- Lawyer: Topic Page
Agent put in place of another to manage particular affairs of the principal. An attorney in fact is an agent who conducts business under authority that is controlled and limited by a written document called a letter, or power, of attorney granted by the principal.
- Court: Topic Page
In law, official body charged with administering justice. The term is also applied to the judge or judges who fill the office.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Topic Page
Agency of the US Department of Justice that investigates violations of federal law not specifically assigned to other agencies, and is particularly concerned with internal security.
- Federal government: Topic Page
Or federation, government of a union of states in which sovereignty is divided between a central authority and component state authorities. A federation differs from a confederation in that the central power acts directly upon individuals as well as upon states, thus creating the problem of dual allegiance.
- Grand jury: Topic Page
In law, body of persons selected to inquire into crimes committed within a certain jurisdiction.
- Jury: Topic Page
A body of people sworn to give an honest verdict on the evidence presented to a court of law on a particular case.
- Justice of the Peace: Topic Page
A lay magistrate, appointed by the crown or acting ex officio, whose function is to preserve the peace in his area, try summarily such cases as are within his jurisdiction, and perform miscellaneous administrative duties.
- Law courts: Topic Page
Bodies that adjudicate (make judgement) in legal disputes. Civil cases (generally non-criminal disputes that affect the interests of an individual) and criminal cases are usually dealt with by separate courts.
- Local government: Topic Page
Government of town or county affairs by a locally elected authority, as distinct from national or central government.
- Military government: Topic Page
Rule of enemy territory under military occupation. It is distinguished from martial law, which is the temporary rule by domestic armed forces over disturbed areas.
- Police: Topic Page
The body of men and women employed by the government of a country to keep order, enforce the law, prevent crime, etc.
- U.S. Supreme Court: Topic Page
Highest US judicial tribunal, composed since 1869 of a chief justice and eight associate justices.
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): Topic Page
Independent executive bureau of the U.S. government established by the National Security Act of 1947, replacing the wartime Office of Strategic Services (1942–45), the first U.S. espionage and covert operations agency.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Topic Page
Independent agency of the U.S. government established in 1915 and charged with keeping American business competition free and fair.
- International Labor Organization: Topic Page
Specialized agency of the United Nations, with headquarters in Geneva. It was created in 1919 by the Versailles Treaty and affiliated with the League of Nations until 1945, when it voted to sever ties with the League.
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): Topic Page
Organization composed mainly of American blacks, but with many white members, whose goal is the end of racial discrimination and segregation.
- National Labor Relations Board: Topic Page
Independent agency of the U.S. government created under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (Wagner Act), and amended by the acts of 1947 (Taft-Hartley Labor Act) and 1959 (Landrum-Griffin Act), which affirmed labor's right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choice or to refrain from such activities.
- Securities and Exchange Commission: Topic Page
A U.S. federal agency established in 1934 to supervise and regulate issues of and transactions in securities and to prosecute illegal stock manipulations.
- Appeal: Topic Page
In law, hearing by a superior court to consider correcting or reversing the judgment of an inferior court, because of errors allegedly committed by the inferior court.
- Arbitration: Topic Page
Submission of a dispute to a third, unbiased party for settlement. It may be personal litigation (legal action), a trade-union issue, or an international dispute.
- Arrest: Topic Page
In law, seizure and detention of a person, either to bring him before a court body or official, or to otherwise secure the administration of the law. A person may be arrested for an alleged violation of civil or criminal law.
- Class action: Topic Page
In law, a device that permits one or more persons to sue or be sued as representative of a large group of people interested in the matter at issue.
- Confession: Topic Page
In law, the formal admission of criminal guilt, usually obtained in the course of examination by the police or prosecutor or at trial.
- Contempt: Topic Page
In law, interference with the functioning of a legislature or court. In its narrow and more usual sense, contempt refers to the despising of the authority, justice, or dignity of a court.
- Contract: Topic Page
In law, a promise, enforceable by law, to perform or to refrain from performing some specified act. In a general sense, all civil obligations fall under tort or contract law.
- Deportation: Topic Page
Expulsion from a country of an alien who is living there illegally, or whose presence is considered contrary to the public good.
- Evidence: Topic Page
In law, material submitted to a judge or a judicial body to resolve disputed questions of fact. The rules discussed in this article were developed in England for use in jury trials.
- Extradition: Topic Page
Delivery of a person, suspected or convicted of a crime, by the state where he has taken refuge to the state that asserts jurisdiction over him. Its purpose is to prevent criminals who flee a country from escaping punishment.
- Fingerprint: Topic Page
An impression of the underside of the end of a finger or thumb, used for identification because the arrangement of ridges in any fingerprint is thought to be unique and permanent with each person.
- Habeas corpus: Topic Page
Writ directed by a judge to some person who is detaining another, commanding him to bring the body of the person in his custody at a specified time to a specified place for a specified purpose.
- Impeachment: Topic Page
Formal accusation issued by a legislature against a public official charged with crime or other serious misconduct. In a looser sense the term is sometimes applied also to the trial by the legislature that may follow.
- Lobbying: Topic Page
Practice and profession of influencing governmental decisions, carried out by agents who present the concerns of special interests to legislators and administrators.
- Mediation: Topic Page
In law, type of intervention in which the disputing parties accept the offer of a third party to recommend a solution for their controversy.
- Neutrality: Topic Page
In international law, status of a nation that refrains from participation in a war between other states and maintains an impartial attitude toward the belligerents.
- Oath: Topic Page
Vocal affirmation of the truth of one's statements, generally made by appealing to a deity. From the earliest days of human history, calling upon the gods of a community to witness the truth of a statement or the solemnity of a promise has been commonly practiced.
- Writ: Topic Page
In law, written order issued in the name of the sovereign or the state in connection with a judicial or an administrative proceeding.
- Alimony: Topic Page
In law, allowance for support that an individual pays to his or her former spouse, usually as part of a divorce settlement.
- Capital punishment: Topic Page
Capital punishment was widely applied in ancient times; it can be found (c.1750 B.C.) in the Code of Hammurabi.
- Corporal punishment: Topic Page
Physical chastisement of an offender. At one extreme it includes the death penalty (see capital punishment), but the term usually refers to punishments like flogging, caning, mutilation, and branding.
- Impeachment: Topic Page
Formal accusation issued by a legislature against a public official charged with crime or other serious misconduct.
- Parole: Topic Page
Parole is a process that allows a prisoner to be released from prison to experience increased freedom, while remaining under limited supervision.
- Prison: Topic Page
Place of confinement for the punishment and rehabilitation of criminals. By the end of the 18th cent. imprisonment was the chief mode of punishment for all but capital crimes.
- Reparations: Topic Page
Payments or other compensation offered as an indemnity for loss or damage.
- Sanction: Topic Page
In law and ethics, any inducement to individuals or groups to follow or refrain from following a particular course of conduct.
- Sentences (Criminal procedure): Topic Page
In criminal law, punishment that a court orders, imposed on a person convicted of criminal activity. Sentences typically consist of fines, corporal punishment, imprisonment for varying periods including life, or capital punishment, and sometimes combine two or more elements.