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Legal words and terms explained

Affidavit — a signed, written statement by a person involved in the case, stating what they know. It is sworn under oath.

Affirming — stating that what you say or write is the truth. It is used instead of ‘taking the oath’ if your religion does not allow you to take an oath or you do not have a religion.

Applicant — the person applying to the court to have their disqualification removed.

Conviction — this is where a person has been found guilty by a court of law of committing an offence and a record of their guilt has been recorded on their criminal or traffic history record.

Court clerk — the court officer who helps the magistrate in running the court.

Criminal history — a record of criminal offences for which a person has been convicted.

Cross-examination — when someone giving evidence in court is questioned about their evidence.

Deponent — the person who signs an affidavit.

Evidence — these are the facts that a court decides a case on. Evidence can be presented verbally to the court or in the form of an affidavit. Most of your evidence is presented in an affidavit when you apply to the court to remove a disqualification.

Filing — the process whereby documents are accepted by a court and often this is evidenced by the court stamping its seal on the filed document.

Judge — the judge is the person who will decide your case. They exercise control over the District and Supreme Courts and make all findings about law and fact.

Justice of the peace/commissioner for declarations — the person who must watch you sign your affidavit.

Magistrate — the magistrate is the person who will hear and decide your case. They exercise control over the Magistrates Court and make all findings about law and fact.

Oath — ‘taking the oath’ means swearing on the Bible you will tell or have told the truth. If you do not believe in the Bible you can affirm the content of your affidavit is true.

Police prosecutor — the police officer who presents the evidence in court.

Tender — to present your affidavit to the court as evidence.

Traffic history — a written record of the motor vehicle offences committed by you.

Last updated 21 April 2021

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