legal instrument

Definitions of legal instrument
  1. noun
    (law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right
    synonyms: 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
    Septuagint
    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
    SALT I
    the first treaty between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics resulting from the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
    SALT II
    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
    types:
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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
    passport
    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.
    manifest
    a customs document listing the contents put on a ship or plane
    debenture
    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
    law
    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
    assignment
    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
    conveyance
    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
    affidavit
    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
    impeachment
    a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office
    arraignment
    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
    contract
    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
    proxy
    a power of attorney document given by shareholders of a corporation authorizing a specific vote on their behalf at a corporate meeting
    nullity
    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)
    prohibition
    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
    enfeoffment
    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
    warrant
    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')
    assize
    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
    attachment
    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
    sequestration
    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
    verification
    (law) an affidavit attached to a statement confirming the truth of that statement
    fatwah
    (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
    submission
    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
    indenture
    formal agreement between the issuer of bonds and the bondholders as to terms of the debt
    obligation
    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
    option
    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
    escrow
    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
    devise
    a will disposing of real property
    scrip
    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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