The sixth edition of the Summer Institute of Jurilinguistics was held on 27 August 2012 at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. It was organized by the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative law (formerly known as the Quebec Research Centre of Private and Comparative Law), in collaboration with the other members of the Network of Jurilinguistic Centres. The Institute brought together more than 120 participants drawn from different fields with ties to Jurilinguistics.
The theme of the Institute was "Law(s), Languages(s) and Border(s)" and it was an ideal forum to think about the challenges of law and languages, in an era where physical, intellectual and linguistic borders are blurring.
The scholarly programme for the day was shared amongst two plenary sessions and three workshops. The plenary sessions offered a theoretical perspective on law, language and borders. The workshops allowed for exchanges that favoured discussion of the practical factors and the difficulties which are part and parcel of legal language in a context where borders are blurring.
The day opened with words of welcome from Professor Daniel Jutras, Dean of the Faculty of Law of McGill University. Then followed the first plenary session, an homage to Paul-André Crépeau and to jurilinguistics, moderated by Mtre France Allard.
First, the honourable Nicholas Kasirer, judge on the Quebec Court of Appeal, gave a presentation entitled Languages and Courtesy in Law. Following this contribution, Prof. Patrick Forget, of the Département des sciences juridiques of the Faculté de science politique et de droit of UQAM, gave a presentation entitled Les phraséologismes verbaux en droit : à la frontière de la langue commune et de la langue du droit.
There were two workshops in the course of the morning. The first was moderated by Professor Adrian Popovici and concerned the concept of illicitness (illicéité). Led by Professor Mariève Lacroix, of the Civil Law Section of the University of Ottawa, the workshop entitled Au-delà des frontières de l’illicéité : exploration conceptuelle à travers un prisme linguistique described the concept of illicitness and its legal use in Quebec, French, Swiss and German laws in terms of extra-contractual liability. The second workshop, moderated by Professor Robert Leckey, discussed the importance of keywords and linguistic and conceptual shorthand implicit to constitutional law. It was led by Professor Mark Antaki, of the Faculty of Law of McGill University.
The afternoon plenary section, chaired by Alexandra Popovici, doctoral candidate at the Faculté de droit of Université Laval and researcher at the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law, was led by Mrs. Valérie Boudreau, terminologist at the Translation Bureau (Government of Canada). Mrs. Boudreau’s presentation discussed the sources used in the standardization of common law in French.
The last plenary session, moderated by Mtre Laurence Bich-Carrière, explored law and the borders of language. This session was a superb opportunity for sustained inquiry into legal language and, specifically, the challenges associated with the specialized language of law. Professor Gérald Delabre of Université Lyon 3 discussed the linguistic aspects of his teaching experiences. His presentation was entitled Langues frontières du droit et droit aux frontières des langues. Following this presentation, Professor Lionel Smith, Director of the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law, presented a case study on the pitfalls of the bilingual statutory interpretation.
The sixth Summer Institute was a striking success, a reminder that these institutes remain exemplary as scholarly encounters concerning jurilinguistics. The organizers, the administrative officers of each of the centres which form the Network of Jurilinguistics Centres, and the participants, all expressed their enthusiastic reaction to this meeting.
Programme: 6th Summer Institute of Jurilinguistics [pdf]
This day was made possible due to the support of Justice Canada. The Crépeau Centre also extends its thanks to the Dean’s Office.