legal instrument

Definitions of legal instrument

n (law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right

instrument, legal document, official document
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Epistle of Paul the Apostle to Philemon
a New Testament book containing an epistle from Saint Paul to Philemon asking Philemon to forgive the slave for escaping
the oldest Greek version of the Old Testament; said to have been translated from the Hebrew by Jewish scholars at the request of Ptolemy II
Articles of Confederation
a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states; it provided a legal symbol of their union by giving the central government no coercive power over the states or their citizens
Constitution of the United States
the constitution written at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and subsequently ratified by the original thirteen states
Peace of Westphalia
the peace treaty that ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648
Chemical Weapons Convention
a global treaty banning the production or acquisition or stockpiling or transfer or use of chemical weapons
Geneva Convention
an agreement first drawn up in Geneva in 1864 and later revised concerning the treatment of captured and wounded military personnel and civilians in wartime
Lateran Treaty
the agreement signed in the Lateran Palace in 1929 by Italy and the Holy See which recognized the Vatican City as a sovereign and independent papal state
North Atlantic Treaty
the treaty signed in 1949 by 12 countries that established NATO
the first treaty between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics resulting from the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
the second treaty between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics resulting from the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
Treaty of Versailles
the treaty imposed on Germany by the Allied powers in 1920 after the end of World War I which demanded exorbitant reparations from the Germans
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articles of incorporation
a legal document that creates a corporation; it is filed with a state by the founders of a corporation and is governed by the laws of the state
derivative, derivative instrument
a financial instrument whose value is based on another security
negotiable instrument
an unconditional order or promise to pay an amount of money
a document issued by a country to a citizen allowing that person to travel abroad and re-enter the home country
ship's papers
official papers which a ship is legally required to have; related to ownership, cargo, etc.
a customs document listing the contents put on a ship or plane
a certificate or voucher acknowledging a debt
power of attorney
a legal instrument authorizing someone to act as the grantor's agent
letters of administration
legal document naming someone to administer an estate when no executor has been named
letters testamentary
a legal document from a probate court or court officer informing you of your appointment as executor of a will and empowering you to discharge those responsibilities
work papers, work permit, working papers
a legal document giving information required for employment of certain people in certain countries
act, enactment
a legal document codifying the result of deliberations of a committee or society or legislative body
legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity
bill, measure
a statute in draft before it becomes law
brief, legal brief
a document stating the facts and points of law of a client's case
testament, will
a legal document declaring a person's wishes regarding the disposal of their property when they die
living will
a document written by someone still legally capable requesting that he should be allowed to die if subsequently severely disabled or suffering terminal illness
deed, deed of conveyance, title
a legal document signed and sealed and delivered to effect a transfer of property and to show the legal right to possess it
the instrument by which a claim or right or interest or property is transferred from one person to another
deed of trust, trust deed
a written instrument legally conveying property to a trustee often used to secure an obligation such as a mortgage or promissory note
document effecting a property transfer
income tax return, return, tax return
document giving the tax collector information about the taxpayer's tax liability
licence, license, permit
a legal document giving official permission to do something
letters patent, patent
an official document granting a right or privilege
judgement, judgment, legal opinion, opinion
the legal document stating the reasons for a judicial decision
acquittance, release
a legal document evidencing the discharge of a debt or obligation
judicial writ, writ
(law) a legal document issued by a court or judicial officer
authorisation, authorization, mandate
a document giving an official instruction or command
written declaration made under oath; a written statement sworn to be true before someone legally authorized to administer an oath
written agreement
a legal document summarizing the agreement between parties
bill of indictment, indictment
a formal document written for a prosecuting attorney charging a person with some offense
a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office
a legal document calling someone to court to answer an indictment
certificate, security
