Legal Definitions

The following resources can help you understand legal language.


Suggested Resources

Alberta Resources

This online legal dictionary has been prepared by Legal Aid Alberta. Definitions are arranged alphabetically and any terms that you may need in your dealings with Legal Aid Alberta are given a second definition specific to how they relate to LAA.

Related legal topic(s):

Canada/Federal

The objective of the Dictionary, which was produced as part of the process of standardizing French common law vocabulary, is essentially to expand the use of uniform terminological solutions. More specifically, the Dictionary is intended to provide methods of expressing concepts that are unique to the common law, using French terms that are consistent not only with the conceptual framework of that system of law, but also with the demands of the French language, and to establish a legal language that is precise and suited to the needs of French-speaking common law professionals.

Related legal topic(s): Legal research

Legal Glossary of Federal Statutes (English-French / French-English)

Related legal topic(s): Legal research

This on line dictionary of legal terms is provided as a public service by the Victoria, British Columbia law firm Duhaime & Company.

Related legal topic(s): Legal research

This revised and augmented version of the Family Law Glossary (Common Law) is published as part of a project undertaken in 1981 by the National Program for the Integration of Both Official Languages in the Administration of Justice (POLAJ) to standardize the French terminology of common-law vocabulary.

Related legal topic(s): Family law general resources

This site provides a glosary of terms used in parliamentary procudure.

Related legal topic(s): Political process and voting

This legal glossary, provided by Justice Ontario, is a basic guide to common legal terms. Different terms may have different meanings based on the specific area of law or the context in which they are being used. You can browse the list alphabetically or search for a specific term.

Related legal topic(s): Legal research

A glossary of terms created by the Supreme Court of Canada as part of their Resources for Self-Represented Litigants website resource.

Related legal topic(s): Legal process, Legal research, Self-representation

The Human Rights Glossary includes terminology related to human rights in the Canadian context. The glossary contains terms used by the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT). Created in 1977 by Parliament, this tribunal is the only entity that may legally decide whether a person or organization has engaged in a discriminatory practice under the Canadian Human Rights Act. An administrative tribunal specializing in the field of human rights, the CHRT is similar to a court of law, but is less formal. In 1996, the Tribunal’s responsibilities were expanded to include the adjudication of complaints under the Employment Equity Act. According to the Act, the CHRT also operates as the Employment Equity Review Tribunal.

Related legal topic(s): Human rights

A collaborative dictionary comprised, intially, of terms defined in glossaries of Canadian law books published by Irwin Law. The dictionary will be maintained by an Irwin Law editor. Members of the public are invited to submit new defined terms, edit existing terms and supply citations, sources and related terms.

Related legal topic(s): Legal research

Vancouver Community College has created this glossary of 5000 Canadian legal and court-related terms in English Plain Language, and their equivalents in six other languages (Chinese, Farsi, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese). The glossary is intended not only for court interpreters, but for everyone participating in court or legal processes.

Related legal topic(s): Classroom materials, Legal research, Writing in plain language

A glossary of terms that may be encountered when dealing in real estate.

Related legal topic(s): Legal research, Real estate and home ownership

TERMIUM Plus® is the Government of Canada's terminology and linguistic data bank. It is a trilingual data bank that gives the precise English, French or Spanish equivalent to designate anything from a simple tool or a complex machine, to a disease or plant, association or committee. Almost every field of human endeavour is covered; a unilingual data bank that can be used to check the meaning of a specialized term or find the meaning of a term in a leading-edge field; and a writing assistance tool that provides access to 16 electronic resources.

Related legal topic(s): Classroom materials, Legal research