glossary

Glossary

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Title: oath
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When a person makes an oath, they give a formal promise that a statement is true. An oath is often sworn to a religious figure. If a person isn't able to take an oath, they make an affirmation instead.

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This is a criminal offence. If you try to stop or affect the administration of justice, you can be charged with the criminal offence of “obstructing justice”. An example of obstructing justice is paying a person to act as a surety for you.

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This is a criminal offence. If you try to stop a police officer from lawfully doing their job, you can be charged with the criminal offence of “obstructing a peace officer”.

Title: offence
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An offence is something that is against the law. The Criminal Code lists criminal offences. There are other types of offences that are not criminal offences, such as not wearing your seatbelt.

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An offer to settle is a written document that is sent by one party to the other party that says what they are willing to agree to in order to settle all or part of the issues.

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The Office of the Children's Lawyer (OCL) is the government-funded office that represents children under the age of 18 in some court cases.

They are not automatically involved in all custody and access court cases. The OCL has to agree to accept your case. The OCL has clinicians and lawyers across Ontario. OCL clinicians, who are usually social workers, prepare custody and access reports about a child’s needs, views, and wishes. OCL lawyers represent children in court.

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The Ontario Court of Justice is a provincial court that deals with matters related to family law and criminal law, as well as other provincial laws such as the Highway Traffic Act.

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An opening statement is what you tell the judge when your case starts. In it, you give the judge a summary of the:

  • issues your case is about
  • court orders you're asking for
  • evidence you will present to support the orders you want
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An openness agreement is an agreement made between a child’s adoptive parents and their birth parent, relative, or other person. It says how they agree to keep in contact in the future.

An openness agreement can be made at any time -- before or after the adoption takes place. The agreement can be formal or informal and can change over time. You don’t have to go to court to make an openness agreement.

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An openness order is a court order that says an adopted child can have contact with their birth parent, relative, or other person.

The court has to decide that the order would be in the best interests of the child, and that the continued relationship is an important one that is good for the child.

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