Important English vocabulary words for law and the tax system




 A Barrister (GB)

A type of lawyer in the UK , Australia, and some other countries who can give specialized legal advice and can argue a case in both higher and lower courts.

 Barristers wear wigs in court, just like judges.

A case

A particular situation or example of something.

Over a 100 cases are pending in the court since the last one year yet awaiting a verdict.

A solicitor (GB)

A type of lawyer in Britain and Australia who is trained to prepare cases and give advice on legal subjects and can represent people in lower courts.

When he was arrested for armed robbery, Bill refused to say anything to the police without his solicitor being present.

A trial

The hearing of statements and showing of objects, clues etc. in a law court to judge if a person is guilty of a crime or not.

It was a very complicated trial that went on for months.

A witness

A person who sees an event happening, especially a crime or an accident.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the accident to come forward.

An attorney (US) / a  Lawyer (US)

Someone whose job is to give advice to people about the law and speak for them in court.

I want to see my lawyer before saying anything.

Attorney General (US)

The top legal officer in some countries, whose job is to provide legal advice to the government and to represent the government.

 Eric H. Holder, Jr. was sworn in as Attorney General of the United States on February 3, 2009.


Refers to being convicted of a crime.

Though he pleaded not guilty in front of the judge but however, he was sentenced to three months prison.

To plead

to make an emotional statement or request.

He was on his knees, pleading for mercy/forgiveness.

To prosecute / to sue (US)

to officially accuse someone of committing a crime in a law court, or (of a lawyer) to try to prove that a person accused of committing a crime is guilty of that crime.

Shoplifters will be prosecuted.

To testify

To affirm your opinion on a case especially in a law court, or to provide proof.

He testified that he had seen the man leaving the building around the time of the murder.

To witness

The act of being present and seeing an event happening, especially a crime or an accident.

When you witness a crime, your duty is to declare it to police officers.

A case law

Refers to law based on decisions that have been made by judges in the past.

The FRA Case-law Database provides a compilation of Court of Justice of the European Union.

Civil law

The part of the legal system that relates to personal matters, such as marriage and property, rather than crime.

Civil law has been part of the legal system for more than 30 years.

A claim

To say that something is true or is a fact, although you cannot prove it and other people might not believe it.

The company claims (that) it is not responsible for the pollution in the river.

A clue

A sign or some information that helps you to find the answer to a problem, question, or mystery.

Police are still looking for clues in their search for the missing girl.

Common law

Refers to the legal system in England and most of the US that has developed over a period of time from old customs and court decisions, rather than laws made by politicians

England is the first country which developed the common law as an official legal system.

A criminal record

An official record of crimes that a person has committed.

They fired him when they found out he had a criminal record.

The defendant

A person in a law case who is accused of having done something illegal.

The company was suing the defendant for defamation.


Protection or support in response to an allegation made against a person in a criminal or civil proceeding.

The defendant has decided to raise a defence in response to being accused of corruption.

To deny

To refuse to accept.

The culprit denied the accusations.

To draft a contract

To write a first project of a legal agreement.

After hearing the future employee, the Human Resources Director started to draft a contract.


One or more reasons for believing that something is or is not true.

The police have found no evidence of a terrorist link with the murder.

The evidence is …….

To have the right to to something

To be able to legally act.

Thanks to the company ruling, employees have the right to be dressed in friday wear when they don’t see clients on this day.

An inspector

Someone whose job is to officially look into proceedings.

The inspector was working round the clock in order to keep an eye on the thief.

An investigation

The process of examining a crime, problem, statement, etc. carefully, especially to discover the truth.

An investigation has been under way for several days into the disappearance of the 13-year-old boy.

A judge

A person who is in charge of a trial in a court and decides how a person who is guilty of a crime should be punished, or who makes decisions on legal matters.

 She was the judge in the recently televised trial.

A juror

A juror is someone who is a member of a jury.

