sabato 25 agosto 2007
Per circorscrivere il campo di ricerca offerto dallo stesso portale, ho preferito scegliere da serie televisive che riguardano o hanno riguradato processi e colloqui con avvocati.
Ne ho individuate due: la prima riguarda clip estratti dalla serie televisiva inglese “Coronation Street”.
Il processo di Tracy Barlows offre esempi di procedure processuali e formule di rito tipiche di un’aula di tribunale.
Watch out for il giuramento dell’accusato quando viene chiamato a depositare
La seconda riguarda i clip estratti dalla serie televisiva americana, “Judge Judy”.
La trasmissione ruota intorno alla figura carismatica del Giudice Judy, una personalià unica, che gestisce i suoi casi con un tocco decisamente autoritario ed indisponente, ma che assicura il divertimento del pubblico americano.
Vi propongo due dei tanti episodi.. Look out for them.
1. Una coppia madre-figlia dichiara di essere stata truffata: dopo aver speso una bella somma per un’asta su e-bay convinte di aver comprato due cellulari, si vedono recapitare a casa la stampa di una foto del suddetto cellulare. L’accusata tenta una difesa d’ufficio sostenendo che la sua asta parlava di una foto, ma viene brutalmente messa in riga dal Giudice Judy.
2. Un gestore di un negozio di lubrificanti ha una storia con una ragazza di 16 anni dalla quale riceve diverse somme di denaro per ovviare a spese che lui dice di non poter coprire. La ragazza infatuata si presta ingenuamente al prestito convinta di avere presto i suoi soldi “back”. Quando l’uomo decide di tornare da sua moglie, la giovane ragazza lo cita in giudizio chiedendo la restituzione delle somme prestate e lo accusa di aver vandalizzato la sua macchina. Giudice Judy con tono deciso aiuta l’accusa a realizzare il tranello in cui si è cacciata da sola non risparmiando la difesa dal suo tagliente giudizio: “ a loser”.
I più volenterosi potrebbero provare a scrivere qualche dialogo...
martedì 21 agosto 2007
Premio maggiorazione si potrà ottenere anche risultando parte attiva nella pubblicazione di lavori sul blog – previa iscrizione o espletamento delle task assegnate.
Tale maggiorazione, aggiunta al punteggio raggiunto in seduta d’esame, agevolerà il candidato nel superamento della prova;
- Candidato/a non aderente al Progetto Glossario__ punteggio acquisito in seduta d’esame = 25 punti - esame non superato :-(
-Candidato/a aderente al Progetto Glossario_ punteggio acquisito in seduta d’esame = 25 punti + 10 punti ottenuti dal contributo progetto glossario - esame superato :-)
MODALITA’ DI ESPLETAMENTO
1. Il/la candidato/a dovrà scegliere una sezione da analizzare, dal libro di testo, concordando il numero di pagine con la docente (minimo n°6 pagine).
2. Nella sezione concordata il/la candidato/a dovrà estrapolare circa 15 voci che gli/le risultano sconosciute, nella fattispecie verbi, aggettivi, sostantivi, locuzioni avverbiali, espressioni latine, o definizioni di concetti come limited partnership o corporate veil. . Dovranno, in ogni modo, essere inserite solo voci che appartengono al linguaggio giuridico, eccetto per le locuzioni avverbiali, il cui utilizzo non si limita certo all’area legale.
3. Per ogni parola così selezionata il candidato dovrà:
A. Fornire la traduzione in italiano della voce
B. Spiegare la voce in inglese, facendosi aiutare da un buon dizionario monolingue o risorse on line, indicando la qualifica grammaticale e ricostruendo, laddove è possibile altre voci.
C. riportare almeno 3 esempi concreti dove la parola viene utilizzata
4. L’elaborato potrà essere pubblicato sotto forma di commento a questo post, il quale sarà monitorato dalla prof. M. Lombardi che provvederà altresì ad assegnare il punteggio ricevuto utile al calcolo del punteggio minimo per l’esame.
ESEMPIO DI LAVORO
embezzlement – (n.) appropriazione indebita The fraudulent appropriation by a person to his/her own use or benefit of property or money entrusted to him/her by another. –embezzle (v) –embezzler (the person)
1..“Elizabeth Ann Osborne, 52, who resigned in October after 31 years at the space agency, pleaded guilty of embezzling public money as part of an agreement made with the U.S. Attorney's Office on July 17, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.
2. “An owner-manager can loose a great deal of money before even suspecting that embezzlement might be going on.”
Writ - (n) mandato, ordine, ordinanza .It is a formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial jurisdiction, usually a court or a judge, directing a person or entity to perform certain act or abstain from doing certain acts till such pendency of the writ.
