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)

Costs and Funding of Civil Litigation: A Comparative Study

Christopher  Hodges, Stefan Vogenauer and Magdalena Tubilacka have published the following article on SSRN:   Costs and Funding of Civil Litigation: A Comparative Study.

Costs and Funding of Civil Litigation: A Comparative Study

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1511714

Countries studied are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England and Wales, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA.  

The Appendices look very interesting

I. Questionnaire 49

II. Contributors to the Comparative Study 53

III. Ranges of Lawyers’ Hourly Rates 55

IV. Case Studies: Minimum costs risk for claimant 58

V. Summaries of amounts of Court Fees and Lawyers’ Fees 73

VI. Success and Contingency Fees 81

VII. Abbreviations 83

New Book: Scholarly Communication in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan

Chandos publishing recently released a new mongraph: “Scholarly Communication in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.” This work is edited by Xia Jingfeng, a reference librarian at Rutgers. It will be interesting to see if any regional repositories, open source platforms, or informal exchanges are emerging in these East Asian jursidictions.  Hat tip to the Tao Yang at Rutgers for alerting us to this interesting new title.

Summary from the Publisher’s Website:

This is one of the very few books that systematically explores the characteristics of scholarly communication outside the West. Over the last decade the advances in information technology have remodelled the foundation of scholarly communication. This book examines how countries/regions in East Asia (China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan) have reacted to the innovations in the conduct of research and in the exchange of ideas. It outlines the traditional systems of scholarly exchange in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and then concentrates on the efforts of these countries/regions to provide revolutionary ways of writing, publishing, and reading of information produced by members of the academic community. It also discusses the achievements as well as challenges in the process of technology innovations, highlighting the uniqueness of practices in scholarly communication in this part of the world.

http://www.chandospublishing.com/chandos_publishing_record_detail.php?ID=163 

This is the final post from the Rocky Mountain branch of Legal Research Plus. Many thanks to our friends at the University of Denver Westminster Law Library for their help these past weeks. I look forward to joining my colleagues in Palo Alto for future postings.