Professor Heikki E.S. Mattila of the University of Lapland has published a book on comparative legal linguistics that looks interesting and expensive. The amazon.com page lets you look inside and see the full table of contents and an extract. The publisher’s page is fairly long too, so I’ll quote from that here:
Foreword; Foreword to the Finnish original; Part 1 General Introduction: Legal language and legal linguistics; The concept of legal language; Genres of legal language; Legal linguistics as a discipline; The importance of legal-linguistic knowledge; Structure and content of this book. Part 2 Legal Language as a Language for Special Purposes: Functions of Legal Language: Importance of the theory of communication; Achieving justice; Transmission of legal messages; Strengthening the authority of the law; Strengthening lawyers’ team spirit; Linguistic policy; The cultural task of legal language. Part 3 Characteristics of Legal Language: Precision; Information (over)load; Universality and aloofness; Systemic character; Structure and formalism in legal texts; Frequency of initializations and acronyms; Sentence complexity and diversity of language elements; Archaism and solemnity; Proper use of legal language. Legal Terminology: Legal concepts; Characteristics of legal terminology; Formation of legal terminology. The Major Legal Languages: The Heritage of Legal Latin; The importance of Roman law; History of legal Latin; Latin in modern legal languages; The communication value of legal Latin; Dictionaries of legal Latin. Legal German: History of legal German; Characteristics of legal German; International importance of legal German. Legal French: History of legal French; Characteristics of legal French; International position today. Legal English: The common law system; Development of legal English; Characteristics of legal English; Legal English as a global language. Part 4 Conclusion:Lexical comprehension and research needs;changes in legal-linguistic dominance in the international arena; Terminological interaction between legal languages; Problems of lexical comprehension; The need for jurilinguistic research on legal institutions and concepts; Foreign terms and other expressions; Index.
(Via DORES, which has a new set of references out on publications on language and law)