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body corporate

(corporation, body corporate)


An entity that has legal personality, i.e. it is capable of enjoying and being subject to legal rights and duties (See juristic person) and possesses the capacity of succession. A corporation aggregate (e.g. a *company registered under the Companies Acts) consists of a number of members who fluctuate from time to time. A corporation sole (e.g. the *Crown) consists of one member only and his or her successors.

See also incorporation.

corporation tax

A tax on the worldwide profits of limited companies and certain other bodies resident or trading in the UK. Corporation tax started on 6 April 1966 (before this date companies paid income tax and profits tax). It applies to all bodies corporate and unincorporated associations, including limited companies, building societies, cooperative societies, unit trusts, and investment trusts, but excluding local authorities.

The tax is based on the profits shown in the company's audited accounts after adding back certain nonallowable deductions, which include depreciation of *machinery and plant, provisions for doubtful debts, and political contributions. However, *capital allowances are deductible for corporation tax purposes, as are losses carried forward from earlier years. From April 1973 until April 1999 a company was required to pay *advance corporation tax on its distributed profits, which was offset against its corporation tax liability. From 1999 larger companies pay corporation tax in instalments. Chargeable gains (See capital gains tax) count as profits for corporation tax purposes but losses can be offset against any gains. The rates of corporation tax are (for 2001-02): 10% for profits up to £10,000; a 20% small companies rate for profits from £50,000 to £300,000, and a 30% main rate for profits over £1,500,000. There are sliding scales (marginal relief) for amounts between the different rates.

corporeal hereditament

See hereditament.



Evidence that confirms the accuracy of other evidence "in a material particular". In general, English law does not require corroboration and any fact may be proved by a single item of credible evidence. The obligation to warn the jury of the dangers of acting on uncorroborated evidence of accomplices or of complainants in cases of sexual offences has been abolished: the judge now has a discretion to indicate the dangers of a jury relying on particular evidence. Corroboration remains mandatory in cases of *treason and *perjury and for opinion evidence as to some matters, e.g. *speeding.

corrupt and illegal practices

Offences defined by the Representation of the People Act 1983 in connection with conduct at parliamentary or local elections. Corrupt practices, which include bribery and intimidation, are the more serious of the two. The most frequent illegal practice is spending by a candidate in excess of the amount authorized for the management of his campaign.



See bribery and corruption.

corruption of public morals

Conduct "destructive of the \[moral\] fabric of society". It is uncertain if such acts are crimes, although those who published "directories" of prostitutes or magazine advertisements encouraging readers to meet the advertisers for homosexual purposes have been found guilty of conspiring to corrupt public morals.

See also conspiracy; contra bonos mores.

cost. insurance. freight

See c.i.f. contract.


pl. n.

Sums payable for legal services. A distinction is drawn between contentious and noncontentious costs (broadly, the distinction between costs relating to litigious and nonlitigious matters). Solicitors' costs are normally divided into profit costs (representing the solicitor's profit and overheads) and disbursements (any out-of-pocket expenses he may have incurred in the conduct of the case).

In civil litigation the court has a wide discretion to make an award in respect of the costs of the case, but the general principle applied is that the loser of the case must pay the costs of the winner (this was previously known as costs follow the event). The court will order on what basis the costs will be assessed. In normal adversary litigation this is the standard basis, in which the loser pays a reasonable sum in respect of all costs reasonably incurred by the winning party (See also indemnity basis). If the court does not make an order for payment of fixed costs (i.e. the amount allowed in respect of solicitors' charges), or fixed costs are not provided for, the amount of costs payable will be determined by the court or by a *costs officer (See assessment of costs).

See also costs in any event; costs in the case; costs reserved.

costs draftsman

A person (usually a legal executive rather than a qualified solicitor) who specializes in drawing up *bills of costs. Some work in solicitors' firms and some in independent firms of costs specialists.

costs in any event

An order for costs made in *interim proceedings (*interlocutory proceedings) by which the winner of the hearing in question shall be paid the costs of that stage in the proceedings whatever the outcome of the trial.

Compare costs in the case.

costs in the case

An order for costs made in *interim proceedings (interlocutory proceedings) by which the costs of the hearing in question are payable in accordance with the order for costs to be made at the trial. This will usually have the effect that they are paid by the overall loser of the litigation.

