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Legal words and terms explained

Abandonment — to give up or stop and appeal or application. You must file a Form 30 — Notice of abandonment of appeal or application.

Acquittal — a judgment that a person is not guilty of a criminal offence.

Appeal — a procedure where a court decision is reviewed by a higher court.

Appellant — the person who appeals a lower court’s decision to a higher court.

Comparable sentences — sentences given to others for the same or similar crime.

Conviction — a judgment or verdict that a person is guilty of an offence.

Court of Appeal — the court that hears appeals from the Supreme and District Courts, usually comprising of three Supreme Court judges.

Filing — the process where documents are accepted by a court. The court often stamps its seal on the filed document as evidence it was received.

Head sentence — the maximum sentence to be served, eg two years’ jail, suspended after nine months. In this example two years is the head sentence.

Judgment — the court’s decision about your matter.

Prosecutor — the person who brings a court action against another, usually only used for criminal proceedings.

Quash — to overturn or set aside, eg to quash a conviction.

Registry — the part of the court where all documents are filed.

Sentence — the penalty for committing an offence.

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