glossary

Glossary

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Title: testify
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When you testify, you give evidence as a witness in a court of law. You answer questions asked by the lawyers and the judge. You do this under oath or after you have given an affirmation. With an oath or an affirmation, you promise to tell the truth in court.

Title: testimony
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Testifying is a way of presenting evidence to the court using a witness. A witness testifies by answering questions asked by the lawyers and the judge. The answers the witness gives are called their testimony. The witness answers questions under oath or after giving an affirmation. With an oath or an affirmation, the witness  promises to tell the truth in court.

Title: tort
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A tort is a civil wrong that causes harm to a person or property. This is different from a “criminal wrong”. If you have been affected by a civil wrong, you can take action in court to claim compensation. Torts include:

  • wrongful arrest and detention
  • unlawful seizure of property  
  • unlawful searches
  • assault and battery
  • negligent use of force
Title: transgender
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Transgender is a word used to describe people whose gender identity and gender expression are different from stereotypical gender norms. Transgender includes people who identify as:

  • trans woman: a person whose birth-assigned sex is male and whose gender identity is female
  • trans man: a person whose birth-assigned sex is female and whose gender identity is male
  • cross-dresser: a person who wears clothing associated with the opposite sex
  • gender non-conforming or non-binary: a person who identifies as both a male and a female, neither a male nor a female, or some other gender
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There are specific legal rules for how you must transport alcohol:

  • The alcohol must be in a sealed bottle or closed can, or
  • The alcohol must be in a closed compartment of the vehicle, such as a trunk, out of reach of the driver
Title: trial
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A trial is a court hearing to determine whether the crown has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Trials result in findings of guilt or acquittals. If found guilty, the accused is sentenced. If they are acquitted, they are considered innocent of the offence and the case is over.

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A trial management conference is a meeting between a judge and you and your partner, and your lawyers if you have any. The purposes of a trial management conference include:

  • talking about ways to solve those issues without going to a trial
  • deciding how the trial will proceed if you cannot solve your issues
  • setting a trial date, if this has not already been done
Title: Tribunal
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An agency that makes decisions about applying a set of laws to disputes between people. It is like a court but less formal. The Landlord and Tenant Board is an example of a tribunal. Another example is the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Title: trust
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When a court holds money in trust, it keeps the money safe for specific purpose. For example, it holds money paid by a debtor because of a court order until it is time to give that money to the creditor.

Title: undertaking
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An undertaking is a piece of paper that an accused signs instead of being held for a bail hearing. Usually it will contain conditions you agree to comply with as part of your release from custody. If you don’t follow the conditions of your undertaking you can be charged with failing to comply.

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