Filiation and the Translation of Legal Concepts
McGill University - Faculty of Law
April 20, 2010
LEGAL ENGINEERING AND COMPARATIVE LAW, Vol. 2, pp. 123-141, Eleanor Cashin Ritaine ed., Geneva: Schulthess, 2009
The paper argues for the use of the metaphor of translation of legal concepts in comparative law by exploring recent reforms to the law of assisted reproduction by the legislature of Quebec. It argues that lawmakers and comparative lawyers may learn from the cautions advanced for literary and legal translators by the translation literature. It argues that the Quebec instance of legislated changes in order to facilitate assisted procreation by lesbian couples shows an excessive literalism in the translation of rules applicable to "natural" procreation to assisted procreation. The legislature might constructively have looked to other parts of the existing private law, as well as to sociological accounts of intentional lesbian reproduction. Translation-as-metaphor also speaks fruitfully to comparatists: it may alert them to the losses of functionalist comparison. Specifically, the treatment of legal rules as "solutions" to a common problem elides distinctive institutional, rhetorical, and discursive differences.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: filiation, comparative law, translation, translation of legal concepts, lesbian mothers, civil law
JEL Classification: K19, K30
Date posted: December 1, 2008 ; Last revised: April 21, 2010
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