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Stationery Office, The

The Stationery Office


(The Stationery Office, TSO)

The privatized body that, on 1 October 1996, took over the functions of *Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) in selling government and related legislative material. All Acts of Parliament and government regulations can be purchased from TSO. HMSO remains in public ownership; its functions include administration of Crown and Parliamentary copyright through its Copyright Unit.



A person's legal standing or capacity. The term derives from Roman law, in which it referred to a person's freedom, citizenship, and family rights. Status is an index to legal rights and duties, powers, and disabilities.

statute-barred debt

A debt that has not been recovered within the period allowed by the legislation relating to *limitation of actions. Such a debt can no longer be recovered by action. The limitation period for debts due on promises made by deed is 12 years from the date the debt became due. For other debts the limitation period is six years from the date the debt became due. However, in certain contracts of loan that do not provide for repayment of the debt by a fixed date and in which repayment is not conditional on a demand by the creditor, the six-year period will not start to run until the creditor makes a demand in writing for repayment of the debt.

statute book

The entire body of existing statutes.

statute law

The body of law contained in Acts of Parliament.

Compare case law.

statutorily protected tenancy

A tenancy that has *security of tenure and, in some cases, statutory control of rent.

statutory assignment

See assignment.

statutory company

A *company incorporated by the promotion of a private Act of Parliament.

Compare registered company.

statutory corporation

See public corporation.

statutory declaration

A *declaration made in a prescribed form before a justice of the peace, notary public, or other person authorized to administer an oath. Statutory declarations are used in extrajudicial proceedings and not in court, but have similar effects to declarations made on oath.

statutory demand

A standard form used for the enforcement of debts. It typically sets out a demand by a creditor to a debtor to honour payment of an amount owing. The amount may be due immediately or at a future date (if the creditor has reasonable grounds for believing that it will not be paid at this date). The demand will also specify a period of three weeks for repayment or other satisfactory solution. Failure to comply with the demand by the debtor will be evidence of an inability by the debtor to pay creditors and can be used to support a *compulsory winding-up petition.

Statutory Form of Conditions of Sale

Standard terms of contract for the sale and purchase of land, published by the Lord Chancellor under the Law of Property Act 1925. They cover, for example, the vendor's obligations in proving his title to the land, the completion of the transaction, and the payment of interest by the purchaser if he fails to complete on the due date. The Statutory Form applies automatically to contracts made by correspondence subject to any express agreement between the parties, and any valid contract for the sale and purchase of land may be expressed to incorporate the Statutory Form.

statutory instrument

Any *delegated legislation (not including subdelegated legislation) to which the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 applies. This includes (1) delegation made under powers conferred by an Act passed after 1947, either on the Crown or on a government minister, and expressed by that Act to be exercisable by Order in Council in the former case or by statutory instrument in the latter; or (2) delegation made after 1947 under powers conferred by an earlier Act and formerly governed by the Rules Publication Act 1893 (which was replaced by the 1946 Act and provided for the publication of delegated legislation to which it applied in an official series known as statutory rules and orders). Regulations or orders made before the 1946 Act came into force may still be statutory instruments if the power they exercise was a power to make statutory rules within the meaning of pre-existing legislation, which was duly conferred on a rule-making authority under that legislation.

The 1946 Act relates in part to the publicity to be given to statutory instruments, requiring them to be numbered, printed, and published by the Queen's printer. They are numbered consecutively for each calendar year in the order in which the printer receives them; for example, the first statutory instrument to be received in 1993 would be cited as "S.1. 1993 No.1". Moreover, as a modification of the rule ignorantia juris non excusat (ignorance of the law is no excuse), the Act makes nonpublication a defence to proceedings for contravening a statutory instrument unless other adequate steps had been taken to bring it to the public notice. The Act is also concerned with certain aspects of parliamentary control. It standardizes negative resolution procedure for statutory instruments by providing that, if the enabling statute simply makes them subject to annulment by resolution of either House of Parliament, they are to be laid before Parliament for 40 days and liable to annulment during that period. It further provides that any statutory instrument required to be laid (either because of that rule or because the enabling statute expressly says so) must be laid before becoming operative unless there is good reason to the contrary (in which case, an explanation must be given to the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker).

See also Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.

statutory interpretation

See interpretation of statutes.

statutory lives in being

See rule against perpetuities.

statutory maternity pay

See maternity rights.

statutory owner

A person having the powers of an immediate beneficiary of *settled land, where the beneficiary himself is under 18 or there is no immediate beneficiary (for example, in a discretionary settlement in which no beneficiary has been appointed). The statutory owner is either the person of full age on whom the powers are conferred by the settlement; the trustees of the settlement (See Settled Land Act trustees); or, in a settlement made by will on a beneficiary under 18, the testator's personal representatives until a vesting instrument has been effected.

statutory periodic tenancy

A *periodic tenancy that comes into operation on the expiration of an *assured tenancy for a *fixed term unless that tenancy is terminated by a court order or surrender of the tenancy (*surrender of tenancy). The statutory periodic tenancy is on the same terms as the fixed term tenancy before it expired, except for the condition for terminating the tenancy at the end of the term. However, the landlord or tenant can apply to a *rent assessment committee to vary the terms of the tenancy.

