Curriculum, language and the law



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Iris Goldner Lang

Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb (Croatia)

igoldner@pravo.hr
Languages as a Barrier to Free Movement of Persons in the European Union?
The European Union internal market is characterised by the abolition, between its Member States, of any obstacle to the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. On the other hand, the proclaimed protection of cultural and linguistic diversity of the EU Member States can sometimes limit or impede market freedoms in the EU. This paper will look at the friction between freedom of movement of people, on the one hand, and linguistic protection, on the other hand. According to EC law, the requirement of linguistic knowledge can be justified when “necessary for practising the profession in the host Member State” or when “required by reason of the nature of the post to be filled”. The paper will trace the rule of “necessity” in the light of case-law of the European Court of Justice and Croatian accession negotiations. It will try to detect how to balance free movement of persons and acceptable linguistic limitations to such freedom. Relevant case-law of the European Court of Justice, starting with Groener and Haim, and further developed by Hocsman, Angonese, Spain v. Eurojust, Commission v. Luxembourg and United Pan-Europe Communications Belgium and Others will be taken into consideration in the discussion.

Maurizio Gotti

Università di Bergamo (Italy)

m.gotti@unibg.it
Legal Drafting in an International Context: Linguistic and Cultural Issues
Nowadays legal texts are often subject to the pressures of globalisation operating upon contemporary legal systems. Indeed, in this context law is fast assuming an international perspective rather than remaining a purely domestic concern. However, in spite of the growing efforts of the international community to guarantee greater and greater harmonisation in legislation and procedures, local constraints and specific cultural aspects still represent a relevant conditioning factor.

This is clearly visible in the normative texts in use in the various contexts which show discrepancies deriving not only from differing legal and cultural systems, but also from the use of different linguistic codes. These issues are especially relevant in international trade, which often involves documents written in English but incorporating norms issued by a non-English-speaking country.

Moreover, the need for all-inclusiveness implicit in the globalising process may at times determine some vagueness and indeterminacy in the wording of legal texts, mainly due to the adoption of general terms conveying wide semantic values, with the result that their meaning in the context of those provisions is not as clear as expected.

This paper aims to investigate the means whereby normative discourse (statutes and regulations) is employed in different cultural, linguistic and legal environments; to illustrate this phenomenon, it targets legislation on international arbitration from the ‘Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration’ adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in 1985 and later integrated into the laws of several countries with different constitutional, socio-cultural and economic conditions.



Ada Gruntar Jermol

University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)

ada.gruntar@guest.arnes.si
Recht übersetzen – leicht gemacht?

Oder: Wie schnell kann man sich beim Übersetzen von Rechtstexten verlaufen?
Das Übersetzen von Rechtstexten ist – vor allem für die Nicht-Fachleute – ein komplexer Prozess. Die erste Barriere stellt schon das Fach selbst dar: Das Spezifische beim Übersetzen juristischer Texte liegt nämlich darin begründet, dass man es dabei nicht nur mit zwei verschiedenen Rechtssprachen zu tun hat, sondern auch mit zwei Rechtsordnungen und ihren jeweils verschiedenen Gesetzmäßigkeiten und Systemen von Rechtswirkungen, die die Rechtssprache – insbesondere ihren begrifflichen Teil – entscheidend prägen. Die Suche nach äquivalenten Termini in der Zielsprache ist daher nicht selten eine anspruchsvolle Aufgabe. Nicht nur die Auswahl entsprechender Termini stellt eine große Herausforderung dar, sondern auch die Auswahl entsprechender Verben, Adjektive und Präpositionen, die sich mit Termini verbinden (wie einen Vertrag schließen/aufheben, unter Verwendung einer Waffe, das Gesetz verabschieden ...) Solche festen Wortverbindungen (Kollokationen) können selbst erfahrenen Übersetzern oft erhebliche Schwierigkeiten bereiten, weil sie eine Übersetzungseinheit bilden und daher nicht einzelsprachlich übersetzt werden können. Zu anspruchsvolleren Übersetzungskategorien gehören gewiss auch Synonyme und Homonyme, die im Recht oft vorkommen. Beim Rechtsübersetzen soll auch die Tatsache mitberücksichtigt werden, dass verschiedene juristische Textsorten (wie etwa Gesetzestext, Vertrag, Anklageschrift ...) diverse Übersetzungsstrategien verlangen und dass es zwischen der Ausgangs- und der Zielrechtssprache zahlreiche morphologische und syntaktische Unterschiede gibt.

