This page is under development. Please email to suggest words to be added to the glossary.


Mace An ornamental staff of authority borne by a macer before a judge of the Court of Session or High Court of Justiciary and displayed in his or her court while it is sitting.

Mandatory (1) A person within the jurisdiction ordered by the court to be responsible for the conduct of a cause on behalf of a party who is not resident in Scotland.

(2) A requirement or provision that must be complied with.

Matrimonial home The home provided by one or both spouses or civil partners and forming a family residence.

Mens rea Guilty purpose.

Messengers-at-Arms Officers appointed by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, whose function is to execute civil warrants of the Court of Session, certain warrants of the High Court of Justiciary and warrants of the Court of the Lord Lyon.


Mitigating Factors

Mitigating factors make an offence less serious and are likely to make the sentence less severe. See our Sentencing Factors page for more details.

Missives Letters passing between seller and purchaser setting out terms of agreement of the sale of property.

Mora Undue delay.

Mortis causa Deeds made in contemplation of death.

Motion An application made in court for an order during the course of court proceedings.

Moveable Estate Personal estate.

Multiplepoinding An action to determine the rights of parties to a fund or property in dispute and to release the holder of the fund from any claim.

Mutatis mutandis With the necessary alterations. For example, applying one provision to another set of circumstances.

My Lord/My Lady The proper form of address in court of a judge of the High Court of Justiciary, the Court of Session and the Sheriff Court.