Compare costs in any event.

costs officer

The judge or officer of the court who determines the amount of costs payable in a detailed *assessment of costs. The costs officer may be a costs judge (an official of the Supreme Court, formerly known as a taxing master), a district judge, or an authorized officer of a county court, a district registry, the Principal Registry of the Family Division, or the Supreme Court Costs Office.

costs reserved

An order for costs made in **interim proceedings (*interlocutory proceedings) by which the costs of the hearing in question are reserved for the decision of the trial judge rather than decided by the master or district judge at the hearing itself.

costs thrown away

Costs either unnecessarily incurred by a party as a result of some procedural error committed by the other party or properly incurred but wasted as a result of a subsequent act of the other party (e.g. by amending the claim form or statement of case).

council housing

Residential accommodation provided for renting by local authorities (primarily by district and London borough councils, who, as housing authorities, have a general statutory duty to meet housing needs in their areas). Authorities may build new properties and acquire existing ones for the purpose. The allocation and management of housing stock is in general within their sole discretion, but statute does impose certain priorities (e.g. towards homeless persons) and the Housing Act 1980 (now repealed) gave their tenants a measure of security of tenure. There are also financial restraints, such as restrictions on the proportion of capital receipts available for house building, imposed by central government. Certain tenants of council housing have the right to purchase the freehold of a council house or a long lease of a council flat at a discount. The Housing Act 1988 introduced measures under which council housing can be transferred to the private rented sector if tenants so desire.



(in local government)

See local authority.

Council of Europe

A European organization for cooperation in various areas between most European (not just EU) states. The assembly of the Council of Europe elects the Judges of the European Court of Human Rights.

Council of Legal Education

A body established by the four *Inns of Court to supervise the education and examination of students for the Bar of England and Wales. It administered the Inns of Court School of Law in Gray's Inn. In 1997 the Inns of Court and Bar Educational Trust was founded and took over responsibility of the Council.

Council of the European Union

(Council of Ministers)

The organ of the EU that is primarily concerned with the formulation of policy and (in conjunction with the *European Commission and *European Parliament) the adoption of *Community legislation. The Council consists of one member of government of each of the member states of the Community (normally its foreign minister, but other ministers may attend instead for the consideration of specialized topics), and its presidency is held by each state in turn for periods of six months. The Council is serviced by a Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER). This consists of senior civil servants of each state and its primary function is to clarify national attitudes for the assistance of the Council in reaching its decisions. It also disposes on behalf of the Council of matters that are not controversial. Decisions of the Council are taken by a unanimous vote (See also veto) or, in most cases, by qualified majority voting. Each member state has a number of votes approximately proportional to the size of its population, with a total of 87 votes; in qualified majority voting a Commission proposal requires 62 votes to be passed.

Compare European Council.

Council of the Inns of Court

A body, comprising representatives of the four *Inns of Court, the *Bar Council, and the Inns of Court and Bar Educational Trust (See Council of Legal Education), that coordinates the work of the three organizations represented. When the Council of the Inns of Court and Bar Council disagree, the latter's policy is implemented if it has the support of two-thirds of the profession.

Council on Tribunals

A body appointed under the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1971 to report on the functioning and advise on the procedure of the more important administrative tribunals. Appointment is by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Advocate, who may refer any matter concerning any tribunal for a special Council report.

council tax

A form of local tax levied on all private households (with some exceptions) to contribute to the cost of local government. It was introduced by the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and took effect from April 1993, replacing the *community charge. The tax is based on the capital value of the dwelling owned or rented by the occupiers. Each dwelling is assessed to see which of eight bands (A to H) it falls within. For example, dwellings worth not more than £40,000 are placed in band A, dwellings worth between £68,000 and £88,000 in band D, and dwellings worth more than £320,000 in band H. A household living in a dwelling in band A will pay two-thirds of the amount paid by those living in a dwelling in band D, and one-third of the amount paid by those living in a dwelling in band H. The amount of the charge is set by the local council. In general, all the residents of a dwelling are jointly liable to pay the tax.

The amount payable can be reduced by discounts (e.g. there is a 25% discount where only one adult occupies the property), benefits for those on low incomes, and reductions for disabilities where homes are adapted for disabled persons.



A barrister, barristers collectively, or anyone advising and representing litigants.

