V, W, X, Y, Z

  • valid -

    Legally binding or effective.

  • vendor -

    A seller.

  • vendor terms -

    A contract of sale of real estate that allows the buyer to pay the seller in instalments over a longer period than usual; for example, three or five years. Ownership remains with the seller until the final payment is made.

  • vendor’s statement -

    A document that a seller (vendor) of real estate must give to the buyer buyer before a contract of sale is signed. It contains information about the property, such as rates and council planning restrictions that affect it. Also called a section 32 statement.

  • vexatious -

    Causing trouble without good legal reason. A vexatious litigant repeatedly starts court cases that have no chance of succeeding. Vexatious litigation is a court action that is unnecessary or undertaken only to cause trouble, embarrassment or inconvenience for the other party.

  • victim impact statement -

    A statement made to the court by a victim of a crime. It sets out details of injury, loss or damage caused by the crime.

  • visa -

    A permit that allows a person who is not a citizen to stay in a country on certain conditions, for the length of time stated in the visa.

  • Voice Over Internet Protocols (VoIP) -

    A general term for a family of transmission technologies for delivery of voice communications over the internet or other networks.

  • void -

    Having no legal effect. A void agreement has something wrong with it, so it cannot be a legally binding contract. For example, a verbal agreement to buy land would be void, because the law says those contracts have to be in writing.

  • voidable -

    Able to be cancelled, but having full legal effect until that happens. A voidable agreement is one that may have something wrong with it, so either of the parties could cancel it if they wanted to. There are certain restrictions on what is, and is not, voidable that require advice from a lawyer. See also rescission.

  • voir dire -

    In a criminal trial, a process where the judge hears legal arguments and evidence from witnesses after the jury has left the room. A voir dire may be used by a judge to decide whether evidence should be heard by the jury or not. 

  • voluntary -

    Done by your own free will. See also community treatment order (CTO).

  • voluntary patient -

    A patient admitted to a mental facility with the patient’s consent.

  • waive -

    To give up a legal right or claim.

  • warrant -

    A document issued by a court directing an officer to take certain action. May be a warrant of apprehension, directing that a person be arrested and brought before a court; a warrant of commitment, directing that a person be arrested and imprisoned; a warrant of distress, directing that a person’s goods be seized to satisfy a debt; or a warrant of seizure and sale of real estate.

  • warranty -

    A promise in a contract. For example, a promise by a manufacturer that goods will be repaired or replaced if they turn out to be faulty.

  • waste -

    Something that does lasting damage to land or alters the nature of the property so that it can no longer be used in the same way.

  • whistleblower -

    A person within an organisation who makes a complaint or alerts authorities that the organisation is doing something illegal or inappropriate.

  • will -

    A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die.

  • witness -

    A person who can provide direct information based on their own knowledge about a relevant fact, and appears in court to give evidence about it. In some cases a witness may provide an affidavit or deposition setting out their evidence if they are not able to attend court.

  • writ -

    (1) A formal legal document in in the Queen’s name, commanding a person to do or refrain from doing some act. (2)The document that starts a court action. It is issued by the court at the request of a plaintiff, and given to the other party so they know there is a legal claim against them. See also summons.

  • write off -

    To cancel a debt. This means the person owing the money no longer has to pay it.

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