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eidesstattliche Versicherung

English translation: declaration in lieu of an oath

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:eidesstattliche Versicherung
English translation:declaration in lieu of an oath
Entered by: Steffen Walter
Options:
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12:00 Oct 1, 2004
German to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law (general)
German term or phrase: eidesstattliche Versicherung
I know that this has been discussed endlessly, but I still want to clear up one thing (you legal eagles out there).

I was under the impression that an affidavit is a sworn affirmation and that an eidestattliche versicherung is just that - in leiu of oath. Can someone clear this up for me?? I has been bugging me for a while. There is also the word Affidavit in German and it (as far as I know as well) not an eidestattliche Versicherung... Thanks!!
msherms
Local time: 22:50
declaration in lieu of an oath
Explanation:
You are right, an eidesstattliche Versicherung is in lieu of an oath.

It is *not* affirmed - not sworn in any way. Affirmation is what you do if you swear, but not on the Bible or any other - that is usually called bekräftigen.

The reason that eidesstattliche V. is sometimes translated as affidavit is because it plays a similar kind of role in German legal proceedings to the affidavit in common-law ones.

The legal consequences to which you swear I usually call 'false unsworn statements'.

Incidentally, in a German court, witnesses are not usually sworn at all. After they have been examined, the parties are asked if they wish them to be sworn, and they usually waive this. This is supposed to preserve the weight of the oath, by not overusing it.

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Note added at 4 hrs 12 mins (2004-10-01 16:13:28 GMT)
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On the subject of the Deutsches Rechtslexikon, I certainly don\'t disagree with it and the quote is accurate. It just doesn\'t mean what Dr. Fred Thomson says it does. It has to be put beside the definition of oath. An affirmation (Bekräftigung) and an oath are both of equal weight, logically - or else non-religious persons would be unable to commit perjury/Meineid. As Dt. RL correctly says, quoted above, \'Die eidesstattliche [two S, not one, in my copy] Versicherung ist eine schwächere Form der Bekräftigung als der Eid\'. Both religious and non-religious persons can make one and it has nothing to do with affirming - the point is that it is not sworn.


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Note added at 4 hrs 15 mins (2004-10-01 16:16:26 GMT)
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Note to Ann Sherwin: what I meant was that the German meaning can\'t be proved by a reference to a book about US or English law. It seems to me as if answerers here just assumed that eidesstattlich means affirmed. It doesn\'t. \'In lieu of an oath\' is a literal translation. But it means \'no oath, no swearing, no affirming\'.

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Note added at 1 day 9 hrs 47 mins (2004-10-02 21:48:27 GMT)
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You need the context. For instance, what used to be called Offenbarungseid is now eidesstattliche Versicherung. That would indeed be a statutory declaration.
Is it in court or out of court? Is it a witness statement or not? Is the content important, or the precise legal form? Who\'s going to read the translation.

One thing is certain: there is no exact English or U.S. equivalent that would fit in all uses.

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Note added at 3 days 9 hrs 4 mins (2004-10-04 21:05:12 GMT) Post-grading
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Note to Derek: quite right - that is one particular meaning which may or may not be meant by the asker. Used to be Offenbarungseid, now eidesstattliche Versicherung - could be affidavit of means. I have one here. But e.V. is also a wider term and refers to all sorts of things that would be done by affidavit in a common-law country (except one that is stupid enough to replace the term by \'statement of truth!). I am going to write up a note on this some time, but probably not this week,, too busy.
Selected response from:

Margaret Marks
Germany
Local time: 22:50
Grading comment
I decided to choose this answer and, given that I had used it in the past, I feel reassured. I want to thank all of you for an excellent discussion. You all deserve points!!:) What made me wait so long to grade was that I was still considering Ann's contribution especially since it was found in the Federal Ministry of Justice's translation of the Criminal Code http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/StGB.htm
However, due to the explanations given by several people, I chose declaration in lieu of oath.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +4declaration in lieu of an oathMargaret Marks
4 +2affirmation (in lieu of oath)
Ann C Sherwin
4affirmed affidavit or affirmed statement
Dr. Fred Thomson
3Statement of Truth (BE to verify exhibits and other docs.)xxxKirstyMacC
3FOR YOUR INFORMATION - NOT FOR POINTS
Derek Gill Franßen


Discussion entries: 13





  

Answers


14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
eidestattliche Versicherung
affirmation (in lieu of oath)


Explanation:
Black's Law Dictionary: An affidavit is a written or printed declaration or statement of facts, made voluntarily, and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it, taken before a person having authority to administer such oath or affirmation.
An eidestattliche Versichering would be only the affimration (in lieu of oath) and it may be oral or written.