Azirah Hashim – Richard Powell

University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur (Malaya) – Nihon University, Tokyo (Japan)

azirahh@um.edu.my – powell@eco.nihon-u.ac.jp
Adversarial and Arbitrative Discourses in Malaysian Conflict Resolution
While the majority of legal conflicts in Malaysia are resolved through a common law system that has evolved out of the English law introduced during the period of colonial administration, the adversarial culture of this system is periodically criticised as inappropriate for an Asian society that has traditionally valued conciliation and consensus. An alternative to the common law courts that seems to be increasingly attractive to civil disputants is arbitration, with the 2005 revision of the Arbitration Act clarifying the role and jurisdiction of arbitrative bodies such as the Kuala Lumpur Regional Arbitration Centre. However, current evidence suggests that there is considerable institutional and discursive overlap between the two systems: the common law High Court retains a supervisory role in the processes of arbitration; many arbitrators and other professional participants have experience as common law judges and lawyers; and some of the patterns of discourse typical of adversarial courtrooms are carried over, including restrictive, asymmetrical questioning of witnesses. Drawing from observation of cases in both common law and arbitration cases in Malaysia, this presentation will (1) consider criticisms levelled at adversarial legal culture; (2) examine motivations of potential litigants in choosing arbitrative methods of conflict resolution; and (3) compare discourse patterns and constraints on language- and code-choice across the two systems.

Gernot Hebenstreit

University of Graz (Austria)

gernot.hebenstreit@uni-graz.at
Asylrechtsterminologie für den Dolmetscheinsatz bei Asylverfahren in Österreich
Für viele Sprachen, für die am österreichischen Bundesasylamt bei asylrechtlichen Einvernahmen häufig DolmetscherInnen zum Einsatz kommen, gibt es keine fundierte und umfassende Sammlung der asylrelevanten Terminologie. Aufgrund fehlender oder falsch verwendeter Terminologie können bei Asyleinvernahmen gravierende Probleme entstehen.

Auf die Wichtigkeit einer korrekten Terminologie wurde u. a. im Handbuch Dolmetschen im Asylverfahren hingewiesen (Bundesministerium für Inneres, Institut für Translationswissenschaft der Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Österreichischer Verband der allgemein beeideten und gerichtlich zertifizierten Dolmetscher und UN-Flüchtlingshochkommissariat UNHCR in Österreich, 2006). Dieses Handbuch entstand im Rahmen eines gemeinsamen Projektes zwischen dem Bundesasylamt, dem Grazer Institut für Theoretische und Angewandte Translationswissenschaft, dem Unabhängigen Bundesasylsenat, dem UNHCR und dem Österreichischen Verband der Gerichtsdolmetscher. Ziel des Handbuchs war es die Rolle, Rechte und Pflichten von DolmetscherInnen im Asylverfahren zu thematisieren.

Da im Asylwesen für manche Sprachen auch DolmetscherInnen ohne einschlägige Ausbildung zum Einsatz kommen, ist anzunehmen, dass diese zur Vorbereitung von Dolmetscheinsätzen keine umfassende und kohärente Terminologiearbeit betreiben. Für das Asylwesen gibt es bislang weder spezifische zwei- oder mehrsprachige Fachwörterbücher, noch umfassende und terminologiewissenschaftlich fundierte Terminologiesammlungen. Falls DolmetscherInnen sich die relevante Terminologie erarbeiten, sind sie auf eigenständige Recherchen und Terminologiearbeit in Eigeninitiative angewiesen. Aufgrund des fehlenden Materials zur Vorbereitung und der Komplexität der Materie kann auch angenommen werden, dass die verwendete Terminologie sehr uneinheitlich – und u. U. sogar missverständlich bzw. falsch – ist. Zum Teil wird diese Annahme auch durch wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen bestätigt.

