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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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Nation: A country; a body politic; a people united under the same government and laws; a country occupying a certain limited territory, over which it has independent control.

Native: A natural-born citizen; one who was born in the country of which he is a citizen.

Natural: Pertaining to nature and to the operation of natural law. (Natural law does not originate from enacted laws and statutes but from the inner instincts and desires of human beings.)

Natural Person: A human being, in contrast to an organization. (A corporation, partnership, etc. is a legal "person", but not a "natural person.")

Necessity: A situation in which one is forced to do something. Someone who has had no chance but to act in a certain unlawful manner may be excused from this behavior if necessity was the cause of carrying out the act.

Nee: A word added after a married woman's name, to indicate the name of her family before she was married. For example, Mrs. Mary Jones, nee Smith (French).

Negligence: Failure to do what a reasonable, careful, conscientious person is expected to do; doing something that a reasonable, careful conscientious person would not do.

Negotiate: Discussions leading to the conclusion of a business transaction or agreement. (Management and labor undergo negotiations in order to reach an agreement on labor contracts.)

Net income: Earnings after deducting all expenses from income. Income may be in the form of money from sales or services, from interest on investments, etcetera.

Net proceeds: Gross income, minus deductible expenses.

Net worth: The value of a company, or the amount of money an individual is worth, after subtracting all liabilities and obligations.

Next of kin: The closest relatives. The term is frequently used to describe the closest blood relations who will inherit property from a person who dies without making a will.

No-fault: A common type of divorce in which neither party presents evidence of wrongdoing. It's important to note that no-fault divorces are not necessarily uncontested, as uncontested divorce means that both spouses have agreed upon issues such as alimony and child custody.

Nominate: The act of proposing an individual for a position, office, or appointment.

Non-payment: Failure to pay a debt, according to an agreement. Nonpayment may serve as the basis for a suit to recover.

Non-profit: To engage in an activity without intent to make a profit.

Normal: Conforming to an accepted standard. In law, a normal person is a mentally competent person, able to defend himself and to act as a witness or member of a jury.

Notary public: A public official who is authorized to witness signatures on documents, to administer oaths, and to perform other tasks, such as attesting to the genuineness of various papers.

Notify: To give notice; to make facts and circumstances known to someone.

Nul: No; no one (Latin).

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