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Note added at 15 mins (2004-10-01 12:16:19 GMT)
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oops - affirmation

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Note added at 36 mins (2004-10-01 12:37:41 GMT)
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Black\'s Law Dictionary: An affirmation is \"a solemn and formal declaration or asseveration that an affidavit is true, that the witness will tell the truth, etc.; this being substituted for an oath in certain cases.\"

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Note added at 1 hr 16 mins (2004-10-01 13:17:18 GMT)
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In reply to your added comment, Black\'s Law Dictionary indicates that they are equally binding under law. Under Oath (p. 1071) for Affirmation in lieu of oath, it says \"Fed.R.Civil P. 43 provides that whenever an oath is required under the rules, a solmn affirmation may be accepted in lieu thereof. See also Art. II, Sec. 1, and Art. VI, U.S. Const.

Ann C Sherwin
Local time: 16:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 50

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Niamh Piel
31 mins

agree  Shane London: Confirmed by my Köbler Rechtsenglisch 3. Auflage
40 mins

agree  Derek Gill Franßen
1 hr

disagree  Margaret Marks: Oath and affirmation are both of the same weight; eidesstattliche Versicherung is less strong. Black's Law Dictionary is about U.S. law, not German!
3 hrs
  -> Are you also saying one must always differentiate between the German and English legal implications of a term in a translation?
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
eidestattliche Versicherung
affirmed affidavit or affirmed statement


Explanation:
This is what my DEutsches Rechtslexikon, Band 1, A-F, 2. Auflage says about it:
"Die eidesstattliche Versicherung ist ein Mittel zue Beteuerung der Richtigkeit von Erklärungen oder zur Glaubhaftmachung tatsächlicher Behauptungen, das sich sowohl im materiellen Recht wie auch im Verfahrensrecht findet. Insbesondere der frühere Offenbarungseid ist durch die eidestattliche Versicherung ersetzt worden. Von grosser Bedeutung ist sie im Vollstreckungsverfahren. Die eidestattliche Versicherung ist eine schwächere Form der Bekräftigung als der Eid. Sie kann grundsächlich sowohle schriftlich wie auch mündlich abgegeben werden. Im Gegensatz zum Eid ist die Abnahme einer eidesstattliche Versicherung durch den Rechtspfleger nicht ausgeschlossen."
The e. Versicherung is the same as an e. Erklaerung.




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Note added at 1 hr 30 mins (2004-10-01 13:31:28 GMT)
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We think of an affidavit as being a \"sworn statement.\" Some people don\'t like to swear to anything (perhaps because it often involves a/the deity, so the law gives such person an alternative. One may affirm in lieu of swearing.

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Note added at 2 hrs 38 mins (2004-10-01 14:39:23 GMT)
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So, the fact is that the term can be translated as either an \"oral or written affirmation,\" or as \"affidavit.\"

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Note added at 7 hrs 26 mins (2004-10-01 19:27:42 GMT)
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I am beginning to accept Margaret\'s well-argued point. I am not aware of any similar possibility in US law. If one does not swear or affirm a statement in US law, one ends up with an unsworn statement. Unless an American (and probably a Canadian is not familiar with German law, he/she would not understand the concept behind \"declaration in lieu of an oath.\" Margeret\'s translation may nevertheless well be the best and the most (properly) descriptive.
My problen has been that I wanted to find an equivalent term or concept in US law so that the readers of my translation would get an accurate picture, but I now believe that there must not be one.
So, we must simply translate it to suit the German concept it as best we can. Thus, IMHO Margaret\'s rendition is the best one.

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Note added at 7 hrs 45 mins (2004-10-01 19:46:16 GMT)
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Please note: a no longer believe that my originally suggested translations are correct.
Apparently, the Australians have something that is at least somewhat similar to the german concept. It is call a statutory declaration and it seems that no oath per se is required.

\"What is a statutory declaration?

This is a written statement stating certain facts to the best of the declarant\'s (the person making the declaration) knowledge or belief and is made subject to the provisions of certain legislation. A prescribed functionary (someone authorised by the appropriate Act to take the declaration) must witness the declarant\'s signature.

