Demystifying the language of the court

“Demystifying the language of the court”
BBC Radio 4 Word of Mouth

An exceptionally longer piece (about 28 minutes) but rich in excellent vocabulary and background knowledge on the litigation-related phrases.
The episode covers a few areas of interest, legal jargon, the origin of words, the code of conduct in the court room.
I hope you will find it both educational and enlightening.
The speakers use beautiful British English:)

The list of subjectively selected collocations follows. Feel free to choose only those items that you would like to use in the future.

Please make sure that you download the episodes and store them on your computer for future reference. They have more educational value if you listen to them several times.

Demystifying the language of the court PDF

Demystifying the language of the court ODT

Demystifying the language of the courtroom
[sth = something; sm = somebody]

to get summons
legit or stolen
to attend the court
a solemn officer
sth is within your vocabulary
be befuddled by sth/ vocabulary
the Transparency project
have powers to intervene in people’s lives
be subjected to the process
a number of reasons for sm
part of it is …
to sit at the back of the court
be brought to court
in times of extreme emotional stress
a personal crisis
language is full of unfamiliarity
your first encounter with sth
a walk of life
to use acronyms
to become normalised
an urge for transparency
a long history of attempted legislation
I won’t bore you with sth
to become more pressing and audible
information comes out of family courts
to sit in private
to air sm’s grievances
to publish more judgments
to get a grip on sth
sm is sitting in judgement (general language meaning)
to deliver a decision
the reasoning behind the decision
the decision stands
the rationale behind sth
the piece of evidence
to apply the law
to intervene
be questioned in a witness box
the question is unintelligible
full of jargon
to rephrase the question
to make submissions to sm/ the judge
to buy into the process
to drop the jargon
to work to a book of guidelines
to disapprove of the use of Latin
to come to court ex parte = without another party
an ex parte hearing
an inter parte hearing
to be stuffy
to carry abstract concepts
clarity and simplistic language
the economy of language
to command respect for sth
to preserve mystique
to decode the language
to convey a message
to go back to basics
the change of administration
the spelling is massively lagging behind
to cease to be as spoken language
a mother tongue
to bring sth into play
the spoken variant
to aid and abet
aiding and abetting
to plead in court
a judge
to deem = to judge
a doom = a sentence
justice = iusticia
a wrong
to act an as advocate
a pursuer = an appellant, a claimant
a legal framework
to break down into
solicitors and barristers
to do the advocacy
be instructed to go to court
to conduct litigation
discreet compartments
a bar
a barrister
to instigate matters
to transact matters
a court
a courtyard
a cohort of soldiers
a patch of ground
the rule of thumb is …
to address a judge
to refer to sm
tiers of judges
the bottom rank
district judges
circuit judges
wink and nudge
to pass without notice
my instructions are …
to make a point of sth
a euphemism
be understated
overblown and emotive language
a gentle cue
with respect
with the greatest of respect
to do jury service
to begin sm’s account = description
“I would suggest to you …”
in actual fact
to try sth out
to trip over sth
to employ a technique
“I put it to you …”
a vulnerable witness
a complainant
mental health / cognitive difficulties
not to cause sm distress
to give your best account
an authority figure
body language
to turn back
to pick sth up
to leave sm unattended in court
to leave the court backwards
to turn around / your back on sm
my learned friend
a term of respect
by convention
to make a point
a peer
Gillick competent
to derive from
a McKenzie friend
a shorthand
to sit quietly by the side of sm
for moral support

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash