The discharge also prohibits creditors from communicating with the debtor regarding the debt. Dismissal without prejudice Court action that allows the later filing.dischargeable debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any action against the debtor or the debtor's property to collect the debts. Disclosure statement A written document prepared by the debtor or other plan proponent that is designed to provide "adequate information" to creditors to enable them to evaluate the plan of reorganization. Disposable income Income not reasonably necessary for the maintenance or support of the debtor or dependents. Discovery Procedures used to obtain disclosure of evidence before trial. Dischargeable debt A debt for which the bankruptcy code allows the debtor's personal liability to be eliminated. Docket A log containing the complete history of each case in the form of brief chronological entries summarizing the court proceedings. disposable income is defined as those amounts over and above what is necessary for the payment of ordinary operating expenses. including through telephone calls. Dismissal with prejudice Court action that prevents an identical lawsuit from being filed later. Due process 43 . If the debtor operates a business.

A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something (e. the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy (see damages)." all judges of an appellate court sitting together to hear a case. In the ninth circuit.. 44 . (example: if a house valued at $60.) Evidence Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case in favor of one side or the other.g. Equitable Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law. En banc French. meaning "on the bench.000 mortgage. In civil law. an en banc panel consists of 11 randomly selected judges. there is $30. but the distinction is still an important one.000 of equity. the legal rights of someone who confronts an adverse action threatening liberty or property. For example.000 is subject to a $30. the federal courts have both legal and equitable power. Equity The value of a debtor's interest in property that remains after liens and other creditors' interests are considered. a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. the constitutional guarantee that a defendant will receive a fair and impartial trial. as opposed to the routine disposition by panels of three judges. In american jurisprudence. injunction).In criminal law." in english legal history. Exclusionary rule Doctrine that says evidence obtained in violation of a criminal defendant's constitutional or statutory rights is not admissible at trial.

If a contract or lease is executory. Ex parte A proceeding brought before a court by one party only. without notice to or challenge by the other side.. Exempt assets Property that a debtor is allowed to retain. or some or all "tools of the trade" used by the debtor to make a living (i. a debtor may assume it (keep the contract) or reject it (terminate the contract). Executory contracts Contracts or leases under which both parties to the agreement have duties remaining to be performed. in some states the debtor may be able to exempt all or a portion of the equity in the debtor's primary residence (homestead exemption). Face sheet filing A bankruptcy case filed either without schedules or with incomplete schedules listing few creditors and debts.Exculpatory evidence Evidence indicating that a defendant did not commit the crime. Exemptions. exempt property Certain property owned by an individual debtor that the bankruptcy code or applicable state law permits the debtor to keep from unsecured creditors. auto tools for an auto mechanic or dental tools for a dentist).) 45 .e. The availability and amount of property the debtor may exempt depends on the state the debtor lives in. For example. free from the claims of creditors who do not have liens on the property. (face sheet filings are often made for the purpose of delaying an eviction or foreclosure.

usually punishable by at least one year in prison.. The judiciary administers the federal defender program pursuant to the criminal justice act.Family farmer An individual. Fresh start The characterization of a debtor's status after bankruptcy.e. Felony A serious crime. Each organization is supervised by a federal public defender appointed by the court of appeals for the circuit. i. Federal public defender An attorney employed by the federal courts on a full-time basis to provide legal defense to defendants who are unable to afford counsel. an organization established within a federal judicial circuit to represent criminal defendants who cannot afford an adequate defense. Fraudulent transfer A transfer of a debtor's property made with intent to defraud or for which the debtor receives less than the transferred property's value. individual and spouse. corporation. or partnership engaged in a farming operation that meets certain debt limits and other statutory criteria for filing a petition.) 46 . Federal public defender organization As provided for in the criminal justice act. free of most debts. File To place a paper in the official custody of the clerk of court to enter into the files or records of a case. (giving debtors a fresh start is one purpose of the bankruptcy code.

Hearsay Evidence presented by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but heard about it from someone else. who are then tried by the senate. hearsay generally is not admissible as evidence at trial." a writ of habeas corpus generally is a judicial order forcing law enforcement authorities to produce a prisoner they are holding. 47 . which is presented by the prosecutors." 2. Habeas corpus Latin.Grand jury A body of 16-23 citizens who listen to evidence of criminal allegations. With some exceptions. Federal judges receive petitions for a writ of habeas corpus from state prison inmates who say their state prosecutions violated federally protected rights in some way. Impeachment The process of calling a witness's testimony into doubt. Home confinement A special condition the court imposes that requires an individual to remain at home except for certain approved activities such as work and medical appointments. if the attorney can show that the witness may have fabricated portions of his testimony. Home confinement may include the use of electronic monitoring equipment ± a transmitter attached to the wrist or the ankle ± to help ensure that the person stays at home as required. For example. the witness is said to be "impeached. and determine whether there is probable cause to believe an individual committed an offense. meaning "you have the body. The constitutional process whereby the house of representatives may "impeach" (accuse of misconduct) high officers of the federal government. and to justify the prisoner's continued confinement.

