Mistranslations (?) of fondo

Is this really a mistranslation_

fondo

In expressions such as pronunciamiento sobre el fondo, entrar al fondo or sin entrar al fondo, etc., fondo has a very specific meaning in Spanish procedural terminology that translators may sometimes ignore. In that regard, in procedural contexts fondo has sometimes been mistranslated as “foco” or “meollo,” entrar al fondo as “touching upon the core of the matter,” and sin pronunciamiento sobre el fondo as “without getting down to the real issues.”

These renderings all fail to recognize that when referring to judicial decisions (resoluciones judiciales), fondo (del asunto) is the Spanish expression for what is known in English as “merits (of the case).” Thus juicio sobre el fondo refers to a “trial on the merits,” while pronunciamiento sobre el fondo denotes a “decision (or) ruling on the merits.” Likewise, entrar al fondo is “to decide/rule on the merits” and sin entrar a fondo means “without a decision/ruling on the merits.”

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