In an era marked by processes of economic, political and legal integration that are arguably unprecedented in their range and impact, the translation of law has assumed a significance which it would be hard to overstate. The following situations are typical. A French law school is teaching French law in the English language to foreign exchange students. Some US legal scholars are exploring the possibility of developing a generic or transnational constitutional law. German judges are referring to foreign law in a criminal case involving an honour killing committed in Germany with a view to ascertaining the relevance of religious prescriptions. European lawyers are actively working on the creation of a common private law to be translated into the 24 official languages of the European Union. Since 2004, the World Bank has been issuing reports ranking the attractiveness of different legal cultures for doing business. All these examples raise in one way or the other the matter of translation from a comparative legal perspective. However, in today’s globalised world where the need to communicate beyond borders arises constantly in different guises, many comparatists continue not to address the issue of translation. This edited collection of essays brings together leading scholars from various cultural and disciplinary backgrounds who draw on fields such as translation studies, linguistics, literary theory, history, philosophy or sociology with a view to promoting a heightened understanding of the complex translational implications pertaining to comparative law, understood both in its literal and metaphorical senses.
Notes on Contributors Acknowledgements Chapter 1 Translation Matters Simone Glanert, PART I – ADDRESSING TRANSLATABILITY Chapter 2 Translation as Ethics Alexis Nouss, Chapter 3 Who’s in Control? Translation, Cost and the Origins of Speciation Michael Cronin, Chapter 4 Legal Translation and the Problem of Heteroglossia Kwai Hang Ng, Chapter 5 Catching the Spirit of the Law: From Translation to Co-Drafting Jean-Claude Gémar, PART II – THE SPECIFICITY OF COMPARATIVE LAW Chapter 6 Comparative Law and the (Im)Possibility of Legal Translation Jennifer Hendry, Chapter 7 Legal Translation and the ‘Contamination’ of Comparative Legal Research C.J.W. (Jaap) Baaij, Chapter 8 Translating Civil Law ‘Objectivity’ with an Adversarial Brain: An Ethnographic Perspective Shawn Marie Boyne, Chapter 9 The Powerless Translator: An Argument From Legal ‘Culturemes’ Raluca Bercea, PART III – TRANSLATION BEYOND TRANSLATION Chapter 10Translating Religious Principles into German Law: Boundaries and Contradictions Pascale Fournier and Régine Tremblay, Chapter 11 Of Friendless and Stained Men: Grafting Medieval Sanctions Onto Modern Democratic Law Luca Follis, Chapter 12 Abuse of Tax Law as a Language of Morality in Modern Times: A Comparative Analysis of France, Canada and Ireland Bénédicte Sage-Fuller and Ferdinand Prinz zur Lippe, Chapter 13 Withholding Translation Pierre Legrand, Index