In French the yet archaic term les attendus remains the traditional way to designate the part of text, in the report of a trial, which explains the motivations that led the court to its final decision.

This comes from the fact that this text is generally always made of a series of paragraphs, each one beginning with "Attendu que" (standing for "due to", "because", and so on), followed by the detailed description of a unitary motivation.

I even don't know if English trial reports are built in the same way. Anyway I can't reasonably infer to use something like "the expected": it sounds too strange!

So is there a real English equivalent for les attendus?

1 Answer 1


There is no such constraint on the form in which judges in the English common-law tradition couch their decisions. Judges are very jealous of their literary freedom. I don't think you could be held in contempt of court for suggesting that there should be a standard form, but I wouldn't risk it.

Solemn (albeit usually inconsequential) legislative and executive proclamations, however, employ the stereotyped formula Whereas [A] ... and Whereas [B] ... and Whereas [C] ... NOW THEREFORE [X], so you will occasionally run across Whereases for pompous legal prose.

And in fact, after a little Google-Booking, I find this discussion of 'The form of a French report' in which the author explicitly refers to attendus as 'whereases':

  The grammar of a French judgment will cause only momentary difficulty; but it is perhaps worth mentioning that the judgment is framed as a single sentence, of which the subject and the verb occur at the very beginning and the very end respectively, and are divided by a number of ‘whereases’ (attendu, or in the lower courts considérant); these ‘whereases’, of course, contain the motifs. The actual decision will be found at the very end in the dispositif which starts with the words: ‘Par ces motifs. . .’


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