Query from a colleague:
When the new Civil Procedure Rules were introduced in England and Wales in 1999, some terms were changed, e.g. “action” was generally replaced by “claim”, “plaintiff” by “claimant”, etc. What I am wondering about is this: How do you differentiate between Klage = “claim” and Anspruch = “claim” now?
I must say that I hate the way English law changes terminology while the meaning doesn’t change that much. They did it with custody of (parental responsibility) and access to (contact) children after divorce too. But the word custody is internationally understood.
None of my work goes only to the UK, and most goes outside. I therefore always write ‘plaintiff’ and not ‘claimant’. I think I would do that even if I did work for a UK client, but if the client didn’t like it I’d change it. In Ireland and the USA, the term is still plaintiff.
As for claim, I think I would use the same word with both meanings, and hope that the context would make it clear what was meant. I most certainly use claim for Anspruch, I think I always have. I don’t think it can have lost that meaning in England, even if it’s taken on another one too. I do use action.
I am probably the wrong person to ask – you need to ask people who work for the UK.
My question to readers:
Do lawyers and translation companies in England and Wales insist on the term claimant for Kläger and claim for Klage?
There’s nothing wrong with the term plaintiff, but if the population of England have taken it over lock stock and barrel it has become the correct choice.
A different but related question: if people translate for Scotland, do they always use Scottish legal terms? I know you can study English law at Scottish universities – the population of Scotland is very much smaller than that of England and Wales, so not everyone wants to qualify in Scotland, and to qualify in England and Wales they want to have studied English law as well as Scottish.
LATER NOTE: I have now heard from two solicitors who deal with work from Germany. The conclusion from London is:
As a practitioner, I would certainly now expect “Kläger” to be translated as “Claimant”. That is how that party will be referred to in the Statements of Case (previously “pleadings”!), Orders, the Judgment etc. Using the term “Plaintiff” risks the criticism that the translator is unfamiliar with the correct terminology.
I therefore conclude, logically, that all translations relating to work for the courts in England and Wales must use the new terminology (I’ve discussed this before). And in consequence, probably all work for the UK will need to use it.
It was pointed out that the change from third party to part 20 defendant has been reversed.