Language plays an essential role both in creating law and in governing its implementation. Providing an accessible and comprehensive introduction to this subject, Language and Law:
describes the different registers and genres that make up spoken and written legal language and how they develop over time;
analyses real-life examples drawn from court cases from different parts of the world, illustrating the varieties of English used in the courtroom by speakers occupying different roles;
addresses the challenges presented to our notions of law and regulation by online communication;
discusses the complex role of translation in bilingual and multilingual jurisdictions, including Hong Kong and Canada; and
provides readings from key scholars in the discipline, including Lawrence Solan, Peter Goodrich, Marianne Constable, David Mellinkoff, and Chris Heffer.
With a wide range of activities throughout, this accessible textbook is essential reading for anyone studying language and law or forensic linguistics.
Alan Durant is Professor of Communication in the School of Law at Middlesex University, London. Janny HC Leung is an Associate Professor in the School of English at University of Hong Kong.
A Introduction: Key Concepts 1 What Kind of Variety is `Legal Language'? 2 The Historical Development of Legal English 3 Legal Genres 4 Participant Roles and Speech Styles in the Courtroom 5 Persuasion in Court 6 Interpreting Meaning in Legislative Texts 7 The Vocabulary of Legal Power 8 Legal Protection and Regulation of Language 9 Forensic Evidence 10 Legal Order and Linguistic Diversity B Development: Contemporary Approaches 1 Linguistic Features of Legal Language 2 Functions of Legal Language 3 Genre Analysis of Legal Texts 4 Spoken Discourse in the Courtroom 5 Linguistic Strategies Used by Lawyers 6 Pragmatics and Legal Interpretation 7 Legal Speech Acts 8 Disputing `Ordinary Language' 9 Techniques in Forensic Linguistics 10 Linguistic Challenges in Bilingual and Multilingual Legal Order C Exploration: Analyses and Examples 1 Attitudes towards Legal Language 2 Reforming Legal Language 3 Reading a Statute 4 Style and Restrictions in Courtroom Interaction 5 Rhetorical Techniques in Legal Advocacy 6 Deciding Legal Meaning 7 Performatives in Speech and Writing 8 Misleading Language in Adverts 9 Language Data as Evidence 10 Same Law, Different Texts D Extension: Engaging with the Scholarship 1 Law as a Profession of Words 2 Public Understanding of Legal Language 3 The Language of Jury Trial 4 Courtroom Language: Theory and Practice 5 Talking the Language of Lawyers 6 Perspectives on Legal Interpretation 7 Understanding Legal Speech Acts and Rules 8 Language Struggles Online 9 Resolving Disputed Meaning in Court 10 Bilingualism and Jury Service