See also assured shorthold tenancy.

statutory rules and orders

See statutory instrument.

statutory sick pay


Weekly payments by employers to employees unable to work because of sickness; it is payable, after the first three days of sickness, for a period of up to 28 weeks, after which employees can claim *incapacity benefit. Employees who do not qualify for SSP include those with fixed contracts of no more than three months and recipients of any social security benefits during the previous eight weeks. Formerly all employers were entitled to an 80% reimbursement for SSP by the government, and smaller companies were entitled to full reimbursement after the first six weeks of each SSP claim. However, this position has been gradually altered since 1994. Currently in most cases no recoupment will be possible. The only exception is where an employer pays out, in any income-tax month, SSP exceeding 13%of his liability to pay national insurance contributions in that month. In such circumstances that excess can be recouped.

statutory tenancy

A tenancy that comes into existence when the contractual element of a *protected tenancy is terminated and the former protected tenant continues to live in the property (a company cannot be a statutory tenant). A statutory tenancy continues only for as long as the tenant lives in the property (therefore it will end if the tenant attempts to sublet). When the tenant dies, however, the statutory tenancy can be transmitted to his spouse if she was living in the dwelling immediately before the tenant's death. If there is no spouse, the tenancy can be transferred to another member of the tenant's family who was living with him for the previous two years. This is known as a statutory tenancy by succession. The terms of a statutory tenancy are, in general, the same as those of the original contractual tenancy. If there is no provision for notice in the original tenancy, the tenant must give three months notice to terminate his tenancy. A landlord can terminate a statutory tenancy only by obtaining a court order for possession. Statutory tenancies are being phased out as no new protected tenancies can be created after the Housing Act 1988.

See assured tenancy.

statutory trust

Until 1997, a trust created by statute when land was held by trustees on trust pending its sale (See trust for sale). Any income from the land prior to its sale and the proceeds of sale itself was held in trust by the trustees. Unless there was a contrary intention, the trustees had the right, at their discretion, to postpone sale. Since 1997, statutory trusts have been replaced by trusts of land (*trust of land) governed by the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

stay of execution

An order suspending the *execution of the order of a court. In the High Court a stay of execution by writ of *fieri facias may be granted subject to the condition that the debtor pays the judgment debt by specified instalments (unlike the county courts, the High Court has no other power to order the payment of judgment debts by instalments).

stay of proceedings

An order by the court suspending proceedings, usually because of some misconduct by the claimant (e.g. in a claim for damages for personal injury, unreasonably refusing to attend for medical examination by a doctor nominated by the defendant).



A person who is married to the father or mother of a child but is not the natural parent of the child. A step-parent has no automatic legal status in relation to his or her step-children, but will usually qualify to apply, as of right, for a *section 8 order in respect of the child by virtue of being married to the child's natural parent. Step-parents may acquire *parental responsibility either by applying to court for a residence order (which automatically confers parental responsibility) or by applying to adopt the child together with the child's natural parent. There is, however, a policy of discouraging step-parent adoption since the effect will be to irrevocably sever the child's legal ties with its other natural parent.

stipendiary magistrate

See District Judge (Magistrates' Court).



1. A fixed-interest loan raised by the government or a local authority.

2. Shares in a registered company that have been converted into a single holding with a nominal value equal to that of the total of the shares. For example, a holder of 100 shares of £1 each will have £100 stock after conversion.

3. See loan capital.

Stock Exchange

The International Stock Exchange of the UK and the Republic of Ireland Ltd: the body responsible for regulating the issue and marketing of company securities. Admission to the Listed Market must be sponsored by a member of the Stock Exchange and is available only to shares of large public companies that have published *accounts for the three years preceding the application and that have satisfied the listing rules (the Yellow Book). These rules ensure that sufficient information is supplied, both on admission and subsequently, to enable investors to assess the merits of the shares. Admission to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) is available to smaller companies who meet the statutory requirements. Deals in listed shares will usually be arranged through a member of the Stock Exchange acting as a market intermediary and taking a commission. Some market intermediaries specialize in particular securities; intermediaries who arrange deals in these securities are called matching brokers; intermediaries who will themselves buy or sell the securities are called market makers, and the prices they quote are quotations.

stock transfer form

See share transfer.

stop notice

1. A court procedure available to protect those who have an interest in shares but have not been registered as company members. The notice prevents the company from registering a transfer of the shares or paying a dividend upon them without informing the server of the notice.

2. A notice served by a local planning authority when they consider that any activity specified in an *enforcement notice should be prevented before the time for compliance given by that notice. It takes effect on a date specified therein, which is 3 to 28 days after service, and a site notice may be posted, drawing attention to its provisions.

stoppage in transitu

A remedy available to an *unpaid seller of goods when the buyer has become insolvent and the goods are still in course of transit. If the seller gives notice of stoppage to the carrier or other bailee of the goods, he is entitled to have them redelivered to him and may then retain possession of them until the price is paid or tendered. If the right is not exercised, the goods will fall into the insolvent buyer's estate and go towards satisfying his creditors generally.



A person who secretes himself upon a ship and goes to sea. This is a criminal offence under the Merchant Shipping Act 1894.

street offence

Any offence relating to the use of public streets. Examples are *obstruction, failing to obey police regulations about movement of traffic or pedestrians, *kerb crawling, and *soliciting.

strict construction

See interpretation of statutes.

strict liability

1. (in criminal law) Liability for a crime that is imposed without the necessity of proving *mens rea with respect to one or more of the elements of the crime. There are few crimes of strict liability at common law but such crimes are often created by statute, particularly to control or regulate daily activities; examples include offences relating to the production and marketing of food and *offences relating to road traffic. The usual penalty for crimes of strict liability is a fine. Most crimes of strict liability do, however, require mens rea in respect of at least some of the elements of the crime. In some cases statute provides for strict liability, but then allows a defence if the accused can prove (See burden of proof) that he had no reason to know of or suspect certain facts, so that, in effect, the crime becomes one of *negligence. Automatism (*automatism) is a defence to all crimes, including crimes of strict liability.