Statutory declarations must be made pursuant to the legislation applicable in the State they are made. In New South Wales, statutory declarations are made pursuant to the provisions of the Oaths Act 1900. The Oaths Act prescribes penalties for making a false declaration and/or for taking (witnessing) a declaration without authority (that is, by someone who is not a prescribed functionary).

A statutory declaration made in New South Wales shall be in the form, or to the effect of the form, in either the Eighth or Ninth Schedule of the Oaths Act 1900.

Eighth Schedule Declaration

I,......., do solemnly and sincerely declare that, and I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of the Oaths Act 1900.

Ninth Schedule Declaration

I,......., of (residence), do hereby solemnly declare and affirm that [the facts to be stated according to the declarant\'s knowledge, belief, or information, severally]. And I make this solemn declaration, as to the matter (or matters) aforesaid, according to the law in this behalf made - and subject to the punishment by law provided for any wilfully false statement in any such declaration.

Real Property Act 1900 (Torrens title) dealing forms that require a statutory declaration, for example, Caveat, or Application to Record Change of Name (form 10CN), have the appropriate wording incorporated in the form.\"
I don\'t think you can use the term for your translation unless your audience is Australian. For instance, I do not believe that we have any statutes in the States that provide for such a declaration.
Possibilities other than the one offered by Margaret would be \"formal statement,\" \"unsworn statement,\" or \"formal unsworn statement.\"

Dr. Fred Thomson
United States
Local time: 14:50
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 608

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Derek Gill Franßen
11 mins
  -> Thank you, Derek

disagree  Margaret Marks: Look at Dt. Rechtslexik. on Eid: you will see that Eid (oath) and Bekräftigung (affirmation) are the two equally weighted stronger forms - if you 'affirm', it is not 'schwächer'
1 hr
  -> Your disagreement is not with me, but with the Lexikon. Except for the reference and typos the quote is direct.
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1 day1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Statement of Truth (BE to verify exhibits and other docs.)


Explanation:
You still haven't clarified 1. if this is AE or BE; 2. what the purpose of this Versicherung is; 3. who is issuing it.

Statement of Truth replaced Affidavit in the new Eng. & Wales Civil Justice Reforms i.e. CPR = Civil Procedure Rules. The Statement can be signed - but need neither be affirmed nor sworn on oath - by e.g. the claimant OR the claimant's solicitor.

'... Contents of this part. Documents to be verified by a statement of truth, Rule 22.1. ... DOCUMENTS TO BE VERIFIED BY A STATEMENT OF TRUTH. 22.1, ...'



    Reference: http://www.hrothgar.co.uk/YAWS/rules/part22.htm
xxxKirstyMacC
Local time: 21:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 188
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
eidestattliche Versicherung
FOR YOUR INFORMATION - NOT FOR POINTS


Explanation:
In case you haven't already, see: http://www.proz.com/?sp=h&id=496025 AND http://ndict.leo.org/archiv.ende/2001_09/26/20010926101719e_...

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Note added at 1 hr 25 mins (2004-10-01 13:26:24 GMT)
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BTW - as you can see above (or below), I think Ann\'s suggestion is fitting. :-)

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Note added at 1 hr 39 mins (2004-10-01 13:39:46 GMT)
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Also see: http://dejure.org/gesetze/ZPO/807.html

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Note added at 3 days 8 hrs 55 mins (2004-10-04 20:56:28 GMT) Post-grading
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FOR Margeret: http://www.zoll-d.de/d0_zoll_vor_ort/g0_vollstreckung/d0_mas...

Derek Gill Franßen
Germany
Local time: 22:50
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 728

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Margaret Marks: Re last point: no, I mean affirmation in the sense of 'no Bible'. Apparently in US English 'in lieu of an oath' can mean 'instead of swearing on the Bible/Koran etc.'
3 days7 hrs
  -> I agree that the "Versicherung" is a declaration, but I find that the wording of the definition I've added in a note coincides with my understanding of the words (though I doubt that the Germans really differentiate that 'cleanly': you're probably right).
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
eidestattliche Versicherung
declaration in lieu of an oath


Explanation:
You are right, an eidesstattliche Versicherung is in lieu of an oath.

It is *not* affirmed - not sworn in any way. Affirmation is what you do if you swear, but not on the Bible or any other - that is usually called bekräftigen.

