You may, for example, write a letter or email saying, "You say I owe you PS1000, but I am ready to compromise and pay you PS500." Now, unless you put "without prejudice" on this message, the opposite party might use it at a later court hearing or trial to establish that you concede owing them at least PS...
Alternatively, if you want to be really formal, you can write, "I agree with your statement that... but only if there is no objection from you." This shows that you accept what they said but want to include some kind of condition attached to it.
Or, if you want to be even more formal, you can write, "I agree with your statement that... but only if it does not affect any existing legal rights that my client has." In other words, "I agree with your statement if you don't try to sue me later on."
These are all examples of how to use the phrase "without prejudice". It means that whatever was said in the conversation, letter, or document cannot be used as evidence against you in a court of law, because it shows that the person accepting it did so without attaching any conditions to it.
When there is a disagreement between two parties, such as a claim of discrimination, and discussions are underway to resolve the matter, a letter from one side proposing a settlement offer to the other party shall be explicitly labeled "without prejudice." This means that the offering party is not insisting that its claim or position be accepted by the receiving party. Rather, the purpose of the label is to indicate that neither party has made any commitments about how they will react if a settlement is reached.
In legal terms, a letter with this label attached to it is not considered evidence that can be used in a trial. A jury would not be allowed to consider it when deciding whether there had been discrimination. However, the label does serve to inform the recipients that the writing party is willing to discuss a possible resolution to their dispute.
Letters with this label do not affect any legal rights that either party may have. For example, if one party changes its mind after sending the letter and decides not to settle after all, then the other party is still free to accept or reject the offer regardless of what was written on the letterhead.
In other words, letters with this label do not affect any legal rights that either party may have.
More crucially, designating a letter "without prejudice" implies that it cannot later be submitted as evidence before a court or an employment tribunal without the approval of both parties involved, should settlement discussions fail and the matter move to court or tribunal. This is particularly important in cases where you are trying to avoid issues being raised about your conduct during negotiations.
It also means that if you do submit a letter as evidence, you cannot change its nature by "adding" terms to it. For example, if you want to include a new proposal in the negotiations, you can only do so by starting fresh with a new letter "with prejudice".
Finally, "without prejudice" means that the other party can accept or reject your offer; they are not bound by it. If they accept it, the agreement is binding and can be implemented according to its terms. If they reject it, there's no deal.
In short, using this language in letters and emails creates flexibility for both parties. You can negotiate freely and try out different ideas without fear of losing face if negotiations break down. At the same time, letters and emails written using this language will not be considered contracts and can be ignored if the other party doesn't like them.
If you get a letter labeled "Without Prejudice," assess if the designation is truly necessary. If the letter is not a genuine attempt to settle a disagreement, respond by urging the other party to acknowledge that the letter is not "without prejudice" or to explain why they believe it is. If this fails, decline to reply.
These letters are often used in settlement discussions before reaching agreement. If you receive one of these letters, don't assume that you can just ignore it. It may be evidence that a lawsuit has been filed against you.
The best way to respond to a "Without Prejudice" letter is to discard it along with any other unopened mail. This will ensure that you don't miss anything important and don't give the impression that you're trying to hide something.
The "without prejudice" concept states that remarks made in a "without prejudice" document or stated verbally on a "without prejudice" basis in a sincere endeavor to settle the issue will normally not be admissible in court as evidence against the person making the statement.
For example, if I tell your attorney that I would like to speak with you before deciding whether to accept a settlement offer, this statement can be used against me in court if we ever go to trial for the underlying matter. However, since I have said this "without prejudice" my attorney cannot use my failure to respond to the settlement offer as evidence that I am liable for the claim. He could use this fact, however, if it helped him prove negligence on my part (for example, if I knew about the alleged dangerous condition of the step but failed to warn people about it).
At its most basic, the "without prejudice" concept prevents parties from using statements made during settlement negotiations as weapons at trial. Since these statements cannot be used as evidence, they must be truthful; therefore, parties should avoid statements that are false or misleading.
Generally speaking, the party who makes a statement "without prejudice" is not required to do anything in return. There is no requirement that the other party grant consent to settle or even respond to the statement at all.
The "without prejudice" rule prohibits the court from hearing remarks made in a sincere endeavor to settle an existing issue. In order to answer this question, the court will consider the objective of the negotiations rather than their closeness to the start of any proceedings. If a party intends his or her remarks to be admissible at trial, they cannot be excluded by the judge as long as they are made in good faith.
In this case, it is clear that the defendant's statement was made without any intention of admitting liability for the plaintiff's injuries. The defendant had not been served with the lawsuit and thus had no way of knowing what evidence might be presented against him. He made no attempt to exclude any evidence that might be presented, but instead chose to place before the court his own view of how the case should be resolved.
This situation is very different from one in which a party admits liability early in the litigation process through some form of settlement offer or admission of fault. In that case, there would be no reason for the party to make any further comments on the subject unless they wanted the admission to be used against them at trial. Because there was no such admission here, the judge was free to decide the case based on the evidence presented in court.