Writ of subpoena = mandato di comparizione
1 The clerk shall issue a writ of subpoena, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall complete it before service”.
2 NEFEJ filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday against the government's order to stop the broadcasting of the BBC Nepali Service on Radio Sagarmatha.
forfeiture – ( n) confisca The concept of forfeiture is used in a variety of settings in the legal system. The loss of money, property, rights, or privileges due to a breach of legal obligation.
forfeit (v. confiscare, rinunciare, perdere) – forfeitable (adj. soggetto a confisca, confiscabile)
1 his property was declared forfeit to the State
2 by so doing, he forfeited his right to stand for election così facendo, rinunciò al diritto di candidarsi alle elezioni.
3 Some critics of asset forfeiture want to end the practice altogether. Others agree with police that forfeiture is a useful law enforcement tool; their objection is to what they consider a police conflict of interest.
- Potrebbe scegliere di lavorare sulla unit 2 o sulla unit 5. Può cominciare dalle voci scelte dal vocabulary trainer http://cdextras.cambridge.org/VocabTrainer/intlegalenglish/, al quale magari aggiungerne altre che trova interessanti nella unit.
Si ricordi inoltre di trascrivere
- le voci in ordine alfabetico
- gli esempi numerati (consistente sempre con due esempi). Gli esempi devono rientrare nel contesto dell'area analizzata. Apprezzati esempi originali!!.
- attenzione alle scelte di stile: cercare di essere coerente.
- inserire la definizione in inglese solo laddove è necessaria. In caso di locuzioni avverbiali, potrebbe bastare anche solo la traduzione.
- inserire solo voci il cui significato è risultato difficile
sabato 11 agosto 2007
JUDGE: The charge here is theft of frozen chickens. Are you the defendant?
DEFENDANT: No, sir, I'm the guy who stole the chickens.
This rather funny interaction between a judge and a defendant shows how difficult legal language could be for the average person, let alone the complexity resulting from written texts.
For years and years the message coming from ordinary people has been and still is: clear communication. Since the ‘70s the plain English Movement born in America has been working to make government agencies, businesses, and professional organizations to revise their publications and to write in plain English.
Plain English Movement influenced legislation as well as education. Special laws came into effect to regulate the comprehensibility of consumer contracts. New York enacted America's first general plain language law in 1978, and several states have followed. Most states now require straightforward language in specific transactions, especially insurance policies.
Eg- subpoena is now a witness summons, an in camera hearing is now a private hearing, and a writ is now a claim form. Even the venerable term plaintiff has been replaced by claimant.
If you have an interest for the ways in which language and the law work together you can look up on the web
The Scottish Parliament have placed a great emphasis on drafting bills and legislation in plain English. They have in fact produced a booklet which deals with the issue in great details.
Reporting from the Scottish Parliamen website
Chapter 1 - what is plain language? - explains what plain language is and gives some historical context to its association with the law.
Chapter 2 - drafting legislation in plain language - makes some objective observations about the interaction between the desire to use plain language and the constraints placed on the legislative drafter.
Chapter 3 - international comparisons - describes steps which legislative drafters in other countries have taken to enhance the clarity and accessibility of legislation.
Chapter 4 - plain language techniques - gives some examples of techniques currently associated with plain language drafting.
There is also an interesting article "Progetto Chiaro and the Plain Language Movement" by Prof. Christopher Williams, published in Clarity, which illustrates the situation of plain language in Italy. He claims that it is the language of public administration in need of being revised rather than the proper legal Italian language.
Here are some advances on how to write in plain English, included in How to Write Good Legal Stuff by Eugene Volokh, and J. Alexander Tanford.
While we read what is considerd bad legal English cover the part related to good writers and try to guess how you could change the sentences in “good English
10. Using passive rather than active voice
Bad legal writers use passive voice
"the ruling was made by the judge" "the complaint was filed by the plaintiff" "it was held that..."
Good writers use the active voice
"the judge ruled""the plaintiff filed a complaint" "the court held..."
Exception. Passive voice should be used only when you do not know the actor, or when the result is important.
"the documents were mysteriously destroyed." (actor unknown)"bill clinton was elected anyway" (result important)
Bad legal writers turn verbs into nouns
"reached a conclusion""granted a continuance""involved in a collision" "take action"
Good writers just use the first verb
8. Fear of calling things by their names
Bad legal writers are afraid to call things by name
The plaintiff, the defendant, the day in question, the scene of the accident, her place of employment
Good writers give their characters names
Susan Jones, Michael fitzhugh, June 3rd, in the parking lot, pizza hut
Bad legal writers use run-on sentences containing numerous qualifying phrases
"the court in chester v. Morris, a case involving a similar traffic accident, held that a person riding a bicycle must adhere to the same standards as a person driving a car, although it limited its holding to the facts of that case, which included the fact that the bicyclist was intoxicated.