Gegenstand dieser Präsentation ist ein vom EFF finanziertes Projekt zur Einrichtung einer mehrsprachigen Datenbank zum österreichischen Asylrecht, die geeignet ist, die beschriebene Lücke zu schließen und dadurch einen Beitrag zur Verbesserung der Qualität von Dolmetschleistungen in diesem Bereich und somit auch der Gesamtqualität des Asylverfahrens insgesamt zu leisten. Zur Sprache kommen sollen dabei primär methodische Probleme, die sich aus Zielsetzung und Adressatenbezug des Projekts ergeben.



Erik Hertog

Lessius Hogeschool Antwerpen (Belgium)

erik.hertog@lessius.eu
The Provision of Legal Interpreting and Translation in the EU
Facing new and multiple challenges such as immigration, cross border crime, terrorism, the movement of people and goods, etc., the European Union has come to realize the increased importance of the need for judicial cooperation and mutual recognition between Member States in order to guarantee security and justice in the EU.

However, at the same time there is a deep concern that, with regard to these challenges, the citizens’ freedom and fundamental rights must be safeguarded.

AGIS project JLS/2006/AGIS/052 must be seen as part of a concerted effort to establish guarantees and mechanisms for compliance with procedural safeguards in criminal proceedings in all Member States of the European Union.

Since the Tampere summit (1998), the EU has taken several initiatives in this area culminating eventually in a Green Paper (2003) and a proposal for a Framework Decision on Specific Procedural Rights in Criminal Proceedings (2004). Unfortunately enough, this proposal did not succeed in getting the unanimous support of all Member States and was abandoned in 2007.

This AGIS project focuses particularly on one such fundamental procedural safeguard, the right to access to justice across languages and culture or in other words, the right to a free interpreter and the translation of all relevant documents in criminal proceedings.

The need to provide all citizens of the EU with the right to a fair trial, including the provision of quality legal interpreting or translation, is both a major ambition and challenge for the EU, given the disparity and the patchy and uneven provision of legal interpreting and translation throughout the EU.

In order to remedy these discrepancies and to arrive at minimum guaranteed standards in all Member States, one needs, first of all, more detailed and objective information on the existing provisions, a status quaestionis on legal interpreting and translation in the EU. This will in turn allow for considered reflection and action both on EU and on Member State level.

We have chosen to carry out this task by means of a EU-wide questionnaire, so that both best practices but also differences in policy and the different implementation of this procedural right may be ascertained.

The core sections of the report provide an analysis of the responses from each Member State (Luxemburg excepted) on the basis of indicators that are relevant to assess the provision of legal interpreting and translation. These indicators allow us to draw up a composite country profile of each Member State for interpreting as well as translation. A more detailed, thorough analysis of one Member State has been included by way of example to show how the information has been gleaned and to stimulate colleagues to delve for themselves into the materials and exhaust the full potential of the responses.

These country profiles are then weighed and ranked, first of all, on a number of essential performance indicators (e.g. procedural safeguards, regulation of the interpreting and translation professions and quality assurance…) and subsequently on five Green Paper indicators (accreditation, register, code, training, vulnerable groups). This has allowed us to draw up overall apex indicators ranking all Member States on a EU scale and shows in composite maps how the Member States are performing with regard to this particular procedural safeguard.

The core conclusion of this survey on the provision of legal interpreting and translation in criminal proceedings in the EU is twofold. Firstly, the survey shows that sufficient legal interpreting and translation skills and structures are not yet in place to meet the goals that all individuals, irrespective of language and culture, have their procedural right respected in each Member State. Secondly, however, it also shows a process of development to do so is in progress across the EU, albeit still variable in coherence, quality and quantity.

