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.



Questioning a witness again, after cross-examination of that witness, about new things talked about during cross-examination.

Real Property

Land together with all the property on it that cannot be moved, together with any attached rights.

Reasonable Doubt

A reasonable doubt is based on common sense. A reasonable doubt is not frivolous, or imaginary, and is not based on sympathy or prejudice. The doubt must be logically connected to the evidence presented.

Reasons for Judgment

When a judge explains why they made a certain ruling. They will explain what they based their decision on, their reasons for making that decision, and the decision itself. Reasons for Judgment may be written or oral. If they are oral, the parties may order a transcript of them from the Court.


The term used to describe the spouse who receives child support or spousal support/maintenance.


Recognizance refers to a promise, made by an accused who is pending trial, to appear in court and answer to the criminal charges that have been brought against him/her.


For some couples, a period of separation does not mean the end of the relationship. In family law, reconciliation means that a couple who have been separated resume their relationship. Under the Divorce Act it is the duty of the court, before considering the evidence, to satisfy itself that there is no possibility of the reconciliation of the spouses. Spouses have up to 90 days of attempted reconciliation without affecting the provision of a year of separation as a ground for the breakdown of the marriage.


Latin for Queen. Used for charging a person with a criminal offence. The charge would read Regina v. Jones.

Registrar's Certificate

A form signed by Supreme Court registry staff to show a judge that they have checked the documents filed in a family law proceeding, and they are satisfied everything is procedurally correct. The certificate is only required if you are asking for a divorce; the judge will not make a final order for a divorce unless there is a signed registrar’s certificate on file.


The office in the court where pleadings and other documents are filed when a court action is filed.


Practice information and procedures in relation to a Statute.


Remand can mean that an offender is to be held in custody until the next court date. It can also mean to postpone a criminal proceeding to another date, like an adjournment.


The way the court addresses a wrong. Depending on the issue, the court may enforce a right, impose a penalty, or order the wrongdoer to pay monetary damages to the wronged party as compensation for the harm done.

Report to Crown Counsel

A report to Crown counsel is a document completed by a police officer that details the circumstances of an alleged crime. The report will contain the date and time of the incident, information about the victim and witnesses, the person accused of the crime, a written description of the circumstances surrounding the crime and witness statements, if any were obtained.


To act or speak for another in an official way. For example, your lawyer will represent you in a legal case.

Residential Tenancy

Relating to the rental of private housing or living accommodations.


The party in a lawsuit that defends or responds to a claim, application, or appeal.

Response to Civil/Family Claim

In Supreme Court proceedings, forms that the Respondent must complete and file if they want to respond to the Claimant’s Notice of Civil/Family Claim.


The Court may order the offender, on application of the Crown, or on its own, to pay monetary compensation (restitution) where loss, damage or injury has resulted from the offence to the victim.

Restraining Order

A protection order made by a judge in court to help protect one person from another. Restraining orders list certain conditions based on individual needs that the person named in it must follow. Restraining Orders are made in civil (family) court and there must be a family connection. They differ from Peace Bonds in several elements. See Peace Bonds, (Common Law and 810 Recognizance) No Contact Orders, Protection Orders

Reverse Onus

In bail hearings, it is usually the responsibility of the Crown to "show cause" why an accused should be detained while awaiting trial. In very limited circumstances, this responsibility (onus) shifts to the accused and it is set forth in Section 515(6) of the Criminal Code. When section 515(6) applies, the accused must "show cause" why s/he should not be detained.


A long loose garment worn as a symbol of authority especially by judges or members of the clergy.