adjective

  • 1attributive Relating to the law.

    ‘the European legal system’
    • ‘Like most of Latin America, Chile inherited an inquisitorial legal system from Spain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘VanLester's cases highlight a somewhat different problem for the legal system.’
    • ‘What's important we think is that this is a decision based on legal principle.’
    • ‘The Korean legal system is based on a civil law system that was developed from the education system.’
    • ‘But Finnie rejected both calls by quoting the legal advice he had been given by Scottish Executive civil servants.’
    • ‘This was no doubt the expensive legal advice it was given.’
    • ‘Texas's public defence system which provides legal advice for those who can't afford it, is notorious for its abysmal standards.’
    • ‘The failure of our legal system to take this question seriously in any systematic way is troubling.’
    • ‘Sir Rabbie is indicating it may turn out to be the only way to provide both sides with the legal framework they require.’
    • ‘Many lenders give incentives to switchers, such as help with valuation fees and legal expenses.’
    • ‘But many of her opinions and votes have had a dramatic impact on the American legal system.’
    • ‘The challenge to the Decision is based on two legal foundations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He declined to name them but said he advised the officials to seek legal advice and to speak with their insurers.’
    • ‘He loves the legal environment and is fascinated by the American legal system.’
    • ‘In light of this legal reality, the Attorney General's failure to prosecute is outrageous.’
    • ‘But he has ended up with thousands of pounds worth of legal fees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Local ordinances and acts apply on the island, where most laws are based on the Australian legal system.’
    • ‘Indeed it is good for the legal system to acquit the innocent and convict the guilty.’
    • ‘It was non-statutory and did not have legal powers to require individuals to supply evidence or attend.’
    • ‘The native legal system existed in its fullness before the ninth century.’
    • ‘The Claim Form bases no legal conclusion on this statement.’
    • ‘After further legal advice, the council chief executive, David Atkinson, agreed the motion could be discussed.’
    • ‘Please note that advice is given without legal responsibility’
    • ‘That is a difficult question, and its difficulty results from a deep ambiguity in our legal system.’
    • ‘Ms Ray, 53, is now seeking legal advice with a view to seeking compensation from Channel 4 and Ramsay.’
    • ‘He says the legal system is becoming increasingly concerned with political life.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Peter Ball, who represents residents in the Blackfriars area, strongly denies the claims and has sought legal advice.’
    • ‘The meeting was adjourned for more than half-an-hour with the public excluded while the panel sought legal advice over the claim.’
    • ‘The reason is that our modern, Westminster-style legal system is based not on justice, but on laws.’
    • ‘The legal system is based on modified Roman law, with strong protection for the rights of the accused.’
    • ‘Mrs Collins has lodged an official complaint with the firm and is considering seeking legal advice.’
    • ‘‘We will take legal advice but the appeal process can be very lengthy and expensive,’ he said.’
    • ‘This is a long and costly process that usually requires a legal firm.’
    • ‘The paper presents several such studies, some of which have direct bearing on the legal system.’
    judiciary, juridical, judicatory, forensic, jurisdictive
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Appointed or required by the law.
      ‘a legal requirement’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The draft laws also impose stricter legal and administrative requirements for new parties to be eligible for the elections.’
      • ‘All farms registered under the scheme must reach and maintain a level of compliance which far exceeds the legal requirements.’
      • ‘The way in which legal requirements hinder police getting the job done may be another.’
      • ‘He said he had complied at all times with the Commissions' legal requirements.’
      • ‘But Mrs Rutins said it was a legal requirement for all councillors to be supplied with the correct information.’
      • ‘As for the legal requirements a Specialised Bureau for Customers Identification was established with the bank.’
      • ‘There is no legal requirement to register as a charity, nor is any agency charged with maintaining such a register.’
      • ‘The only way to encourage such a process is raising the legal requirement for the size of banks' capital.’
      • ‘Complaints requiring legal action will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice.’
      • ‘Oh sure, it's a legal requirement for someone such as me who is a contractor.’
      • ‘These companies have a legal requirement to tell us they are meeting quality standards.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They claim its contrary to the trust's legal requirements.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      judicial, juridical, jurisdictive, judicatory, forensic
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    2. 1.2Law Recognized by common or statute law, as distinct from equity.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘26 Women were more likely to turn to equity courts than common law ones for legal resolution.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is a legal drug and it can be used as a substitute for heroin.’
    • ‘He says one of the main aims in producing the pills was to provide people with a safe and legal alternative to illegal drugs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When we debated the legalisation of drugs, he sai that he believed all drugs should be legal.’
    • ‘Until the late 19th century, all kinds of recreational drugs were legal throughout the Western world.’
    • ‘He contends the rules for marijuana should be the same as for legal drugs and should place the onus on the individual.’
    • ‘Can someone explain to me why on earth an institution of higher learning is involved in the peddling of the last legal drug?’
    • ‘The number of workers required for a legal strike to go ahead is often too high.’
    • ‘The government have the proof of the dangers of smoking, yet this is a legal drug.’
    • ‘Is it legal to sell prescription drugs through multi-level marketing?’
    • ‘Prozac is legal as a controlled drug given on prescription for depression.’
    • ‘I guess it's something about the combination of low taxes and legal drugs that strikes their fancy.’
    • ‘For example, an official resident permit is still required for legal residence and work in Moscow.’
    • ‘Many were introduced to alcohol, legal and illegal drugs at tender ages.’
    • ‘Who would have thought legal drugs could ever be so dangerous?’
    • ‘The same applies to illicit drug use or dangerous levels of consumption of alcohol or legal mood-altering drugs.’
    • ‘I talk to a Bronx priest who argues that life would be better if drugs were legal.’
    • ‘In other words, the big killers in Scotland are the legal drugs - tobacco and alcohol.’
    • ‘By far the most dangerous drugs are legal, with alcohol and tobacco, accounting for 150,000 deaths every year.’
    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.’
    • ‘The deed was on posh legal paper.’
    • ‘Sudler handed Mr Cool a sheet of yellow legal paper and sauntered out.’

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/