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Legal Glossary - T



The holder of a leasehold estate. The term is also used occasionally for the holder of an estate in fee simple.


Tenants in common / Owners in common

Owners of land - not necessarily leaseholders, but any estate holders – who occupy land together. Tenants in common can own the property in differing proportions to each other. Their estate is willable at individual initiative. Tenancies in common operate as separate tenancies over the one title. No one tenant can act independently so as to bind the other(s) to an arrangement of their own. Tenants in common cannot exclude their colleagues from any part or benefit of the property. See also joint tenants.



A legal mechanism used in asserting the rights of other parties over one’s own property. Trust rights supersede most other lawful claims on property. While the settlor of the trust may have a conflicting legal duty with respect to the trust property (eg: a tax liability), the existence of beneficiaries who are innocent and who lack such duties, prevents the being fulfilled. A means of transferring a gift at a delay. There are a variety of trusts: express trust, implied trust, resulting trust, constructive trust, and quistclose trust.



Person or corporation who is made responsible for a trust. The trustee holds legal title to the trust property, but equitable title is held by the beneficiaries.



A branch of law coving day-to-day actions by persons in relation to each other. It principle branches are negligence, trespass, action on the case, nuisance and defamation.


Torrens system

A government-administered system for the recording and management of real property titles, as opposed to the much older deed system. In Australia approximately 98 percent of titles are recorded on the Torrens system.  The system overcomes many inefficiencies and vulnerabilities of the deed system. Created in South Australia in the 19th Century, and named after its inventor, the system is now in use throughout the world.



A court hearing characterised by judicial examination and determination of issues between parties, either by judge alone, or by jury. When a jury is present, the jury must determine the meaning of facts presented to it. The application of law is the solely the role of the judge. When there is no jury, the judge also makes findings as to the case facts. Trial by judge alone is encouraged when case facts are highly complex or esoteric.



A specialised adjudication body. The term is generally used to refer to administrative dispute resolution bodies other than courts. Tribunals are used in Alternative Dispute Resolution, and in international disputes.



A branch of Tort law based on a concept of a right of inviolability, where the slightest touch or breach is actionable.


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