Book publication – Language and Legal Interpretation in International Law

This month has seen the publication of ‘Language and Legal Interpretation in International Law’ edited by Anne Lise Kjaer and Joanna Lam. The book is part of the series ‘Oxford Studies in Language and Law’.

  • Examines patterns and strategies of legal interpretation across different fields of international dispute resolution
  • Takes an interdisciplinary approach through multiple research perspectives in language and law
  • Considers interpretation in the fields of trade law and commercial law, EU law, human rights law, and international criminal law.

Publishers summary: International law is usually communicated in more than one language and reflects common norms that lawyers and adjudicators across national legal cultures agree on and develop together. As a result, the negotiation of the wording and meaning of international legislative texts is an integral part of legal interpretation in international law. This book sheds light on that essential interpretation process.


Introduction: The Dynamics of Law and Language in the Interpretation of International Legal Sources by
Anne Lise Kjær and Joanna Lam


1. What is Legal interpretation: International Legal Interpretation between Law and Legal Discourse

  • Legal interpretation as an Alternative to Disputes over Validity of Laws
    Tomasz Stawecki
  • Do Legal Concepts Travel?
    Adam Dyrda and Tomasz Gizbert-Studnicki
  • The Semantics of Openness: Why References to Foreign Judicial Decisions Do Not Infringe the Sovereignty of National Legal Systems
    Marcin Matczak
  • Who Forges the Tools?: The Methods of Interpretation Between Interpretive Discourse and Positive Norms of Law
    Julian Udich

2. Who Does Legal Interpretation: Legal Interpretation as Judicial Activity

  • Balancing Interpretation Rules as an Element of Judicial Discretion
    Bartosz Wojciechowski
  • Explaining the Interpretation of International Treaties and the Role of Articles 31 and 32 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: a Wittgensteinian Perspective
    Jaroslav Vetrovský


  • Interpreting Multilingual Laws: Some Costs and Benefits
    Lawrence Solan
  • Framing Legal Interpretation in Terminology Studies
    Martina Bajcic
  • Multilingual Interpretation by the CJEU in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
    Lucie Pacho Aljanati
  • Translation of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights into Non-official Languages: The Politics and Practice of European Multilingualism
    Anne Lise Kjær


1. Trade Law and Commercial Law

  • When and How can Certain Fundamental Values be Introduced into the Treaty Interpretation Process under the WTO?
    Chang-fa Lo
  • On Creative Aspects of Legal Interpretation in International Commercial Arbitration
    Joanna Lam
  • Is a Legal Implicature Only in the Eye of the Beholder? On the Interpretation of the CISG Convention
    Izabela Skoczen
  • A Concept in Transformation: Interpretation of “Fair and Equitable Treatment” in International Investment Law
    Günes Ünüvar

2. Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law

  • Understanding the Interpretative Evolution of the Norm Prohibiting Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment under the European Convention
    Ezgi Yildiz
  • Crimes Against Women in the Statutes and the Judicial Interpretation of International Tribunals and Courts – How a Feminist Critical Standpoint has Reconstructed the Meaning of Certain International Humanitarian Law’s Concepts
    Karolina Ristova-Aasterud

To find out more about this work, see the publisher’s website here.


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