Filiation and the Translation of Legal Concepts

LEGAL ENGINEERING AND COMPARATIVE LAW, Vol. 2, pp. 123-141, Eleanor Cashin Ritaine ed., Geneva: Schulthess, 2009

19 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2008 Last revised: 21 Apr 2010

Robert Leckey

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: April 20, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: filiation, comparative law, translation, translation of legal concepts, lesbian mothers, civil law

JEL Classification: K19, K30

Suggested Citation

Leckey, Robert, Filiation and the Translation of Legal Concepts (April 20, 2010). LEGAL ENGINEERING AND COMPARATIVE LAW, Vol. 2, pp. 123-141, Eleanor Cashin Ritaine ed., Geneva: Schulthess, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1308626

Robert Leckey (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada
514-398-4148 (Phone)
514-398-4659 (Fax)

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