2. (in tort) Liability for a wrong that is imposed without the claimant having to prove that the defendant was at fault. Strict liability is exceptional in the law of tort, but is imposed for torts involving dangerous animals (See classification of animals) and dangerous things (the rule in *Rylands v Fletcher), *conversion, *defamation, *products liability, and some cases of *breach of statutory duty. It is no defence in these torts that the defendant took reasonable care to prevent damage, but various other defences are admitted.

strict settlement

A trust conferring beneficial interests in land that render it *settled land, governed by the Settled Land Act 1925. Generally the purpose of a strict settlement is to create successive interests that will keep the land in the settlor's family. The usual form of marriage settlement gave a life interest to the husband with remainder (after provisions for the wife during widowhood and for younger children of the marriage) to the first and other sons in *tail, a further remainder to any daughters as tenants in common in tail, and a final remainder to the husband in fee simple. The beneficiaries under a strict settlement have equitable interests in the land. Since 1997, such settlements exist as a trust of land.



A cessation of work or refusal to work by employees acting together in connection with a *trade dispute to secure better terms and conditions of employment for themselves and/or other workers. A trade union cannot call its members out on strike unless it has held a secret ballot and the majority agree to the action. Under terms of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 trade union ballots for industrial action must be fully postal and, if a ballot involves 50 or more members, it must be subject to independent scrutiny. Seven days' notice of the union's intention to ballot its members on industrial action must be given to the employer and the union must provide the employer with details of the ballot result and give him at least seven days' written notice of those members it intends to call out on strike. A strike ballot remains effective for four weeks. This period may be extended to eight weeks if the union and employer agree. The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 provides for a "Citizen's Right" for any individual to sue the union if he is deprived (or likely to be deprived) of any goods or services because of unlawfully organized industrial action. Until recently a claimant suing under the "Citizen's Right" provision could seek financial assistance from the Commissioner for Protection Against Unlawful Action, but this office was abolished by the Employment Relations Act 1999. The functions of the Commissioner have been transferred to the *Certification Officer.

striking off

1. The removal of a solicitor's name from the roll of solicitors of the Supreme Court, either at his request or for misconduct.

2. A similar procedure in other professions (e.g. the erasure of a doctor's name from the register of general medical practitioners).

3. The removal of a limited company from the companies register, often because it has failed to file accounts.

structured settlement

A form of *settlement of action used in cases of serious personal injuries in which it is agreed that the injured person will receive, in addition to a lump sum for losses already suffered, further payments on a periodic basis to cover future needs. The periodic payments are funded by an annuity purchased by the defendant and can be index-linked to provide for inflation.

structure plan

A written statement formulating a local planning authority's policy on development and land use, including environmental improvement and traffic management policy.

subdelegated legislation

Legislation made under powers conferred by *delegated legislation or by subdelegated legislation itself (in which case it is technically sub-subdelegated legislation). Subdelegated legislation is quite common (as when the parent Act authorizes a minister to make regulations and these in turn authorize others to make orders), but sub-subdelegated legislation is rare (though examples have existed in wartime); the chain has not in practice been further extended. Subdelegated legislation is not subject to any form of parliamentary control but it is subject to judicial control by means of the doctrine of *ultra vires.

subject to contract

See acceptance.

sub judice rule

1. A rule limiting comment and disclosure relating to judicial proceedings, in order not to prejudge the issue or influence the jury.

See contempt of court.

2. A parliamentary practice in which the Speaker prevents any reference in questions or debates to matters pending decision in court proceedings (civil or criminal). In the case of civil proceedings, he has power to waive the rule if a matter1 of national interest is involved.




(sublease, subtenancy, underlease)


A *lease granted by a person who is himself a lessee of the same property. The sublease must be shorter than the main lease. Thus a lessee with a lease for 10 years can grant a sublease for a period up to 10 years less one day. The formalities for creating and terminating a sublease are the same as those for a lease. There is often a covenant in a lease prohibiting subletting. If a lessee sublets in breach of the covenant the sublease will be valid, but the landlord may have a right of *forfeiture of the lease. In some cases the lease specifies that the lessee may only sublet with the landlord's consent. In this case, the landlord may not withhold his consent unreasonably and he cannot charge a fee for giving his consent unless there is express provision for this in the lease. If the main lease is forfeited, any sublease automatically comes to an end. However, the surrender of a lease does not affect any sublease.



The granting of a *sublease.



A mortgage of a mortgage. A submortgagor is a person who holds a mortgage over another's land and charges that mortgage as security for a debt he owes to a third party (the submortgagee). If the submortgagor defaults, the submortgagee may sell the mortgage (but not the land) and recover the debt from the proceeds.

subordinate legislation

See delegated legislation.



Procuring another to commit an offence. Normally subornation is included in the offence of aiding, abetting, or procuring (See accessory), but there is a special statutory offence of subornation of perjury.



See witness summons.



The substitution of one person for another so that the person substituted succeeds to the rights of the other. Thus an insurer who indemnifies his insured against the loss of goods may be subrogated to the insured person's rights against a third party whose negligence caused the loss.

subscribing witness

A person who signs a written document as an attesting witness to the signature of another.



A principle of the European Union, introduced by Article 3A of the *Maastricht Treaty, ensuring that in areas which do not fall within the exclusive competence of the EU, it shall not take action unless the objectives of the proposed action cannot be adequately achieved by individual member states. Thus it provides for legislation at national level when EU measures are not required.

subsidiary company

A company controlled by another company, its holding (or parent) company. For general purposes, such control is established when the holding company has a majority of the voting rights attached to its shares (either by virtue of its ownership of those shares or because of an agreement with other shareholders) or the right to appoint or remove a majority of its board of directors. If company A controls company B, which itself controls company C, then company C is the subsidiary of both company B and company A. For the purposes of *group accounts, a wider definition applies: the subsidiary need not be incorporated (See company) and control can also be established in other ways, e.g. when the holding company has the right, under the subsidiary's articles or memorandum of association (*articles of association; *memorandum of association), to exercise a dominant influence over it.

