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LEGAL DICTIONARY - LETTER I


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ILLEGAL  
Against or not authorized by the law. Also called illicit or unlawful.

IMMUNITY
An exemption that a person (individual or corporate) enjoys from the normal operation of the law such as a legal duty or liability, either criminal or civil. For example, diplomats enjoy "diplomatic immunity" which means that they cannot be prosecuted for crimes committed during their tenure as diplomat.

INCOMPETENCE 
The inability, as determined by a court, to handle one's own personal or financial affairs. A court may declare that a person is incompetent after a hearing at which the person is present and/or represented by an attorney. A finding of incompetence may lead to the appointment of a conservator to manage the person's affairs. Also known as "incompetency."

INDEFEASIBLE
A right or title in property that cannot be made void, defeated or canceled by any past event, error or omission in the title. For example, certificates of title issued under a Torrens land titles system is said to be "indefeasible" because the government warrants that no interest burdens the title other than those on the certificate. This makes long and expensive title searches unnecessary.

INDICTMENT
USA: a formal accusation returned by a Grand Jury, that charges a person with a serious crime. It is on the basis of an indictment that an accused person must stand trial. Infanticide Murder of an infant soon after its birth.

INJUNCTION
A court order that prohibits a party from doing something (restrictive injunction) or compels them to do something (mandatory injunction).

INJURE
(1) Hurt or harm (2) Violate the legal rights of another person.

INNS OF COURT
All UK barristers are members of one of the Inns of Court, of which there are four: Licoln's Inn, Inner Temple, Middle Temple, and Gray's Inn. To be entitled to call oneself a barrister, one must be `called to the Bar' by one of the Inns. The term `Inn' is used in the sense of a Hostel, a place where one can sleep and eat. Eating is still an important function of the Inns; prospective barristers are required to dine in hall a certain number of times to qualify. The Inns also have the important function of `disbarring’ that is expelling, errant barristers for misconduct.

INSOLVENT
A person not able to pay his or her debts as they become due. "Insolvency" is a prerequisite to bankruptcy.

INSURRECTION
An act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government.

INTERNATIONAL LAW
A combination of treaties and customs which regulates the conduct of states amongst themselves. The highest judicial authority of international law is the International Court of Justice and the administrative authority is the United Nations.

INTERVENTION
Proceeding in a suit where a third person is allowed, with the court's permission, to join the suit as a party.

INVEST 
(1) To formally grant power or authority to someone. For example, when the President of the United States is inaugurated, he is invested with all the powers of that office. (2) To contribute money to a business venture, or to buy property or securities, with the intention and expectation of making a profit.

ISSUE  
In pleading, a single material point of law or fact depending in the suit, which, being affirmed on the one side and denied on the other is presented for determination. At issue, in controversy; disputed; opposing or contesting; hence, at variance; disagreeing; inconsistent.