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June 22, 2017By legaltranslationsGeneral

Language, Law and Globalisation

There has been much discussion recently about the role of language and the law in the international context, especially as globalisation is now so important. Businesses and individuals find themselves in parts of the world which in the past they would never have had the chance to be. Legal matters are part of the community in general, but as people from different countries merge into regions and countries where legal issues arise there has been no common legal language that has been developed to take into account cultural variances between people. This can become an issue with legal documents for globalisation that need to be in the language of the original document and the language of the host country so that the meaning in context is understood by the parties involved.

The International Language and Law Association (ILLA) is an association founded expressly to bring together a web of lawyers and linguists. The founders are a threesome made up of Lawrence Solan, Peter Tiersma and Dieter Sein. Their aim is to get lawyers and linguistics to work together on the language of law in the international context. The ILLA’s 1st international conference of legal linguistics is set to take place in August 2017, in the city of Freiburg in Germany.


What is to be discussed includes the research that has been undertaken in the area of legal linguistics in relation to the rise in social conflicts in multilingual, globalised and digitalised countries. A second question concerns the models in legal linguistics and whether they can be of use as a way of rethinking methodological issues in multilingual and transnational law in a digitalised and globalized world? A 3rd question is whether legal linguistics contributes to the understanding and the resolving of social conflicts. A 4th question is how legal linguistics can be used practically in courts and legislation.

No doubt over time international legal linguistics will feature in postgraduate programs so that sooner or later it will make it easier to translate legal documents for globalisation where a greater understanding of world languages in the legal context unite to create a mutual understanding.

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