The reason that eidesstattliche V. is sometimes translated as affidavit is because it plays a similar kind of role in German legal proceedings to the affidavit in common-law ones.

The legal consequences to which you swear I usually call 'false unsworn statements'.

Incidentally, in a German court, witnesses are not usually sworn at all. After they have been examined, the parties are asked if they wish them to be sworn, and they usually waive this. This is supposed to preserve the weight of the oath, by not overusing it.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs 12 mins (2004-10-01 16:13:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

On the subject of the Deutsches Rechtslexikon, I certainly don\'t disagree with it and the quote is accurate. It just doesn\'t mean what Dr. Fred Thomson says it does. It has to be put beside the definition of oath. An affirmation (Bekräftigung) and an oath are both of equal weight, logically - or else non-religious persons would be unable to commit perjury/Meineid. As Dt. RL correctly says, quoted above, \'Die eidesstattliche [two S, not one, in my copy] Versicherung ist eine schwächere Form der Bekräftigung als der Eid\'. Both religious and non-religious persons can make one and it has nothing to do with affirming - the point is that it is not sworn.


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Note added at 4 hrs 15 mins (2004-10-01 16:16:26 GMT)
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Note to Ann Sherwin: what I meant was that the German meaning can\'t be proved by a reference to a book about US or English law. It seems to me as if answerers here just assumed that eidesstattlich means affirmed. It doesn\'t. \'In lieu of an oath\' is a literal translation. But it means \'no oath, no swearing, no affirming\'.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day 9 hrs 47 mins (2004-10-02 21:48:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You need the context. For instance, what used to be called Offenbarungseid is now eidesstattliche Versicherung. That would indeed be a statutory declaration.
Is it in court or out of court? Is it a witness statement or not? Is the content important, or the precise legal form? Who\'s going to read the translation.

One thing is certain: there is no exact English or U.S. equivalent that would fit in all uses.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days 9 hrs 4 mins (2004-10-04 21:05:12 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Note to Derek: quite right - that is one particular meaning which may or may not be meant by the asker. Used to be Offenbarungseid, now eidesstattliche Versicherung - could be affidavit of means. I have one here. But e.V. is also a wider term and refers to all sorts of things that would be done by affidavit in a common-law country (except one that is stupid enough to replace the term by \'statement of truth!). I am going to write up a note on this some time, but probably not this week,, too busy.

Margaret Marks
Germany
Local time: 22:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 252
Grading comment
I decided to choose this answer and, given that I had used it in the past, I feel reassured. I want to thank all of you for an excellent discussion. You all deserve points!!:) What made me wait so long to grade was that I was still considering Ann's contribution especially since it was found in the Federal Ministry of Justice's translation of the Criminal Code http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/StGB.htm
However, due to the explanations given by several people, I chose declaration in lieu of oath.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Carolyn Fox: Do you think this is equivalent to a Statutory Declaration under the Statutory Declarations Act 1835 and would this be an acceptable translation?
12 mins
  -> It may be OK - you'd have to be writing for a British audience who understood 'statutory declaration'. Statutory declaration can't be used in court, which is a difference from e.V., though. It's your decision how close the two are.

agree  Kim Metzger
1 hr

agree  Dr. Fred Thomson: OK. I sincerely appreciate the information. Do you believe that there is actually an equivalent in US law?
3 hrs
  -> Well, I suppose not, as the oath is so important in the U.S. The closest equivalent is the affidavit. I know some legal translators I respect who use that, because it has the same function. There are also penalties if you lie after e.V., even if no oath.

agree  xxxKirstyMacC: Shows up only as US/AE and therefore right in the US asker's context I wish had been given at the start,
22 hrs

neutral  Derek Gill Franßen: Actually, I thought that "affirmation" was contained in "Versicherung" (obviously not "eidesstattlich") - I would've thought that a "Versicherung" is an affirmation of a previously made declaration (in lieu of an oath = "eidesstattliche Erklärung").
3 days3 hrs
  -> Versicherung is statement or declaration, affirmation (I believe) was meant in the sense of swearing, but not on the Bible or other religious book, by a non-Christian etc. No previously made declaration is involved.
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Changes made by editors
Mar 2, 2009 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Edited KOG entry<a href="/profile/42616">msherms's</a> old entry - "eidestattliche Versicherung" » "declaration in lieu of an oath"
Mar 2, 2009 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Term askedeidestattliche Versicherung » eidesstattliche Versicherung


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