起诉书与起诉状的区别及翻译要点

很多法律翻译者把起诉书和起诉状当成一回事。实际上,它们之间是有区别的。

在司法实践中,起诉书(bill of indictment),是指人民检察院对侦察终结的的案件进行审查,认为被告人的犯罪事实清楚,证据确实充分,依法应当追究刑事责任,做出起诉决定后,代表国家将被告人交付人民法院审判时制作的法律文书。

起诉状则包括民事起诉状、行政起诉状、刑事自诉状、刑事附带民事起诉状。尽管这些诉讼用的司法文书的作用、性质不同、但其主要内容及格式却差别不大。在此,我们仅以最具代表性的民事诉讼状的翻译为例进行探讨。

民事起诉状(civil complaint),是指与民事案件有直接利害关系的公民、法人或非法人团体、为维护其民事权益,就有关民事权利义务的争议,向有管辖权的人民法院提起诉讼,请求追究被告民事责任时所制作的诉状。

民事起诉状作为使用频率颇高的一种司法文书,在翻译时除了要注意一般司法文书的的特点及翻译要点外,还应注意以下两个要点:

一、我国与英美国家的民事诉讼状在格式上有所不同,翻译时应遵循“客随主便”的原则。 

在将民事起诉状译为汉语时应该保留原文的格式,同样在我国的民事起诉状译为英语时也没有必要改头换面,完全可以保留原文的格式特色。而在语言方面,在忠实于原文的基础上,可以尽量照顾到译入语的表达特点。如将costs of suit译为“诉讼费用”,将RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED译为“此致”等。

英美的民事起诉状在行文时各个部分之间往往用一些惯用语来予以过度,了解这些惯用语对更好地翻译民事起诉状大有益处。比如:在“ALLEGATION”部分,往往以诸如此类的句子开始:

“PLAINTIFF ALLEDGES AS FOLLOWS:”;“原告诉称如下:”

“PLAINTIFF, BY HIS ATTORNEY, ALLEGES AS FOLLOWS:”;“原告通过其律师诉称如下:”

“PLAINTIFF, BY HIS ATTORNEY, AS AND FOR HIS COMPLAINT HEREBY ALLEGES AS FOLLOWS:”。“原告通过其律师,借此起诉状诉称如下:”

在“PREYER FOR RELIEF”部分,往往会有类似于这样的惯用语:

“WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgments as follows:”

“WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully request that this court grant the following relief:”

上述两个句子可以翻译为“由此,原告请求法院做出如下判决:”;而在起诉状尾部的“RESPECTUALLY SUBMITTED”也是一个惯用语,相当于我们所说的“此致”。

二、要熟悉英美国家的民事起诉状中经常出现的一些法律术语的一般译法及含义。

英美国家的民事起诉状中经常提及到的案由主要有: breach of contract – 违约、breach of express warranty – 违反明示担保条款、breach of implied warranty – 违反默示担保条款、breach of condition – 违反条件条款、tort of negligence – 过失侵权、strict liability – 严格责任等。在以过失侵权为案由的民事起诉状中,经常会见到proximate cause(immediate cause, not the remote cause, that should be considered); probable cause(a cause, which is apparently true or presumably true)两个法律术语,前者一般可翻译为“近因”,后者一般可翻译为“合理依据”。英美国家的民事起诉状中,在“PRAYER FOR RELIEF”部分经常会出现各种有关合同与侵权救济方式的法律术语,在翻译这些法律术语前,最好先熟悉一下普通法系国家的合同与侵权的司法救济方式。

民事起诉状的基本格式及内容

 
 

在我国,民事诉讼状的内容和结构大致如下:

1.首部:包括标题(“民事诉讼状”或“民事诉状”)和当事人基本情况两个内容。

2.请求事项即案由:主要写明请求解决争议权益的争议的事物。

3.事实和理由事实部分:这个部分要围绕诉讼目的,全面反映案件事实的客观真实情况。理由部分主要是列举证据,说明证据的来源、证人的姓名和地址。

4.尾部及附项。

 

