IEL 1: Law of England and Wales: introduction for translators/Englisches Recht für Übersetzer

Introduction to English law for translators and/or non-lawyers

About this introduction

I’ve been considering revising some notes I used to use with students, originally entitled Introduction to English Law (should it be the Law of England and Wales, or Law in English?).

The original idea was that one booklet should briefly cover many areas of law. Then, if a written or at-sight translation text dealt with a topic that had not yet been taught, all the students could be referred to the relevant pages.

This was at the Institut für Fremdsprachen in Erlangen. At the SDI in Munich, I think the text used was Law Made Simple, by Colin Padfield (now by Barker and Padfield; ISBN of the 2007 edition is 978-0750684941).

But things have changed since 1994 (I was teaching till 2002, with more up-to-date handouts not integrated into the script). Indeed, the syllabus in Bavaria has changed and sounds much more useful for translators.

In the UK, Wales and Scotland now have their own parliaments. Some of the courts have changed their names. There is a Ministry of Justice.

The notes are intended for translators, and there is a place for both PC and non-PC terms. Thus The British Isles is a controversial term in some quarters, especially Ireland, but at the same time it’s used as a geographical term for all the islands without any intention to insult.

The whole complex of geographical and political terms is a tin of worms, to coin a phrase. I’ll introduce it in a separate entry. No comments on those terms under this entry.

1 thought on “IEL 1: Law of England and Wales: introduction for translators/Englisches Recht für Übersetzer

  1. Neat analysis. If Wales has its own Assembly and Scotland its own Parliament that doesn’t allow in Sassenachs, then I don’t understand constitutionally what Scotsmen Gordon Brown and Alexander Darling are doing down at Westminster and at 10 plus 11 Downing Street.

    PS Law in English would not be a good idea. Whenever I’be been at conferences where that has been proposed, an enraged Welsh lawyer or judge has shouted out: ‘it’s the law of England AND Wales’.

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