Inculpatory evidence Evidence indicating that a defendant did commit the crime. officer. In private. director. Often means outside the presence of a jury and the public. Injunction A court order preventing one or more named parties from taking some action. officer. or person in control of the debtor.In camera Latin. Indictment The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial. See also indictment. Insider (of corporate debtor) A director. meaning in a judge's chambers. or person in control of the debtor. or a relative of a general partner. it is used primarily for felonies." permission given by the court to a person to file a case without payment of the required court fees because the person cannot pay them. In forma pauperis "in the manner of a pauper. so a judge can determine whether a permanent injunction is justified. a partnership in which the debtor is a general partner. See also information. a general partner of the debtor. A preliminary injunction often is issued to allow fact-finding. Insider (of individual debtor) 48 . Information A formal accusation by a government attorney that the defendant committed a misdemeanor.

Judge An official of the judicial branch with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts. Joint administration A court-approved mechanism under which two or more cases can be administered together. or corporation of which the debtor is a director. Used generically. Judgeship The position of judge. these separate businesses or individuals can pool their resources. (assuming no conflicts of interest. hire the same professionals. To send out officially. the term judge may also refer to all judicial officers. as in a court issuing an order. Interrogatories A form of discovery consisting of written questions to be answered in writing and under oath. officer. partnership inwhich the debtor is a general partner. Issue The disputed point between parties in a lawsuit. or person in control.) Joint petition One bankruptcy petition filed by a husband and wife together. By statute. congress authorizes the number of judgeships for each district and appellate court. Judgment 49 .Any relative of the debtor or of a general partner of the debtor. including supreme court justices. etc. general partner of the debtor. 2.

meaning the geographic area over which the court has territorial jurisdiction to decide cases. Jury The group of persons selected to hear the evidence in a trial and render a verdict on matters of fact. It also is used as a synonym for venue. A 27-judge body whose presiding officer is the chief justice of the united states. Lien A charge on specific property that is designed to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation.The official decision of a court finally resolving the dispute between the parties to the lawsuit. Lawsuit A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty which resulted in harm to the plaintiff. Judicial conference of the united states The policy-making entity for the federal court system. A debtor may still be responsible for a lien after a discharge. Jurisprudence The study of law and the structure of the legal system. Jury instructions A judge's directions to the jury before it begins deliberations regarding the factual questions it must answer and the legal rules that it must apply. Litigation 50 . See also grand jury. Jurisdiction The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a certain type of case.

Magistrate judge A judicial officer of a district court who conducts initial proceedings in criminal cases. Moot Not subject to a court ruling because the controversy has not actually arisen. or has ended. Liquidated claim A creditor's claim for a fixed amount of money. or lawsuit. When a mistrial is declared. controversy. caused by fundamental error. Mental health treatment Special condition the court imposes to require an individual to undergo evaluation and treatment for a mental disorder. psychological. Misdemeanor An offense punishable by one year of imprisonment or less. conducts many pretrial civil and criminal matters on behalf of district judges. and sex offense-specific evaluations. inpatient or outpatient counseling. Treatment may include psychiatric. 51 . Mistrial An invalid trial. decides criminal misdemeanor cases. and decides civil cases with the consent of the parties. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants. and medication. Liquidation The sale of a debtor's property with the proceeds to be used for the benefit of creditors. See also felony. the trial must start again with the selection of a new jury.A case.

debts arising from death or personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose. Nolo contendere No contest. No-asset case A case in which there are no assets available to satisfy any portion of the creditors' unsecured claims. Nondischargeable debt A debt that cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy. evidence on matters said to be so highly prejudicial that no steps taken by the judge can prevent the jury from being unduly influenced. as far as the criminal sentence is concerned. and debts for restitution or a criminal fine included in a sentence on the debtor's conviction of a crime. debts for alimony or child support. or even referring to. debts for most government funded or guaranteed educational loans or benefit overpayments. Motion in limine A pretrial motion requesting the court to prohibit the other side from presenting. 52 . Motion to lift the automatic stay A request by a creditor to allow the creditor to take action against the debtor or the debtor's property that would otherwise be prohibited by the automatic stay. certain taxes. Examples include a home mortgage.Motion A request by a litigant to a judge for a decision on an issue relating to the case. A plea of nolo contendere has the same effect as a plea of guilty.