民事起诉状

Civil Complaint 

  To:________________ People’s Court

  Plaintiff:原告

  Domicile:住所

  Legal Representative:法定代理人

  Position:职位

  Defendant:被告

  Domicile:住所

  Legal Representative:法定代理人

  Position:职位

  CLAIMS:诉求

  1. To order the Defendant to pay to the Plaintiff the due amount of RMB _____ for the dispatched products, plus the interests of RMB ________ thereon, in the aggregate of RMB __________;要求被告支付   元,加利息 元,总计 元。

  2.To order the court fees to be borne by the Defendant. 诉讼费用由被告承担。

  FACTS AND REASONS:事实和理由

  The Defendant was one of the distributors of the Plaintiff for various kinds of products in the territory of ___________, China. From September, 2007 to October, 2008, the Plaintiff dispatched various kinds of products in the aggregate values of RMB ____________. (see Exhibit I)

被告是原告在国内  地区的产品分销商。自2007年9月至2008年10月,原告向被告发出了各种货物共计   元。(见物证 I)

  Each of the said transactions was duly signed and received by the Defendant (see Exhibit II). Though the Plaintiff has repeatedly demanded payment, the Defendant fails to liquidate the outstanding debts in due time.

  It is the Plaintiff’s position that the indebtedness arising out of the transactions between the Plaintiff and the Defendant shall be under the jurisdiction of the Chinas laws. The Defendant’s refusal to satisfy the agreed amounts after receipt of the above-mentioned lubricants resulted in tremendous economic losses on the side of the Plaintiff (see Exhibit III). Therefore, pursuant to the relevant PRC laws and regulations, the Defendant shall assume the civil liabilities accordingly for such nonpayment.

  By reason of the forgoing, in accordance with Articles 106 and 112 as set forth in the PRC General Civil Law, www.legaltranz.com Article 108 as set forth in the PRC Civil Procedural Law and other applicable laws and regulations, the Plaintiff hereby files this case with the Court for your adjudication.

  Plaintiff:

  Date:

  ATTACHMENTS:附

  1. One copy of the Plaintiff’s business license;原告营业执照复印件

  2. One copy of the original Certificate of the Legal Representative;法定代理人证书原件一份

  3. One copy of the original Power of Attorney;委托书原件一份

  4. Exhibit I: Invoices for each transaction;每笔交易发票

  5. Exhibit II: Receipts for each transaction;and 每笔交易收据和

  6. Exhibit III: List of Losses 损失清单

英美国家民事起诉状基本格式及内容(The typical layout of civil complaint in U.S. & Britain)

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

宾夕法尼亚东部地区美国联邦法院

Plaintiff(s)原告 VS. Defendant(s)被告

Cause of action (e.g. Complaint For Breach of Contract)案由(违约)

Case No.(案件编号)

CIVIL COMPLAINT (民事起诉书)

1. JURISDICTION AND VENUE (管辖权与审判地)

2. ALLEGATION (原告诉称的事实和理由)

COURT I/FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION(第一案由)

COURTII/SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION(第二案由)

3. PRAYER FOR RELIEF(请求事项/请求得到的判决)

Dated __ (日期)

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED, (此致)

___(原告签名)

Attorney for Plaintiff(s) (原告的诉讼代理律师:姓名、执业证编号、所在律师事务所地址、电话等)

了解英美民事诉讼状的基本格式和内容,对翻译诉讼状显得尤为重要。在实践中由于案情的差异,具体民事起诉状的内容会有所不同,比如:如果起诉状很长,往往在标题之下附上一个“内容目录”(table of contents)以方便阅读;如果原告一方要求案件由陪审团裁决,则在“PRAYER FOR RELIEF”部分之后会增加标题为“DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL”(要求陪审团裁决)的一项内容,然后再该项内容下写明:“Plaintiffs demand a trial by jury on all issues of fact and damages in this action.” (原告要求本案中所涉的所有事实及损害赔偿的问题交由陪审团裁决。)