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)

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.

Online: Laws on Government Organization Restructuring Government for the Future of Korea

South Korea’s Ministry of Government Legislation has posted the following online book: “Laws on Government Organization Restructuring Government for the Future of Korea (2008 ed.)” The book includes a guide to Korea’s legislative system and procedure.

http://www.moleg.go.kr/english/notice?pstSeq=46838&pageIndex=6

The books includes the full-text of 4 statutes in English:

Government Organization Act

Act of the Establishment of the Financial Services Commission

Act on the Establishment and Operation of the Broadcasting and Communications Commission

Act on Designation and Management of Free Trade Zones

Annotated Bibliography of Spanish-English Legal Translation and Interpretation

Professor Gladys Matthews of the College of Charleston reviews various Spanish langauge legal dictionaries and bilingual legal dictionaries in the following article available online:

An Annotated Bibliography of Spanish-English Legal Translation and Interpretation

Gladys Matthews

Proteus Newsletter of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators

Vol. 19,  No.1 (Spring 2010)

Pages 9-12.

Online version of article is only available to members of NAJIT.

http://www.najit.org/publications/proteus.php

Glossary of Islamic Financial Terms

Yasaar, a consulting company of Shari’a compliance scholars, maintains an online glossary of Islamic financial terms. Brief definitions in English are provided, although the Arabic spellings of the terms are missing. The Yasaar site also has publications and PowerPoint presentations related to Islamic Finance on their Web site.

Glossary of Islamic Financial Terms

http://www.yasaar.org/glossary.htm

Legal Interpreting and Translating: A Research Guide

Legal Interpreting and Translating: A Research Guide

Don Ford

FCIL Librarian, University of Iowa

Although the guide is specific to the Iowa Library System, the guide offers a nice bibliography of legal translation titles and a list of glossaries and dictionaries in 20 languages from Europe, Asia ,and Africa. Particularly useful are the links to online legal glosssaries from state courts covering the following languages: Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Chinese, German, Hindi, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Punjabi,Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

http://www.law.uiowa.edu/documents/pathfinders/court_interpreter.pdf