Substantial Acquisition Rules

See sars.

substantial damages

See damages.

substantial performance

See performance of contract.

substantive law

The part of the law that deals with rights, duties, and all other matters that are not matters purely of practice and procedure.

Compare adjective law.

substituted service

The service of documents in civil litigation other than by *personal service or (when postal service is permitted) by post. An order of the court is required for substituted service, and the application for it must be supported by an *affidavit. It may take the form of service by letter, advertisement, or any other method likely to bring the proceedings to the attention of the defendant. Substituted service has all the effects of personal service. It is often sought against defendants who are deliberately evading personal service.

substitutional legacy

A legacy that passes to descendants of a beneficiary who is named in a will if this beneficiary has predeceased the testator.

See also representation.



A tenant who holds a *sublease.


derivative trust

(sub-trust, derivative trust)


A trust created out of a trust. If A has an interest under a trust and declares himself trustee of the interest for Band C, Band C have interests under a subtrust as far as the original settlor is concerned.



1. The law and procedures under which beneficiaries become entitled to property under a testator's will or on intestacy.

2. (in international law) The transfer of sovereignty over a territorial entity from one subject of international law (i.e. one state) to another. As a result of succession, an existing state becomes totally extinguished (as when Tanganyika and Zanzibar ceased to exist in 1964 on the formation of Tanzania) or a state transfers part of its territory to another state.



To make a claim for a remedy in the civil courts by issuing court proceedings.



See tenancy at sufferance.



The act of killing oneself intentionally. Since 1961 suicide itself is not a crime, but there is a special statutory crime (punishable by up to 14 years' imprisonment) of aiding, abetting, counselling, or procuring a suicide. In practice very few prosecutions are brought for this offence. Doing nothing to stop someone else from committing suicide is not abetting it, but euthanasia (mercy killing) in the form of giving assistance to the sufferer (rather than actually killing him) may amount to aiding. When two people agree that one of them shall kill the other and then commit suicide (a suicide pact), the one who does the killing is guilty, if he survives, not of murder but of manslaughter.

sui generis

(Latin: of its own kind)

Forming a class of its own; unique.

sui juris

(Latin: of his own right)

Describing the status of a person who is of full age and capacity.

Compare alieni juris.



A court claim. The term is commonly used for any court proceedings although originally it denoted a suit in equity as opposed to an action at law. When a case is referred to as (for example) "Jones at the suit of Smith" (or "Jones a.t.s. Smith") Jones is the defendant in an action brought by Smith.

summary conviction

A *conviction in a magistrates' court. The magistrates are the judges of both fact and law and must either convict the accused or dismiss the case. The usual form of words for a conviction is 'We find the case proved", and a conviction may be returned on a simple majority verdict. Under the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, the magistrates may remand the accused for a medical examination if they are satisfied that he has committed the act he is charged with, but are in doubt as to his mental condition and whether or not to make a hospital order. Such a finding has the force of a conviction for purposes of the accused's right to be granted bail.

summary financial statement

A statement providing financial information about a company that is derived from its annual *accounts. Listed companies (*listed company) may opt to supply this abbreviated form of the accounts to their members in place of the full accounts, but only if the members do not object.

summary judgment

A procedure enabling a claimant in an action for debt or damages in the High Court to obtain judgment without the defendant being permitted to defend the action. It can be used in most actions except when these include a claim for *libel, *slander, *malicious prosecution, or *false imprisonment or an allegation of *fraud. Summary judgment will be entered on behalf of a claimant in those situations in which the court is satisfied that there is no real possibility of the defendant successfully defending himself against the claim. The procedure may also be invoked by the defendant in those situations in which it is accepted by the court that there is no real possibility of the claim succeeding.

summary offence

An offence that can only be tried summarily, i.e. before magistrates. Most minor offences (e.g. common assault and battery) are summary. Prosecutions for all summary offences must be started within six months of the commission of the offence, unless statute expressly provides to the contrary.

Compare indictable offence; offences triable either way.

Summary trial

Trial by magistrates without a jury. All summary offences are tried m this way, as well as some *offences triable either way. The main procedural principles followed in *trial on indictment also apply to summary trial, but there are some differences of which the most important are as follows.

(1) The accused does not usually have to be present at the hearing.

(2) Objections cannot usually be made either to information laid before the magistrates or to a summons or warrant served on the defendant on the grounds of "defects of substance or form" (unless they are fundamental defects).

(3) In the case of summary offences, the accused may send in a written plea of guilty, together with a statement of mitigation, and the case may then be tried without the prosecution or defence appearing.

summing up

A judge's speech at the end of a trial by *jury, in which he explains to the jury what its functions are, directs the members of the jury on any relevant points of law, and summarizes all the evidence that has been given in the trial.



A court order to an individual to appear in court at a specified place and time. The term is used in criminal cases for appearance at a magistrates' court. Before the introduction of the *Civil Procedure Rules in 1999, it was used in civil cases for hearings in the county court and applications to a judge sitting in chambers about procedural matters prior to the court hearing. Such orders are now made by application notice.

See also witness summons.

Summons Production Centre


An organization within the administrative structure of the *county courts system for the production of summonses issued by large-scale users of the county court, particularly public utilities. It is located in Northampton.

