Synonyms for Legal Fiction

A legal fiction is a fact assumed or created by the courts, which is then used to apply a rule of law that was not necessarily designed for that purpose. For example, the rules of the Parliament of the United Kingdom state that a Member of Parliament cannot resign from office, but since the law also states that a Member of Parliament appointed to a paid position of the Crown must either resign or stand for re-election, the effect of resignation can be obtained by appointment to that position. The second rule is used to circumvent the first. Legal fictions can be counterintuitive in the sense that a particular fact or idea is not normally considered to be established in the course of everyday life, but they are preserved in order to advance public order and defend the rights of certain individuals and institutions. A common example of legal fiction is a company that is considered a « person » in many jurisdictions that has many of the same legal rights and obligations as an individual. Legal fictions are found primarily in common law systems. The term « legal fiction » is not generally used pejoratively and has been compared to scaffolding around a building under construction. A guess that is not necessarily true, made by a court to enforce a legal provision.