Glossary

A

Anti Virus Software
Software that searches for known viruses. Also known as a "virus scanner." As new viruses are discovered by the antivirus vendor, their binary patterns are added to a signature database that is downloaded periodically to the user's antivirus program via the Web.
Attorney General
(Office of the)
The Attorney General, assisted by the Solicitor General, is the chief legal adviser to the Government. They are responsible for ensuring the rule of law is upheld. The Attorney General is responsible to Parliament for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Serious Fraud Office, the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office, the Treasury Solicitor's Department and the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland.

The Attorney General also has certain public interest functions, for example, in taking action to appeal unduly lenient sentences, bringing proceedings under the Contempt of Court Act and protecting charities.

The Attorney General and the Solicitor General also deal with questions of law arising on Government Bills and with issues of legal policy. They are concerned with all major international and domestic litigation involving the Government and questions of European Community and International Law as they may affect Her Majesty's Government.
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B

Bar
The collective term for barristers.
Bar Council
The regulatory and representative body for barristers in England and Wales.
Barrister
(Also known as Counsel.) A member of the Bar: the branch of the legal profession which has rights of audience before all Courts.
Bcc
(Blind Carbon Copy) The field in an e-mail header that names additional recipients for the message. It is similar to carbon copy (cc), but the names do not appear in the recipient's message. Not all e-mail systems support the bcc feature.
Byte
The common unit of computer storage from desktop computer to mainframe.
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C

Case management
The set of processes and all supporting information and actions required to take a case from initial creation or receipt through to completion; including information about the nature, handling and progress of a case.
CC
(Carbon Copy) The field in an e-mail header that names additional recipients for the message.
CJOs
The seven main government Criminal Justice organisations - police, CPS, Crown Court, magistrates' courts, prison service, YOTs and probation service- which together are responsible for delivering justice in England and Wales. From 1 April 2005 the Crown Court and magistrates' courts will merge to form Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS).
CJPs
Criminal Justice Practitioners - a generic term embracing all non-Criminal Justice organisation practitioners other than those in government departments (such as the Inland Revenue). Includes, for example, defence solicitors and barristers, Victim Support and Witness Service organisations.
CJS Exchange
The Exchange programme provides the infrastructure through which criminal justice agencies and partner organisations can share information, manage cases and work together in a secure and joined up way. It acts as a bridge between the independent agencies based on their existing IT systems, and provides access to information previously locked away in separate systems.
CJX
Criminal Justice Extranet (also known as CJN) which some government criminal justice organisations use instead of the Government Secure Intranet (GSI).
Counsel
A Barrister.
Court
Body with judicial powers.
Crown Court
The Crown Court deals with all crime committed or sent for trial by magistrates' courts. Cases for trial are heard before a judge and jury. The Crown Court also acts as an appeal Court for cases heard and dealt with by the Magistrates.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
Crown Prosecution Service - the civil organisation within the CJS in England and Wales that is responsible for charging in most circumstances, the production of prosecution guidance and prosecuting certain cases in court.
Cybercrime
Crime on the information superhighway, typically having to do with online fraud.
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D

Data Protection Act
The DPA gives individuals certain rights regarding information held about them. It places obligations on those who process information (data controllers) while giving rights to those who are the subject of that data (data subjects). Personal information covers both facts and opinions about the individual.

The Data Protection Act 1998 seeks to strike a balance between the rights of individuals and the sometimes competing interests of those with legitimate reasons for using personal information.
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
A agency of the Department of Transport, the DVLA facilitates road safety and general law enforcement by maintaining registers of drivers and vehicles and collecting car tax.
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E

Encryption
The reversible transformation of data from the original (the plaintext) to a difficult-to-interpret format (the cipher text) as a mechanism for protecting its confidentiality, integrity and sometimes its authenticity.
Excel
A full-featured spreadsheet for Windows and the Macintosh from Microsoft.
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F

Firewall
The primary method for keeping a computer secure from intruders. A firewall allows or blocks traffic into and out of a private network or the user's computer. Firewalls are widely used to give users secure access to the Internet as well as to separate a company's public Web server from its internal network.
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives people a general right of access to information held by or on behalf of public authorities, promoting a culture of openness and accountability across the public sector.
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G

GSI
Government Secure Intranet - a secure IT system for use by Government departments and associated, trusted organisations.
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H

Hacker
A slang term for a computer enthusiast, i.e., a person who enjoys learning programming languages and computer systems and can often be considered an expert on the subject(s). Among professional programmers, depending on how it used, the term can be either complimentary or derogatory, although it is developing an increasingly derogatory connotation. The derogatory sense of hacker is becoming more prominent largely because the popular press has co-opted the term to refer to individuals who gain unauthorised access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting data. Hackers, themselves, maintain that the proper term for such individuals is cracker.
Her Majesty's Courts Service
An executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. Its purpose is the delivery of justice and it is responsible for running most of the courts (Crown and magistrates' courts) and tribunals in England and Wales.
Home Office
The Home Office leads a national effort to protect the public from terror, crime and anti-social behaviour. It secures our borders and welcomes legal migrants and visitors as well as safeguarding identity and citizenship. The Home Office helps build the security, justice and respect that enable people to prosper in a free and tolerant society.
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L

