Notwithstanding / Unbeschadet

Here’s a translation I saw recently:

Weitere Ansprüche bestehen – unbeschadet Ziffer 4 – nicht.

Notwithstanding Section 4, no further claims shall be allowed.

(§ 4 permits some claims)

I probably would have written:

Subject to number 4 below, there shall be no other claims.

I always write ‘below’ or ‘above’ when citing from the same document – it’s normal English-language legal practice. I am not sure about ‘section’ for a contract, but suppose it’s OK. I think ‘allowed’ is a bit free for ‘bestehen’.

Unbeschadet is given in Dietl as follows:

without prejudice to; notwithstanding

Note the semi-colon: these really are two different meanings. To me, notwithstanding would mean ‘No matter what rubbish number 4 says, just ignore it: there are no other claims’, whereas subject to means ‘There are no other claims, but this statement doesn’t affect number 4: the claims in number 4 do exist’.

Romain has: notwithstanding, irrespective of, without affecting, without prejudice to, not in derogation of, saving

von Beseler/Jacobs-Wüstefeld has: without prejudice/detriment to; without affecting; [einer Forderung, etc.] apart from; irrespective of; regardless of; notwithstanding, [Lat] non obstante; saving; [einer Bestimmung] subject to

Lister/Veth has: without prejudice to; regardless of; notwithstanding

This came up in ProZ once. I think the asker was right to choose ‘without prejudice to any claim for damages’.

Or am I splitting hairs?

3 thoughts on “Notwithstanding / Unbeschadet

  1. Not hair-splitting, but worthy points. My rule-of-thumb – or Ausgangspunkt – is:
    nothwistanding for a contract clause (rather than section) in general and without prejudice for claims in particular.

    Tighter drafting: ‘… bleibt/ bleiben unberührt’ would make it a bit easier to know which way to jump or which trap to steer clear of.

  2. I am sorry, but I have to disagree. “Unbeschadet” does not mean “subject to”; this would be ABSOLUTELY WRONG. It means what it means ;-) … that is, “notwithstanding”.

    As a matter of fact, “subject to” and “unbeschadet” are exact opposites, thus resulting in a mistranslation. Be careful!!!!

  3. You’ve put your finger on it, Werner – there are two meanings of unbeschadet, and they are more or less opposites! One is ‘without prejudice to’ (perhaps that would be better here than ‘subject to’), and the other is ‘notwithstanding’. It’s interesting. Read it through again carefully.

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