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01 April 2014

CONFERENCE: Words and Law (Maison Française d'Oxford, 28-29 April 2014)



Nomôdos signals a most interesting conference at the Maison Française d'Oxford, on the theme "Words and Law". Presentation:

Law is of course a language. Legal terms do have a specific meaning and we know that lawyers are very proud of that, but the frame of this legal terminology is also helpful in revealing a part of the legal mind. First, the legal terminology builds a sort of wall which shapes the identity of the law. But there is much to say about the different steps of the building of that wall. How did the lawyers choose the words among all the vocabulary; why did they prefer certain words? Why do some of them belong to the very ancient past and have others been invented? Whereas certain terms seem to be classic, a new definition can have transformed their significance. All these choices must be explored and the balance of the underlying forces be evaluated.

Different questions can be asked and different periods be investigated, as the legal terminology was first shaped by the Roman jurists, then by the glossators, then by the intellectuals of the Enlightenment. But specific attention will be given on the second part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, as then at least in France legal language acts as a controversial topic and a determining criterion of legal science. But specific attention should be paid to the issue of the language. Which language for which law? How can we understand that law can have its own language – Law French, Latin -, and how do vernacular languages manage with it? Finally, the ambition of the study-day is to get a comparative view of the growth of legal terminology. It is usual to point out the differences between civil law and common law. But if legal words are different, can the ways of constructing the legal terminology be compared?

Programme
Monday 28 april
Wharton Room, All Souls College
  • 9h-9h30. - Welcome Boudewijn Sirks (All Souls college, Oxford) and Introduction, Nader Hakim (Bordeaux).
Chair: Philippe Roussin (Maison Française d’Oxford).
  • 9h30-10h. - Jean-Christophe Gaven (Toulouse I), Discours juridique et primauté politique en 1789.
  • 10h-10h30. - Anne Simonin (Maison Française d’Oxford), Justine (1791) or the Romance of the Law of the Old Regime.
10h30-10h45. - Coffee break.
Chair: Fernanda Pirié (St Cross college, Oxford).
  • 10h45-11h15 - Paul Brand (All Souls college, Oxford), The technical vocabulary of English thirteenth century law.
  • 11h15-11h45 - Paul Hyams (Cornell University), Conversation and the Common Law in the French of 12th-Century England.
  • 11h45-12h15 - Matt Dyson (Trinity College, Cambridge), Terms of art: conditioning of lawyer, Latinist and layman in the last two centuries.
12h15-14h. – Lunch.
Chair: Mike Macnair (St Hugh’s college, Oxford)
  • 14h-14h30. - Guillaume Tusseau (Science-Po Paris), Bentham v. Judges and Co.: towards a linguistic criticism of legal hegemony.
  • 14h30-15h. - Philip Schofield (University college London): Bentham’s ‘Nomography’ manuscripts.
15h-15h30. - Tea.
Chair: Paul Brand (All Souls college, Oxford).
  • 15h30-16h. - Soazick Kerneis (Maison Française d’Oxford), Law and Language in the legal popular sources (second to fourth century).
  • 16h-16h30. - Thomas Charles-Edwards (Jesus college, Oxford), The Languages of law in early-medieval Ireland: Irish and Latin?
  • 16h30-17h. - Boudewijn Sirks (All Souls college, Oxford), The effect of philosophy on legal language: different experience of identity or just a different expression?
19h-19h30. - Drinks at St Hugh’s College.
19h30. - Dining.
Tuesday 29 April
Chair: Nader Hakim (Bordeaux).
  • 8h45-9h15. - Matthieu Soula (Bordeaux), Définitions et redefinitions de l’auteur à la lumière des principes civilistes XIXe-XXe siècles.
  • 9h15-9h45. - Pierre-Nicolas BarénotComparative views of French and English legal lexicography in the XIX century.
9h45-10h15 Coffee.

Chair: Boudewijn Sirks.
  • 10h15-10h45. - Mike MacnairThe anglisation of the Law French and Latin ordered by the Act of 1731.
  • 10h45-11h15. - Yann-Arzel Marc-Durelle (Paris 13), Lingua nova? Legislator’s words for a new Order, 1789-1794.
  • 11h15-11h45. - Olivier Jouanjan (Strasbourg), La texture du droit ou le droit comme travail de textes.
  • 11h45-12h15. - ClosureBoudewijn Sirks
12h15-13h30. - Lunch.


More information here.

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