Books to Help with LLM Student Training

A couple of recent book releases that may be helpful for LLM students:

International Legal English: a practical course book for speakers of English as a second language
Angela Williams
Torino: G. Giappichelli, 2012
ISBN: 9788834898024

http://www.giappichelli.it/Home/978-88-348-9802-4,3489802.asp1

An American Constitutional History Course for Non-American Students
Luis Grau
Madrid: Dykinson, 2012
ISBN:9788490312902

French Patent Cases in English

Véron & Associés, a French patent litigation firm, maintains a database of  French patent court opinions translated into English. The judgments are from Parisian district courts, court of appeals, and the Cour de Cassation.  Years of coverage are 2001 through 2012. The quality of the translations is excellent, preserving the substance of the legal holdings without sacrificing readability. They also provide copies of the original French language opinions.

French Patent Case Law in English:
http://www.frenchpatentcaselaw.info/
http://www.veron.com/en/FPCL.asp

Hat tip to Jean Gasnault

China Guiding Cases Project Update & Volunteer Opportunities

The China Guiding Cases Project is pleased to announce the opportunity to volunteer with the CGCP!  We are currently accepting applications to be part of the CGCP team over the coming year.  If you are interested in working with our diverse and experienced team on producing high quality products aimed at advancing understanding of Chinese law both inside and outside of China, please visit http://cgc.law.stanford.edu/volunteer.  Note that applications are due June 30, so don’t delay!

We are also pleased to announce the launch of Phase II of the China Guiding Cases Project website (http://cgc.law.stanford.edu)!  Visit the site now to see the following new features:

FOUR (4) China Law Summaries.  Visit our site to learn how Contract Law, Environmental and Resources Law, Intellectual Property Law and Labor Law is practiced in China.  Each summary includes an overview of the area of law, historical background, and reference materials linked to the original sources of law available in English and Chinese!
Quotes on the 1st FOUR (4) Guiding Cases.  Come see what has been said about each of the first batch of guiding cases since their release last December!
News and Events Page.  Learn about CGCP events and see how the CGCP has been covered in the news since our launch last year!

And, if you haven’t already done so, see our recently released….2nd Batch of FOUR (4) Guiding Cases.  The English translations of the second batch of Guiding Cases released by the Supreme People’s Court are now available on our website at http://cgc.law.stanford.edu/guiding-cases/.  The new cases include two (2) administrative penalty cases, one (1) construction project contract dispute and one (1) corporate dissolution dispute.

Two (2) NEW Expert Commentaries!
“How to Apply the Guiding Cases of the Supreme People’s Court in Judicial Practice” written by Judge CHEN Kui, President of the Dongguan Municipality No. 2 People’s Court of Guangdong Province (available at http://cgc.law.stanford.edu/expert-commentary/3-judge-chen/).

“Discussing the Guiding Case System with Chinese Characteristics By First Combining Guiding Case No. 1 with Adjudication Practices” by Judge OU Zelin, of the Second Civil Tribunal of the Dongguan Municipality No. 2 People’s Court of Guangdong Province, (available at http://cgc.law.stanford.edu/4-judge-ou/)

For future updates, please subscribe to the China Guiding Cases Project mailing list by visiting https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/chinaguidingcasesproject.  Just enter your email address in the space provided and then click “Subscribe.”  Please note that we will be primarily using this list from now on to communicate important announcements and developments, so be sure to sign up today!

The CGCP Team
Stanford Law School

https://cgc.law.stanford.edu/

Constitution Explorer Project

Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) and Program on Liberation Technology are creating a database of constitutions searchable by subject. They are working on building a taxonomy and tagging individual articles and sections from foreign constitutions. When the database is finished, it should nicely complement  Hein’s Constitutions of the World Illustrated and Richmond’s Constitution Finder.

If you are in the bay area this weekend and wish to support this project, CDDRL is organizing an International Constitution Day volunteer session on Saturday, November 12th at Stanford.

See the following link for additional information:
http://cddrl.stanford.edu/events/6902

Cautionary tale about legal translation

The latest issue of the Hong Kong Law Journal includes some interesting comments from Justice Susan Kwan of the High Court of Hong Kong on legal translation and the development of the common law in the Chinese language in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Justice Kwan writes:

It can be said that the Chinese version of the Laws of Hong Kong is quite unreadable. … Each time I look up the Chinese version of a legislation, I would invariably read its English version as well to help me understand the meaning of the Chinese version and to reduce the chance of making mistakes. One can imagine the difficulty faced by those who can only read the Chinese version of the Laws of Hong Kong.

Statute law is just part of the laws in Hong Kong. The majority of the cases that constitute the common law are only written in English. In this important domain, those who have no legal knowledge or are not conversant in English would find their hands tied.

The Dilemma of Conducting Civil Litigation in Chinese – Conversant Either in Chinese or the Law But Not in Both.
Susan Kwan
41 Hong Kong Law Journal 325-326 (2011)

Tahrir Documents Project (Egypt)

Tahrir Documents

http://www.tahrirdocuments.org/

The Project as described by the editors and staff of Tahrir Documents:

We are pleased to announce the launch of Tahrir Documents, an ongoing project to archive and translate printed discourse from the 2011Egyptian revolution and its aftermath. The website presents a diverse collection of materials — among them activist newspapers, personal essays, advertisements, missives, and party communications —- incomplete English translation alongside reproductions of the Arabic-language originals. The site will be updated regularly, frequently, and indefinitely as new writings appear in response to post-revolution developments, and as we locate earlier materials. The assembled documents address a variety of contemporary concerns including Muslim-Christian relations, constitutional amendments, moral conduct, revolutionary strategy, and the women’s rights movement. Some of the highlights of the collection:

 

* A defense of protestors’ continued sit-in at Tahrir Squarereleased on March 9th, the same day on which their encampment wasdestroyed by thugs

* Guidelines for personal behavior after the revolution

* Numerous denunciations of sectarian violence

* The announcement of new political parties and presidential candidates.

