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.
Oath: A pledge to tell the truth; a sworn promise to perform a duty; a calling on god to witness a statement.
Object: To disagree; to pose an objection; to protest. Attorneys in trials frequently object to testimony or procedures.
Obligated: Required by law or contract.
Obligation: Something a person is bound to do or bound not to do; a moral or legal duty. Penalties may be imposed upon people who fail in their obligations.
Obliterate: To cancel out or erase written material in a legal document.
Occupant: A tenant; a person who takes possession of property that belongs to no one.
Occupation: 1. A situation in which someone takes possession and control over land, such as when a country is victorious in war and takes over the defeated enemy's land. 2. A person's profession or line of business.
Occurrence: An event; an incident; something that takes place without prior planning.
Of record: Entered on the record; duly recorded.
Offer: An attempt to conclude an agreement through making specific proposals; a tender.
Office: 1. A place where business is transacted; a place where someone practices a profession. 2. A position held by an officer. (The presidential office is held by the President.)
Official: 1. An officer. 2. Pertaining to an office, such as the official duties of a mayor, a judge, a governor, etcetera.
Offset: A claim made by an opposing party in a suit, such offset tending to cancel out the original claim of the plaintiff; a counterclaim.
Ombudsman: A person appointed by a local, state, or federal government to hear complaints from private citizens against their governments (Swedish). Such complaints are frequently transmitted to the appropriate governmental authority.
Omission: Failure to act; failure to do something one should do; failure to perform what the law requires one to do.
On account: A part payment, as distinguished from payment in full; to be charged to one's credit.
On call: A debt payable whenever demanded; a debt to be paid immediately; on demand.
On demand: An existing debt, payable when requested by the creditor.
Open account: An account that has not been settled because continuing transactions are in progress or will take place in the future.
Operation of law: A term referring to the determination of rights and obligations merely through application of the existing laws covering a situation. As an example, if a person dies without having made a will, the heirs automatically inherit the property through the operation of law governing inheritance.
Opinion: 1. The reasons given for a court's judgment, frequently pointing out the law that governed the court's conclusions. 2. A belief; a judge's or court's reasoning in a particular matter.
Oral contract: A spoken contract; a written contract that. Is incomplete but has been completed by oral (spoken) agreements.
Ordinance: A local law; a law passed by a legislative body of a city or township or other local government; a statute; a rule.
Ordinary: Usual; normal, as opposed to extraordinary.
Organize: 1. To establish; to make something functional. 2. To form a union out of unorganised, nonunion working people.
Out-of-pocket expenses: Money that one must pay to defray expenses while carrying out the usual duties and obligations in the performance of a job.
Overdue: Past due; unpaid.
Owing: An unpaid debt; an obligation that is due; due; unpaid.
Owner: A person who has the legal title to property; a proprietor.