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Accused: the person charged with a criminal offence who has not yet been shown yet to be either guilty or innocent.

Beyond reasonable doubt: The criminal standard of proof. For an accused to be convicted of an offence it must be shown that they did it 'beyond reasonable doubt'.

Civil trial: The court proceedings dealing with a civil wrong. This is a dispute between two private individuals.

Common law: law based on decisions of previous courts. This is the law that will be followed if there is no applicable legislation.

Criminal trial: The court proceedings of an accused. The two parties to a criminal matter are the accused and the state.

Defence counsel: The lawyers representing the accused or the defendant.

Defendant: The party who has allegedly committed a civil wrong or a criminal offence.

Disputed fact: A fact that the two parties to the litigation do not agree on and which is relevant to the trial.

Jury: Members of the public who are chosen to be part of the trial with the role of determining the guilt or innocence of the accused. Juries are more often used in criminal proceedings but can in some instances also be used in civil trials.

Leading questions: Questions which suggest an answer to the witness. Questions which can be answered by either 'yes' or 'no'. These are not permitted in examination in chief but are permissible in cross-examination.

Legislation: laws passed by government.

Litigation: Court proceedings which have the aim of settling a civil dispute or a criminal matter.

On the balance of probabilities: The standard of proof in civil trials and where the defendant in a criminal trial as the burden of proof. It is an easier standard to meet than that of beyond reasonable doubt.

Plaintiff (or complainant): The party bringing the claim in a civil trial. They are the one aggrieved by the alleged civil wrong.

Prosecutor (or The Crown): They are the party acting on behalf of the state and aim to prove that the accused is guilty of the offence.

Statute: law passed by government.

Testimony: Direct spoken evidence given by a witness at the trial.

Trier of fact: This will be either the judge or the jury. They are the one/s to make the decision after having heard all the evidence as to the accused/ defendant's guilt or innocence or civil liability.

Witness: A person called by either party to give tell the court evidence relevant to the trial.

Other helpful websites which explain key legal terms are as follows:

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