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The Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School. One of the best legal information sites on the internet, including all U.S. state and federal laws. Legal action may also be brought against a State if it is not directly or indirectly responsible for an act or omission, but has assisted another State or a private actor in committing an act. This assistance may take the form of logistical, military or financial support. Example: BHP Billiton & Vale trial (Brazil) In Brazil, prosecutors have filed murder charges against senior executives of BHP Billiton, a mining giant, for the collapse of one of its dams that destroyed communities and killed 19 people. In some cases, State officials enjoy immunity. If this is the case, they cannot be sued before the national courts of another country. Example: Akdivar v. Turkey Kurdish villagers have successfully filed a lawsuit against the Turkish government before the European Court of Human Rights for forcibly evicting them and destroying them from their homes. The tribunal ordered Turkey to pay compensation and end its deportation practices.

For example, if land is illegally confiscated from Part A, it may be possible to take legal action against Part B, which now owns the wrongly acquired land or has purchased products grown there. Italy`s Constitutional Court has ruled that Italian courts can hear cases against Germany for human rights violations during World War II. They decided that the right to judicial protection for human rights violations could not be sacrificed by the right of State immunity. What is a civil action and how does such a lawsuit proceed in the legal system? Limitation period – A law that sets the time limit within which parties must take steps to enforce their rights. In response to the injustice, various community groups and organizations have filed lawsuits against the government, Shell and their subsidiaries in various courts around the world. (i) there is a court that can hear the case against them (see Where can I take legal action?); and tribunal – a government body empowered to resolve disputes. Judges sometimes use the term “court” to refer to themselves in the third person, as in “the court read the pleadings.” Some senior officials also enjoy different immunity for all their acts, but only for the duration of their mandate. For example, important presidents and ministers enjoy this kind of absolute immunity. The process of gathering evidence in a trial is called discovery. This allows each party to better understand their position and develop strategies for litigation. It can also help the comparison process by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the case.

Discovery often involves statements, which are interviews in which a party or witness answers questions about the case under oath. They may also be hearings, which are written questionnaires that one party provides to the other party or another party with full knowledge of the facts of the case. Defendant – in a civil action, the person against whom an appeal has been brought; in criminal proceedings, the person charged with the offence. If there is a government policy or law that has harmed you or affected your rights, you can take legal action against: hearsay – testimony from a witness who has not seen or heard of the incident in question, but who has become aware of it through second-hand information such as someone else`s testimony, a journal or document. Hearsay is generally not admissible as evidence in court, but there are many exceptions to this rule. Crimes vary in severity. A bid, including traffic violations such as speeding or illegal parking, typically results in a fine of less than $100. Offences include shoplifting, resisting arrest, common assault or public intoxication, and can be punished by imprisonment for one year or less. The state is the sovereign political entity that we commonly refer to as a “country” or “nation.” The state consists of thousands of different components, all of which could be subject to prosecution. Below are some important examples: The number of websites on law and legal issues is huge. We have tried to provide a few that contain both general and specific information and can lead you to other websites if necessary: Conviction – A guilty verdict against a criminal accused.

An important part of the dispute is to identify the natural or legal person (“the party”) you wish to sue. Counsel for the opposing party may object if a question he or she asks the witness to say something that is not based on the witness` personal knowledge is unfairly prejudicial or unrelated to the case. Generally, the judge dismisses the appeal or admits it. If the objection is allowed, the witness does not answer the question and the lawyer must proceed to his next question. The court reporter reviews objections so that an appellate court can consider the arguments later, if necessary. First hearing – judicial proceedings in which the accused becomes aware of his rights and the charges against him and the judge decides on bail. Criminal proceedings are an action brought by the State against a person who has violated a criminal law. They are usually filed by the district attorney (also called “DA”) representing the state against 1 or more defendants. Only the state, and not any other person or company, can file criminal charges against you.

The penalty for being convicted of a crime is imprisonment or imprisonment or a fine (or both). Counterclaim – A claim made by a defendant against a plaintiff. Counterclaims can often be made in the same procedure as the claimant`s claims. Injunction – Prohibits a person from engaging in any act that is likely to cause irreparable harm. This differs from an injunction in that it can be issued immediately, without notifying the opposing party and without being heard. It should last only until the oral proceedings can take place. Unlike criminal cases, in most civil cases there is no right to a court-appointed lawyer. This means that if you can`t afford a lawyer and you can`t get legal aid or a pro bono lawyer (voluntarily), you`ll have to represent yourself. Click here for more information on how to be your own lawyer and represent yourself. (ii) You have a real chance of obtaining and enforcing a court order against you if that is your primary purpose (see How do I enforce a court order?) A “successor” is a person/corporation that inherits ownership, rights, and/or liabilities from another person/company, such as a company that changes its name to a new legal name and takes over the assets of the old company (a “liability” is something for which a company is liable, e.g. a debt to another company). All public servants enjoy immunity when their acts involve the exercise of official authority.

For example, when they represent their government. A key aspect of this type of immunity is that it lasts forever. Sometimes in a lawsuit, the losing party will file a motion after the trial to correct an obvious error. You could request a new procedure on the basis of a substantive problem with the procedure. Or, despite the verdict, they file a motion for judgment if the jury`s verdict is clearly not based on the evidence. However, both types of claims are hard to win. Learn more about pre- and post-process applications here. Defendants in criminal cases have other constitutionally guaranteed rights. This includes the right to a lawyer, whether privately appointed or appointed by the court; the right not to be compelled to incriminate oneself, the right to compel witnesses to testify in their defence, and the right to cross-examine witnesses who testify against them. The glossary of legal terms defines more than 100 of the most common legal terms in easy-to-understand language.

The terms are listed in alphabetical order and can be best accessed by selecting a letter here: Tort Liability – A wrongful civil act or breach of duty to another person, as determined by law. A very common crime is the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, which results in property damage and bodily injury in a car accident. Vocation – About vocations; A court of appeal has jurisdiction to review the judgment of another lower court. prose – Latin term meaning “on one`s own account”; In the courts, these are people who present their own cases without a lawyer. To bring a civil action in federal court, the plaintiff files a complaint with the court and “delivers” a copy of the lawsuit to the defendant. The claim describes the plaintiff`s damage or injury, explains how the defendant caused the damage, shows that the court has jurisdiction, and asks the court to order compensation. A plaintiff can ask for money to compensate for the damage or ask the court to order the defendant to cease the conduct that caused the damage. The court may also order other types of remedies, such as a statement of the plaintiff`s legal rights in a particular situation. However, it is important to remember that this refers to your ability to bring an action against a foreign state in the domestic courts of another country.

It may be possible to bring an action against a foreign State before a regional human rights court or an international human rights organization. For more information, see Where can I take legal action? Other types of lawsuits are civil actions. This is a broad category that includes everything from lawsuits for breach of contract or personal injury, divorce proceedings, child custody cases, and lawsuits against government officials and agencies. Almost every time someone raises a case involving animals — unlike the government, which brings an animal lawsuit, such as when someone is charged with animal cruelty — it`s a civil lawsuit. The Lectic Law Library. An irreverent and useful website, including a legal dictionary with definitions of thousands of legal terms, articles, and other documents on hundreds of legal topics.

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