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JOINT TENANCY: a joint tenancy is not generally concerned with landlords and tenants but instead is a way in which two or more people can have an interest in land or real property, so that they own it jointly rather than in specific shares. If land is owned this way then they cannot deal with the property individually - they must act together - and if one of the joint tenants dies then their share passes to the other surviving joint tenants. The other way of holding land jointly is called tenancy in common (see later) and if a joint tenant wishes to create a tenancy in common then they must "sever" the joint tenancy by servicing notice on the other joint tenants.

JOINT VENTURE: a joint venture is where two or more persons (either individual people or companies) enter into an agreement to undertake a business venture for joint profit. The joint venture can be simply an agreement between the parties as to who does what, invests what, and gets what at the end, or it can be an entirely new company set up for the specific purpose of pursuing the joint business.

JUDGE: a judge is the person who presides over a court case. The judge will either determine the case and decide who should win or lose in a civil case or will direct the jury on those things it should consider in a criminal case. The judge is also responsible for deciding the type and severity of sentence which someone convicted of a crime should have imposed upon them and the extent of the damages in a civil case. A judge does not necessarily always hear cases in court and can hear cases privately (i.e. without the jury or the public present) in chambers. There are several different types of judges including: district judges, recorders, masters, trial judges, and Appellate Court Judges.

JUDGEMENT: a court's decision.

JUDICIAL REVIEW: Judicial Review is an important part of public life since it makes the acts of those who run the country open to the independent scrutiny of the courts and helps to ensure that due process is followed and that powers are not abused. If a person in public office, a minister for example, has a power to do something and a decision is taken which those whom it affects believe to have been wrongly taken, then those affected by it can apply to the courts to have the decision reviewed to see whether the decision has been reached in a lawful manner and in accordance with any regulations which granted the power to make the decision.

JURISDICTION: the authority of the court to hear a case.

JURY: in a court case a jury is 12 people picked at random and whose job is to decide on the basis of the facts presented to them the outcome of a case- usually a criminal case but occasionally in defamation cases. They are not required to know anything about the case or the law relating to it- in fact such knowledge could render them ineligible to be a juror in the matter. They will be directed by the judge (see earlier) as to that law which they need to know and also on how they should interpret the information which they have heard. In the case of inquests there will only be 9 jurors.


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Steven J. Williams, P.C.
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