Law Society
The professional body for solicitors in England and Wales.
Lawyer
General term used to describe barristers (who usually work in the Crown Court and Appeal Court) and solicitors.
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M

Magistrate
Lay Magistrates - or Justices of the Peace - are volunteers who sit as part of a group of three and hear cases in the magistrates' court. They are not legally qualified.
Magistrates' courts
A court where criminal proceedings are conducted before Justices of the Peace or District Judges who examine the evidence/statements and either deal with the case themselves or commit to the Crown Court for trial or sentence.
Mailbox
A replicated mailbox on disk that holds incoming electronic mail.
Megabyte
One million bytes, or more precisely 1,048,576 bytes.
Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
The Ministry of Justice replaces the former Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) and is headed up by the Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, who takes the role of Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor.

It is responsible for policy on the overall criminal, civil, family and administrative justice system, including sentencing policy, as well as the courts, tribunals, legal aid and constitutional reform. The Ministry of Justice helps bring together management of the criminal justice system from end to end, meaning that once a suspect has been charged, their journey through the courts – and if necessary prison and probation – can be managed seamlessly.

Launched on 9 May 2007, the new ministry combines responsibilities for criminal law and sentencing previously with the Home Office with the roles of the former Department for Constitutional Affairs and the National Offender Management Service (including the prison and probation service).
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N

National Offender Management Service (NOMS)
NOMS is the system through the Ministry of Justice commissions and provides the highest quality correctional services and interventions in order to protect the public and reduce re-offending.
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O

Office for Criminal Justice Reform
The Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR) is the cross-departmental team that supports all criminal justice agencies in working together to provide an improved service to the public. As a cross-departmental organisation, OCJR reports to Ministers in the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Attorney General's Office.

OCJR's goal is to deliver the National Criminal Justice Board's vision of what the Criminal Justice System will look like in 2011. It will do this by providing Local Criminal Justice Boards with the overall framework and guidance to facilitate reform at a local level.
Outlook
Microsoft's mail client and personal information manager.
Outlook Express
Outlook Express is a light version for e-mail only that comes with Windows. Outlook can be used as the client end to Microsoft's Exchange Server or as the e-mail client with any ISP account.
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P

Portal
A website or service that offers a broad selection of resources and services.
POP3
A protocol used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. Most e-mail applications (sometimes called an e-mail client) use the POP protocol, although some can use the newer IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol).
Prison service
Her Majesty's Prison Service serves the public by keeping in custody those committed by the courts. Our duty is to look after them with humanity and help them lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release. The service protects the public by: holding prisoners securely; reducing the risk of prisoners re-offending; providing safe and well-ordered establishments in which to treat prisoners humanely, decently and lawfully and providing an effective custody and escort service to the criminal courts, which supports their efficient operation.
Probation Service
The National Probation Service's work with offenders combines continuous assessment and management of risk and dangerousness with the provision of expert supervision programmes designed to reduce re-offending.
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S

Secure eMail (SeM)
SeM provides a Secure eMail facility between Criminal Justice Orgnaisations and external Criminal Justice Practitioners (CJPs). It is delivering early and vital improvements across the entire Criminal Justice System (CJS) through the provision of an IT solution that will enable organisations to share information in a timely fashion.
Server
A computer system in a network that is shared by multiple users.
SMTP
SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is a protocol for sending email messages between servers. Most email servers use SMTP to send messages from one server to another over the Internet.
Solicitor
Member of the legal profession chiefly concerned with advising clients and preparing their cases and representing them in some Courts. May also act as advocates before certain Courts or tribunals.
Spam
E-mail that is not requested. Also known as "unsolicited commercial e-mail", "unsolicited bulk e-mail", "gray mail" and just plain "junk mail," the term is both a noun (the e-mail message) and a verb (to send it). Spam is used to advertise products or to broadcast some political or social commentary.
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V

Virus
A program or piece of computer code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes.
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W

Worm
A worm is a special type of virus that can replicate itself and use memory, but cannot attach itself to other programs.
Witness
A person who gives evidence in Court (see also EXPERT WITNESS).
Wizard
Instructional help in an application or system development environment that guides the user through a series of multiple choice questions to accomplish a task.
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Y

Youth Offending Team (YOT)
A Youth Offending Team is made up of local representatives from the police, probation service, social services, health, education, drugs and alcohol misuse and housing officers. The YOT identifies the needs of each young offender and the specific problems that make the young person offend, as well as measuring the risk they pose to others. This enables the YOT to identify suitable programmes to address the needs of the young person with the intention of preventing further offending.
Youth Justice Board (YJB)
The principal aim of the youth justice system is to prevent offending by children and young people under the age of 18. The Youth Justice Board supports the achievement of this aim by:
  • advising the Home Secretary on the operation of, and standards for, the youth justice system
  • monitoring the performance of the youth justice system
  • purchasing places for children and young people remanded or sentenced to custody
  • identifying and promoting good practice
  • making grants to local authorities or other bodies
  • commissioning research and publishing information
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