* Numerous articles debating the constitutional amendments passedlast week

* Selections from Gurnal and Revolutionary Egypt, activistnewspapers founded after the revolution

 

We invite you to examine the website, and to return regularly as we post communications and commentaries from the post-Mubarak era. We believe the archive indicative of the diversity of political thought and action in contemporary Egypt, and hope that this diversity is ofinterest to anyone following the country’s transforming situation. The archive is searchable. Tahrir Documents is the work of volunteer translators in Egypt and abroad. It is not affiliated with any of those authors or groups whose works appear in translation on the website, nor with any organization foreign or domestic.

 

For more information please write to the editorial board at

tahrirdocuments@gmail.com.

 

We invite the submission of materials for translation and publication on the website.

 

 

New Book – Researching Language and the Law: Textual Features and Translation Issues

Davide Simone Giannoni and Celina Frade’s new book “Researching Language and the Law: contains the following chapters that will be of interest to people studying legal translation and interpretation.

Researching Language and the Law: Textual Features and Translation Issues

Davide Simone Giannoni and Celina Frade

Bern: Perter Lang, 2010

Selected Book Chapters:

English Legal Discourse and the French Continuum

Susan Kermas

“What I argue in this chapter is that the unique language contact situation within the EU has triggered another phase of French influence. My examination of English and French legal documents in the Eur-Lex archive … will demonstate not only that many words have been influenced by French, but, more importantly, that efforts to harmonise legal language within the EU may also be creating a further rift between British and American legal discourse and subsequently, ordinary language.”

Axiological Analysis of Entries in a Spanish Law Dictionary and their English Equivalents

Angel M.  Felices Lago

 

Legal Translation and Interpreting in the UK Today

Francisco Vigier

The UK has two main translator and interpeter organizations, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting  and the Charted Institute of Linguists, which are recognised by the government and committed to promote quality in translation and interpreting services. Nonetheless, a translator or interpreter willing to practise in Britain is not bound to belong to any of them. . .”

 

New blog: Translation and Interpretation in America

Translation and Interpretation in America

Professor Gladys Matthews

http://translationandinterpretationinamerica.blogspot.com/

Prof. Matthews has been studying legal translation and interpretation for many years. Her blog will be a welcome addition for those looking for insights into language and law.

From the blog description:

I started this blog today, although it is something I have been thinking about and planning for a long time.  I will be making frequent posts about many different topics in translation and interpretation, so I hope you will check back often. My first posts will be on my current research interests related to the teaching of legal translation and interpretation.

 

Online Translation: Passing Switzerland, Spain is now in the hands of the video and suture

Somewhat pessimistic take on the future of machine translation from an editor at Forbes.

Computers Will They Ever Learn?

Lee Gomes

Forbes, Vol.186 #2, p.44 (August 9, 2010)

http://www.forbes.com/global/2010/0809/columnists-lee-gomes-digital-tools-computers-will-they-learn.html

Ask most computer programmers what would happen if, suddenly, their computers got a thousand times faster. Most would rhapsodize about being able to immediately put that extra power to good use.

Ask Franz Josef Och the same question, though, and he says that even with a machine a thousand times more powerful than today’s his program wouldn’t run significantly better than it does right now, as far as most people could tell. Which is quite an admission, because Och is responsible for one of the most amazing computer programs in the world: He is head of the division at Google that runs Google Translate.

 

 

Arabic-Arabic Courtroom Translation in Lebanon

Translation issues usually involve at least two foreign languages. Here is an article that addresses translation in courts from colloquial to Standard/Classical Arabic. In addition to the linguistic arguments, the author also discusses  pre-trial criminal proceedings in Lebanese courts. (see p.191)

Arabic-Arabic Courtroom Translation in Lebanon                                           Victor A. Khachan                                                                                                                    19 Social and Legal  Studies 183 (2010)

Abstract:

In the Arab world, the comprehension gap between Colloquial and Standard Arabic has been recognized as a major force behind illiteracy and its endless negative repercussions. One adverse impact of this comprehension gap manifests itself in the courtroom. Courtroom translation in the Arab world (i.e. consecutive interpreting/reporting from Colloquial into Standard Arabic) occurs systematically and is the only means of documenting courtroom proceedings. Despite its functional importance in the light of language manoeuvrability and translation accuracy, the legal implications of the Colloquial—Standard Arabic proximity in the context of linguistic rights have not been theoretically nor empirically researched. Accordingly, this paper introduces the dynamics of language use in a hierarchical judicial system in one Arab country, Lebanon. This paper is a theoretical first brick in the wall of linguistic rights in the Lebanese courtroom, where — in the absence of a jury system — linguistic discretion in the legal decision-making process rests upon the bench judge. In addition, this paper highlights the vulnerability of illiterate people vis-à-vis the use of Standard Arabic in legal settings at the expense of their preferred first or only language, Lebanese Colloquial.