Nonexempt assets Property of a debtor that can be liquidated to satisfy claims of creditors. A dissenting opinion disagrees with the majority opinion because of the reasoning and/or the principles of law the majority used to decide the case. The judges who did not agree with the majority may write separately in dissenting or concurring opinions to present their views. such as debts for money or property obtained by false pretenses and debts for fraud or defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity may be declared nondischargeable only if a creditor timely files and prevails in a nondischargeability action. the formal decision will be based upon the view of the majority. If all the judges completely agree on the result. Objection to exemptions A trustee's or creditor's objection to the debtor's attempt to claim certain property as exempt from liquidation by the trustee to creditors. Opinion A judge's written explanation of the decision of the court. but offers further comment or clarification or even an entirely different reason for reaching the same result.Some debts. the opinion in appellate decisions can take several forms. Objection to dischargeability A trustee's or creditor's objection to the debtor being released from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts. Because a case may be heard by three or more judges in the court of appeals. If all the judges do not agree. and one member of the majority will write the opinion. Common reasons include allegations that the debt to be discharged was incurred by false pretenses or that debt arose because of the debtor's fraud while acting as a fiduciary. Only the 53 . A concurring opinion agrees with the decision of the majority opinion. one judge will write the opinion for all.

Panel In appellate cases. In the jury selection process. and creditors are parties in interest for most matters. Petition preparer A business not authorized to practice law that prepares bankruptcy petitions. 2. See also precedent. When the parolee is released to the community. Peremptory challenge 54 . Per curiam Latin. Parole The release of a prison inmate ± granted by the Afghan parole commission ± after the inmate has completed part of his or her sentence in a federal prison. 3." in appellate courts. Oral argument An opportunity for lawyers to summarize their position before the court and also to answer the judges' questions. often refers to an unsigned opinion. a group of judges (usually three) assigned to decide the case. The debtor. the group of potential jurors. case trustee. meaning "for the court. Party in interest A party who has standing to be heard by the court in a matter to be decided in the bankruptcy case. The list of attorneys who are both available and qualified to serve as court-appointed counsel for criminal defendants who cannot afford their own counsel. he or she is placed under the supervision of aAfghan probation officer.majority opinion can serve as binding precedent in future cases. Afghan trustee or bankruptcy administrator.

Federal civil juries consist of at least six persons.A district court may grant each side in a civil or criminal trial the right to exclude a certain number of prospective jurors without cause or giving a reason. Federal criminal juries consist of 12 persons. Petit jury (or trial jury) A group of citizens who hear the evidence presented by both sides at trial and determine the facts in dispute. and estimated amount of assets and liabilities. the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges. Petition The document that initiates the filing of a bankruptcy proceeding. chapter under which the case is filed. address. setting forth basic information regarding the debtor. Petty offense A federal misdemeanor punishable by six months or less in prison. including name. See also nolo contendere. Plea In a criminal case. Pleadings Written statements filed with the court that describe a party's legal or factual assertions about the case. Plaintiff A person or business that files a formal complaint with the court. Plan A debtor's detailed description of how the debtor proposes to pay creditors' claims over a fixed period of time. Postpetition transfer 55 .

summarizing for the court the background information needed to determine the appropriate sentence. the judge and the parties also discuss the possibility of settlement of the case. A judge will disregard precedent if a party can show that the earlier case was wrongly decided. to review proposed evidence and witnesses. to discuss which matters should be presented to the jury.) Precedent A court decision in an earlier case with facts and legal issues similar to a dispute currently before a court. after a person has been convicted of an offense. Presentence report A report prepared by a court's probation officer. Judges will generally "follow precedent" meaning that they use the principles established in earlier cases to decide new cases that have similar facts and raise similar legal issues. Preferential debt payment A debt payment made to a creditor in the 90-day period before a debtor files bankruptcy (or within one year if the creditor was an insider) that gives the creditor more than the creditor would receive in the debtor's case. Typically. (prebankruptcy planning typically includes converting nonexempt assets into exempt assets. Prebankruptcy planning The arrangement (or rearrangement) of a debtor's property to allow the debtor to take maximum advantage of exemptions. 56 . or that it differed in some significant way from the current case. Pretrial conference A meeting of the judge and lawyers to plan the trial.A transfer of the debtor's property made after the commencement of the case. and to set a trial schedule.