Good writers use several short sentences
chester v. Morris involved a similar traffic accident. The court held that a bicyclist must adhere to the same standards as a person driving a car. The opinion is limited to situations in which the bicyclist is intoxicated.
6. Qualifying phrases
Bad legal writers put qualifying phrases in the middle of sentences
"the court, although it limited its holding, held that a bicyclist must adhere to traffic rules" "the court has, although with limits, held that a bicyclist must adhere to traffic rules" "the court held, although with limits, that a bicyclist must adhere to traffic rules"
Good writers put qualifying phrases at the end of sentences or eliminate them altogether
"the court held that a bicyclist must adhere to traffic rules, although it limited its holding ..." "the court held that a bicyclist must adhere to traffic rules"
Bad legal writers list every known
"every town, city, or village""cease and desist" "give, devise and bequeath""null and void"
Good writers use a single word
"every municipality""stop""give" "void"
4. Meaningless adverbs used in a vain effort to make a weak point appear stronger
Bad legal writers use meaningless adverbs
Chester v. Morris clearly held that bicyclists must adhere to the rules of the road. The fact that he was drunk is extremely important the holding is very narrow. It is really important that he was not wearing a helmet. He was undoubtedly drunk. It is manifestly obvious that
Good writers diligently avoid useless adverbs
Chester v. Morris held that bicyclists must adhere to the rules of the road. The fact that he was drunk is important the holding is narrow. It is important that he was not wearing a helmet. He was drunk. It is obvious that drunken bicyclists are dangerous
3. Meaningless weasel words used because you're afraid to take a position
Bad legal writers have a fear of being wrong and use weasel words
Alleged, maybe, quite possibly, at best/at least, might be, seems to, appears to, perhaps, so-called, implicates, probably, tends to
2. Double negatives
Bad legal writer use double negatives
"not uncommon" "failed to show inability" "not insignificant" "not uncomplicated" "no small part" "not incapable" "not inappropriate"
Good writers use single positives
"common""showed ability""significant""complicated""large part""capable""appropriate"
1. Phrases with absolutely no meaning whatsoever
And the clearest sign of the bad legal writer is the use of totally meaningless (and usually pompous) phrases
"I would like to point out that chester v, morris was overruled" "I would argue that chester v. Morris is not applicable.""it should be noted that chester v. Morris was decided before the statute was amended.""evidence that the defendant was drunk does not operate to remove the issue of contributory negligence""despite the fact that the defendant was drunk, he operated his bicycle carefully." "in fact, he should be commended.""during the course of his ride, he never fell off his bicycle""it has been determined that he was wearing his helmet.""it is obvious that a drunken bicyclist is a danger on crowded streets." "it is clear that he had the right of way. He was clearly justified in crossing the street"
Good writers omit them
"chester v, morris was overruled""chester v. Morris is not applicable.""chester v. Morris was decided before the statute was amended.""evidence that the defendant was drunk does not remove the issue of contributory negligence""despite the defendant's drunkenness, he operated his bicycle carefully." "he should be commended.""during his ride, he never fell off his bicycle""he was wearing his helmet.""a drunken bicyclist is a danger on crowded streets." "he had the right of way. He was justified in crossing the street"
 Eugene Volokh, J. Alexander Tanford, How to Write Good Legal Stuff, Indiana Univ – Bloomington, 2001
Charter Of Fundamental Rights Of The European Union
The peoples of Europe, in creating [………….], are resolved to share a [….]
Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of […………]
The Union contributes to […………………….]
To this end, it is necessary to […………………….]
This Charter reaffirms, with due regard for[…………………….]
CHAPTER I DIGNITY
Article 1 Human dignity
Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected.
Article 2 Right to life
1. Everyone has the right to life.
2. No one shall be condemned to the death penalty, or executed.
CHAPTER III EQUALITY
Article 22 Cultural, religious and linguistic diversity
The Union shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.
Article 24 The rights of the child
1. Children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being.
CHAPTER V CITIZENS' RIGHTS
2. Members of the European Parliament shall be elected by direct universal suffrage in a free and secret ballot.
CHAPTER VI JUSTICE
Article 48 Presumption of innocence and right of defence
1. Everyone who has been charged shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
CHAPTER VII GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 54 Prohibition of abuse of rights
Nothing in this Charter shall be interpreted as implying any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognised in this Charter or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for herein.