Sunday trading

The opening of shops for trading on a Sunday, which is governed by the Sunday Trading Act 1994 as consolidated in the Employment Rights Act 1996. Small shops may open at will on a Sunday. The 1994 Act repealed the Shops Act 1950, which prohibited large shops from Sunday trading. Large shops with a floor area over 280 square metres may now open on Sunday if notice is given to the local authority, provided that they open for no more than SIX hours beginning no earlier than 10.00 a.m. and ending no later than 6.00 p.m. These rules do not include Easter Sunday or Christmas Day when it falls on a Sunday. Local authorities may keep registers of large shops open for Sunday trading; these are open to inspection'. Certain large shops can open on a Sunday without the need to register, including farm shops, off-licences, motor and cycle suppliers, pharmacies, airport shops, shops at railway stations, motorway service areas, petrol-filling stations, shops supplying ships or aircrafts, stores selling at exhibitions, and shops occupied by people who observe the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday). Fines can be levied for breach of the requirements. The Act also controls noisy unloading on a Sunday.

Shopworkers who were taken on before 25 August 1994 (other than those employed for Sunday working only), and those who were taken on after that date who are not required by their contracts to work on Sundays, have a legal right to refuse to work on Sundays unless they have agreed to do so (for example, by signing an "opting-in notice").

superior court

Any of the higher courts of the legal system, whose jurisdiction is not limited, for example, by geography or by value of the subject matter of the. claim and whose decisions have weight as *precedents. In English law, the superior courts are the *House of Lords, the *Court of Appeal, the *High Court, and the *Crown Court, together with the *Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Decisions of superior courts are not subject to judicial review by the High Court.

Compare inferior court.

superior orders

A plea that certain conduct does not constitute a crime because it was committed in obedience to the orders of a superior (usually a superior officer in the armed forces). It could arise, for example, on the unjustified shooting of a rioter when the military are restoring order. UK law does not recognize the plea as a defence in itself. If an order is unlawful, a soldier's duty is to disobey it. If, however, an unlawful order is not manifestly so, the plea could be raised as establishing that the soldier did not have the necessary mens rea.

supervision order

1. An order of the court placing a child under the supervision of a local authority or a probation officer whose duty it is to advise and assist the child. The court can make a supervision order only if certain threshold criteria are satisfied. A supervisor may have wide powers, for example to ensure that the child lives as directed or attends specified activities; in addition, the supervisor may apply for an education supervision order if the child is of compulsory school age and not receiving adequate education. A supervision order does not confer *parental responsibility and initially lasts only for one year with a possible extension for up to a maximum of three years.

Compare care order.


See suspended sentence.

support funding

See community legal service.

suppression of documents

The dishonest destruction, hiding, or defacing of any valuable security (i.e. almost any document creating, extinguishing, or transferring a right in money or property), will or similar document, or any original document (but not a copy) belonging to or filed in any court or governmental department. If done with the purpose of gaining as a result, or causing loss to someone else, it is an offence punishable by up to seven years' imprisonment.

See also forgery.

supra protest

See acceptance supra protest.



The prevalence of one law or document over another that conflicts with it. Within the European Union, EU law prevails over national law; there are many instances of national law being overturned by the *European Court of Justice when a member state has ignored provisions of the Treaty of Rome. However, in certain areas, for example competition law, national laws may be permitted when they are stricter than provisions in EU law.

Supreme Court of Judicature

A court created by the Judicature Acts 1873-75 to take over the jurisdiction of all the higher courts, other than the House of Lords, existing at that time. It does not sit as a single court but comprises the *High Court of Justice, the *Court of Appeal, and the *Crown Court. Its practice and procedure are regulated by the *Civil Procedure Rules.

Supreme Court Rule Committee

See rules of the Supreme Court.



1. Security in the form of money to be forfeited upon nonappearance in court, offered either by the defendant himself or by other people of suitable financial resources, character, and relationship to the defendant.

2. Any person who offers security for another.

See bail; recognizance.



A family name. Upon marriage a wife is entitled to take her husband's surname (and title or rank) and to continue using it after his death or divorce (unless she uses it for fraudulent purposes), although she is not obliged to do so. A legitimate child, by custom, takes the name of his father and an illegitimate child that of his mother (although the father's name may be entered on the birth registration if both parents agree or an affiliation order names the man as the putative father). Upon adoption a child automatically takes the name of his adoptive parents.

See also change of name.



(in court procedure)

An unexpected event that causes a party to be put at some disadvantage in litigation. Many rules of pre-trial procedure are designed to prevent surprise; for example, any matter that might otherwise take the opposite party by surprise must be specifically pleaded, and there are rules concerning the exchange of the reports of expert witnesses. Surprise is an argument often put forward by parties seeking to resist amendments of statements of case and other documents; if justifiably raised at trial, it may result in an adjournment being offered to the disadvantaged party.



Formerly, a pleading served by a claimant in reply to the defendant's *rebutter. Such a pleading was very rare in modern practice and no longer exists under the *Civil Procedure Rules.



Formerly, a pleading served by a claimant in answer to the defendant's *rejoinder. Such a pleading was very rare in modern practice and no longer exists under the *Civil Procedure Rules.

surrender of tenancy

The termination of a *lease, which occurs when a tenant gives up his interest to his landlord. Surrender can be express or implied. Express surrender is usually in the form of a deed. When the lease is for less than three years, no deed is needed provided that the tenant signs a written agreement to surrender. Implied surrender occurs when the actions of both parties show that they consider the lease to be at an end; for example, when the tenant gives up possession and the landlord reoccupies the property.

surrender to custody

To give oneself into the custody of the court or police at an appointed time and place. It is the primary condition of all releases on *bail to surrender to custody; in order to achieve this, the court may attach conditions to the bail, such as the provision of a *surety or restrictions on movement. Failure to surrender to custody is an offence (See absconding). The police may arrest without warrant anyone whom they reasonably believe is not going to surrender to custody or anyone whom they have been informed by a surety (who wishes to be relieved of his undertaking) is not going to surrender.