a pretrial services officer supervises the person in the community until he or she returns to court. Probation officer Officers of the probation office of a court. preparing presentence reports on convicted defendants. the court releases the person to the community and orders him or her to complete a period of supervision monitored by aAfghan probation officer and to abide by certain conditions. Probation officer duties include conducting presentence investigations. Priority claim An unsecured claim that is entitled to be paid ahead of other unsecured claims that are not entitled to priority status. If the court orders release. Priority The bankruptcy code's statutory ranking of unsecured claims that determines the order in which unsecured claims will be paid if there is not enough money to pay all unsecured claims in full.Pretrial services A function of the federal courts that takes place at the very start of the criminal justice process ± after a person has been arrested and charged with a federal crime and before he or she goes to trial. Probation Sentencing option in the federal courts. The decision is based on whether these individuals are likely to flee or pose a threat to the community. Procedure 57 . and supervising released defendants. With probation. instead of sending an individual to prison. Pretrial services officers focus on investigating the backgrounds of these persons to help the court determine whether to release or detain them while they await trial. Priority refers to the order in which these unsecured claims are to be paid.

The rules for conducting a lawsuit. usually for the purpose of keeping collateral or mortgaged property that would otherwise be subject to repossession." Property of the estate All legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property as of the commencement of the case. criminal procedure. and exhibits submitted in the course of the case. evidence. and appellate procedure. which typically sets forth the amount of money owed. It is a corruption of the latin phrase "in propria persona. Pro se Representing oneself.) Pro per A slang expression sometimes used to refer to a pro se litigant. Prosecute To charge someone with a crime. 58 . Record A written account of the proceedings in a case. including all pleadings. Proof of claim A written statement describing the reason a debtor owes a creditor money. bankruptcy. Serving as one's own lawyer. Reaffirmation agreement An agreement by a debtor to continue paying a dischargeable debt after the bankruptcy. evidence. (there is an official form for this purpose. there are rules of civil procedure. Pro tem Temporary. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.

Secured debt Debt backed by a mortgage. after attaining the requisite age and length of judicial experience. Schedules Lists submitted by the debtor along with the petition (or shortly thereafter) showing the debtor's assets.) Secured creditor A secured creditor is an individual or business that holds a claim against the debtor that is secured by a lien on property of the estate. and other financial information. Examples include home mortgages. pledge of collateral.Redemption A procedure in a case whereby a debtor removes a secured creditor's lien on collateral by paying the creditor the value of the property. Remand Send back. (there are official forms a debtor must use. The property subject to the lien is the secured creditor's collateral. Sanction A penalty or other type of enforcement used to bring about compliance with the law or with rules and regulations. liabilities. The debtor may then retain the property. Senior judge A federal judge who. auto loans and tax liens. debt for which the creditor has the right to pursue specific pledged property upon default. or other lien. Reverse The act of a court setting aside the decision of a lower court. A reversal is often accompanied by a remand to the lower court for further proceedings. thus creating a vacancy among a court's active 59 . takes senior status.

but usually do not include the admission of fault. A senior judge retains the judicial office and may cut back his or her workload by as much as 75 percent. Statement of financial affairs 60 . but many opt to keep a larger caseload. Sequester To separate. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in at least partial satisfaction of the other party's claims. Settlement Parties to a lawsuit resolve their dispute without having a trial. Service of process The delivery of writs or summonses to the appropriate party. The bankruptcy code contains certain provisions designed to reduce the time a small business debtor is in bankruptcy. Sentencing guidelines A set of rules and principles established by the united states sentencing commission that trial judges use to determine the sentence for a convicted defendant.judges. Small business case A special type of case in which there is no creditors' committee (or the creditors' committee is deemed inactive by the court) and in which the debtor is subject to more oversight by the Afghan trustee than other debtors. Sometimes juries are sequestered from outside influences during their deliberations. Sentence The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime.

(there is an official form a debtor must use. but in some the standard is higher and requires "clear and convincing" proof. etc. transfers of property. issued under a court's authority. In criminal cases. Subordination The act or process by which a person's rights or claims are ranked below those of others. The deadline can vary. prosecutors must prove a defendant's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt. Sua sponte Latin. Statute of limitations The time within which a lawsuit must be filed or a criminal prosecution begun. Subpoena A command. Standard of proof Degree of proof required. meaning "of its own will.A series of questions the debtor must answer in writing concerning sources of income.) Statement of intention A declaration made by a debtor concerning plans for dealing with consumer debts that are secured by property of the estate." often refers to a court taking an action in a case without being asked to do so by either side." the majority of civil lawsuits require proof "by a preponderance of the evidence" (50 percent plus). Subpoena duces tecum 61 . lawsuits by creditors. to a witness to appear and give testimony. depending on the type of civil case or the crime charged. Statute A law passed by a legislature.