Act Establishing the Coronation Oath, 1689 in Great Britain
Whereas by the law and ancient usage of this Realm, the Kings and Queens thereof have taken a solemn oath upon the Evangelists at their respective coronations, to maintain the statutes, laws, and customs of the said Realm, and all the people and inhabitants thereof, in their spiritual and civil rights and properties: but forasmuch as the oath itself on such occasion administered, hath heretofore been framed in doubtful words and expressions, with relation to ancient laws and constitutions at this time unknown: to the end therefore that one uniform oath may be in all times to come taken by the Kings and Queens of this Realm, and to them respectively administered at the times of their and every of their coronation: may it please your Majesties that it may be enacted: [……………..]
The Party TSOLUTIONS International Language Programmes TS (hereinafter called TSOLUTIONS), registered office is VIALE BERLINGUER 16 BERNALDA MT ITALY, organises and acts as LANGUAGE CONSULTANT for overseas bodies who offer and supply students and others with tuition and accommodation for language courses in the countries concerned, and may arrange insurance for students. TSOLUTIONS as LANGUAGE CONSULTANT effect all bookings and reservation for students unless notified to the contrary, and they may, at their discretion, intercede without charge on behalf of students who become in dispute with any persons or bodies in connection with any matters arising provided however TSOLUTIONS shall not therefore be liable or become liable in any way in connection with any such matter nor does it vouch for [….].
[….. ] All bookings are subject to the terms and conditions of the school, Travel Operator or other Principal and are their responsibility.
"The student" means a person or persons who have signed the application form for such a language course (or if under age a parent or person in loco parentis of such person or persons).
In consideration of the price agreed to be paid for its principal courses and accommodation as set out on the enrolment form the following terms and conditions shall apply as between the parties.
Article 1 This agreement
1. This agreement is legally binding when the enrolment form is completed and signed by the student and accepted by TSOLUTIONS or if effect by telephone when the registration form has been completed by TSOLUTIONS with the insertion of the student's passport details AND/OR after TSOLUTIONS have received the agreed deposit.
2. The specific written approval of TSOLUTIONS is required for any [..].
3. The Laws of Italy shall apply to this agreement.
Article 2 […………]
Language School Terms and Conditions
Students should contact their local Embassy, Consulate or High Commission to ensure they are allowed to enter and study in their chosen country.
For students wishing to study in the USA, Embassy CES is authorised under Federal Law to enrol nonimmigrant students. Proof of sufficient funds to meet tuition and living expenses must be sent with the Enrolment Form in order for us to issue the I-20 form:
A current bank statement or a letter from your bank
A letter guaranteeing support from your parent or employer or sponsor
A notarised affidavit of support
In the UK no visa support documentation will be provided until all fees have been received.
Last Will And Testament of Elvis Presley Recorded August 22, 1977
I, Elvis A. Presley, a resident and citizen of Shelby County, Tennessee, being of sound mind and disposing memory, do hereby make, publish and declare this instrument to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking any and all wills and codicils by me at any time heretofore made.
Item I Debts, Expenses and Taxes
I direct my Executor, hereinafter named, to pay all of my matured debts and my funeral expenses, as well as the costs and expenses of the administration of my estate, as soon after my death as practicable…
Item II Instruction Concerning Personal Property: Enjoyment in Specie
I hereby expressly authorize my Executor and my Trustee, respectively and successively, to permit any beneficiary of any and all trusts created hereunder to enjoy in specie the use or benefit of any household goods, chattels, or other tangible personal property (exclusive of choses in action, cash, stocks, bonds or other securities) which either my Executor or my Trustees may receive in kind, and my Executor and my Trustees shall not be liable for any consumption, damage, injury to or loss of any tangible property so used, nor shall the beneficiaries of any trusts hereunder or their executors of administrators be liable for any consumption, damage, injury to or loss of any tangible personal property so used.
Notice Of Appeal Of Plaintiff Paula Jones filed April 28, 1998.
PAULA JONES, Plaintiff, v. WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON and DANNY FERGUSON, Defendants.
CIVIL ACTION NO. LR-C-94-290 Judge Susan Webber Wright
Notice is hereby given that Paula Jones, plaintiff in the above-named case, hereby appeals the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit from the Judgment and the Memorandum Opinion and Order signed and entered in this action on April 1, 1998, and from all interlocutory orders merged into that judgement, including, without being limited to, the following: the Memorandum Opinion and Order signed and entered in this action on August 22, 1997; the Order signed and entered in this action on September 9, 1997; the Order signed and entered in this action on November 24, 1997; and the Order signed and entered in this action on January 29, 1998.