The role of a woman (a surrogate mother) who is commissioned to bear a child by a married couple unable to have children themselves. The pregnancy is usually initiated through artificial insemination of the surrogate mother by the husband, although sometimes the wife's eggs are used; in this case the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the child, being simply a host for the embryo. The Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985 prohibits commercial agencies from engaging women to act as surrogate mothers. Breach of the prohibition is punishable with a fine of up to £2000 or three months' imprisonment. Surrogate mothers and commissioning parents are exempt from liability. Advertising surrogacy services is punishable with a similar maximum fine.

See also section 30 order.



Keeping watch on a suspect. The Police Act 1997 provides a formal system for authorization of intrusive surveillance operations by chief police officers. A team of independent commissioners oversees the arrangements and investigates complaints. Police and customs officials are also required to seek prior approval from a commissioner for authorizations in particularly sensitive cases - such as those involving legal *privilege, for example - except in cases of emergency.

See also electronic surveillance.

survival of cause of action on death

At common law all causes of action in personal actions (i.e. contract and tort) died with the person in whom they were vested (actio personalis moritur cum persona). By statute, however, all such causes of actions, except for defamation and claims for certain types of loss, survive against or for the benefit of the deceased.

See also fatal accidents.



See commorientes; right of survivorship.

sus law

The law that formerly empowered the police to arrest any reputed thief or suspected person found loitering with intent to commit an arrestable offence. This law caused much public concern and was abolished by the Criminal Attempts Act 1981.

See interfering with vehicles.

suspended sentence

A prison sentence that does not take effect immediately. When a person is sentenced to imprisonment for less than two years, the court may, in exceptional circumstances, order that he should not actually be imprisoned unless he commits another offence within a specified operational period of between one and two years. If the suspended sentence is for a prison term of more than six months, the court may also make a suspended sentence supervision order, placing the offender under the care of a probation officer. If the offender fails to comply with the terms of such an order he is liable to a fine.

Formerly, when an offender had been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than three months but less than two years, and the court felt that it would not be right to suspend the whole of the sentence, it could instead make an order for a partially suspended sentence, under which the offender served part of the sentence. Partially suspended sentences were abolished by the Criminal Justice Act 1991.

symbolic delivery

See delivery.



A deliberative assembly of the clergy.

See Church of England.

Table A

Model *articles of association that apply to companies limited by shares unless other articles excluding or modifying them are delivered to the Companies Registry when the company is registered. The company is subject to the Table A m force at the time it was registered. Tables B, C, D, E, and F specify forms of *memorandum of association and *articles of association to be adopted by particular types of company.



Before 1926, the right of a mortgagee who made a second advance to the mortgagor to attach his second advance to the first one so that It had priority over the claims of any intervening mortgagee, provided that he has received no notice of any intervening mortgage. This exception to the rules relating to priority of mortgages was abolished in 1925.



An *entailed interest.

tail general

An *entailed interest under which the class of descendants who can succeed to the land is not limited to the issue of a specified spouse of the first tenant in tail.

Compare tail special.

tail male

An *entailed interest under which only male descendants of the original tenant in tail can succeed to the land. If the male line dies out, the land goes to the person next entitled in *remainder or in *reversion. The interest may be general or special.

See tail general; tail special.

tail special

An *entailed interest under which only the descendants of the first tenant in tail and a specified spouse can succeed to the land; for example, when land is settled on "John and the heirs of his body begotten on Mary".

Compare tail general.



The acquisition of control by one company over another, usually smaller, company (the target company). This is usually achieved (1) by buying shares in the target company with the agreement of all its members (If they are few) or of only its *controllers; (2) by purchases on the *Stock Exchange; or (3) by means of a *takeover bid.

Compare merger.

See also City Code on Takeovers and Mergers; concert party; dawn raid.

takeover bid

A technique for effecting a *takeover or a *merger. The bidder makes an offer to the members of the target company to acquire their shares (either for cash or in exchange for shares in the bidding company) in the hope of receiving sufficient acceptances to obtain voting control of the target company. Unless there is a *scheme of arrangement - and providing that the court does not order otherwise - if members holding not less than 90% in value of the shares involved in the bid accept the offer, the bidding company can compulsorily acquire the shares of the remaining members.

taking at sea

A risk commonly covered in policies of marine insurance, which includes seizure or capture of a vessel by enemies or pirates.



An Islamic divorce, usually effected by a triple declaration ("I divorce you") by the husband to the wife in front of witnesses. In some Moslem countries this may be done informally; in other countries it must be pronounced before an authorized officer of the court. It may also be effected by a written talaqnama.

See also extrajudicial divorce.

tangible property

Property (*property) that has a physical existence, e.g. chattels and land but not *choses in action nor incorporeal *hereditaments (which are intangible property).



A compulsory contribution to the state's funds. It is levied either directly on the taxpayer by means of *income tax, *capital gains tax, *inheritance tax, and *corporation tax; or indirectly through tax on purchases of goods and services (See value-added tax) and through various kinds of duty, e.g. *road tax, *stamp duty, and duties on betting and gaming.

taxable person

See value-added tax.

taxable supply

See value-added tax.

taxation of costs

See assessment of costs.

tax avoidance

The lawful arrangement or planning of one's affairs so as to reduce liability to tax.

Compare tax evasion.

tax evasion

Any illegal action taken to avoid the lawful assessment of taxes; for example, by concealing or failing to declare income.

Compare tax avoidance.

