Category: Legal linguistics


Eleventh Conference on Legal Translation, Court Interpreting and Comparative Legilinguistics (Legal Linguistics) / The 17th International Roundtable for the Semiotics of Law


The Institute of Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University will hold an international conference devoted to language and the law. 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 24th to 26th June (Friday-Sunday) 2016 in Poznan, Poland. Papers are invited on the following topics:


  1. (comparative) forensic linguistics
  2. forensic phonetics
  • forensic authorship attribution
  1. forensic stylistic
  2. linguists as expert witnesses
  3. linguistic features of forgeries and counterfeits of public documents


  1. legal translation;
  2. court interpreting;
  • teaching legal translation and court interpreting
  1. certified translators and interpreters in legal proceedings
  2. mistranslation and misinterpreting in legal context


  1. legal linguistics
  2. history of legal language
  • legal terminology
  1. legal genres
  2. EU legal language
  3. analysis of legal discourse
  • structure and semantics of statutes and other legal instruments;
  • development of legal languages
  1. legal and linguistic interpretation of texts formulated in legal language
  2. teaching legal language
  3. speech style in the courtroom
  • comprehensibility of legal instruments
  • Plain Language Campaigns
  • linguistic aspects of cross-examination
  1. technicality in legal language


  1. history of legal systems
  2. comparative study of legal systems
  • common law versus civil law countries


  1. language rights
  2. linguistic minorities and linguistic human rights
  • language and disadvantage before the law




Sixth International Conference on Law, Language and Discourse

Haifa, Israel, 1-4 August 2016


Theme: The development of legal language and its interpretation; linguistic and pragmatic aspects of the evolution of the synchronic understanding


The conference addresses issues that concern the current development of theory and method in all the intersections of language with different aspects of law and legal discourse from various legal traditions, languages, and nations.

The topics include, but are not limited to:

Legal language and discourse:
– Intercultural differences in the features that make legal language a sublanguage
– Courtroom language and interpretation
– Plain language movements

Interpretation in religious and historic systems of law: 
– Jewish Rabbinic courts and the Halachah
– Jewish Halachah and the Bible
– Roman ecclesiastical courts and Catholic Canon law
– Sharia courts and the Quran and Sunnah
– Law, precedent, and application in historic legal systems

Language as evidence:
– Authorship attribution problem
– Copyright issues
– Forensic phonetics



More information on:


“It is generally accepted in the general public that the legal language spoken in court and written in legal documents is hard or even impossible to understand. Studies show that there are indeed some differences between ordinary and legal language (in particular, in vocabulary and the standards of drafting). However, legal language must appear incoherent to the general public for another reason – in addition to the words used, and their grammatical structure. Legal language must appear incoherent not just because of what is said in this language but also because of what goes in it without saying: the professional legal knowledge presumed, as a rule, in legal texts. This knowledge is presented explicitly only rarely but typical legal texts can be thoroughly understood only if it is regarded as implicit in them.”


Professor Le Cheng (Zhejiang University)

Continuities or discontinuities in Greek legal language 1974-2014

In the field of Greek-English legal translation, the legal translator often has to deal with older, purist Greek texts. In legal translation, the translator must be keenly aware of the shift from purist to demotic Greek.Continue Reading..

Α conference on legal translation, the teaching of legal translation, and legal interpreting and how this can guarantee equality under the law has recently been announced. The conference will take place in Tampere, Finland in May 2016. See the initial announcement about the conference below.Continue Reading..

As we’ve said this week already, the verb ‘shall’ is often used in English legal documents and legal translators working into English need to be able to use the verb correctly. Many people have suggested getting rid of it altogether. This article examines the continuing need for ‘shall’.


Click to access Banishing-Shall-from-Business-Contracts-ACLA.pdf

In legal translations, the legal translator needs to be able to correctly employ deontic modality because the verb ‘shall’ and other modal verbs are frequently found in legal documents in English. This short paper examines some more aspects of the verb ‘shall’.

The verb ‘shall’ and other modal verbs are frequently found in legal documents in English. In legal translations, the legal translator needs to be able to correctly employ deontic modality. Read this interesting paper on the functions of modal verbs in European and British Legal Documents.Continue Reading..

An interesting article praising the role of the passive voice, which can often be useful in legal writing and in legal translation.

Click to access using-passive-voice.authcheckdam.pdf

To mark the publication of the book Legal Language, Legal Terminology: Theory and Practice (Νομική Γλώσσα, Νομική Ορολογία: Θεωρία και Πράξη), Nomiki Vivliothiki Press is holding a seminar on ‘The Nature of legal discourse: legal language, legal terminology, legal translation’. The speakers include the authors of the book (P. Krimbas and K. Valeontis) as well a Hellenic Supreme Court judge who has written his own book on Greek legal language and a well-respected law professor.

Monday 16 February, 18:00 hours at 23 Mavromichali St. (Nomiki Vivliothiki)

The presentation / seminar is in Greek.



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