Law and Language: Current Legal Issues: v. 15

ISBN : 9780199673667

Michael D. Freeman; Fiona Smith
640 Pages
162 x 237 mm
Pub date
Feb 2013
Current Legal Issues
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Current Legal Issues, like its sister volume Current Legal Problems (now available in journal format), is based upon an annual colloquium held at University College London. Each year leading scholars from around the world gather to discuss the relationship between law and another discipline of thought. Each colloquium examines how the external discipline is conceived in legal thought and argument, how the law is pictured in that discipline, and analyses points of controversy in the use, and abuse, of extra-legal arguments within legal theory and practice. Law and Language, the fifteenth volume in the Current Legal Issues series, offers an insight into the scholarship examining the relationship between language and the law. The issues examined in this book range from problems of interpretation and beyond this to the difficulties of legal translation, and further to non-verbal expression in a chapter tracing the use of sign language at the Old Bailey; it examines the role of language and the law in a variety of literary works, including Hamlet; and considers the interrelation between language and the law in a variety of contexts, including criminal law, contract law, family law, human rights law, and EU law.


1. Introduction: Law and Language
2. Legal Texts and Canons of Construction: A View from Current Pragmatic Theory
3. Linguistic Meaning and Legal Truth
4. Truth in Law
5. Language, Truth, and Law
6. Claims of Legal Authorities and 'Expressions of Intention': The Limits of Philosophy of Language
7. Legal Pluralism: A Systems Theory Approach to Language, Translation, and Communication
8. Frame Semantics and the 'Internal Point of View'
9. Hart as Contextualist? Theories of Interpretation in Language and the Law
10. On Goodness and Genre: Talking about Virtue in Law and Literature
11. The Grin's Cat: Language, Law, and Literature
12. Reading and Writing the Law: Macaulay in India
13. 'Where be his quiddities now?' Law and Language in Hamlet
14. Stories in Law: Providing Space for 'Oppositionists'?
15. Literal Interpretation and English Precedent in Joe Ma's Lawyer, Lawyer
16. Toward a Cognitive Science of Legal Interpretation
17. Do You Kick a Dog When It's Down? Considering the Use of Children's Video-taped Testimonies in Court
18. The Power of Naming: Surnames, Children, and Spouses
19. The Role of Language in Legal Contexts: A Forensic Cross-linguistic Viewpoint
20. Vagueness and Power-Delegation in Law: A Reply to Sorensen
21. Plato's Fertility Clinic: Status and Identity Rhetoric in Parenthood Disputes
22. Silence, Speech, and the Paradox of the Right to Remain Silent in American Police Interrogation
23. The Consumption of Legal Language: Consuming the Law
24. (Language + Law)2 = ?
25. MMORPGing, Law, and Lingo
26. Construing Commercial Contracts: No Need for Violence
27. Why Are Non-US Contracts Written in US Legalese? Some Preliminary Thoughts, and a Research Agenda
28. The Role of Parliamentary Rhetoric in Facilitating the Racial Effect of the Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 Stop and Search Powers
29. Precedent at the Court of Justice of the European Union: the Linguistic Aspect
30. Law and Language(s) at the Heart of the European Project: Educating Different Kinds of Lawyers
31. Foreign Law in Translation: If Truth Be Told...
32. First-person Perspectives in Legal Decisions
33. Deaf People at the Old Bailey from the 18th Century Onwards
34. Rule of the Root: Proto-Indo-European Domination of Legal Language
35. Necessary Violence?: Inscribing the Subject of Law

About the author: 

Michael Freeman, emeritus Professor of English Law, University College London; Fiona Smith, Senior lecturer, University College London

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