49 votes

What does "Have you been drinking?" really mean?

'Have you been drinking?' isn't a question with a strictly defined legal meaning. It's the opening gambit in a conversation intended to assess whether it's worth proceeding to a sobriety test. And ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 752
35 votes
Accepted

How far can the meanings of commonly used words be redefined by a legislature?

As much as they like Most pieces of legislation have a “dictionary” detailing, for the purposes of that legislation (or generally) what specific words and phrases mean. This can broaden (or narrow) ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 197k
31 votes
Accepted

What does a default judgement mean in the Alex Jones case

A default judgment is a judgment in favor of a party when the opposing party has failed to do something that is required, such as appear before the court. In this instance, defendant's failure was to ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 210k
31 votes

What does it mean to "hold and enjoy" an office?

The Constitution was written hundreds of years ago. At the time, "enjoy" more widely had the meaning "To have the use or benefit of, have for one's lot (something which affords pleasure,...
user6726's user avatar
  • 210k
29 votes

How does Australia split its legal profession?

In many Common Law nations, the distinction between solicitor and barrister is that the solicitors traditionally have direct access to clients and do much of the paperwork and discuss the planning ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 22.7k
28 votes

What does it mean to "hold and enjoy" an office?

The Sixth Amendment begins: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, ... It does not mean that being tried for crime is fun, it means that ...
David Siegel's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

Are laws written logically and rigorously?

Are laws written logically and rigorously? No. Laws are not consistently written to any consistent stylistic standards. Whatever legislators approve becomes the law even if the law is poorly drafted. ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 194k
19 votes
Accepted

What does "Have you been drinking?" really mean?

Words and sentences have their ordinary meaning, unless a special meaning has been assigned by the legislature or (sort of) by the courts. The legislature may therefore specifically define "...
user6726's user avatar
  • 210k
16 votes

Is there an authoritative definition of what a terrorist is?

There is a definition Or rather, there are as many definitions as there are jurisdictions who have passed laws about them. In australia, a terrorist is a person who commits a terrorist act. A ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 197k
14 votes

Is there a term for using law as the basis of morality?

You're thinking of legalism. It can have different meanings -- especially in Chinese legal/philosophical history -- but is the best match to the concept you're describing.
bdb484's user avatar
  • 57.1k
14 votes

Where does outer space legally start?

100km According to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale who are generally considered the record-keeping body on such matters, the Kármán line is where space begins and is rounded off to 100km ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 197k
14 votes
Accepted

What does it mean to "hold and enjoy" an office?

It is simply redundant for all practical purposes. There may have been a shade of meaning to it back in the 18th century (along the lines of "hold or perform" in contemporary English). But ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 194k
12 votes

How far can the meanings of commonly used words be redefined by a legislature?

The effective limit is whatever the courts will put up with. Legislatures can pass laws that will be overturned by the courts, so the real question is whether a redefinition will be upheld by the ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 210k
12 votes

How does Australia split its legal profession?

Lawyer is perfectly fine Lawyer is a catch-all term for both barristers and solicitors.
Dale M's user avatar
  • 197k
10 votes

What was the significance of the word "ordinary" in "lords of appeal in ordinary"?

Between 1876 and 2009, there were three ways to be a "Lord of Appeal", a member of the House of Lords who was part of its committee exercising judicial functions. (Before 1948 it was not a ...
Donalbain's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
Accepted

Is there a definition/test for "lack of merit" (legal arguments)?

In england-and-wales, an illuminating judgement of the Court of Appeal explores the relationship between such terms as "bound to fail", "not arguable", "no rational basis"...
alexg's user avatar
  • 4,671
9 votes

Is it really an abduction if the protest or resistance ends before the "victim" is "released"?

Yes. This is clearly kidnapping. It is probably not a terribly aggravated sub-type of kidnapping, but it is kidnapping nonetheless. It is probably a felony. The fact that the victim does not press ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 194k
9 votes

What is the nature and purpose of the UK highway code?

To add to Rick's great answer: "what is the purpose of having a separate code?" There are two main reasons. The first is similar to the reason that we have secondary legislation: it enables ...
JBentley's user avatar
  • 6,315
9 votes
Accepted

Are shell scripts considered binaries for licensing purposes?

What you've quoted is merely the summary. The rest of the licence clarifies that the requirement to include copyright notices, the licence, and disclaimer applies: unless such copies or derivative ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 42.9k
9 votes
Accepted

Do not pass or assist another vehicle to pass you by using this lane

Yes, that's exactly what it means. Using it to pass means passing on the right at high speed in a narrow lane full of debris, which is crazy. But they're also saying don't use any arbitrary point on ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What's the limitation of sexual consideration?

It depends on the jurisdiction and particular facts. The long history of not counting marriage as prostitution under law because of its social and religious legitimacy makes the transaction-related ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 2,424
8 votes
Accepted

Is "legalese" necessary?

Legalese The purpose of a legal document is to set out the rights and responsibilities so that: they can understand them, a third party (e.g. a judge) can rule on them in the event of a dispute. ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 197k
8 votes

Is "legalese" necessary?

Legalese is unnecessary. My first mortgage was from a bank that prided itself on not using it - the closing documents were about twenty pages, and the seller's attorney was amazed at how plainly ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 81

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