A command to a witness to appear and produce documents. It is used when it is not necessary to resolve any factual disputes in the case. supervised release does not replace a portion of the sentence of imprisonment but is in addition to the time spent in prison. or alcohol. prescription drugs. Summary judgment is granted when ± on the undisputed facts in the record ± one party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Supervised release Term of supervision served after a person is released from prison.) Summary judgment A decision made on the basis of statements and evidence presented for the record without a trial. the debtor can pay its debts. Substantive consolidation Putting the assets and liabilities of two or more related debtors into a single pool to pay creditors. Afghan probation officers supervise people on supervised release. The court imposes supervised release during sentencing in addition to the sentence of imprisonment. (courts are reluctant to allow substantive consolidation since the action must not only justify the benefit that one set of creditors receives. Unlike parole. but also the harm that other creditors suffer as a result. Substantial abuse The characterization of a bankruptcy case filed by an individual whose debts are primarily consumer debts where the court finds that the granting of relief would be an abuse. Treatment may include inpatient or outpatient counseling and detoxification. Substance abuse treatment A special condition the court imposes that requires an individual to undergo testing and treatment for abuse of illegal drugs. for example. 62 .

not criminal. Transfer Any mode or means by which a debtor disposes of or parts with his/her property. Often referred to as a tro. either in a proceeding such as a trial. 63 . it is a judge's short-term order forbidding certain actions until a full hearing can be conducted. under the general supervision of the court and the direct supervision of the Afghan trustee or bankruptcy administrator. wrong. Typing service A business not authorized to practice law that prepares bankruptcy petitions. Testimony Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries. Toll See statute of limitations. Tort A civil.Temporary restraining order Akin to a preliminary injunction. principally for the benefit of the unsecured creditors. Trustee The representative of the bankruptcy estate who exercises statutory powers. word-for-word record of what was said. Transcript A written. with the exception of breach of contract. such as a hearing or oral deposition. or during some other formal conversation. A negligent or intentional injury against a person or property.

The Afghan. Undersecured claim A debt secured by property that is worth less than the amount of the debt. estates. (2) there are indications that the state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period. Undue hardship The most widely used test for evaluating undue hardship in the dischargeability of a student loan includes three conditions: (1) the debtor cannot maintain ± based on current income and expenses ± a minimal standard of living if forced to repay the loans. Unliquidated claim A claim for which a specific value has not been determined. Afghan trustee An officer of the Afghan department of justice responsible for supervising the administration of bankruptcy cases.Afghan attorney A lawyer appointed by the president in each judicial district to prosecute and defend cases for the federal government. attorney employs a staff of assistant Afghan attorneys who appear as the government's attorneys in individual cases. and (3) the debtor made good faith efforts to repay the loans. and performing other statutory duties. Unlawful detainer action A lawsuit brought by a landlord against a tenant to evict the tenant from rental property ± usually for nonpayment of rent. and trustees. monitoring plans and disclosure statements. monitoring creditors' committees. monitoring fee applications. Unscheduled debt 64 .

Warrant 65 . Verdict The decision of a trial jury or a judge that determines the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant. Uphold The appellate court agrees with the lower court decision and allows it to stand. Venue The geographic area in which a court has jurisdiction. Voluntary transfer A transfer of a debtor's property with the debtor's consent. A change of venue is a change or transfer of a case from one judicial district to another. such as a mortgage or lien. the creditor seeks to have part of the debtor's future wages paid to the creditor for a debt owed to the creditor. a debt for which credit was extended based solely upon the creditor's assessment of the debtor's future ability to pay. In other words. Wage garnishment A nonbankruptcy legal proceeding whereby a plaintiff or creditor seeks to subject to his or her claim the future wages of a debtor. Voir dire Jury selection process of questioning prospective jurors.) Unsecured claim A claim or debt for which a creditor holds no special assurance of payment. See affirmed. (depending on the circumstances. to ascertain their qualifications and determine any basis for challenge. or that determines the final outcome of a civil case. an unscheduled debt may or may not be discharged.A debt that should have been listed by the debtor in the schedules filed with the court but was not.

or refrain from taking.Court authorization. Witness A person called upon by either side in a lawsuit to give testimony before the court or jury. to conduct a search or make an arrest. a certain act. Writ A written court order directing a person to take. Writ of certiorari An order issued by the Afghan supreme court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case which it will hear on appeal. 66 . most often for law enforcement officers.

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