Dictionary

jon made this Freedom of Information request to The Law Society
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This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,
Could you please answer the following simple question:

What is the legal dictionary currently used in the UK for court proceedings, legal definitions etc.?

Yours faithfully,

jon

jon left an annotation ()

I am referring to the actual name of the dictionary ie. Black's 8th or suchlike.

Information Compliance, The Law Society

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your email.

The Law Society's Freedom of information Code of Practice (link below)
covers all information we currently hold.

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/documents/d...

The Law Society does not hold the information you are requesting. I am
sorry I haven't been able to assist you on this occasion.

Yours sincerely

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
www.lawsociety.org.uk
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Dear Information Compliance,

With all respect Bob, to even suggest that you do not know the name of the legal dictionary is an insult to my intelligence, your intelligence (if you have any) and the intelligence of every other man, woman and child on this land.

Yours sincerely,

jon

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of The Law Society's handling of my FOI request 'Dictionary'.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/di...

Yours sincerely,

jon

Information Compliance, The Law Society

Dear Jon,

Thank you for your email.

Your enquiry was passed to the Law Society's library for suggestions
regarding the actual name of the dictionary used in the UK for court
proceedings and legal definitions. The Law Society library is a private
library for solicitors and as a general point, library staff do not
usually answer enquiries from members of the public.

As far as our library is aware, there is no one single source used in
the UK for legal definitions. Solicitors contact the library for
definitions which may come from a range of sources. In addition, we are
only able to comment on where definitions may be found within our own
collection; there may be other sources of legal definitions which the
library does not hold or have access to. If you wish to know the
dictionaries used within the HM Court Service, I suggest you contact the
courts directly for this information. From our library's own holdings,
two of the best known dictionaries giving details of where to find legal
definitions are the following:

1) Stroud's judicial dictionary of words and phrases. 7th ed (2007,
Sweet and Maxwell)
(this dictionary provides details of where words have been judicially
defined by the court)

2) Words and phrases legally defined. 4th ed (2008, LNB)
(this dictionary provides details of where words have been defined
within legislation)

In addition from our own experience, solicitors may request definitions
from a range of sources including the Oxford English Dictionary. The
consolidated index to Halsbury's Laws of England (4th and 5th eds) also
has a section called words and phrases which directs users to specific
passages within the 50+ volume publication. Legal definitions are often
found within the body of legislation; quite often Acts have a specific
section entitled definitions. Dictionaries such as Words and Phrases
note where these definitions may be found. In addition to these sources
the library has a further 22 dictionaries in our current law
dictionaries section and these provide information on legal definitions,
legal maxims, latin phrases etc. We also hold a range of other legal
dictionaries. Details of our library's holdings of legal dictionaries
can be found on the library's catalogue
http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/libraryonline. Select the Books search,
enter the phrase legal dictionaries within the keyword search box to
retrieve details of the dictionaries we hold. For your information, we
do not hold Black's law dictionary, 8th ed (2004).

As I mentioned before, this information is taken solely from our
library's holdings and should not be taken as a definitive list of
sources or as a recommendation should you wish to purchase or refer to
any of them.

Please let me know if you would still like an internal review to be
carried out into your Freedom of Information request.

Yours sincerely

Bob Stanley
Information Compliance Manager - Legal Services
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
t: 020 7242 1222 (x4117)
f: 020 7320 5685
www.lawsociety.org.uk
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Amy Theerman left an annotation ()

As a law student, I would like to thank The Law Society for providing such comprehensive information. While I am not about to run out and spend £600 on the latest version of Stroud's, I will certainly leaf through the volumes at the British Library when I get a chance.