Counsellors of State

Persons appointed under the Regency Acts 1937 to 1953 to exercise royal functions while the sovereign is ill (but not totally incapacitated, in which case the functions pass to a *regent) or temporarily absent from the UK. They are appointed by the sovereign by letters patent, which must specify the functions delegated to them. These must not include the function of dissolving Parliament, except on the sovereign's express instructions, or that of creating new peers. The persons to be appointed are the sovereign's spouse, the four next in line to the throne (omitting anyone not qualified to be Regent or intending to be abroad during the period of delegation), and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.



See indictment.



A cross-claim brought by a defendant in civil proceedings that asserts an independent cause of action but is not also a defence to the claim made in the action by the claimant. A counterclaim is an example of a *Part 20 claim, being a claim other than one made by the claimant against the defendant.

See also set-off.



A form of trading in which an exporter of goods or services undertakes to accept goods or services (rather than money) from the importer in exchange.



A first-tier *local government area in England (outside Greater London) or Wales. The Local Government Act 1972 created 45 counties for England and 8 for Wales, dividing the former into 6 metropolitan and 39 nonmetropolitan counties. The metropolitan counties - Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, West Midlands, and West Yorkshire - were abolished and their functions transferred generally to district councils by the Local Government Act 1985. The Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 reorganized local government areas in Wales; on 1 April 1996 all the existing counties and *districts were replaced by 11 counties and 11 county boroughs, each administered by a single-tier (unitary) council. In some parts of England unitary authorities (*unitary authority) have replaced *county councils; this has resulted in the reorganization of certain county areas.

See also Local Government Commission for England; preserved county.

county council

A *local authority whose area is a *county. A county council has certain exclusive responsibilities (e.g. education, fire services, highways, and refuse disposal) and shares others (e.g. recreation, town and country planning) with the councils of the districts in its area. The *Local Government Commission for England began work in 1992 on restructuring local government areas with a view to establishing single-tier local authorities (See unitary authority), which has led to the abolition of certain county councils.

county court

Any of the civil courts forming a system covering all of England and Wales, originally set up in 1846. The area covered by each court does not invariably correspond to the local government county boundary. Under Part 7 of the *Civil Procedure Rules, which sets out the rules for starting cases, the county court retains an unlimited jurisdiction for claims in contract and tort. It will hear some appeals (See appellate jurisdiction). Each court has a *circuit judge and a *district judge.

course of employment

The scope of the work a person is employed to do. An employer may be held responsible under the principle of *vicarious liability for his employee's wrongful acts if they are necessarily incidental to his work, or authorized (expressly or by implication) by the employer, or, though not in any way authorized, are a wrongful way of doing something he was employed to do.



1. A body established by law for the administration of justice by *judges or *magistrates.

2. A hall or building in which a court is held.

3. a. The residence of a sovereign. b. The sovereign and her (or his) family and attendants or officials of state.

Court for Consideration of Crown Cases Reserved

A court created by the Crown Cases Act 1848 for considering questions of law arising out of the conviction of a person for treason, felony, or misdemeanour and reserved by the trial judge or justices for the consideration of the court. Its jurisdiction was exercised by the judges of the *High Court, at least five of whom had to sit together. The Court was abolished in 1907 and its jurisdiction transferred to the *Court of Criminal Appeal, which had wider powers.

court martial

A court convened within the armed forces to try offences against *service law. It consists of a number of serving officers, who sit without a jury and are advised on points of law by a legally qualified *judge advocate. Army and air-force courts martial are similar. The Armed Forces Act 1996 (effective from 1 April 1997) updated the laws in this field; in particular, it reinforced the independence of courts martial.

A general court martial must consist of a president of the rank of major/squadron leader or above and four members, at least two of whom must be of the rank of captain/flight lieutenant or above. Up to two members may be warrant officers (i.e. noncommissioned).

A district court martial must consist of a president of the rank of major/squadron leader or above and two members, at least one of whom has held commissioned rank for at least two years. Up to one member may be a warrant officer.

A field general court martial may only be convened in active service conditions, and may exceptionally consist of two officers. Naval courts martial must consist of between five and nine officers of the rank of lieutenant or above who have held commissioned rank for at least three years, although up to two members may be warrant officers. The members of the court may not all belong to the same ship or shore establishment. The president of a naval court martial must be of the rank of captain or above, and when a senior officer is to be tried there are further rules as to the court's composition. In all cases members of another branch of the armed forces of equivalent minimum rank may serve on army, air-force, or naval courts martial. Courts martial's findings of guilty, and their sentences, are subject to review by the Defence Councilor any officer to whom they delegate. Since 1951 there has been a Courts-Martial Appeal Court, which consists of the Lord Chief Justice and other members of the Supreme Court. After first petitioning the Defence Council for the quashing of his conviction, a convicted person may appeal to the Court against the conviction and (from 1 April 1997) against sentence. Either he or the Defence Council may then appeal to the House of Lords.

