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"pas d'intérêt, pas d'action"

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10:59 Dec 6, 2004
This question was closed without grading. Reason: Other

French to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law (general)
French term or phrase: "pas d'intérêt, pas d'action"
I understand what this means (il faut avoir un intérêt à agir en justice - a plaintiff must have an interest in bringing a legal action), but am looking for a similar adage in English. This is for a law firm's website, so I need something meaningful and snappy rather than a paraphrase.
Thanks in advance for any ideas
Jackie
JackieMcC
Local time: 11:17
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Summary of answers provided
3 +3no claim, no case
Charlotte Allen
4 +2no point, no casexxxBourth
5there must be grounds for bringing suitJane Lamb-Ruiz
4 +1no case without a causeJean-Charles Pirlet
3 +1locus standiCharlie Bavington


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
no case without a cause


Explanation:
this is the adage if I am not mistaken

Jean-Charles Pirlet
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:17
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 56

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Trada inc.: sounds good
2 hrs
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50 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
pas d'intérêt, pas d'action
locus standi


Explanation:
I emailed a friend of mine who has a law degree (England, specifically), and apparently this notion is known as "locus standi".

However, I confess that while that may well be the "adage" that the English legal profession uses, it may not be appropriate for a website, depending on who the website is aimed at, of course (Joe Public, or other legal professionals?)

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Note added at 55 mins (2004-12-06 11:55:02 GMT)
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My learned friend also informs me that use of the word \"interest\" in a case is perfectly acceptable, which is starting to lead us down the road of an almost word-for-word \"no interest, no case\" translation as another possibility for you.

Charlie Bavington
Local time: 10:17
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 97

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Charlotte Allen: Nice use of the phrase 'my learned friend'...I feel like we're in court.
30 mins

neutral  xxxBourth: My source says this means "the RIGHT to bring or challenge actions in court", quite different from the "point" of doing so.
1 hr
  -> True, locus standi is the right; however, you only really have the right if there is a point (you are an interested party, have suffered in some way, etc.) to your action in the first place, as I understand it....
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
there must be grounds for bringing suit


Explanation:
My advice: does this just HANG OUT THERE? Or is it part of a sentence? That makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE in how it is translated. No English speaker will HANG OUT a negative slogan in the middle of a page. IF it is in a sentence, why don't you provide it? That is the context....

Jane Lamb-Ruiz
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 610
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
pas d'intérêt, pas d'action
no point, no case


Explanation:
Seems to me these lawyers are claiming they have ethics (can't be lawyers, then! [sorry Charlotte]), i.e. if there is no point in litigation, they won't encourage you to pay them vaste sums of money to no or little avail. A sort of variant on "no win, no fee": rather than taking any case at all (though presumably the lawyer will only accept a no-win-no-fee case if he feels he can win) and charging only if he wins, the lawyer will charge whatever the outcome, but will discourage the client from proceeding with a court case if the chances of winning are slim.

IOW I see "intérêt" in the general sense of "quel est l'intérêt d'acheter un livre quand il y une bibliothèque en ville" (or variants thereon). One may legally have a valid claim that might, theoretically, win out in the courts, but there may be no point in pursuing the matter: because even if you win, you won't even get your costs refunded; because the other party has more patience and financial clout and, should you win, will appeal time and time again until you are broke.

Of course the "point" need not be financial, but the predominant "real" ... point I can see in using this catchcry is if the point IS financial. One might see a point in taking action just to have one's name cleared, etc., but it might cost an awful lot of money. THIS lawyer, apparently, will debate the pros and cons of taking action, to establish whether or not he and you are in agreement on the "point" of taking action, instead of simply heeding your bidding and laughing all the way to the bank.



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Note added at 14 hrs 41 mins (2004-12-07 01:40:45 GMT)
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Charlotte:
If a person has no \"interest\" (your definition) in taking legal action, what is the point in the legal firm saying \"pas d\'intérêt, pas d\'action\" since, I assume, the court simply wouldn\'t accept the case? Or DO some lawyers do (and get paid for) the preliminaries in the certain knowledge that the case will be ... thrown out of court?