a formal declaration that documents a fact of relevance to finance and investment; the holder has a right to receive interest or dividends
Old Testament
the collection of books comprising the sacred scripture of the Hebrews and recording their history as the chosen people; the first half of the Christian Bible
New Testament
the collection of books of the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline and other epistles, and Revelation; composed soon after Christ's death; the second half of the Christian Bible
futures contract
an agreement to buy or sell a specific amount of a commodity or financial instrument at a particular price on a stipulated future date; the contract can be sold before the settlement date
a binding agreement between two or more persons that is enforceable by law
stock power
a power of attorney document to transfer ownership of a registered security from the owner to another party
a power of attorney document given by shareholders of a corporation authorizing a specific vote on their behalf at a corporate meeting
something that is null (especially an enactment that has no legal validity)
anti-drug law
a law forbidding the sale or use of narcotic drugs
RICO, RICO Act, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, anti-racketeering law
law intended to eradicate organized crime by establishing strong sanctions and forfeiture provisions
antitrust law, antitrust legislation
law intended to promote free competition in the market place by outlawing monopolies
statute of limitations
a statute prescribing the time period during which legal action can be taken
constitution, fundamental law, organic law
law determining the fundamental political principles of a government
public law
a law affecting the public at large
appropriation bill
a legislative act proposing to authorize the expenditure of public funds for a specified purpose
bill of attainder
a legislative act finding a person guilty of treason or felony without a trial
bottle bill
a statute that would require merchants to reclaim used bottles
farm bill
a statute that would regulate farm production and prices
trade bill
a statute that would regulate foreign trade
blue law
a statute regulating work on Sundays
blue sky law
a state law regulating the sale of securities in an attempt to control the sale of securities in fraudulent enterprises
gag law
any law that limits freedom of the press
homestead law
a law conferring privileges on owners of homesteads
poor law
a law providing support for the poor
Riot Act
a former English law requiring mobs to disperse after a magistrate reads the law to them
court order
a writ issued by a court of law requiring a person to do something or to refrain from doing something
decree, edict, fiat, order, rescript
a legally binding command or decision entered on the court record (as if issued by a court or judge)
a law forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages
amicus curiae brief
a brief presented by someone interested in influencing the outcome of a lawsuit but who is not a party to it
bill of sale
a deed transferring personal property
deed poll
a deed made and executed by only one party
under the feudal system, the deed by which a person was given land in exchange for a pledge of service
mortgage deed
deed embodying a mortgage
title deed
a legal document proving a person's right to property
quitclaim, quitclaim deed
document transferring title or right or claim to another
a writ from a court commanding police to perform specified acts
amended return
a tax return that corrects the information in an earlier return
declaration of estimated tax, estimated tax return
return required of a taxpayer whose tax withheld from income does not meet the tax liability for the year
false return
an incorrect income tax return
information return
a return that provides information to the tax collector but does not compute the tax liability
joint return
a return filed by a husband and wife
building permit
a document authorizing the holder to construct a building of a particular kind on a particular lot
driver's licence, driver's license, driving licence, driving license
a license authorizing the bearer to drive a motor vehicle
fishing licence, fishing license, fishing permit
a license authorizing the bearer to fish during a specified period of time
game license, hunting licence, hunting license, hunting permit
a license authorizing the bearer to kill a certain type of animal during a specified period of time
learner's permit
a document authorizing the bearer to learn to drive an automobile
letter of mark and reprisal, letter of marque, letters of marque
a license to a private citizen to seize property of another nation
liquor licence, liquor license
a license authorizing the holder to sell alcoholic beverages
marriage licence, marriage license, wedding licence, wedding license
a license authorizing two people to marry
occupation licence, occupation license
a license to pursue a particular occupation
concurring opinion
an opinion that agrees with the court's disposition of the case but is written to express a particular judge's reasoning
dissenting opinion
an opinion that disagrees with the court's disposition of the case
majority opinion
the opinion joined by a majority of the court (generally known simply as `the opinion')
an ancient writ issued by a court of assize to the sheriff for the recovery of property
certiorari, writ of certiorari
a common law writ issued by a superior court to one of inferior jurisdiction demanding the record of a particular case
