legal fiction

(redirected from Legal fictions)
Also found in: Dictionary.

Legal Fiction

An assumption that something occurred or someone or something exists which, in fact, is not the case, but that is made in the law to enable a court to equitably resolve a matter before it.

In order to do justice, the law will permit or create a legal fiction. For example, if a person undertakes a renunciation of a legacy which is a gift by will the person will be deemed to have predeceased the testator—one who makes a will—for the purpose of distributing the estate.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

legal fiction

n. a presumption of fact assumed by a court for convenience, consistency, or to achieve justice. There is an old adage: "Fictions arise from the law, and not law from fictions."

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

legal fiction

something assumed to be true for the sake of convenience whether true or false. See e.g. LOST MODERN GRANT.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
"Counsel for the parties transparently told the Court that they were engaging in a legal fiction to reach a plea agreement favorable to Mr.
Rather than involving collective oath breaking in the courtroom, legal fictions are an accepted common law judicial tool for adapting legal concepts to cover new circumstances that fit the sense of the concept but not its formal terms.
Three chapters are published for the first time: "Introduction: Of Legal Fictions and Narrative Worlds" (1); "The Dead Sea Scrolls and Rabbinic Judaism after Sixty (Plus) Years: Retrospect and Prospect" (6); and "Afterword: Between History and Its Redemption" (25).
* The reliance on a novel legal fiction to justify the seizure in the U.S.
(10) Some of the boldest legal fictions were adopted
And rather than deluding ourselves with legal fictions of corporate personhood, let's work with the legal (and regal) realities.
Citing the work of William Blackstone, Jeremy Bentham and others, Chaplin foregrounds the rise of a positivist approach to legal practice--an approach that attempted to rid the law of what Bentham identified as its spurious legal fictions. This jurisprudence rested on the assumption that the law's meaning and authority was grounded in the clarity and verisimilitude of the legal text itself.
But corporations are legal fictions, not people with legitimate privacy concerns.
LEGAL FICTIONS - Theatre Royal, Newcastle, until Saturday When I told my mates I was going to review Legal Fictions starring Edward Fox, they couldn't quite believe it.
That these rights included life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was a later iteration of the principle, but these resonant rights have always been as much legal fictions as anything else.
But losing the understanding that they are legal fictions, not real beings, has the effect of obscuring our recognition that corporations can do nothing; whatever is done is done by people, people whose acts should bear individual responsibility and accountability.
Both involve fictions, so why are legal fictions of any more worth than dramatic ones?