When a member of the armed forces is charged in the UK with conduct that is an offence under both service law and the ordinary criminal law the trial must in certain serious cases (e.g. treason, murder, manslaughter, and rape) be held by the ordinary criminal courts (and is in practice frequently held by them in other cases). Provision exists to ensure that a person cannot be tried twice for the same offence.

See also standing civilian court.

Court of Appeal

A court created by the Judicature Acts 1873-75, forming part of the *Supreme Court of Judicature. The Court exercises *appellate jurisdiction over all judgments and orders of the High Court and most determinations of judges of the county courts. In some cases the Court of Appeal is the *court of last resort, but in most cases its decisions can be appealed to the *House of Lords, with permission of the Court of Appeal or the House of Lords. The Court is divided into a Civil Division (presided over by the *Master of the Rolls) and a Criminal Division (presided over by the *Lord Chief Justice). The ordinary judges of the Court are the Lords Justices of Appeal (*Lords Justice of Appeal), but other specific office holders and High Court judges may, by invitation, also sit in the Court.

Court of Arches

The ecclesiastical court of appeal from the consistory court (See ecclesiastical courts), which has the jurisdiction of the former provincial Court of Archbishop of Canterbury. The judge of the court, the Dean of Arches, hears appeals from bishops or their chancellors, deans and chapters, and archdeacons. The court's name is derived from its original location, the church of St Mary-le-Bow, whose steeple was erected upon arches.

Court of Chancery

The original court of *equity, presided over by the *Lord Chancellor. By the Judicature Acts 1873-75 its jurisdiction was merged into that of the High Court, of which it became the *Chancery Division.

Court of Chivalry

An ancient feudal court having jurisdiction over questions relating to armorial bearings and questions of precedence. It is not a *court of record.

Court of Common Pleas

One of the three courts of *common law into which the curia regis was divided (the others being the *Court of Queen's Bench and the *Court of Exchequer) whose jurisdiction was merged into that of the High Court by the Judicature Acts 1873-75. It became the Common Pleas Division, which in 1880 was merged into the *Queen's Bench Division.

Court of Criminal Appeal

A court created by the Criminal Appeal Act 1907 to take over the jurisdiction formerly exercised by the *Court for Consideration of Crown Cases Reserved. Its powers were greatly extended, particularly in considering questions of fact as well as law, but it was abolished by the Criminal Appeal Act 1966 and its jurisdiction transferred to that of the *Court of Appeal (Criminal Division).

Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved

A court created by the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963 and having both original and appellate jurisdiction covering the provinces of Canterbury and York. Its original jurisdiction is to hear and determine proceedings in which a person in Holy Orders is charged with an offence against ecclesiastical law involving matters of doctrine, ritual, or ceremonial and all suits of *duplex querela. Its appellate jurisdiction is in respect of appeals from decisions of consistory courts involving matters of doctrine, ritual, or ceremonial. The court comprises five judges and three diocesan or ex-diocesan bishops.

See also ecclesiastical courts.

Court of Exchequer

One of the three courts of *common law into which the curia regis was divided (the others being the *Court of Queen's Bench and the *Court of Common Pleas) whose jurisdiction was merged into that of the High Court by the Judicature Acts 1873-75. It became the Exchequer Division, which in 1880 merged into the *Queen's Bench Division. The judges of the Exchequer were known as Barons.

court of first instance

1. A court in which any proceedings are initiated.

2. Loosely, a court in which a case is tried, as opposed to any court in which it may be heard on appeal.

Court of First Instance

The first court of appeal from decisions of the European Commission. Established under powers conferred by the *Single European Act 1986, it started to operate at the end of October 1989. Appeals from the court are to the *European Court of Justice.

court of last resort

A court from which no appeal (or no further appeal) lies. In English law the *House of Lords is usually the court of last resort (although some cases may be referred to the *European Court of Justice). However, in some cases the *Court of Appeal is by statute the court of last resort.

Court of Probate

A court created in 1857 to take over the jurisdiction formerly exercised by the ecclesiastical courts in relation to the granting of probate and letters of administration. By the Judicature Acts 1873-75 the jurisdiction of the court was transferred to the *Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court.

