Verdicts

 

Civil Law

The claimant typically seeks relief from the court in the form of a declaration that the defendant has breached a relevant legal duty, as well as a remedy.

If the claimant has sought damages, the court decides whether the claimant is entitled to damages and then decides the amount. If the damages assessment is complicated, the court can order an inquiry into damages.

Where the claimant has sought an injunction for example, preventing the defendant from trespassing on the claimant's property, the court must decide what is an appropriate remedy, if any, and the precise terms of it.

When judgment has been delivered, the judge must deal with costs of the case, which may include the fees of any lawyers, court fees, fees of expert witnesses, allowances for litigants in person, lost earnings and travel expenses of the parties and their witnesses. The general rule is that the losing party must pay the costs of the successful party, but the court has discretion on the cost award that it can make. The judge can hear representations about this at the end of the case or in a separate cost hearing.

 

Criminal Law

The verdict can be either "not guilty" or "guilty". In Scotland, the verdict of "not proven" is also available.

There may be different verdicts for different counts in the same case.