Conference – Legal Translation, Court Interpreting and Comparative Legilinguistics (Legal Linguistics), Poznan, Poland

The Institute of Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University, and Zhejiang University, Zhejiang Police College are holding the 13th International Conference devoted to Language and the Law. The conference will be held over 3 days, from 13 to 15 July 2018 (Friday-Sunday) in Poznan, Poland.

The aim is to provide a forum for discussion in those scientific fields where linguistic and legal interests converge, and to facilitate integration between linguists, computer scientists and lawyers from all around the world.

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Conference – Legal Translation, Court Interpreting and Comparative Legilinguistics (Legal Linguistics), Kołobrzeg, Poland

The Institute of Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland is holding its 12th Conference on Legal Translation, Court Interpreting and Comparative Legilinguistics (Legal Linguistics). This year the event is in collaboration with the School of Maritime Studies, Kołobrzeg, Poland and Kołobrzeg will be the venue. The conference will run from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th June 2017.

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Compendium of legal translation courses offered by universities (2016)

Red Glossy Pictogram "Education"This post updates and replaces my 2012 compendium. As I haven’t found this kind of guide elsewhere, my aim is to give you a flavour of the legal translation, legal linguistics and legal interpreting courses available at universities worldwide.

Please contact me via the sidebar if you know of others that I have not included here.

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Conference – Legal Translation, Court Interpreting and Comparative Legilinguistics (Legal Linguistics), Poznan, Poland

2938852531_a7f2bd7201_bThe Institute of Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University is holding its annual international conference devoted to language and the law over 3 days, from 19 to 21 June 2015 (Friday-Sunday) in Poznan, Poland.

The aim is to provide a forum for discussion where linguistic and legal interests converge, and to facilitate integration between linguists, computer scientists and lawyers from all around the world.

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Open Access International Journal for Legal Communication

IMG_1455 - Version 3Comparative Legilinguistics – International Journal for Legal Communication is published each quarter by the Institute of Linguistics, Faculty of Modern Languages and Literature, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland.

It contains articles, reviews and reports in English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Russian. The articles are peer-reviewed by two reviewers (double-blind review). 

Comparative Legilinguistics is devoted mainly to legi-linguistics (legal linguistics), forensic linguistics, theory of the law and legal language, and legal translation.

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Conference – Legal translation & legal linguistics, Poznań, Poland

800px-Poznan_Braun_HohenbergThe Institute of Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University is to hold the Eighth Conference on Legal Translation and Legal Linguistics. The aim is to provide a forum for discussion in those scientific fields where linguistic and legal interests converge, and to facilitate integration between linguists, computer scientists and lawyers from all around the world.

The conference will be held over 3 days, from 28th June to 30th June (Friday-Sunday) 2013 in Poznań, Poland. Papers are invited on the following topics:

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RELINE – Annual seminar 2012

RELINE legal linguistics network (see my post describing the initiative) recently held its annual seminar in Nyborg, Denmark. The title of this year’s seminar was Talking like a Lawyer – Talking with a Lawyer, and it took place immediately after a PhD course entitled Communication and Rhetoric in the Judicial Process. Attendees were warmly welcomed by the network’s initiators and seminar organizers Professor Anne Lise Kjær and Professor Jan Engberg.

The main theme of the seminar was the significant impact that communication and lawyers’ rhetoric have on the success and outcome of lawsuits and criminal trials.

In accordance with RELINE’s purpose and spirit, the seminar was a meeting-place for researchers and practitioners from different disciplines with the opportunity to exchange research results, experience, thoughts, and ideas about the relationship between law and language. Here are some summaries of certain talks that I thought might be of interest to readers.

Professor Kati Hannken-Illjes, Musikhochschule Stuttgart, Germany

The career of arguments in German criminal proceedings

Professor Hannken-Illjes presented an interdisciplinary research project (involving sociologists, ethnographers, lawyers, linguists) examining the pathways of lawyers’ arguments in criminal cases from the United States, the UK, and Germany (and initially also Italy).

The German strand of the project involved an in-depth examination of 16 criminal cases. During the PhD course, we had a hands-on opportunity to examine the case file, and to draw our own conclusions about the themes to be singled out as lines of argument. In her seminar presentation, the Professor focused particularly on units of analysis (topoi, themes and/or arguments), and the failures of such themes. A key conclusion of the study was that in the German system, defense attorneys become more used to ‘thinking on their feet’ following the submission of unexpected evidence which is not permitted in many systems.

Professor Lawrence Solan, Brooklyn Law School, USA

Linguistic ambiguity¹ in legal settings

Professor Solan’s talk covered three main areas of legal interpretation – of statutes, of wills, and of contracts.

He started with differentiating three ways to interpret legal texts: a de dicto reading (of the word), de re (of the thing) and a non-specific reading.

Professor Solan gave a number of examples from case law of the above three interpretations. Regarding statues, we looked at disability legislation and bank robbery as a federal crime and saw how interpretations are wide-ranging, even “chaotic” as Solan put it. For wills, he described the situation as more “sensible” – a kind of default position. In the area of contracts, Professor Solan underlined the shift in US law from a de dicto position to that of de re, but used the word “mischief” to describe the way in which language may be ‘skewed’ by the various parties involved.

In conclusion, he underlined that in Europe a court would be extremely unlikely to ignore the purpose of a statute in order to look for “linguistic hooks” on which to hang an argument – or in other words that as regards the US, as he has said previously “it is possible to rely too much on the language itself and not enough on context to sustain a legal system with adequate moral basis“.

Walk and talk on the beach

Prof. Lin Adrian led an excellent session to mix and match participants. Despite a light drizzle, groups of 2 and 3 people that hadn’t previously been in contact got to know each other and discussed their impressions whilst walking along the shoreline. A highly recommended way to pick up flagging energy levels in the mid-afternoon.

RELINE special interest groups

Prof. Morten Rosenmeier, Professor of intellectual property law at the University of Copenhagen, chaired a session during which the different interest groups at RELINE presented their current projects.

For the Bibliography group, Ingrid Simmonæs presented a database of research articles and publications – it includes not only references but also abstracts and conclusions, enabling scholars to assess whether the whole article falls within their interests. Shortly the database will be open access to the RELINE network, enabling members to upload and comment upon entries.

We heard about the activities of the Plain language group from Anne Kjærgaard and Lene Rosenmeier (more about that tomorrow!).

The Court group is looking not only at interdisciplinary issues but also at inter-geographical ones. So far, there have been group visits to Courts, and members include both lawyers and linguists.

The Intellectual Property Rights group is looking for more members to join its ranks, so if it’s your field – go ahead!

AND FINALLY…

The seminar was held on a very beautiful island at a hotel on the seashore. You can see a few views on the right (click to enlarge).

Here are a few take-away quotes from the seminar:

  • “Lawyers hire experts. Lawyers are insincere. Lawyers want an expert who will help them win.”
  • “Legal terminology is so complex that it creates borders which lay people don’t understand.”
  • “Sincerity suspended”
  • “There is a low level of consciousness of language issues”
  • “Outsiders don’t understand.”
  • “Should law students receive linguistic training/instruction?”
  • “Lawyers are windsurfers on an ocean of ambiguity!”

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¹ For a very visual explanation of ambiguity, see this nice blog post, involving elephants, pajamas and Groucho Marx. 🙂 For a collection of practical case examples see the paper De Re and De Dicto, by R.E. Rodes, Jr.