Tax Exempt Special Savings Account


A savings account, introduced with effect from January 1991, that is exempt from *income tax and *capital gains tax. The exemption is limited to an amount of £9000 in total. and there is a limit of £3000 on investments in the first year and £1800 in each subsequent year (the maximum of £1800 can only be invested in the fifth year if a reduced amount was invested in one of the previous years). Savers with a matured Tessa could invest all the capital (i.e. up to £9000) from this account in a new Tessa during the first year, provided the new account was opened within six months of the maturity date of the old Tessa. There are restrictions on permissible withdrawals from the account. No new Tessas can be opened after 5 April 1999, but existing Tessas continue until maturity; the capital of a matured Tessa can be transferred to an *Individual Savings Account (ISA) without affecting the annual ISA allowance, provided that this is done within six months of the maturity date of the Tessa.

taxing master

See costs officer.

taxing statute

An Act of Parliament that imposes tax. Any ambiguity is construed in favour of the taxpayer (See interpretation of statutes).

tax point

The date on which a taxable supply becomes liable for *value-added tax. The rate of tax chargeable on the supply is the rate in force at the tax point, and the supply must be accounted for in the tax period in which the tax point occurs. If the supply is a straightforward sale of goods, the tax point is normally the date on which the customer takes possession of the goods. For the supply of services, the tax point is normally the date on which the service is completed. In the case of hirings, rentals, continuous or metered supplies (e.g. electricity), and supplies that are subject to progress payments, the tax point is either the date on which an invoice is issued or the date on which payment is received, whichever is earlier. If the supplier issues a tax invoice, this must show the tax point.

tax year

fiscal year

(tax year, fiscal year)

The year of assessment for *income tax and *capital gains tax purposes. It runs from 6 April to 5 April in the following year.

See also financial year.

Technology and Construction Court

See official referee.

technology transfer

The licensing of *intellectual property. EU regulation 240/96 provides *block exemption from *Article 81 (competition law) for certain categories of patent and *knowhow licence (and also for trade mark, design. copyright. and other intellectual property licences that are ancillary to a patent or knowhow licence). The regulation, which replaced earlier legislation on 1 April 1996. applies to new licences entered into after that date and sets out those provisions in licensing agreements that are permitted. those that are exempted. and those that are prohibited (blacklisted). the presence of which prevents the exemption from applying. The regulation also provides that agreements that do not contain blacklisted provisions but otherwise do not come within the regulation may be notified to the Commission for individual exemption; if no objection is raised by the Commission within four months. the agreement may be deemed acceptable (this is called the opposition procedure).

telephone tapping

Secretly listening to telephone conversations by interfering with the line. It is illegal except when authorized by the Home Secretary.

See also electronic surveillance.



A form of employment in which employees use information technology to enable them to work mainly from home. The advantages to the employer are the elimination of transport problems, reduction in office overheads. and increased flexibility. Teleworkers are distinguished from outworkers in that the former are engaged in white-collar work. as opposed to the manual tasks performed by poorly paid female outworkers.



Broadly. the interest of one who holds land by any right or title. The term is often used in a more restricted sense, however, for the arrangement in which the owner (the *landlord) allows another person (the tenant) to take possession of the land for an agreed period, usually in return for rent. There are many ways of establishing a tenancy, from a formal *lease by deed to an informal verbal arrangement. The latter is legally binding on the parties if it satisfies the requirements for an *agreement for a lease. A tenancy can also come into existence through statute law (See statutory periodic tenancy).

The different kinds of tenancy are: tenancy for a *fixed term. *joint tenancy, *periodic tenancy. *tenancy at sufferance, *tenancy at will, *tenancy by estoppel, and *tenancy in common. The terms and conditions of tenancies vary considerably according to the kind of tenancy and the wishes of the parties. There are many statutory controls which affect tenancies. particularly in relation to *security of tenure and rent.

See also assured tenancy.

tenancy at sufferance

A tenancy that arises when a tenant is *holding over and the landlord has not indicated whether or not he agrees to the tenant's continued occupation. If the landlord gives his express agreement. the tenancy becomes a *tenancy at will.

tenancy at will

A tenancy that can be terminated by the landlord or the tenant at any time. A tenancy at will usually arises by implication. when the owner of land allows a person to occupy it although he has no *fixed term. *periodic tenancy or *licence (for example, when a landlord agrees to the tenant *holding over). More rarely. a tenancy at will may be created by express agreement. If the landlord starts to accept rent on a regular basis. an ordinary *periodic tenancy is created. A tenant who holds over after a fixed-term *assured tenancy expires may have a *statutory periodic tenancy. A tenancy at will of business premises does not have the statutory protection given to a *business tenancy. In the case of residential premises, however, the usual statutory protection from *eviction will apply. A tenancy at will can be terminated by the landlord demanding possession or if either he or the tenant dies or parts with his interest in the land.

tenancy by estoppel

A tenancy that exists despite the fact that the person who granted it had no legal right to do so. Such a tenancy is binding on the landlord and tenant but not on anyone else. If the landlord subsequently acquires the right to grant the tenancy, it automatically becomes a full legal tenancy.

tenancy for years

A tenancy for a *fixed term.

tenancy from year to year

A yearly *periodic tenancy.

tenancy in common

Equitable ownership of land by two or more persons in equal or unequal *undivided shares. Each co-owner may sell or dispose of his share by will, and a share does not pass automatically by the right of survivorship on the death of a co-owner but forms part of his estate (Compare joint tenancy). Under the Law of Property Act 1925 the legal estate is held by the co-owners as joint tenants on trust for themselves as equitable tenants in common. and a *trust of land is implied.



A person who is granted a *lease or a *tenancy. A tenant need not be an individual; for example. a company can be a tenant.

tenantable repair

The maintenance of a property in a condition fit for letting to a tenant. The phrase is sometimes used in a *covenant to repair. The use of the word "tenantable" has no significant effect on the parties' usual obligations under the covenant.

tenant for life

life tenant

(tenant for life, life tenant)

A person owning land for an equitable interest that subsists for the whole of his life but terminates on his death (See also life interest). The statutory powers of a tenant for life are laid down by the Settled Land Act 1925 (See settled land).

