Duhaime's Law Dictionary

G
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with G

Garnishment
The seizing of a person's property, credit or salary, on the basis of a law which allows it, and for the purposes of paying off a debt.
Gavel
A wooden mallet used by a judge to bring proceedings to a start or to an end or to command attention in his or her court.
Gavelkind
A form of limited land ownership in England pre-Conquest (1066) which vested to all sons equally.
Gay
A homosexual individual.
Gender
The social and cultural construction of what it means to be a man or a woman, including roles, expectations and behaviour; the association of an individual with being either a male or a female, or both or neither.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
Multilateral international trade treaty first created in 1947 and frequently amended.
General Average
A principle of maritime law where in the event of emergency, if cargo is jettisoned or expenses incurred, the loss is shared proportionately by all parties with a financial interest in the voyage.
General Counsel
The senior lawyer of a corporation.
General Damages
Damages not readily calculated such as pain and suffering.
General Deterrence
A sentencing objective which aims to discourage persons other than the offender, from committing a similar offence.
Generalia Specialibus Non Derogant
Latin maxim of interpretation: the provisions of a general statute must yield to those of a special one.
General Partner
The individual in a limited liability partnership business structure, who oversees the management of the business, and who is personally exposed to the debts of the business.
Genocide
Systematic killing of persons because of their ethnicity.
Gerrymander
The intentional setting of electoral boundaries taking into account traditional voting patterns, so as to attempt to influence the taking of an elected office.
Ghost Surgery
Surgery performed by an unauthorized substitute surgeon.
Ghostwriting
When a lawyer is hired to draft an official court document on behalf of a self-represented litigant.
Gift
A transfer of property with nothing given in return.
Gift Over
To provide for the gift of property to a second recipient if a certain event occurs, such as the death of the first recipient.
Gladue Rights
(Canada) Purported special rights available only to Aboriginal offenders on sentencing.
Glioma
A species of brain tumor.
Global Deterioration Scale
A psychiatric tool charting stages of dementia.
God
Supreme being.
Golden Rule
A rule of statutory or legal document interpretation which allows a shift from the ordinary sense of as word(s) if the overall content of the document demands it.
Golden Rule Argument
A suggestion made to a jury that it place itself in the defendant's position.
Goods
A chattel which is, generally, subject to sale.
Goodwill
An intangible business asset which includes a cultivated reputation and consequential attraction and confidence of repeat customers and connections.
Government
Organization of law-making and law enforcement; the form and institutions by which law and order are developed and maintained in a society.
Grand-Father Clause
A provisions in law or a contract which exempts persons already engaging in the activity which the law or contract prohibits, from adverse results from the subsequent law or contract.
Grand Jury
An American criminal justice procedure whereby, in each court district, a group of 16-23 citizens hold an inquiry on criminal complaints brought by the prosecutor and decide if a trial is warranted, in which case an indictment is issued.
Gravamen
The material part or essence of a charge, grievance or complaint.
Gray's Inn
One of four Inns of the Court, self-regulating associations of barristers in England and wales.
Great Britain
England, Wales and Scotland, since 1707.
Great Seal
A formal and unique seal pressed onto wax used mostly in medieval or even previous times, to authenticate important documents emanating from a monarch.
Grievance
A claim by a union or a unionized employee that a collective bargaining agreement has been breached.
Grievance Arbitration
The resolution of a dispute as to an alleged violation of a term of a collective bargaining agreement, by arbitration.
Grossly Unfair
Manifestly unfair; clearly more than merely unfair; disproportionately unfair.
Gross Negligence
An action or an omission in reckless disregard of the consequences to the safety or property of another.
Guarantee or Guaranty
A back-up debtor who steps in if the primary debtor defaults.
Guarantor
A person who pledges payment or performance of a contract of another, but separately, as part of an independently contract with the obligee of the original contract.
Guardian
An individual who, by legal appointment or by the effect of a written law, is given custody of both the property and the person of one who is unable to manage their own affairs, such as a child or mentally-disabled person.
Guardian Ad Litem
A guardian appointed to direct litigation on behalf and in the interests of a person otherwise incapable of managing their affairs.
Guardian by Nature
A mostly discarded assumption of law; that the legal guardian of a child is the father or, on his death, the mother.
Guardian of the Estate
A person who is appointed to manage the property and financial affairs of an incapable individual.
Guardian of the Person
A person appointed to manage the health and well-being of another.
Guardianship
The office or duty of one who legally has the care and management of the person, or the estate, or both, of a child.
Guillotine
A machine designed to inflict capital punishment by dropping a blade onto the neck, thus quickly severing of the head from the body.
Guilty
A person found guilty of a criminal charge, either as a result of an acknowledgment of it by pleading guilty, or as a result of a trial at which the accused was found guilty of the offence changed.
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