10/06/2021

The second Legal Language Event explores the challenges and difficulties of this specialised language

Experts in the field share their experiences at both the national and international level

The second Legal Language Event promoted by UIC Barcelona’s Faculty of Humanities explored the challenges and difficulties posed by this specialised field of language, with contributions from national and international experts who shared their experience on the matter.

The first session on Thursday 27 May featured academics studying the resources available for achieving clear legal language. First, lecturer Estrella Montolío from the University of Barcelona presented her research on expressions of assertive mitigation in a corpus of Spanish sentences. Then, lecturer Iria da Cunha from the National Distance Education University explained the resources and tools that currently exist for drafting legal texts using clear language, drawing particular attention to the new program “ArtText Claro”. Lecturer Paulina Meza from the University of La Serena concluded this first block of presentations by proposing a tool that assesses clear writing in legal texts.

Then, two lecturers of the University of Barcelona, M. Ángeles García Asensio and Irene Yúfera, spoke about the procedures in place for reproducing third-party discourse in judicial decisions. They were followed by Gianluca Pontrandolfo, lecturer at the University of Trieste, who spoke about the discursive comparison between national legal language and Spanish legal Eurolecte, in reference to a study based on JustClar. To close the first day of the Event, lecturer Dámaso Izquierdo from the University of Navarra spoke about mitigation in a corpus of sentences on crimes against the right to honour.

The second day of the Event on Friday 28 May consisted of a round-table discussion moderated by lecturers Ricardo Jiménez and Maria Mut on the current use of legal language in Spain. Other participants included Supreme Court magistrate, Ignacio Sancho; the professor of the University of Navarra, Ruth Breeze; Supreme Court lawyer and analyst for the Jurisprudence Analysis Team of CENDOJ-CGPJ, Raúl Cancio; partner lawyer of Fieldfisher-Jausàs, Pablo Franquet and judge of the Court of First Instance No. 6 in Fuenlabrada, Elena de Oro, who reflected on how the language used in judicial decisions can be improved; how to recover the tradition correct writing; the training judges receive in this field; how the balance between over-simplification and respect for the nature of legal texts can be achieved, and the importance of judges’ spoken language.

This second Legal Language Event was organised by Ricardo Jiménez, lecturer at the UIC Barcelona Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Law, and lecturers Maria Mut and Pilar Rey from the Faculty of Law. The dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Judith Urbano, introduced the Event’s first presentation.