Written Legal English is characterised by the following features:
- Long, complex sentences rich in qualificazional insertions which often create syntactic discontinuity
- tendency to be wordy, unclear, pompous and dull
Wordiness of legal language:
“ Now therefore, in consideration of the premises, and re-presentations, warranties, covenants and undertakings for the parties hereinafter set forth, and for other good and valuable considerations, the parties agree among themselves as follows”
- only complete major sentences: eg. statements, no question, occasional commands
- preference for repetiontion rather than subtitution with pronoun references
- Frequent use of passive
No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Full fees must be paid before visa documentation is issued. Students may not start their course unless full payment has been received.
- Legal sentences have an underlying logical structure: "if X, then Z shall be (do) Y" - "if X" = conditional/ concessive adverbial clauses: on the expiration ....../ subject to./ on conditions that, in accordance with, in compliance with, for the purpose of
- Preference for nouns rather than verbs reached a conclusion" rather than "concluded"; "granted a continuance" rather than "continued"; "involved in a collision" rather than "collided: "take action" rather than "act"
- Verbal groups are of the type: modal auxiliary (shall) + be + past participle : shall is used to express what is to be the obligatory consequence of a legal decision, and not simply as a marker of future tense.
- Preference for archaic words and phrases: eg: duly, deemed, expiration, terminated (words); term of years, upon the death of (collocations); made and signed, terms and conditions, able and willing (synonyms are coordinated) “thereupon he handed in his resignation”
- A large number of French words, eg: proposal, effect, society, asurance, insured, schedule, duly, signed, agreeing, policy, subject, rules, form, terms, conditions, date, entrace, accepted, agreement, judgement, pleadings, defendant, appeal, attorneys
- Frequent use of Latin words: bais, declaration, registered, stated, part, inter alia, ex parte (on behalf of), ratio legis (the reason for/the principle behind), habeas corpus, alibi, bona fide, quorum, nolo contendere, sui juris;
- Predominace of an impersonal style of writing by using passive forms and starting the sentence (typical of legislative text) with everyone, every person or no one, no person
Everyone who has been charged shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
No one shall be held guilty of any criminal [....]
- Use of doublets and triplets. Tendency to string together two or three words to convey what is usually a single legal concept, e.g. null and void, fit and proper, perform and discharge, dispute, controversy or claim, and promise, agree and covenant.
- Use of phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs play a large role in legal English, and are often used in a quasi-technical sense, e.g. parties enter into contracts, put down deposits, serve [documents] upon other parties, write off debts, and so on.
- Frequent use of formal words and expressions
Approach the bench instead of come here
The deceased and decedent
Arrested in flagrante delicto instead of caught in the act
In court: Your honour ……, may it please the court
In contracts: whereas ….., time is of the essence … , from the beginning of the world
In court, during an oath: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States
For those who have a deeper interest in the subject, look at Peter Tiersma's professional web page http://www.languageandlaw.org/. He is a professor of law at Loyola Law school in Los Angeles with a real passion for language and law and lots of works being published on the subject.
 Article 4 of the Charter of Foundamental Rights of the EU, Nizza 2000
 Section on Tuition & Accommdation fees from a School of English Terms and Conditions
 Article 48-49 of the Charter of Foundamental Rights of the EU, Nizza 2000
 G. Garzone, R. Salvi, Legal English, Egea, 2007, p.12
What is legal English?
We could attempt to define legal English discourse as a language made up of several kinds of registers ranging from the spoken to the written language
- Courtroom proceedings eg. - instructions given to jury members, - cross examination:
- Counsel to witness
- Counsel to defendant/claimant
- Arbitration Proceedings
- Lawyer-client interviews
- Lawyer to lay person
- Lawyer to lawyer interactions eg. - advising, negotionating
- Lectures/seminars on law or legal topics
- Contracts /Agreements/Covenants
- Guarantees & Warranties
- E.U. Directives
- Case reports
- Academic essays/Books about law
- Exam answers on legal questions
- Articles about legal issues
If you look up on wikipedia you will find a lot more details, though not exhaustive they will help you have a better understanding of what we mean by legal English.
The author goes from the definition of the word to its historical development, including its features and some information about the legal education.
For those who have a deeper interest in the subject, look at Peter Tiersma's professional web page http://www.languageandlaw.org/. He is a professor of law at Loyola Law school in Los Angeles with a real passion for language and law and lots of works being published on the subject.. Here you will find not only a well presented history of legal English language with its linguistic features but also a lot of good example of old prescriptive texts, as well as updated information on forensic linguistics which can greatly contribute to enriching knoweledge about this greatly discussed subject area.