legal fiction


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

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.

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."

legal fiction

something assumed to be true for the sake of convenience whether true or false. See e.g. LOST MODERN GRANT.
References in periodicals archive ?
The courts must pay attention to the actual humans in the cases, preferring focusing on fact as opposed to legal fiction.
Superficially, systemic lying seems akin to the deft use of a legal fiction or the refusal to follow an "out of phase" statutory rule.
examples of legal fictions include the range of doctrines that use the
Winning the annual Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction in 2013, following prior winners John Grisham and Michael Connelly, confers honor enough to warrant recommending Paul Goldstein's Havana Requiem.
Some opponents of the ruling see the expanding view of corporate personhood as a legal fiction run amok.
The immunity was based on the legal fiction of the unity of husband and wife.
8) The modern definition of a legal fiction is "a proposition that is an indisputable fact in a legal system despite possible or definite falsity in the proposition.
Yet for all of the deft character touches Connelly layers in the book, The Gods of Guilt is first and foremost a propulsive, engaging legal thriller that for sheer courtroom drama surpasses the bestselling The Fifth Witness, which earned Connelly the 2012 Harper Lee Prize for legal fiction.
John Grisham has written 30 novels mostly in the legal fiction with a few novels in just general fiction.
The dubious law-of-war legal justification is about to expire, which means the military will either create some new legal fiction as a basis for detention or review the cases again and assign them to one of the other two categories, as the evidence permits.
The 166 prisoners are held on a legal fiction that they were "enemy combatants" in president George W.
Steven is honored to have been able to contribute to all eight books and to be able to lead off the final volume with the paper he presented in Berkeley titled, "Tortured Bodies, Tortured Doctrines: Informed Consent as a Legal Fiction Inapplicable to Male Circumcision.