You will find commonly used legal terms in this glossary. You can click on the letter to jump to the words that begin with that letter or scroll down the page.


Bad faith

Bad faith can mean many things: acting dishonestly, tricking a person, deliberately not doing what should be done, committing fraud, deliberately discriminating against a person, abusing power given by the government or the law, being unfair or unreasonable.


Bail is the temporary release of someone charged with a crime until their trial date. Depending on the circumstances, the accused person may need to follow certain conditions or pay a deposit into court inorder to be released. You can be charged for failing to follow your bail conditions. Also known as Judicial Interim Release.

Bail Hearing

A bail hearing is the process by which an accused person is released on bail pending his / her trial. Also known as a Show Cause hearing or Judicial Interim Release hearing.

Balance of Probabilities

In civil cases, the judge or jury weigh the evidence from both parties and make a decision that one side of the case is more probable than the other.See Burden of Proof or Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

Best Interests of the Child

The test that judges use when they make decisions about parenting and children in family cases. The needs and well-being of the children are the most important factors. The judge must decide what is best for the children rather than what is best for the parents.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

In criminal cases, the Crown has to meet a standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt inorder for the judge or jury to make a finding of guilt. It is a higher standard than required for civil cases but less than absolute certainty. The Crown must show that the evidence is so complete and convincing that the judge/jury has no reasonable doubts regarding the guilt of the accused.

Builder's Lien

Builder’s legal claim on somebody's property as security for a debt. While there is a lien on the property, it cannot be sold. A builder’s lien is often made when there is a dispute over contractors or subcontractors pay.

Burden of Proof

In criminal law, the burden of proof usually refers to the onus on the Crown to prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, the burden is on the person making the claim to prove that the other party is legally responsible for the damage or injury.