Law, Language and the Courtroom : Legal Linguistics and the Discourse of Judges book cover
1st Edition

Law, Language and the Courtroom
Legal Linguistics and the Discourse of Judges

ISBN 9780367721855
Published November 26, 2021 by Routledge
268 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores the language of judges. It is concerned with understanding how language works in judicial contexts. Using a range of disciplinary and methodological perspectives, it looks in detail at the ways in which judicial discourse is argued, constructed, interpreted and perceived. Focusing on four central themes - constructing judicial discourse and judicial identities, judicial argumentation and evaluative language, judicial interpretation, and clarity in judicial discourse - the book’s ultimate goal is to provide a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of current critical issues of the role of language in judicial settings. Contributors include legal linguists, lawyers, legal scholars, legal practitioners, legal translators and anthropologists, who explore patterns of linguistic organisation and use in judicial institutions and analyse language as an instrument for understanding both the judicial decision-making process and its outcome.

The book will be an invaluable resource for scholars in legal linguistics and those specialising in judicial argumentation and reasoning ,and forensic linguists interested in the use of language in judicial settings.

Table of Contents

Editors’ Introduction Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski & Gianluca Pontrandolfo

Foreword - Dieter Stein


1. The Judicial Eurolect and EU English: a genre profiling of CJEU judgments - Łucja Biel, Dariusz Koźbiał, Dariusz Müller

2. Evidentiality in US Supreme Court opinions: focus on passive structures with say and tell - Magdalena Szczyrbak

3. Standardization in judicial discourse: the case of the evolution of the French arrêts de la Cour de cassation and the use of forms in European procedural law - Margarete Flöter-Durr & Paulina Nowak-Korcz

4. The ‘consensus’ case law of the European Court of Human Rights in light of the Court’s legitimacy over time - Anne Lise Kjaer

5. Spider Woman beats Hulk: Baroness Hale and the prorogation of Parliament - Ruth Breeze


6. Making a corpus-linguistic U-turn in multilingual adjudication - Martina Bajčić

7. Evaluative language and strategic manoeuvring in the Justification of Judicial Decisions. The case of Teleological-Evaluative Argumentation - Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski

8. "…without proof of negligence or a causative connection…": On causal argumentation in Supreme Court of Ireland’s judgments on data protection - Davide Mazzi

9. A corpus-based comparative analysis of the evaluative lexicon found in judicial decisions on immigration - María José Marín Pérez


10. Pedagogies of Context: Language Ideology and Expression Rights at the European Court of Human Rights - Jessica Greenberg

11. Free speech, artistic expression and blasphemy laws within the ECHR margin of appreciation - Joanna Kulesza

12. The United States Supreme Court’s Language of Racism - Kathryn Stanchi

13. Do the Words of the American Constitution Still Matter? The Question of "the Meaning of Meaning", in Current Judicial Argumentation - Anna Tomza-Tulejska & James Patrick Higgins

14. How interdisciplinarity could improve the scientific value of legal studies of international judicial decisions - Marek Jan Wasinìski


15. Conveying the right message: principles and problems of multilingual communication at the European Court of Human Rights - James Brannan

16. Concision and Clarity in Italian Court Proceedings - Antonio Muraand Jacqueline Visconti

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Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Specialised Languages and Intercultural Communication, University of Lodz (Poland), where he has been teaching various seminars in specialised communication and legal discourse analysis. His research focuses on functional and corpus-based approaches to the study of judicial discourse in US and Polish courts. He has published widely in the area of variation in legal language, legal phraseology and communicating evaluative meanings in judicial opinions. He is now involved in researching legal argumentation in the justification of judicial decisions.

Gianluca Pontrandolfo holds a PhD in translation and interpreting studies. He is currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of Trieste (Italy) in the Department of Legal, Language, Interpreting and Translation Studies (IUSLIT), where he lectures on specialised translation from Spanish into Italian. His research interests include corpus linguistics, legal phraseology, legal translation training, Languages for Special Purposes, genre analysis and corpus-assisted critical discourse studies. He has published widely in the area of legal and judicial discourse from a contrastive corpus-based perspective.


`The editors are to be commended for compiling a volume which shows that language in judicial settings can be analysed from a multiplicity of perspectives, covering a variety of both common law and civil law countries and institutions. Several of the contributions are corpus-based, while others investigate thematic areas offering critical considerations on particular topics. Seen as a whole, the volume offers a series of fascinating glimpses into the world of judicial discourse. Readers may be pleasantly surprised to discover that the language of judges is evolving and adapting to the needs of modern society, perhaps more profoundly than is commonly thought!'

Christopher Williams, University of Foggia, Italy


`What do judges do when they judge? They have to separate reality from fiction; they have to know, to understand and "apply" a hyper complex system of regulations and they have to deal with expectations of legal colleagues (dogmatists), politicians and the public with particular understandings of law and justice. But above all: they "do" all this in and through language: interrogating process participants, interpreting and combining legal texts, delivering the judgment and defending it argumentatively against (potential) objections by lawyers and observing laymen - they create and reproduce "the" law as text and discourse. The book edited by Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski and Gianluca Pontrandolfo offers both a substantial overview of the recent interdisciplinary research and great new insights into the interdependencies of language practices, structures and patterns inside and outside the courtroom.'

Friedemann Vogel, University of Siegen, Germany

`Focussing principally but not exclusively on international courts, Law, Language and the Courtroom: Legal Linguistics and the Discourse of Judges looks at writing in the genres that present and publish the outcomes of the courts’ work. Readers will find a sophisticated guide to international courts’ discourse practices and their distinct judicial voices, including expression of the court’s own role in negotiating sceptical tolerance and fixed conviction. The judicial presence can show up in evaluative terms advancing a decision or, equally, in styles suggesting objectivity. Chapters in this volume, in addition, invite further research and inquiry into the relations between standardisation and clarity where diversity is a main – if not defining – condition.'

Janet Giltrow, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

`In this volume, Goźdź-Roszkowski and Pontrandolfo bring together a rich body of scholarship exploring the courtroom as a space for the development and shifting of legal norms. The essays in Law, Language and the Courtroom: Legal Linguistics and the Discourse of Judges explore the dynamic aspect of law through the performance of law in that space. From the particular challenge of the European courts, which have to adjudicate in a space between the transnational and national, to explorations of ‘judicial behaviour’ as a way to circumvent conflicts in interpretation of the US Constitution, the chapters in this volume put forward new theories and methodologies for understanding the relationship between language and law (making). This book presents a significant contribution to the field of law and language.'

Karen McAuliffe, University of Birmingham

`Law, Language and the Courtroom. Legal Linguistics and the Discourse of Judges, edited by Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski and Gianluca Pontrandolfo, is an inspiring book with many great lessons in legal linguistics. The volume provides useful linguistic insights into how legal argumentation is constructed, interpreted and perceived. It is a must for lawyers and linguists specialising in judicial argumentation and reasoning.'

Victoria Guillén Nieto, University of Alicante, Spain