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Index of Legal Terms

A definitive collection of legal terms that are used by attorneys in contracts, agreements and other legal documents in South Africa.

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There has, in South African legislation, been a definite movement towards the use of plain language. For example, the South African National Credit Act, No. 34 of 2005 and the Consumer Protection Act, No. 68 of 2008 deal with and encourage the use of plain language.

However, apart from the National Credit Act and the Consumer Protection Act, the Companies Act, No. 71 of 2008, the Short-term Insurance Act, No. 53 of 1998 and the Long-term Insurance Act, No. 52 of 1998, all in some way deal with the use of plain language (for example, the Companies Act gives shareholders the right to plain language in various company documents).

There are however still many lawyers practising who still insist on using complex or Latin terms in documents. Most of the time it is because there terms are well-known to the attorneys, and attorneys expect their clients to know what the terms mean.

But sometimes a client doesn't know what a term means... So we are here to assist!

We've compiled a collection of hundreds of common legal terms defined in simple, everyday language. This collection should help anyone make sense of their agreements, contracts, and documents.

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