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This glossary contains definitions to terms found on the Fraud Advisory Panel website.


Is a process that an individual can go through if they cannot pay their debts.

Civil litigation

Is a process whereby one party (the ‘claimant’) brings a court case (or ‘action’) against another party (the ‘defendant’) in a civil court (eg, High Court). The claimant must prove their case to the civil standard of proof.

Civil standard of proof

Civil litigation requires the claimant to prove their case ‘on the balance of probabilities’.


Is an amount of money awarded by the courts to be paid by a convicted criminal to a victim as recompense for the loss, damage or injury suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions. In the civil courts, compensation is awarded against an unsuccessful defendant as ‘damages’. In both the civil and criminal courts, the award of compensation can be enforced by the courts against the defendant.


In a criminal case the court may order that the proceeds of a crime be confiscated when a defendant has been found guilty of, or pleaded guilty to, a crime of an acquisitive nature. The amount confiscated is paid to the Treasury rather than to any victim in the case. Confiscation may also be awarded through civil recovery of proceeds of crime from unconvicted individuals and taxation of profits generated from crime, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Criminal prosecution

Is the process whereby the state (via a law enforcement authority) prosecutes a defendant for an offence contravening the criminal law in a criminal court (eg, Crown Court). The state must prove its case to the criminal standard of proof. It is also possible to bring a private prosecution, but this is still relatively rare.

Criminal standard of proof

Criminal prosecution requires the state or private prosecutor to prove its case ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.


Is the transfer of a suspected or convicted criminal from one country to another. This process is usually governed by reciprocal treaties between countries.


Occurs when an individual or company is unable to cover or pay its debts as they fall due.

Litigant in person

Is a person who represents themselves in civil proceedings and isn’t represented by a legal professional.

Official receiver

Is a civil servant who is an employee of the Insolvency Service who will act either as a trustee in bankruptcy for an individual(s) who is (or are) made bankrupt or as a liquidator for a company. In both cases, an insolvency practitioner can replace the official receiver at the request of creditors.

Private prosecution

Is a criminal prosecution. It is an alternative to state (or public) prosecution. It is started by a private individual or organisation that is not the police or Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Public (or state) prosecution

Is a criminal prosecution. It is controlled by public bodies such as the police (investigating body) and the Crown Prosecution Service (prosecuting body).