Gertrud Hofer

Zürcher Hochschule Winterthur (Switzerland)

hofe@zhaw.ch
Legal Interpreting in Switzerland: Improving the Quality of Interpreting Services
In Switzerland, as in many other countries, migration fluxes have changed the demographic and linguistic profile of the country, making it increasingly multicultural. About 7 % of the population in Switzerland have as their main language Albanian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian or Portuguese, and there are also many speakers of Spanish, English and Turkish. This change has had an impact on institutions such as hospitals, schools and courtrooms, where interpreting services are needed in increasing numbers since the middle of the 20th century. For legal interpreters in most of these “new” languages, there is no formal training available in Switzerland, and institutes of translation and interpreting face the challenging task of reacting to this new multilingualism of modern societies and of contributing solutions.

In the canton of Zurich, the largest canton in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, an advisory panel appointed by the (cantonal) department of justice proposed that steps should be taken to increase expertise and professionalism in the profession. This proposal led to the implementation, in 2003, of a basic training program for legal interpreters in cooperation with the Institute of Translation and Interpreting of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences Winterthur.

This paper describes the training programs offered by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and presents the results of a research project that provided the background for an analysis of the legal interpreter’s tasks, as perceived by the interpreters themselves and by the service providers, referred to in this paper as the end users. The findings of the study reveal the disparity of views regarding the role and the task of the legal interpreters.

Marijana Javornik Čubrić

University of Zagreb (Croatia)

mjavornik@yahoo.com
Plain English for Lawyers
The purpose of the plain English movement is to make the legal documents more comprehensible to the average person. Criticism of legal writing in England dates back to the 14th century, but the modern plain English movement began in the 1970s. Today, many books are available for use in law school writing courses, as well as for teaching English for Law that focuses on plain English principles. The students of law should be taught that good legal writing is actually writing in plain English. This paper analyses the history of the plain English movement, the recent changes in the legal language in England introduced in 1999 with the implementation of the new rules of civil procedure that abolished some outdated legal terms for modern equivalents, as well as the main ways to teach the students of law and law professionals how to make legal writing clearer.

Åse Johnsen

University of Bergen (Norway)

Ase.johnsen@if.uib.no
Analyzing the Interpreter’s Visibility:

A Case Study from Bergen Town Court, Norway
In my presentation I will present some results from an ongoing research on court interpretation. During fall 2007/spring 2008 I will be collecting data from trials held at the Bergen Town Court. The investigation will deal with various aspects of court interpretation and the data will represent different languages. In this presentation I will focus on the way the data were collected and how the interpreters make them self visible in their translated discourse.

Mira Kadrić

Universität Wien (Austria)

mira.kadric@chello.at
Gut in allen möglichen Welten? Translation und Macht im Gerichtssaal
Macht ist in den translatorischen Berufen eine nicht zu unterschätzende Dimension. Da insbesondere die Dolmetschtätigkeit einmalig, mündlich und flüchtig ist (Aufzeichnungen sind die Ausnahme), steht sie kaum unter der Kontrolle der Bedarfstragenden, Auftraggebenden oder Öffentlichkeit. Dabei spielt der Umstand eine Rolle, dass es keine wirklichen Vorgesetzten und selten Kolleginnen und Kollegen gibt, die vollen Einblick in die Translationstätigkeit haben und mit denen die Translatorin oder der Translator eng zusammenarbeiten muss oder einen tieferen Erfahrungsaustausch pflegt. Translatorinnen und Translatoren erzeugen nicht zuletzt Misstrauen, weil sie an einer Schaltstelle sitzen und eine Macht ausüben können, die in der Regel keiner unmittelbaren Kontrolle ausgesetzt ist.

Aus der Perspektive der dolmetschenden Person wiederum ist insbesondere in dialogischen Situationen (im Besonderen in der institutionellen Kommunikation und hierbei in Gerichtsverhandlungen) die soziale Macht als psychologische Universalie stark spürbar. Alle Verfahrensbeteiligten versuchen in Anwendung ihrer Verhandlungsstrategien, alle an der Kommunikation Beteiligten, die Dolmetscherin oder den Dolmetscher insbesondere, in ihrem Sinne zu beeinflussen. Dabei ist es nicht einfach zu bestimmen (bzw. zu beweisen), wo eine sozial gebilligte Einflussnahme, auf die sich eine Gesellschaftsgruppe geeinigt hat, vorliegt, und wo eine von der sozialen Regel abweichende Unterdrucksetzung stattfindet. Der Vortrag beschäftigt sich mit Konzepten zur sozialen Macht und translatorischen Strategien, die helfen, Beeinflussung zu erkennen und damit kreativ umzugehen.



