adjective

  • 1attributive Relating to the law.

    ‘the European legal system’
    • ‘The reason is that our modern, Westminster-style legal system is based not on justice, but on laws.’
    • ‘The paper presents several such studies, some of which have direct bearing on the legal system.’
    • ‘That is a difficult question, and its difficulty results from a deep ambiguity in our legal system.’
    • ‘The Korean legal system is based on a civil law system that was developed from the education system.’
    • ‘The failure of our legal system to take this question seriously in any systematic way is troubling.’
    • ‘Regulars in a Westbury pub are backing a landlord's bid to overturn the decision to revoke his late licence by contributing towards legal fees.’
    • ‘Ms Ray, 53, is now seeking legal advice with a view to seeking compensation from Channel 4 and Ramsay.’
    • ‘This is a long and costly process that usually requires a legal firm.’
    • ‘In light of this legal reality, the Attorney General's failure to prosecute is outrageous.’
    • ‘Indeed it is good for the legal system to acquit the innocent and convict the guilty.’
    • ‘Many lenders give incentives to switchers, such as help with valuation fees and legal expenses.’
    • ‘Like most of Latin America, Chile inherited an inquisitorial legal system from Spain.’
    • ‘What's important we think is that this is a decision based on legal principle.’
    • ‘The Claim Form bases no legal conclusion on this statement.’
    • ‘‘We will take legal advice but the appeal process can be very lengthy and expensive,’ he said.’
    • ‘Local ordinances and acts apply on the island, where most laws are based on the Australian legal system.’
    • ‘An economy based on contracts requires a dependable legal framework, and a society based on free contracts must to that extent be a free society.’
    • ‘The meeting was adjourned for more than half-an-hour with the public excluded while the panel sought legal advice over the claim.’
    • ‘The native legal system existed in its fullness before the ninth century.’
    • ‘Sir Rabbie is indicating it may turn out to be the only way to provide both sides with the legal framework they require.’
    • ‘But Finnie rejected both calls by quoting the legal advice he had been given by Scottish Executive civil servants.’
    • ‘He declined to name them but said he advised the officials to seek legal advice and to speak with their insurers.’
    • ‘After further legal advice, the council chief executive, David Atkinson, agreed the motion could be discussed.’
    • ‘But he has ended up with thousands of pounds worth of legal fees.’
    • ‘It was non-statutory and did not have legal powers to require individuals to supply evidence or attend.’
    • ‘It used to be impossible to prove that the legal system produces wrongful convictions.’
    • ‘The reasons submitted by the plaintiff for denying costs to the defendant are not based on any legal principle.’
    • ‘He says the legal system is becoming increasingly concerned with political life.’
    • ‘When he got sued a few years ago, he invited people to contribute to his legal fees by sending him some personal details and some money, and he would write a song about them.’
    • ‘Mrs Collins has lodged an official complaint with the firm and is considering seeking legal advice.’
    • ‘The legal system is based on modified Roman law, with strong protection for the rights of the accused.’
    • ‘Over the past two years, a weekly drop-in centre with access to legal advice and translation services has been set up at a local community centre.’
    • ‘The challenge to the Decision is based on two legal foundations.’
    • ‘Texas's public defence system which provides legal advice for those who can't afford it, is notorious for its abysmal standards.’
    • ‘VanLester's cases highlight a somewhat different problem for the legal system.’
    • ‘This was no doubt the expensive legal advice it was given.’
    • ‘He loves the legal environment and is fascinated by the American legal system.’
    • ‘But many of her opinions and votes have had a dramatic impact on the American legal system.’
    • ‘Please note that advice is given without legal responsibility’
    • ‘Peter Ball, who represents residents in the Blackfriars area, strongly denies the claims and has sought legal advice.’
    judiciary, juridical, judicatory, forensic, jurisdictive
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    1. 1.1 Appointed or required by the law.
      ‘a legal requirement’
      • ‘He said he had complied at all times with the Commissions' legal requirements.’
      • ‘The draft laws also impose stricter legal and administrative requirements for new parties to be eligible for the elections.’
      • ‘Complaints requiring legal action will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice.’
      • ‘The only way to encourage such a process is raising the legal requirement for the size of banks' capital.’
      • ‘But Mrs Rutins said it was a legal requirement for all councillors to be supplied with the correct information.’
      • ‘Presently car owners have the right to go where they please, even into the centre of York provided they and their vehicles meet legal requirements.’
      • ‘They claim its contrary to the trust's legal requirements.’
      • ‘These companies have a legal requirement to tell us they are meeting quality standards.’
      • ‘The other vehicles in its fleet do not meet the legal requirements and in effect should not be allowed on the road.’
      • ‘There is no legal requirement to register as a charity, nor is any agency charged with maintaining such a register.’
      • ‘As for the legal requirements a Specialised Bureau for Customers Identification was established with the bank.’
      • ‘Sofia City Court denied the newly formed movement party registration on grounds of failure to meet legal requirements.’
      • ‘You should get your independent contractor agreement in writing, although that is not a legal requirement.’
      • ‘All farms registered under the scheme must reach and maintain a level of compliance which far exceeds the legal requirements.’
      • ‘Once that decision is made, airlines will then have a year to put their houses in order, before the new legal requirements come into force.’
      • ‘Oh sure, it's a legal requirement for someone such as me who is a contractor.’
      • ‘There is no legal requirement to do so as the firms cannot avail of limited liability status.’
      • ‘It is a legal requirement that all competitors and their boatmen wear a life jacket.’
      • ‘He says Walmex simply keeps the contracts on hand to meet legal requirements.’
      • ‘The way in which legal requirements hinder police getting the job done may be another.’
      judicial, juridical, jurisdictive, judicatory, forensic
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    2. 1.2Law Recognized by common or statute law, as distinct from equity.
      • ‘26 Women were more likely to turn to equity courts than common law ones for legal resolution.’
      • ‘It's crazy to argue that we're ever going to get significant legal change from common law courts.’
      • ‘Certainly, the appellant does not bear any moral, as distinct from legal, responsibility for what occurred.’
      • ‘It also enables legal recognition to be given to a broad range of family structures and relationships.’
      • ‘Any moral distinction between the two modes is surely too slender to justify legal recognition.’
    3. 1.3 Relating to theological legalism.
      • ‘Is is legal to work by healing on the Sabbath day?’
      • ‘The Torah comprises the first five books and contains a mixture of narratives and legal texts.’
  • 2Permitted by law.