Maybe [Jane won\'t like that] we are all talking at cross purposes and the Asker should explain if this is a serious explanation by the legal firm of how the judicial system works (in which case, why \"meaningful and snappy\"?) or if it is a catchline meant to reflect the firm\'s deontology.

xxxBourth
Local time: 11:17
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 254

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxdf49f: oui, ou même "no gain, no case" càd "nothing to gain, nothing in it for you or us->no reason to go to court" - greed is the wonderful human value this firm seems to have adopted as a corporate value!!
6 hrs

agree  Charlotte Allen: OK, yeah, now I'm convinced. Or...see my note above. But this is absolutely the last one.
7 hrs
  -> See my added comment above (this is getting complicated!)
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
pas d'intérêt, pas d'action
no claim, no case


Explanation:
Off the top of my head.

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Note added at 33 mins (2004-12-06 11:32:09 GMT)
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I don\'t really think any established adage exists.

I have also seen \'no damage, no case\'. But \'intérêt\' is wider than just \'damage\' - it doesn\'t just imply that you\'ve suffered loss, but also that there is a legal connection between you and the person you\'re acting against, whether by virtue of a contract, or because of some tortious or criminal action on their part. I mean, we all get hurt from time to time, but we don\'t always have a legal right to take someone to court for our loss.


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Note added at 10 hrs 9 mins (2004-12-06 21:08:25 GMT)
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For the benefit of df49f: I\'m not sure if you\'re misunderstanding \'intérêt\' in this context. It doesn\'t mean your chances of success in the case; it means \'having a legal interest in\', in other words having a sufficiently strong connection to the party you are taking to court in the eyes of the law. For example, I might want to sue (in the civil courts) the guy who took a shot at Chirac, but I have no \'intérêt\' legally in that case - what was my loss? what damage did I suffer? I would have no right to take that case before the courts.


One meaning of \'claim\', as I say below, is \'an established or recognized right\', as in the phrase \'he had a strong legal claim to the property\'. This is not a direct translation of \'intérêt\', but it does carry some of the sense of it. Although why I\'m defending a phrase that I came up with off the top of my head in 30 seconds, I don\'t really know! :-)

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Note added at 10 hrs 16 mins (2004-12-06 21:15:06 GMT)
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Btw, this is an old French adage and its meaning is well-established: \"Un ancien adage disait \" Pas d\'intérêt , pas d\'action \".La recevabilité de toute action en justice est subordonnée à la preuve de l\'existence d\'un intérêt qui doit être né et actuel.\"

www.legitravail.com/lexique/Interet.html

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Note added at 10 hrs 24 mins (2004-12-06 21:24:05 GMT)
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Bourth - your point is well-argued, but I still think you have things backwards. To have the right to appear before a court, you don\'t have to prove that you\'re likely to win, or to get something out of it at the end, you have to prove that you\'ve ALREADY LOST SOMETHING, that you\'ve suffered damage (in a legal sense).

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Note added at 21 hrs 29 mins (2004-12-07 08:28:06 GMT)
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Bourth: I completely take on board what you\'re saying and you\'re absolutely right that in this case more context is needed if we want to translate this phrase in the spirit in which it is intended here.

It\'s not that lawyers take on cases where they know the client has no locus standi, it\'s that sometimes a group of people will take a case to court (e.g. fairly recently, the group of eminent actors and archaeologists who formed to apply legally for the just-discovered remains of the Rose Theatre to be preserved rather than built over - the case went to court, but the court found that the group had no legal interest in it, just a strong personal and professional one!)

Charlotte Allen
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:17
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 160

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxBourth: No CHANCE, maybe? One can always have a claim (reason for going to court), but possibly no chance of winning that claim. Or does "claim", in legal terms, actually refer to that likelihood.
6 mins
  -> What 'pas d'intérêt' really implies is - 'no loss (or no damage)'. In other words, 'no basis for a case, no case'. Bit redundant, really.

agree  Tamara Ferencak
23 mins
  -> Thank you Tamara.

neutral  Charlie Bavington: there *is* an established adage. Sadly, it's in Latin (see below)!! That's lawyers for you...
49 mins
  -> Yes, lawyers, what can you do with them, eh? Well, apart from marry them...but that's just me.

agree  VRN
1 hr
  -> Thanks.

agree  1045
4 hrs
  -> Thanks. I like your user name - it's my usual bedtime. :-)

disagree  xxxdf49f: il ne s'agit pas de ne pas avoir de "claim", mais plutôt de rien pouvoir en tirer comme bénéfice/intérêt//justement, on peut avoir un claim/droit valable qui ne mènerait à aucun bénéfice/intérêt devant un tribunal - d'où pas la peine de perdre son temps!
9 hrs
  -> I take your point, but one meaning of 'claim' is "[n] an established or recognized right".
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