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Discharge in United Kingdom

Definition of Discharge

In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Discharge :

Release from an obligation, debt, or liability, particularly the following.

1. Discharge of contract (see here the entry about this topic).

2. The release of a debtor from all *provable debts (with minor exceptions) at the end of *bankruptcy proceedings. In certain circumstances discharge is automatic. In other cases, the debtor or the official receiver may apply to the court for an order of discharge. This may be subject to conditions, such as further payments by the debtor to his creditors out of his future income, or it may be suspended until the creditors receive a higher proportion of the amount due to them. After discharge the debtor is freed from most of the disabilities to which he was subject as an *undischarged bankrupt.

3. The release of a convicted defendant without imposing a punishment on him. A discharge may be absolute or conditional. In an absolute discharge the defendant is not punished for the offence. His conviction may, however, be accompanied by a *compensation order or by *endorsement of his driving licence or disqualification from driving. A conditional discharge also releases the defendant without punishment, provided that he is not convicted of any other offence within a specified period (usually three years). If he is convicted within that time, the court may sentence him for the original offence as well.

(in this last case) Three conditions are required for the court to order a discharge:

  • that a community rehabilitation order is not appropriate;
  • that the punishment for the offence must not be fixed by law; and
  • that the court thinks it inadvisable to punish the defendant in the circumstances.

Definition of Discharge in the case of Contracts

A contract can be regarded as discharged when the contract and any obligations arising under the contract have ended.

Concept of Fledwit, Flightwite

Traditional meaning of fledwit, flightwite [1] in the English common law history: 1. A fine paid by an outlaw for pardon. 2. A discharge from amerciaments when an outlawed fugitive came to the King’s peace of his own accord.

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Notes and References

  1. Based on A concise law dictionary of words, phrases and maxims, “Fledwit, Flightwite”, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1911, United States. This term and/or definition may be absolete. It is also called the Stimson’s Law dictionary, based on a glossary of terms, included Fledwit, Flightwite.

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(2020, 04). Discharge lawi.org.uk Retrieved 07, 2021, from https://lawi.org.uk/discharge/

04 2020. 07 2021 <https://lawi.org.uk/discharge/>

"Discharge" lawi.org.uk. lawi.org.uk, 04 2020. Web. 07 2021. <https://lawi.org.uk/discharge/>

"Discharge" lawi.org.uk. 04, 2020. Accesed 07 2021. https://lawi.org.uk/discharge/

Agostino Von Hassell, 'Discharge' (lawi.org.uk 2020) <https://lawi.org.uk/discharge/> accesed 2021 July 29

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Discharge
  • Author: Agostino Von Hassell
  • Description: Definition of Discharge In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Discharge : Release from [...]

This entry was last updated: April 16, 2020

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