    ‘he claimed that it had all been legal’
    • ‘In other words, the big killers in Scotland are the legal drugs - tobacco and alcohol.’
    • ‘Until the late 19th century, all kinds of recreational drugs were legal throughout the Western world.’
    • ‘Who would have thought legal drugs could ever be so dangerous?’
    • ‘When we debated the legalisation of drugs, he sai that he believed all drugs should be legal.’
    • ‘Is it legal to sell prescription drugs through multi-level marketing?’
    • ‘By far the most dangerous drugs are legal, with alcohol and tobacco, accounting for 150,000 deaths every year.’
    • ‘The same applies to illicit drug use or dangerous levels of consumption of alcohol or legal mood-altering drugs.’
    • ‘Alcohol is, of course, a legal and socially acceptable drug, even though it may actually be more harmful to the body than some of the illegal drugs.’
    • ‘The government have the proof of the dangers of smoking, yet this is a legal drug.’
    • ‘I guess it's something about the combination of low taxes and legal drugs that strikes their fancy.’
    • ‘Researchers told a group of top athletes they were taking a legal drug that is known to boost performance and allow them to run faster.’
    • ‘For example, an official resident permit is still required for legal residence and work in Moscow.’
    • ‘Can someone explain to me why on earth an institution of higher learning is involved in the peddling of the last legal drug?’
    • ‘He contends the rules for marijuana should be the same as for legal drugs and should place the onus on the individual.’
    • ‘It is a legal drug and it can be used as a substitute for heroin.’
    • ‘Many were introduced to alcohol, legal and illegal drugs at tender ages.’
    • ‘The number of workers required for a legal strike to go ahead is often too high.’
    • ‘Prozac is legal as a controlled drug given on prescription for depression.’
    • ‘He says one of the main aims in producing the pills was to provide people with a safe and legal alternative to illegal drugs.’
    • ‘I talk to a Bronx priest who argues that life would be better if drugs were legal.’
    lawful, legitimate, licit, within the law, legalized, valid
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  • 3US Denoting a size of paper that measures 22 × 35.5 cm (8.5 × 14 inches)

    ‘a yellow legal pad’
    • ‘When he saw something of note, he scrawled it on a folded up piece of yellow legal paper he kept in his coat pocket.’
    • ‘Sudler handed Mr Cool a sheet of yellow legal paper and sauntered out.’
    • ‘The deed was on posh legal paper.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘to do with Mosaic law’): from French, or from Latin legalis, from lex, leg- ‘law’. Compare with loyal.

Pronunciation

legal

/ˈliːɡ(ə)l/