The Greek Penal Code
The esteemed Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, in partnership with the German publisher Duncker & Humblot, has recently published a new English translation of the Greek Penal Code
by Emmanouil Billis. Mr. Billis is a researcher on criminal law and procedure, comparative criminal law and the law of evidence and teaches at several prestigious law schools around Europe.
This new work “includes a systematic introduction to the basic characteristics and fundamental principles of criminal law and the Penal Code of Greece. As such, it is an indispensable resource for legal professionals, comparatists, and international scholars interested in the Greek criminal justice system”.
I would also add ‘legal translators’ to that list. As I pointed out in a recent blogpost, an essential tool for any professional legal translator is a translation of the key codes into his/her working languages. This can solve many terminological issues and promote consistency, while also aiding comprehension by the target audience.
The new book is the result of a project entitled “Translation of the Greek Penal Code into English”, which was run at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. The contents of the book can be viewed here.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that the Greek Penal Code has been translated into English. The Code was previously translated in 1973 by N. Lolis, prefaced by an introduction to Greek criminal law by Giorgios Mangakis, and published as part of the American Series of Foreign Penal Codes. Times move on though. As the publisher’s blurb for the new book by Billis points out, criminal law is an area that evolves and develops over time and, “the individual definitions of criminal offences, [have] been widely amended several times. Efforts have always been made to adapt the law to modern socio-ethical, political, economic, and international developments”. So the new translation is a welcome addition to the tools at the legal translator’s disposal.