One juror was rejected because he had connections to someone involved in the case.


A group of people who have been chosen to listen to all the facts in a trial in a law court and to decide if a person is guilty or not guilty, or if a claim has been proved.

The jury found the defendant guilty.

A law clerk

A person who works with a judge and helps the judge make decisions.

He served as a law clerk for the chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.

A lawmaker

Someone, such as a politician, who is responsible for making and changing laws.

Lawmakers have decided to legalize betting.

Legal fees

An amount of money paid for legal service.

There is a legal fee for this case which is 300$ per year but if you were not working you can pay only 100$.

Life sentence

Refers to a verdict that will make a person suffer for the rest of their life in prison or without someone or without something.

His life sentence was to have to live without her for the rest of his life.

An offence

Refers to an illegal act; a crime.

He committed several serious offences.



The person who was judged guilty was extremely offensive.

To review clauses

To go through a provision or any legal item in order to change it.

The judge decided to review the employee’s contract clauses.

A sentence

Sentence usually refers to the verdict given by the judge to the accused depending on whether he is guilty or not.

 He was given a sentence of upto 10 years in jail as he was found guilty of the crime.

A settlement

an official agreement that ends the debate in the court

It now seems unlikely that it will be possible to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the court.

To submit a contract

To give over a legal agreement.

The Human Resources Assistant submitted the contract to his director for final approval.

To take further actions

To do some extra actions.

When the decision was made official, they decided to take further actions.

A theft

The act of dishonestly taking something that belongs to someone else and keeping it.

Unfortunately, we have had several thefts in the building recently.

A thief

Refers to a person who steals.

The art gallery was broken into last night, and the thieves got away with two valuable paintings.

To be on trial for

Refers to the be in the process of being as an accused of a crime.

He was on trial for almost a year before being judged not guilty.

To be under arrest

To be taken into police custody.

He was under arrest for drunken driving.

Average earnings

The average amount of money that workers can earn in a particular industry, area, or economy during a particular period of time.

Labour market data showed a fall in annual average earnings from 2.9% to 1.9% .

Fiscal year

  Financial year.

The previous fiscal year of our company was better than now.

Local taxes

A tax paid to the local government in a particular area.

There is no state or local tax on satellite television.


Refer to the percentage at which an individual or a business is taxed.

The tax rates this year have been on a real high and is a record in the last 100 years.

Taxes / Taxation

Refers to the amount of money paid to the government that is based on income or the cost of goods or services you have bought.

They’re increasing the taxes on cigarettes.

Tax stamp

A stamp marked on or affixed to a taxable item as evidence that the tax has been paid.

We need to purchase 49 euros tax stamp before going to immigration office to collect our visa.

Tax adjustment

Changes to the amount of taxes an individual owes the IRS or changes to the refund calculation.

He owes 50 euros more as taxes to the IRS after tax adjustment and needs to clear his dues by the end of this month.

A Tax haven

A place where people pay less tax than they would pay if they lived in their own country.

The Middle East is a tax haven for all immigrants.

Tax system

A legal system for assessing and collecting taxes.

Every year at the end of the financial cycle, the finance minister announces changes in the tax system.

A proof (prooves)

A legal piece of evidence.

The investigators were called to collect prooves.

To sue

To bring to court.

As he made several illegal actions, he ended up being sued.

A courthouse

A law court building.

The trial took place in the local courthouse.

To take the bar exam

To write a test that enables you to argue and defend clients at the court

To go further in her legal studies, she decided to take the bar exam.

To counsel

To give some legal advice.

All the supposed criminals have the right to be counselled.

A counsel

A legal advisor or lawyer who can legally advise people.

Free counsels are available every Tuesday at the Ministry of Justice.

A legal advisor

Someone who is trained and certified to give some legal advice.

Legal advisors are necessary in corporations.

The inland revenue

The former name for the government office in the UK that collects the main taxes.

Defrauding the Inland Revenue is a serious offence.

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