legal fiction

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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 ?
wisdom that it can be characterized as a new legal fiction even
Moreover, apart from the legal fiction, the very word corporation constitutes a metaphor of embodiment, the root corp meaning body; incorporation meaning to give the entity a body, to make corporeal.
As some of our readers may have noticed, we at Constitutional Commentary are fond of legal fictions. This of course refers to more than just the articles and "But Cf." columns.
How does that work when the corporation is a legal fiction, with no body to kick and no soul to damn?
33), I prefer the more accurate 'pigmentocracy', since French awareness of the ethnic origins of their African slaves was minimal and Moreau de Saint-Mery's classification of biracial offspring by proportion of 'black' and 'white' blood a legal fiction, convenient for the ruling whites but overridden in practice by visible responses to skin colour.
The present study considers the provisions in the Sudebniki on judicial duels as a classic example of a legal fiction. A legal fiction is a procedure or rule that is proclaimed as the law but is in fact recognized by both judges and litigants as involving a fiction or as a mere formality.
And the "plain sight provision" for car carry, "under Ohio case law, is a legal fiction and cannot be reliably complied with by a law-abiding citizen, no matter how well intentioned they are." In Ohio, according to Hanson, police can legally void the requirement for a search warrant and search a car because they can see a gun in plain sight, and at the same time arrest the car's occupant, a CHL holder, because his gun was not in plain sight.
Any Indian or First Nation candidates are likely to be members of "nations" who have suffered the negative consequences of the broken promises of any number of royal proclamations or numbered treaties that were entered into with the "Crown." It's hard to point to a showcase model of a treaty that did not serve as legal fiction allowing immigrants the run of the country.
One interesting feature of Bresler's proposal, however, is that it exposes what copyright-law scholar Jessica Litman has called the "legal fiction" of originality.
(127) It was those suspicions and rivalries that made the legal fiction of nation-states--"artificial unit[s] of loyalty," as Max Eastman put it--so dangerous.
A corporation is not a real thing; it's a legal fiction, an abstraction.
SLOBODAN Milosevic yesterday attacked the decision to impose defence lawyers on him at his delay-hit war crimes tribunal as "legal fiction".