Anne Lise Kjær

University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

Anne.Lise.Kjer@jur.ku.dk,
Legal Translation in the EU at the Crossroads of National and Supranational Law:

Dynamics and Complexities
In my opinion, legal translation within the framework of the European Union is qualitatively different from translation in other contexts due to the special character and organisation of the legal system. Two points are generally overlooked in existing research:

1. The interplay with the domestic legal systems of the Member States. By treating multilingual language production in the EU as an instance of translation in international organisations or as a phenomenon similar to translation within national legal systems, the analysis fail to account for the fact that EU law comprises features of both international law and domestic law, a fact which makes translation in the EU particularly complicated.

2. EU law is not an established legal system. It is a system of incoherent legal rules and principles, developing into a more coherent legal system. In theories of law and language it is often pointed out that legal translation and legal language cannot be described properly without taking the mechanisms and functions of law into consideration. However, in the case of translation in the EU, the impact of the integration process on the way that legal translation works is generally not described.

On this background, it is questionable whether translation in the EU can be accounted for adequately by well known theories of legal translation. In this paper, I shall argue for taking a broader perspective, which includes not only comparative law and legal translation, but also theories of legal integration.



Alenka Kocbek

University of Primorska, Koper (Slovenia)

alenka.kocbek@guest.arnes.si
Conforming the Principle of Cultural Embeddedness to the Sepcifics of Legal Translation
In many aspects legal translation seems to be an adequate domain for applying the functionalist approaches to translation, especially the skopos theory. Yet, an indiscriminate application of Vermeer’s principle of cultural embeddedness may prove to be misleading, as it may cause disturbances in the legal communication occurring through the translation act.

Namely, the translatability of legal terms directly depends on the relatedness of the legal systems and not of the languages involved in the translation. Moreover, in legal translation we may not always be able to embed the target text in the target culture intended as the target legal system. In legal transactions, such as e.g. contracts involving parties from different countries, only one legal system is defined as the communication framework (i.e. the governing law). The clause on the governing law is thus a fundamental element of such contracts, as it also defines the legal foundation of the translation. In such cases, the principle of cultural embeddedness may only be applied with respect to the linguistic aspects of the text, whereas on a wider scale, i.e. as far as the cultural (i.e. legal) foundation of the text is concerned, the source and the target text will have the same reference. A specific problem is represented by the use of a lingua franca, as in this case there is no direct correlation between the language(s) and the underlying legal system(s). In addition, the lingua franca may refer to a legal system different from both the source and the target one, which is often the case with English. English as a lingua franca potentially implies the risk of introducing in the communication legal concepts which are alien to the cultures of communicating parties, as the terms used may be tainted by the meaning attributed to them within the Anglo-American legal system.




Ljubica Kordić

University of Osijek (Croatia)

kljubica@pravos.hr
The Importance of Teaching German for Legal Purposes (GLP) at Croatian Law Faculties
The paper deals with the role of foreign languages in the curricula of Croatian law faculties today with special reference to German and English as languages for legal purposes. The author tries to prove the importance of German for the life-long education of lawyers in Croatia by researching into bibliography used by Croatian legal theorists and practitioners in the papers they have published in legal journals of the Law Faculty in Osijek and the Law Faculty in Rijeka in the period between 1991 and 2003. On the grounds of this research, as well as the analysis of some historic and legal facts concerning German and Austrian law systems and their influence on Croatian law, a specific task of this paper is to prove the importance of teaching German for legal purposes at Croatian law faculties, not only for historical reasons, but also for practical and professional reasons.

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