See also trust of land.

tenant in tail

A person entitled in possession or on the death of his ancestor to an *entailed interest.

tenant in tail after possibility of issue extinct

The interest of an original tenant in *tail special when the specified spouse has died and there are no heirs entitled to succeed to the entailed interest. The tenant in tail retains his powers under the Settled Land Act 1925 (See settled land) but cannot bar the entail (See entailed interest). This position cannot arise when the land is held in tail general, since while the tenant in tail lives there is always a possibility he may have children by another wife.

tenant pur autre vie

See estate pur autre vie.

tenant's fixtures

Fixtures attached to rented property by a tenant that the tenant is entitled to remove at the end of the tenancy. These are: *trade fixtures, ornamental and domestic fixtures (such as blinds and mirrors) whose removal does no serious damage. and (subject to certain statutory rules) agricultural fixtures. Tenants are not entitled to remove any other fixtures.



1. An offer to supply (or to purchase) goods or services. Normally a tender must be accepted to create a contract, except when the invitation to tender states unequivocally that the lowest (or highest) tender will be accepted. If the tender is to supply goods as required by the other party. it may be a standing offer and creates contracts as and when particular orders are placed. Whether or not the tenderer can withdraw from supplying future orders depends upon the terms of the tender, in particular whether the tenderer binds himself (for consideration) to execute all orders.

2. An offer of performance, acceptance of which requires the concurrence of the other party, e.g. the tender of the price of goods by a buyer to a seller.

tender before action

(tender before claim)

A *defence to a claim for a debt or liquidated demand alleging that the defendant offered to pay the sum claimed before the claimant began his action. In order to rely upon this defence the defendant must pay the sum tendered into court and give notice of the payment to the claimant.

See also part 36 offers and payments.

tender offer

An offer of a company's securities to the public (See flotation) at a uniform price (above a specified minimum) that is determined by the bids received and ensures that all the securities are taken up.



Under the *feudal system, the relationship between lord and tenant, which determined the conditions under which the land was held. Today the term is used to indicate the nature of a legal estate in land, i.e. freehold or leasehold. The only tenurial relationship of practical significance in modern law is that of landlord and tenant (or leasehold).

See also security of tenure.



1. Originally, any of four periods of the year during which judicial business had to be transacted. For this purpose terms were abolished by the Judicature Acts 1873-75, and the legal year is now divided into *sittings and *vacations. In the *Inns of Court the year is still divided into terms that have the same names as the court sittings but are shorter. A student keeps term as part of the qualification for call to the Bar by dining in his Inn on a specified number of occasions during the term.

2. Any provision forming part of a contract. A term may be either a *condition, a warranty, or an *innominate term, depending on its importance, and either an *express term or an *implied term, depending on its form.

3. The duration of a leasehold interest in land.

See term of years.

term of years

term for years

(term of years, term for years)

An interest in land that subsists for or by reference to some specified period of time. It includes interests subsisting for less than a year (e.g. a lease for six months) and periodic tenancies (e.g. a weekly, monthly, or yearly tenancy determinable by notice to quit). It can also include tune-share agreements, e.g. of one specified week in each of a number of years. The commencement date and maximum duration of the term must be identifiable before the lease takes effect.

See also term of years absolute.

term of years absolute

A leasehold estate in land: a *term of years that mayor may not be brought to an end by notice, forfeiture, or any other event except the death of any person. Thus a lease "to X for 25 years if Y shall so long live" is not a valid term of years absolute. Under the Law of Property Act 1925 a term of years absolute can exist as a *legal estate provided it is created in the required manner, i.e. by deed in the case of a term of three years or more.

terra nullius

See discovery.



(in international law)

The principle that states should not exercise their jurisdiction outside the area of their territory. They are entitled, however, to exercise jurisdiction within their territory over acts committed by their citizens outside their territory, and all states have jurisdiction over *offences against international law and order. The territory of a state for purposes of jurisdiction includes its ships and aeroplanes. A state may exercise jurisdiction over crimes that are either originated within its territory but completed outside or originated outside its territory and completed inside.

territorial limits

The geographical limits within which an Act of Parliament operates, which include, in the UK, the territorial sea up to the 12-mile limit. The limits are restricted by international law (See sovereignty of parliament).

territorial waters

The band of sea between the limit of the *internal waters of a state (See baseline) and the *high seas, over which the state has certain specified rights. These rights are governed by a 1958 Geneva Convention, which is taken to represent the position under customary international law. New rules were proposed in a 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (See law of the sea). A coastal state exercises sovereignty over its territorial waters, which includes, in particular, the following.

(1) An exclusive right to fish and to exploit the resources of the seabed and subsoil of the seabed and exclusive use of the airspace above the territorial sea.

(2) The exclusive right to use the territorial waters to transport people and goods from one part of the state to another.

(3) The right to enact laws concerning navigation, immigration, customs dues, and health, which bind all foreign ships.

(4) The right to ask a warship that ignores navigation regulations to leave the territorial waters.

(5) Certain powers of arrest over merchant ships and people on board and jurisdiction to try crimes committed on board such ships within the territorial waters.

(6) The right to exclude fighting in the territorial waters during a war in which the coastal state is neutral.

All foreign ships, however, have a right of innocent passage through the territorial sea, i.e. the right to pass through, provided they do not prejudice the peace, security, or good order of the coastal state (submarines must navigate on the surface).

See also hot pursuit, right of.

The extent of the territorial sea is usually measured from the low-tide mark on the shore, but in estuaries and small bays it is measured from a closing line between two points on the shore, which delimits the state's internal waters. The width of the territorial sea is a matter of dispute in international law. Traditionally it has been fixed at 3 nautical miles (See cannon-shot rule), but many states have claimed 12 miles or more, and this will probably become the normal width. The Territorial Sea Act 1987 fixes the

Date: 2015-01-29; view: 853

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