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  • Topic

    "Without Prejudice"

    Was bedeutet bitte, wenn in britischen Geschäftskorrespondenzen die Überschrift "Without Prejudice" steht - hauptsächich bei solchen Briefen, wo es um die Mitteilung von Nicht-Anerkennung von Schadensersatzansprüchen geht.

    (Antwort nur von solchen Personen erbeten, die wirklich wissen wovon sie schreiben. Danke!)
    AuthorR.06 Jun 06, 01:18
    Well, you probably don't want my answer then, since I don't know from personal experience. However, it is in my dictionaries, if by any chance that should help you. If not, sorry for answering.


    prejudice - ... b: (esp Jur: = detriment, injury) Schaden;
    to the prejudice of sb - (form) zu jds Schaden;
    to the prejudice of sth - (form) unter Beeinträchtigung einer Sache (gen);
    without prejudice - (Jur) ohne Verbindlichkeit /or/ Obligo;
    without prejudice to one's rights - ohne sich (dat) selbst zu schaden;
    without prejudice to any claim - (Jur) ohne Beeinträchtigung /or/ unbeschadet irgendwelcher Ansprüche

    prejudice - 1: ... b: (injury) Schaden; Nachteil;
    to sb.'s prejudice - zu jmds. Nachteil /od./ Schaden;
    without prejudice [to court action] - (Law) ohne Schaden für die eigenen Rechte [bei gerichtlichem Vorgehen];
    without prejudice to sth. - unbeschadet einer Sache (Gen.);
    be without prejudice to sth. - etw unberührt lassen

    without prejudice - (Law) without detriment to any existing right or claim: 'the payment was made without prejudice to her rights.'
    #1Authorhm -- us06 Jun 06, 01:32
    Like hm -- us, I am not an expert. But I think the following explanation (which is part of the Wikipedia article on "Prejudice (law)" at applies in your situation:

    "In many common-law jurisdictions such as England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, the term "without prejudice" is also used in the course of negotiations to indicate that a particular conversation or letter is not to be tendered as evidence in court. Such correspondences must be made in the course of negotiations and must be a genuine attempt to settle a dispute between the parties."

    In other words, your British correspondent is trying to resolve the problem, but he does not want his letter to be used as evidence if the matter ends up in court.
    #2AuthorGeorgeA (US)06 Jun 06, 01:42
    From Duhaime's law dictionary:
    "Without prejudice
    A statements set onto a written document which qualifies the signatory as exempted from it's content to the extent that they may be interpreted as containing admissions or other interpretations which could later be used against the person signing; or as otherwise affecting any legal rights of the person signing. A lawyer will often send a letter "without prejudice" in case the letter makes admissions which could later prove inconvenient to the client."

    Basically, (and I am not a lawyer), it is a kind of disclaimer. For example, in disability insurance, a benefit may be paid "without prejudice" up to a certain date. It means that the insurer is paying the individual, but does not necessarily recognize the disability or may not continue paying, unless and until medical evidence of disability has been obtained and submitted.
    #3AuthorRES-can06 Jun 06, 02:01
    "unbeschadet ...." , "ohne Anerkennung einer Rechtspflicht..."

    NB: "ohne Schaden für die eigenen Rechte" is NOT correct, never heard of and should be deleted from the Oxford Duden.
    #4AuthorOcco06 Jun 06, 08:23
    “Without prejudice” means without prejudice to the progress or outcome of any claim or potential claim between the parties. Words of this kind are to be understood after “without prejudice” and are not expressed, which is why it is not easy to translate into another language. It is a peculiarly English legal maxim. If the right conditions are met, a court will recognize that certain negotiations, tape recordings, documents, etc. are inadmissible as evidence.

    Sometimes people use the maxim on correspondence without really understanding what it means and irrelevantly or inappropriately. Sometimes they just mean “confidential”!

    The without prejudice maxim came into being to enable the parties to attempt to settle a matter out of court or without going to trial. It is meant to encourage parties to express themselves freely and without inhibition. A claims xyz against B. If B approaches A to ask if they can compromise, then it could be interpreted as an admission of liability by B. Therefore B will not do this unless there is some safe space or container in which he can do so to test how willing A is to compromise.

    Simplistically expressed, the idea of without prejudice negotiations is that B can, using the umbrella of “without prejudice” negotiations, approach A. Negotiations must be genuinely aimed at settlement, that is, the avoidance of litigation and if this criterion is met, the proposals put forward or the arguments in support are not able to be brought up in evidence later on. For example one party may ask the other for more time, or a reduction in what he has to pay.

    If this is going to be translated into German, then I think that it would be good if something along the lines of my first sentence were conveyed. The one I like best is from the dictionary definitions above is: “ - (Jur) ohne Beeinträchtigung /or/ unbeschadet irgendwelcher Ansprüche” from Pons-Collins.

    Apologies if this is a bit long-winded.
    #5AuthorSammy06 Jun 06, 15:17
    R. I hope you will take this without prejudice, but "Antwort nur von solchen Personen erbeten, die wirklich wissen wovon sie schreiben. Danke!" is, imo, a truly arrogant and obnoxious post script to your question. It is a sign of how nice most Leonites are that you got such useful answers anyway.
    #6AuthorSelkie06 Jun 06, 15:27
    Support Selkie. Would not dream of answering. As a lowly law student might not meet R's impossibly high standards.
    #7Authorrv06 Jun 06, 15:50
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