Understanding Legal Languages - Linguistic Concerns of the Comparative Lawyer

The original version of this paper is published in The Role of Legal Translation in Legal Harmonization (ed.) Jaap Baaij (Kluwer Law International 2012) pp.161-181.

23 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2013

See all articles by Jaakko Husa

Jaakko Husa

University of Helsinki - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2012

Abstract

This paper argues that there are different layers in legal language, and that the epistemic level of legal language is more relevant than the surface level of legal texts (statutes, judgments, decisions of public authorities, private documents) as linguistic end-products. The underlying assumption is that legal language is a complicated phenomenon and understanding different legal languages contains specific problems which are caused by the multiplicity of legal language itself which is duplicated when there is more than one language. Legal language contains not only different functions but also different levels of comprehension. Two examples are analysed in the paper: 1) language of ius commune and 2) language of English common law. Conclusions concern legal translation in a multi-lingual environment.

Keywords: comparative law, legal linguistics, legal translation

Suggested Citation

Husa, Jaakko, Understanding Legal Languages - Linguistic Concerns of the Comparative Lawyer (January 1, 2012). The original version of this paper is published in The Role of Legal Translation in Legal Harmonization (ed.) Jaap Baaij (Kluwer Law International 2012) pp.161-181. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2326910 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2326910

Jaakko Husa (Contact Author)

University of Helsinki - Faculty of Law ( email )

Porthania 5th Floor
P.O. Box 4
Helsinki, FIN-0001 4
Finland

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