habeas corpus, writ of habeas corpus
a writ ordering a prisoner to be brought before a judge
venire facias
a judicial writ ordering a sheriff to summon people for jury duty
mandamus, writ of mandamus
an extraordinary writ commanding an official to perform a ministerial act that the law recognizes as an absolute duty and not a matter for the official's discretion; used only when all other judicial remedies fail
a writ authorizing the seizure of property that may be needed for the payment of a judgment in a judicial proceeding
fieri facias
a writ ordering a levy on the belongings of a debtor to satisfy the debt
scire facias
a judicial writ based on some record and requiring the party against whom it is brought to show cause why the record should not be enforced or annulled
a writ that authorizes the seizure of property
writ of detinue
a writ ordering the release of goods that have been unlawfully detained
writ of election
a writ ordering the holding of an election
writ of error
a judicial writ from an appellate court ordering the court of record to produce the records of trial
writ of prohibition
a judicial writ from a higher court ordering a lower court not to exercise jurisdiction in a particular case
writ of right
a writ ordering that land be restored to its rightful owner
process, summons
a writ issued by authority of law; usually compels the defendant's attendance in a civil suit; failure to appear results in a default judgment against the defendant
subpoena, subpoena ad testificandum
a writ issued by court authority to compel the attendance of a witness at a judicial proceeding; disobedience may be punishable as a contempt of court
subpoena duces tecum
a writ issued by a court at the request of one of the parties to a suit; it requires a witness to bring to court or to a deposition any relevant documents under the witness's control
legislative act, statute
an act passed by a legislative body
liberty chit, pass
a permit to enter or leave a military installation
(law) an affidavit attached to a statement confirming the truth of that statement
(Islam) a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar
dictum, obiter dictum
an opinion voiced by a judge on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question and therefore not binding
a legal document summarizing an agreement between parties in a dispute to abide by the decision of an arbiter
compact, concordat, covenant
a signed written agreement between two or more parties (nations) to perform some action
formal agreement between the issuer of bonds and the bondholders as to terms of the debt
a legal agreement specifying a payment or action and the penalty for failure to comply
accord, pact, treaty
a written agreement between two states or sovereigns
murder charge, murder indictment
an indictment charging someone with murder
true bill
an indictment endorsed by a grand jury
the right to buy or sell property at an agreed price; the right is purchased and if it is not exercised by a stated date the money is forfeited
agency security, government security
a security issued by United States government agencies or the Farm Credit System
mortgage-backed security
a security created when a group of mortgages are gathered together and bonds are sold to other institutions or the public; investors receive a portion of the interest payments on the mortgages as well as the principal payments; usually guaranteed by the government
registered security
a security whose owner's name is recorded on the books of the issuer (or issuer's agent)
bill of exchange, draft, order of payment
a document ordering the payment of money; drawn by one person or bank on another
a written agreement (or property or money) delivered to a third party or put in trust by one party to a contract to be returned after fulfillment of some condition
a will disposing of real property
a certificate whose value is recognized by the payer and payee; scrip is not currency but may be convertible into currency
stock, stock certificate
a certificate documenting the shareholder's ownership in the corporation
tax-exempt, tax-exempt security
a security that is not subject to taxation
bond, bond certificate
a certificate of debt (usually interest-bearing or discounted) that is issued by a government or corporation in order to raise money; the issuer is required to pay a fixed sum annually until maturity and then a fixed sum to repay the principal
zero coupon security, zero-coupon security
a security that makes no interest payments but instead is sold at a deep discount from its face value
partnership certificate
a certificate showing the interests of all parties in a business partnership
proprietorship certificate
a certificate showing who is responsible in an individually owned business
convertible, convertible security
a corporate security (usually bonds or preferred stock) that can be exchanged for another form of security (usually common stock)
letter security
a stock or bond that is not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and cannot be sold in the public market
listed security
a security that has been accepted for trading by one of the organized and registered securities exchanges in the US
OTC security, over the counter security, unlisted security
a security traded in the over-the-counter market
Type of:
document, papers, written document
writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature)

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