In the further alternative/Subeventualiter

I will be discussing one or two words that were not straightforward to translate.

subeventualiter (Swiss). I knew I’d encountered this, but couldn’t remember it.
Swiss: eventualiter, subeventualiter
German: hilfsweise, weiter hilfsweise

The translation should be in the alternative or in the further alternative. So subeventualiter is in the further alternative.

There was some discussion of this on Proz.

Another suggestion was further or alternatively. I don’t think that is right: it means what it says, either further or alternatively, whichever is appropriate.

General problems with Swiss legal German: if you know German law, you may be able to identify the equivalent Swiss terms (the same applies to Austrian terms). I’ve mentioned an online DE > EN dictionary of Swiss legal terms before, but it isn’t restricted to the terms specific to Switzerland and doesn’t have eventualiter in it. Metzger’s Schweizerisches juristisches Wörterbuch can be helpful, but isn’t always (just German – for eventualiter it gives nötigenfalls, möglicherweise). Doucet-Fleck DE > FR dictionary sometimes has Swiss and Austrian terms, helpful if you read French. Another German > French resource is the Petit Lexique Juridique by Piermarco Zen-Ruffinen.

5 thoughts on “In the further alternative/Subeventualiter

    • Yes, I agree, it has a different meaning. I would write ‘by way of precaution’ and ‘by way of extreme precaution’. This came up on Proz ages ago, and I left out the ‘extreme’ in my suggestion. A former US lawyer said they say ‘in an abundance of caution’ (and they possibly used to say ‘ex abundante cautela’).

  1. ‘Another suggestion was further or alternatively. I don’t think that is right: it means what it says, either further or alternatively, whichever is appropriate.’

    Further or alternatively, I believe my dismissal was automatically unfair contrary to the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the …

    Also, Margaret, see in your favourite Inns of Court/London City Uni. Bar Drafting Manual, at 13.4. specific performance/sale of land, as one example only:-

    AND the Claimant claims:
    1) specific performance of the contract for sale
    2) further *or* alternatively, damages for breach of contract
    3) *alternatively*:
    a) a declaration of repudiation of contract
    b) repayment of the deposit
    c) a declaration of the Claimant’s entitlement to a lien
    4. further *or* other relief
    5. costs

    • I don’t deny that it’s correct legal English, I just say it means something different from the German – it means ‘either further (that is, additionally) or alternatively, as appropriate’, which is not the same as ‘in the further alternative’, is it? I mean, we’re translating the German here, not strewing English terms in just because they work in some other context.

      To quote 8.4.2 of a similar book, ‘This involves stating new facts, either as an alternative or as an addition to the facts set out in the claim … When you are stating new facts that are simply additional to what has gone before, then you set them out in much the same way as you would in the particulars of claim. If they constitute a new line of defence, you should make it clear whether this new line of defence is consistent with a previous line either by introducing it with the word “Further” (to show that it is) or “Alternatively” (to show that it is not).’

      Alternatively, present evidence that this is the meaning of the German!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.