Glossary of Legal Terms

A glossary of the legal terms used by vLex on our platform.


Act - Law, as an act of parliament

AI - Artificial Intelligence

Amendment - A change that one piece of legislation makes to a previous piece of legislation

Appellants - The parties seeking to appeal a judgment at first instance to a higher court

As Enacted - Legislation that is viewed in its original format, as it was when it was passed and not incorporating any later amendments

Authority - In common law, also know as precedent which forms part of the common law


Blog - A current awareness service focusing on contemporary legal developments

Book - Either an academic or practitioner's guide to an area of law


Case Analysis - vLex's analysis of the case and issues delivered by Vincent

Case Law - In common law jurisdictions, judgments handed down by Courts/Tribunals of record

CELEX Number - Reference number for all electronic European legal documents, consisting of a 1 digit sector number, a year, a letter denoting the kind of document it is and a 4 digit document number (31993L0104 for example)

Cert - A vLex Fastcase US law citator service

Citation - Name given to the unique reference for a case, usually including the year, volume number, series abbreviation and page number the case begins on ([1995] 1 A.C. 321 for example)

Cited Authorities - List of all the cases a particular case on vLex has cited

Cited In - A list of cases that have Cited the case you are viewing on either vLex. This will show you if the case has been overruled or if it is still good law

Claimant - The party in litigation making a claim against another party or parties. Formerly known as a plaintiff

Consolidated Legislation - Legislation that is viewed in its current format, i.e. one that incorporates any amendments that have taken place and shows the state of the law as it is now


Decision - In EU law, A decision is a binding legal act that either may be of general application or may have a specific addressee

Declaration - Either a statutory declaration made by an entity as required by law, or a Court declaration in litigation

Defendant - Person sued; person standing trial or appearing for sentence

Directive - A directive is a legislative act of the European Union which requires member states to pass a particular law without dictating the means of making it law within their own legislature.

Docket - A court record of proceedings or a list of events in a case





Headnote - A detailed digest covering the facts, issues, law, analysis and conclusion of the reported case



Journal - A secondary source which details contemporary developments in a specific area of law or more generally

Judgment - Final decision of a Court A monetary judgment requires the payment of a sum of money by one party to another

Jurisdiction - The area and matters over which a Court has legal authority

Jury Verdict - In US law, the award of damages given by a jury in a litigation claim



Legislation - Any law that as been passed by the legislature or governing body. This covers both Statutes and Statutory Instruments

Litigation - Legal proceedings. It requires actually going to court



Neutral Citation - The court allocated publisher neutral citation allocated to a judgment, usually in format [year] jurisdictioncourt case number e.g. [2023] UKSC 1



Party - Any of the participants in a Court action or proceedings

Precedent - The decision of a case which established principles of law that act as an authority for future cases of a similar nature



Regulation - A piece of legislation that is either:

i) UK: A form of secondary legislation which is used to implement a primary piece of legislation appropriately, or to take account of particular circumstances or factors emerging during the gradual implementation of, or during the period of, a primary piece of legislation.

ii) EU: A law that comes into being in all Member States with immediate affect without requiring them to pass any internal laws (differing in that respect to a Directive)

Report - Usually a third party commercial publishers copy of a judgment supplemented by headnote, catchwords etc. Some Courts have their own official report series


Settlement - An agreement between litigants to conclude proceedings on

Statute - A single law or act, composed of a number of sections which deal with different specific parts of the act as a whole

Statutory Instrument - A document issued by the delegated authority (usually a Government Minister or committee) named within an act of parliament which affects the workings of the original Act, e.g. The County Courts Act 1984 confers authority on to the County Court Rule Committee to make rules relating to the operation of the County Courts act


Treatment Type - The relationship nature of the citing case to the cited case e.g. approved



Verdict - The conclusion in the case

Vincent - vLex's proprietary tool which allows analysis and recommendations of documents for a researcher as well as offering AI solutions





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