Law idioms

Hand a verdict down to somebody

To hand a verdict down is to announce the verdict in a court.

  • The judge is expected to hand the verdict down in the afternoon.

Hang in the balance

If something hangs in the balance, it is in an undecided state.

  • The future of the accused will hang in the balance until the judge announces his verdict.

A hung jury

If the jury is divided on the issue and cannot agree on a verdict, it can be called a hung jury.

In absentia

If a person is sentenced while he is absent from the court, he is sentenced in absentia.

  • The absconding criminal was sentenced in absentia because there were conclusive evidences against him.

In contempt of court

A person will find himself in contempt of court if he disobeys the orders of the court.

Judge (someone) on their own merit

To judge someone on their own merit is to evaluate them on their achievements.

  • Don’t listen to what people say about him. You should judge him on his own merit.

Jump to conclusions

To jump to conclusions is to decide something even before you have access to all the facts.

  • Don’t jump to conclusions and accuse him of taking the money.

The jury is still out on (someone or something)

If the jury is still out on something, a decision has not been reached on it.

  • The jury is still out on the benefits GM foods.