A written declaration or statement that is made under oath which declares that certain facts are true to the best of the person’s knowledge. Affidavits are usually collected in preparation for a trial.


Plaintiff – In a civil case the plaintiff refers to the person or group who initiates a lawsuit against another person or group. The plaintiff accuses the defendant of wrongdoing.


Deferred – When a case is deferred this means that the case has been postponed or delayed.


Decree – A decree is an order handed down by a judge that resolves the issues in a court case. It is an official order that has the force of the law.


Executor – An executor is someone named in a will as the person who will carry out the formal wish and testament of the person who created the will. Typical duties of an executor include paying outstanding taxes/debt and distributing any remaining assets among heirs.


Oath – An oath is a public pledge that a person will carry out some action or duty, generally with the promise of doing so truthfully. When a person takes an oath they are swearing that they will tell the truth or face a penalty. Oaths are often sworn in the name of a god.


Jurisdiction – Jurisdiction is the power of a court to judge cases and issue orders. It refers to the territory within which a court or government agency may properly apply its power.


Jurisprudence – The study of law or case law.


Complaint – A civil case is started once a plaintiff files a complaint.

Inter alia

Meaning “amongst other things”.


Defendant – In a civil case this refers to the person who the plaintiff has sued. In a criminal case this refers to the person who has been accused of the crime.


Complaint in the context of criminal proceedings. Certain crimes such as rape and theft require the complaint of the injured party and the police cannot prosecute without it.


Discharged – When an accused is discharged it is as though the trial never took place and therefore the person may be charged again.


Acquitted or released from prison. When an accused is acquitted the court will have heard all the evidence and concluded that s/he should not be found guilty as charged.


Unfounded – If an allegation is investigated by law enforcement authorities and found to be false or there is no credible evidence to support the allegation, then the court will conclude that it has not occurred.

Parti dispożittiva

Every judgement has a “parti dispożittiva” and in this part the court gives its decisions and orders an action to be taken.

Parte civile

A plaintiff for damages or injured party in criminal proceedings.

Pro bono

The provision of legal services for free or with significantly reduced fees.


Proceedings – All methods invoking the action of a court; any legal action.


Power of attorney – The legal authorisation for a designated person to make decisions about another person’s legal affairs, finances, or medical care.


Application – An official request or petition for something. This is filed in court and is usually done in writing


Applicant – A person who starts legal proceedings.


Retrial – A new trial for a case that has already been tried to re-examine some or all of the matter from a concluded trial. Usually the completed trial is set aside and tried again from the beginning.


Sitting or hearing – A session of a court.

Stħarriġ Ġudizzjarju

Judicial review – Type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. They challenge the way a decision has been made and not the decision itself.


Summons before the court – A summons is a form prepared by the plaintiff and issued by a court informing the defendant that they are being sued or are required to appear in court.


Written account of a court sitting.


Refers to a person who comes to court and swears under oath to give truthful evidence. They are usually persons who have first-hand knowledge of the event or expert evidence.


The handling (or treating) of an argument in a systematic way.