Legal Definitions

The following resources can help you understand legal language.

CPLEA Suggested Resources

Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.

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.

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A collaborative dictionary comprised, initially, of terms defined in glossaries of Canadian law books published by Irwin Law. The dictionary is maintained by an Irwin Law editor.

Related legal topic(s): Legal research

A website of King's University Library.

Related legal topic(s): Law libraries, Legal research

This Glossary of Parliamentary Procedure is produced by Procedural Services of the House of Commons for the information of the general public.

Related legal topic(s): Legal research

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

A dictionary of legal terms offered by the Justice Education Society of British Columbia.

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 one of the largest terminology and linguistic data banks in the world, gives you access to millions of terms in English, French, Spanish and Portugese. TERMIUM Plus® can be used to find terms, abbreviations, definitions and usage examples in a wide range of specialized fields. The data bank is an essential tool for understanding an acronym, checking an official title, finding an equivalent in another language, and much more. 

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