IELTS vocabulary for law

IELTS vocabulary for law and order

IELTS vocabulary for law and order

Home 9 Free IELTS Vocabulary resources 9 IELTS vocabulary for law and order

We hope you find this free IELTS resource useful! However, if you’re really looking to achieve IELTS success, become a member! You will get instant access to the complete IELTS course (Academic or General Training), the 6-level general English course, the IELTS vocabulary course and the 7 downloadable eBooks (with audio files). MASTER Members also get 10 writing tests (Task 1 and Task 2) assessed with comments, corrections and estimated band score, as well as 2 live speaking assessments, one to one with a trained IELTS examiner.

Essential IELTS vocabulary is split into common IELTS topics and subsections in much more detail in our complete online course, so become a member today.

On this page, we are focusing on vocabulary used to describe the law – crimes, criminals, the legal system and more.

Take a look at the list below. How many words do you know? We will soon be adding vocabulary exercises to these pages, but for now, we hope the lists help!

Degrees of crime

Misdemeanour – A minor crime, punishable by a fine or a light jail term
Felony [US English] – a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year.
Infraction – generally used to describe minor crimes when the law has been broken (e.g. riding a bicycle at night without lights – it’s breaking the law, but you’re not going to prison for it!)

Punishment

Capital punishment (the death penalty) – being put to death by the state for crimes committed
Incarcerated – a formal word meaning ‘to be put in prison’
Suspended sentence – a person can be found guilty but their time in prison is delayed for a period of time. Often is a person has not broken the law within a given period, the prison time is dismissed.
Maximum security – a prison where there prisoners are watched very closely and chances of escape are very low (compare this to minimum security prisons, which are generally more relaxed and reserved for lesser crimes)
Damages – this is where the person or company accused of the crime is found guilty and required to pay money to the person / people they have wronged.

Types of crime

NOTE: There are hundreds of different types of crime – the list below covers only the words we think will be most useful in your IELTS test!

White collar crime – this refers to non-violent crimes done for money, generally by business and government professionals.
Homicide – a more formal (legal) term for murder
Larceny – a more formal (legal) term for theft
Arson – setting fire to buildings or other property
Embezzlement – taking money which the person has been trusted to look after (commonly when people steal money from the company they work for)
Forgery – making illegal copies of official documents
Fraud – to deceive (trick) someone for illegal gain
Hate crime – a crime against a person because of a social group they are considered to belong to (could be race, colour, religion etc)

The people involved

Judge – the person responsible for deciding the punishment for a guilty person
Defendant – the person in a trial who has been accused of a crime
Prosecution – the people who are trying to prove that the defendant is guilty
Jury – 12 people who attend a trial and then decide whether the accused person is innocent or guilty.
Witness – people that are brought into a trial to give evidence (this can be for the defendant, against the defendant of simply to give factual evidence)
Attorney / barrister – these are law professionals that will often be present in court, either defending or prosecuting a case.

The legal process

To arrest someone – to take someone into custody
A trial – when the evidence against the accused person is considered by a judge and jury
Verdict – the decision as to whether the defendant is innocent or guilty
Appeal – when the final decision made by the judge is challenged
Confession – when the accused person admits they are guilty
Testimony – a written or spoken statement

Miscellaneous vocabulary for the law

Immunity – when a criminal is not prosecuted for their crime(s) in exchange for their testimony about another criminal.

Ready to become a full member and unlock our complete IELTS preparation course?
SELECT YOUR MEMBERSHIP BELOW
General Training Module IELTS - SPEED Membership

GENERAL TRAINING

SPEED MEMBERSHIP

SPEED Membership includes full access to the 10 Unit IELTS course, the 6-level general English course, the IELTS vocabulary course, the 7 downloadable eBooks and 15 complete IELTS practice tests, all with your own dedicated support tutor.

90 DAYS ACCESS

…or click here to learn more

General Training Module IELTS - SPEED Membership

ACADEMIC MODULE

SPEED MEMBERSHIP

SPEED Membership includes full access to the 10 Unit IELTS course, the 6-level general English course, the IELTS vocabulary course, the 7 downloadable eBooks and 15 complete IELTS practice tests, all with your own dedicated support tutor.

90 DAYS ACCESS

…or click here to learn more

GENERAL TRAINING MASTER MEMBERSHIP

GENERAL TRAINING

MASTER MEMBERSHIP

MASTER Membership includes everything in the SPEED membership, as well as 10 writing tests assessed with comments and corrections AND 2 live speaking assessments one to one with your support tutor (a trained IELTS examiner) via Skype or Whatsapp.

6 MONTHS ACCESS

…or click here to learn more

ACADEMIC MODULE MASTER MEMBERSHIP

ACADEMIC MODULE

MASTER MEMBERSHIP

MASTER Membership includes everything in the SPEED membership, as well as 10 writing tests assessed with comments and corrections AND 2 live speaking assessments one to one with your support tutor (a trained IELTS examiner) via Skype or Whatsapp.

6 MONTHS ACCESS

…or click here to learn more