There are no lawyers in the best of worlds, as there is no need for them in an absolutely fair and just world, while they are up to their necks in work in all the other worlds. This lexicon should help people adopt a smarter and fairer outlook, and should help prevent lawyers from being asked unnecessary questions.

Active repentance

You will be forgiven for certain criminal offences, not only if you are sufficiently sorry for committing them, but mainly if you quickly remedy any consequences of such criminal offence. For instance, if you pay taxes or any due and outstanding maintenance or alimony. More information >>


As opposed to theft, alienation is a completely legal transfer of title (ownership) – donation or sale. More information >>

Avoidance action

An action to exclude property from execution. When the authorities seize all of your neighbour’s assets, erroneously including your mixer that you lent him. More information >>

Case law

Court decisions that help us anticipate how the courts will decide in future in any similar cases. More information >>


The assignment of a claim. Someone owes me a debt, but I no longer wish to worry about it, so I transfer the debt, i.e. the claim against the debtor, to another person who has the desire, energy or means to enforce payment of the debt. More information >>


Property that reverts to the state if a person dies without leaving any heirs (a single childless orphan). More information >>

Good faith

When you really, sincerely believe you are right, even though you are not. More information >>


The inability to meet one’s financial liabilities, which is resolved in insolvency proceedings such that at least part of the debt is fulfilled and part is forgiven. More information >>

Jointly and severally

One for all and all for one. When it concerns their joint debt. More information >>

Lis pendens

A pending dispute. If a dispute over a particular issue is already pending before a court, no new dispute may be opened over the same issue, i.e. it is not possible to file the same action again. You may file lawsuits over and over again, but not over the same issue. More information >>

Nasciturus (foetus)

A child who has already been conceived, but has not yet been born. Not a glint in the eye any more, but still too early to change his or her diapers. A nasciturus may have rights (may inherit, for instance), but only if he or she is born alive. More information >>

Natural person

Simply a human being. A creation of nature, as opposed to a juridical person, being a creation of law. More information >>

Pacta sunt servanda

Agreements must be kept. In the best of all worlds. More information >>

Personal property

Whatever can be taken and removed is personal property. As opposed to real property, typically a house or a land plot. More information >>

Public defender

An attorney appointed by the state to represent a defendant in criminal proceedings, and sometimes to act as counsel in civil proceedings. The law requires that a defendant charged with one or more selected serious criminal offences has a defence counsel – an attorney. Unless the defendant has his or her own attorney, the court shall appoint one for him/her. An attorney is appointed for a party to civil proceedings if the court believes that such appointment is necessary in order to make sure that the party may sufficiently protect his or her rights. More information >>


In criminal law, recidivism means a very colourful criminal record – not only does the perpetrator repeatedly commit criminal offences, but he or she is also repeatedly convicted of them. More information >>

Security deposit

Advance payment, security. The purpose of a security deposit in lease relationships is to make sure that the tenant does not entirely destroy the leased apartment, and if he or she does so, the landlord will have the funds to pay for repairs. More information >>

Unjust enrichment

When you are suddenly, based on no grounds, richer than before. For instance, if somebody sends money to your account by mistake, as a result of a typographical error. Unfortunately, you are obliged to return such enrichment. More information >>

Vis major

An act of God. Force majeure. An event for which nobody is liable, because it cannot be anticipated or prevented. Typically, a natural disaster. So, if a travel agency cancels your trip because a volcano has erupted, you will not get your money back. More information >>