Court of Protection

A court that administers the property and affairs of persons of unsound mind, formerly called the Management and Administration Department. The head of the court is called the Master.

Court of Queen's Bench

Until 1875, one of the three courts of *common law into which the curia regis was divided (the others being the *Court of Common Pleas and the *Court of Exchequer). Its principal functions were the trial of civil actions in contract and tort and the exercise of supervisory powers over inferior courts. By the Judicature Acts 1873-75 its jurisdiction was transferred to the *Queen's Bench Division of the High Court. When the sovereign was a king, it was known as the Court of King's Bench.

court of record

A court whose acts and judicial proceedings are permanently maintained and recorded. In modern practice the principal significance of such courts is that they have the power to punish for *contempt of court.

See also contract of record.

Court of Session

A Scottish court corresponding to the *Supreme Court of Judicature in England and Wales. It consists of an Outer House (corresponding to the *High Court) and an Inner House (corresponding to the *Court of Appeal).

court of summary jurisdiction

See Magistrates' Court.

court order

See order.



See deed; lease; restrictive covenant.

covenant running with the land

1. A *restrictive covenant affecting freehold land and binding or benefiting third parties who acquire the land. A restrictive covenant runs with the land of the covenantee if it is intended to benefit, and is capable of benefiting, land owned by the covenantor (the *dominant tenement). A covenant created before 1926 will bind a purchaser for value of the legal estate in the *servient tenement if he has notice of it; a covenant created after 1925 will not bind a purchaser of the legal estate for money or money's worth unless it is registered (See registration of encumbrances). A positive covenant (i.e. an obligation to perform an act) does not run with the land.

2. In a lease, a covenant, either restrictive or positive, that "touches and concerns" the land, i.e. one that affects the nature, value, or enjoyment of the land, and will bind successors in title of the landlord and the tenant provided there is *privity of estate between them.

covenant to repair

A clause contained in most *leases that sets out each party's obligations to carry out repairs. The standard of repair depends on the terms of the covenant and the kind of property. The general rule is that the property must be maintained in the condition that a reasonable tenant of that property would expect. The person carrying out the repairs must, so far as possible, restore the property to the condition it was in before the damage occurred. In the case of a block of flats or offices, the landlord is often responsible for external, and the tenant for internal repairs. When one party alone is responsible for repairs, this is more likely to be the landlord in the case of a short lease and the tenant in the case of a longer lease. A landlord is liable by statute to repair the structure and exterior and the appliances for heating and sanitation in a dwelling house let for less than seven years.

If the tenant does not fulfil his repairing obligations the landlord's remedies are *forfeiture or suing the tenant for damages. If the landlord is in breach of covenant, the tenant's remedies are as follows: he can sue for damages equal to the difference between the value of the property as it is and the value it should have if repaired; he can sue for *specific performance, a court order to compel the landlord to carry out his obligations; or, if he is sure that the landlord is in breach of covenant and he has told the landlord about the breach, he can carry out the repairs himself and recover the cost from future rent.



The status of a woman during, and arising out of, marriage. At common law a wife "lost" her own personality, which became incorporated into that of her husband, and could only act under his protection and "cover". Married women no longer suffer disabilities as a result of coverture.

See also unity of personality.


See Crown Prosecution Service.



1. The agreed deferment of payment of a debt. Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, credit also includes any other form of financial accommodation, including a cash loan. It does not include the charge for credit but does include the total price of goods hired to an individual under a *hire-purchase agreement less the aggregate of the deposit and the total charge for credit.

2. (in the law of evidence) The credibility of a witness. It must be inferred by the *trier of fact from the witness's demeanour and the evidence in the case. A witness may be cross-examined as to credit (i.e. impeached) by reference to his *previous convictions, bias, or any physical or mental incapacity affecting the credibility of his evidence.

credit card

A plastic card, issued by a bank or finance organization, that enables its holder to obtain credit when making purchases. The use of credit cards usually involves three contracts:

(1) A contract between the company issuing the credit card and the cardholder whereby the holder can use the card to purchase goods and, in return, promises to pay the credit company the price charged by the supplier. The holder normally receives monthly statements from the credit company, which he may pay in full within a certain number of days with no interest charged; alternatively, he may make a specified minimum payment and pay a high rate of interest on the outstanding balance.

Date: 2015-01-29; view: 1133

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