Non-contentious jurisdiction / Freiwillige Gerichtsbarkeit

I always translate freiwillige Gerichtsbarkeit as non-contentious jurisdiction. The terms seem to be exact matches. A court has non-contentious jurisdiction over matters that do go to court, but don’t involve a dispute.

So I was surprised to see this: suggestions of non-litigious proce[e]dings, voluntary jurisdiction and out-of-court jurisdiction. It’s not a very authoritative source (the term Webster is not copyrighted) and the pig Latin version would not be much use. But has anyone heard of non-litigious – is it a term used in some common-law jurisdiction or other?

UK sites suggest non-litigious is often used as a description of alternative dispute resolution, which is something different: it means not going to court at all. The Oxford Dictionary of Law, however, does define non-contentious as non-litigious. Still, I’ve never encountered it.

I see it’s popular at ProZ too.

But Hill Taylor Dickinson define it my way. This is what they call non-litigious:

* Advising on and drafting contracts
* Advice on evidence gathering both pre and post-accident
* Advice on employment issues including contracts and redundancies
* Advice on Medical issues
* Advice on Indemnities and Insurance

And that’s a synonym for out-of-court.

One thought on “Non-contentious jurisdiction / Freiwillige Gerichtsbarkeit

  1. Thanks for that, Margaret.

    I wonder whether anyone honestly thinks the ProZ answer accepted of ‘Chancery of Voluntary Jurisdiction’ is better than – ex-Non-Contentious & Contentious Probate Practitioner – Tom Thumb’s ‘Registry of Non-Contentious Business’?

    Non-litigious matter suggests that a settlement between litigants or an arrangement with creditors is in the air. It is NOT a jurisdiction.

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