Glossary of Terms

A (9) | B (5) | C (16) | D (8) | E (3) | F (5) | G (1) | H (3) | I (3) | J (7) | L (7) | M (5) | N (5) | O (2) | P (7) | Q (2) | R (2) | S (8) | T (1) | V (1) | Y (2)

Care Tribunal for Northern Ireland

The Care Tribunal for Northern Ireland hears appeals relating to the regulation of residential care homes, nursing homes, children’s homes, nursing agencies and independent health care providers and other care services; decisions prohibiting or restricting the employment of individuals teaching or working with children or working with vulnerable adults or decisions concerning the registration of social workers.

Additional information can be found on the Northern Ireland Courts & Tribunal Service website.

Case law

The body of law created by judges' decisions on individual cases.

Chancery Court

The Chancery Court undertakes civil work of many kinds such as companies, bankruptcy and repossession.

Civil Court

A court that deals with matters which are not offences against the state.

Committal Proceedings

Proceedings in the magistrates' courts in which a decision is taken on whether a defendant should be returned/committed to the Crown Court for trial.

Compensation Agency for Northern Ireland

The Compensation Agency was established in April 1992 to support the victims of violent crime by providing compensation to those who sustain loss as a result of actions taken under emergency provisions legislation. It carries out this work on behalf of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Competence (competences plural)

Describes what someone needs to do competently in a job.

Competency (competencies plural)

Usually describes how potential applicants approach a job, role or task and how it is undertaken. Competencies can be both behavioural and technical.


Coroners inquire into deaths reported to them that appear to be unexpected or unexplained; as a result of violence or an accident; as a result of negligence; or from any cause other than natural illness or disease.

A coroner will consider if it is necessary to hold an inquest into a particular death, and s/he may also direct a post-mortem examination. This may be followed by the holding of a formal inquest, which may either be presided over by the coroner only or by a coroner with the assistance of a jury.

Additional information can be found on the Coroners Service for Northern Ireland website.

Corporate Governance

Corporate governance is the set of processes, customs, policies, laws, and institutions affecting the way NIJAC is directed, administered or controlled.

Corporate governance also includes the relationships among the many stakeholders involved and the goals for which NIJAC is governed, directing and controlling NIJAC activities with objectivity, accountability and integrity. It comprises a healthy board culture which safeguards policies and processes.


The legal system in the UK uses the term counsel as an approximate synonym for a barrister, and may apply it to mean either a single person who pleads a cause, or collectively, the body of barristers engaged in a case.

See Barrister.

County Court

Civil cases are commenced in the County Court if the value of the case is less than £15,000 (or £45,000 in equity matters).

County Courts also have jurisdiction to hear applications for adoptions, undefended divorce and the grant of intoxicating liquor licenses. In addition, the County Court judges hear appeals from the Magistrates’ Courts and can sit in the Crown Court.

Court of Appeal

Hears civil appeals from the High Court and cases stated from the County Courts, Magistrates' Courts and appeals from the Crown Court.

The Court of Appeal also hears cases stated from certain Tribunals (e.g. Industrial Tribunals and Fair Employment Tribunal).

Criminal Justice Review (2000)

Sets out 249 recommendations which re-shaped the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland including the prosecution of offences, courts, judicial appointments, youth justice, victims and witnesses and lay involvement in adjudication.


The institution of the monarchy, or the historical power of the monarchy, usually exercised today through government and courts. It is the Crown which brings all criminal cases to court, via the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland.

Crown Court

The Crown Court deals with criminal defendants returned/committed for trial by Magistrates' Courts. Cases for trial are heard before a judge and jury. Criminal appeals from the Magistrates' Court go to the County Court.

In Northern Ireland there are still non-jury trials (commonly known as Diplock courts). However, all Crown Court proceedings are now commenced as jury trials unless the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland lodges a certificate indicating that it should be a non-jury trial.