74 Useful Legal Terminologies for Legal Drafting


Accentuating – More noticeable.
Accustomed – Customary; usual.
Ad hoc – (1) created or done for a particular purpose as necessary.
                (2) when necessary or needed.
Advent – the arrival of a notable person or thing.
Aequitas – Equity i.e fair or just according to natural law.
Arenas – a place or scene of activity, debate, or conflict.
Averred – allege as a fact in support of a plea

Bonafide – in good faith.

Cavil – Argument by which a conclusion evidently false, is drawn from a     principle evidently true.
Certiorari – (1) a writ of a superior court calling forth the records and entire proceedings of an inferior court or a writ by which causes are removed from an inferior court into a superior court.
                   (2) a writ or order by which a higher court reviews a decision of a lower court.
Construed – interpret in a particular way.
Consonance – Agreement or compatibility, between opinions or actions.
Consortium – the right of association and companionship with one’s husband or wife
Credential – a qualification, achievement, quality, or aspect of a person ‘s background, especially when used to indicate their suitability for something.
Crescendo – Progressive increase in intensity.
Curative petition – a question arises whether an aggrieved person is entitled to any relief against the final judgment/order of the Supreme Court, after the dismissal of a review petition

Demarcate – Set the boundaries or limits of.
Detention –the act of detaining someone or the state of being in official custody.
Discernible – able to be discerned ; perceptible.
Discrepancy – an illogical or surprising lack of compatibility or similarity between two or more facts.
Dissuade – persuade not to take a particular course of action.
Dreadful – involving great suffering.

Embezzlement – Theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one’s trust or belongings to one’s employer.
Elusive – Difficult to find, catch or achieve.
Enigma – Mysterious or difficult to understand.
Erect –rigidly upright or straight.
Erudite – learned.
Estoppel – the principle which precludes a person from asserting something contrary to what is implied by a previous action or statement of that person or by a previous pertinent judicial determination.
Evacuee – A person evacuated from a place of danger.
Ex gratia –as an act of grace or favor.
Expedient – To prioritize, to rush
Ex post facto law - is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of actions that were committed or relationships that existed, before the enactment of the law.

Habeas corpus – a prerogative writ to a person who detains another in custody and which commands him to produce or ‘ have the body of that person before him ‘

In rem – an act, proceeding or right available against the world at large, as opposed to in personam.
Inter alia – among other things

Legal Luminary – a person who inspires or influences others, especially one prominent in a particular sphere.

Mesne – middle, intervening or tame by nature.

Nocumentum – an annoying, unpleasant or obnoxious thing or practice.
Non obstante – notwithstanding
Noscitur a socits – a word known by its associates, i.e the meaning of a word can be gathered from the context.

Obiter dictum – an incidental and collateral opinion uttered by a judge while delivering judgment and which is not binding.
Oblivious – Aware.
Ordinance – An authoritative order

Pari material – on the same material.
Pendente lite – during the process of litigation.
Per se – by itself
Perished -  die, especially in a violent or sudden way.
Pertinent – Relevant  or applicable to a particular matter , apposite.
Plagiarized – the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.
Plenary – unqualified;  absolute
Preclude – prevent from happening; make impossible.
Prejudiced – harm or injury that results or may result from some action or judgment.
Prima facie – on the face of it.
Promulgation – to make known by open declaration; publish; proclaim formally or put into operation.

Ratio Legis – according to the spirit of the law
Rationale – set of reasons.
RE – in the matter of.
Rebuttable – an instance of rebutting evidence or an accusation.
Res judicata – a case or suit already decided.
Res sub judicata – a matter under judicial consideration.
Retrospectively – looking back.

Sardonic – grimly mocking or cynical.
Skeptical – Doubtful.
Scienter – knowledge; an allegation in a pleading that the thing has been done knowingly.
Scuffle – a short, confused fight or struggle at close quarters.
Status quo – the state in which the things are, or were.
Submergence – to cover; bury.
Superannuation – pension paid to a retired employee who has contributed to a superannuation fund.
Supra – above.

Transgression – An act that goes against a law, or code of conduct; an offense.
Treacherous – Guilty of or involving betrayal.
Tedious –Too long, slow or dull.

Unfettered –  not confined or restricted

Vicinity –the area near or surrounding a particular place.
Volkogeist – general awareness of the people.