Judgment and judgement

It’s not a secret that UK legal usage prefers the spelling judgment (Urteil) and general usage judgement (Urteilsvermögen).

I do sometimes wonder about mixing spellings in one text, but not so Lord Neuberger:

Judgments are the means through which the judges address the litigants and the public at large, and explain their reasons for reaching their conclusions. Judges are required to exercise judgement – and it is clear that without such judgement we would not have a justice system worthy of the name – and they give their individual judgement expression through their Judgments. Without judgement there would be no justice. And without Judgments there would be no justice, because decisions without reasons are certainly not justice: indeed, they are scarcely decisions at all. It is therefore an absolute necessity that Judgments are readily accessible. Such accessibility is part and parcel of what it means for us to ensure that justice is seen to be done, to borrow from Lord Hewart CJ’s famous phrase.

I’m not sure about the capitalization of Judgments.

The source is the first annual BAILII Lecture on 20 November 2012 , No Judgment – No Justice.

Via Binary Law

LATER NOTE: for more detail, commentary and links, see Peter Harvey’s post.

Lord Justice Leveson

The Leveson Report, the result of the Leveson enquiry on press law, has been published today. The Guardian summarizes:

Leveson said that his proposed new law would enshrine “for the first time” a “legal duty on the government to protect the freedom of the press”. It would also allow the new body to set up a low-cost libel and privacy tribunal to handle complaints instead of the courts – and provide “benefits in law” to those who signed up. Those who do not sign up would be denied the ability to reclaim the often substantial costs of litigation – even if they win – from complainants bringing libel, privacy or other media related actions.

The question now is: why do so many people who should know better think that Lord Justice Leveson is a lord?

A Lord Justice is a judge in the Court of Appeal.
Judges in the House of Lords were Lords. Now the court is the Supreme Court.

Thus Dame Anne Judith Rafferty is a Lord Justice of Appeal
(plural apparently Lord Justices).


1. There has been a long hiatus here, partly because I was away for three weeks and partly because I seem to have been hit by more than one nasty virus. So here are some links to be getting on with:

In die tageszeitung, Katy Derbyshire (as I spell her name) writes (in German) about the lack of English translations of German literature.

Man muss sich das Leben einer der wenigen des Deutschen mächtigen Lektorinnen bei einem dieser Riesenhäuser dagegen als recht frustrierend vorstellen. Wozu sich jeden Tag schick machen und die quälende U-Bahn-Fahrt auf sich nehmen, wenn man doch keine deutschsprachigen Bücher verlegen kann? Anna Kelly arbeitet bei Hamish Hamilton im Hause Penguin. “In den letzten paar Jahren habe ich einige Sachen gelesen, die mich für das begeistert haben, was im Moment auf Deutsch geschrieben wird, die ich aber trotzdem nicht verlegen konnte.” Zum Glück hat Hamish Hamilton längst die Vorzüge des Internets für sich entdeckt und gibt eine Online-Literaturzeitschrift heraus. Am 3. Dezember kommt Anna Kellys Baby: eine Sonderausgabe von Five Dials mit 13 deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsautoren, von Juli Zeh bis Ulrike Almut Sandig. “Das ist ein Weg für mich, einige dieser starken Stimmen mit der Welt zu teilen. Zahlreiche Autoren schreiben gerade wunderbare Sachen auf Deutsch, aber diese Ausgabe kann nicht mehr als eine Handvoll davon zeigen.” Hoffen wir, dass ihre Begeisterung ansteckend wirkt.

2. The People’s Daily was fooled by an article in The Onion which described Kim Jong-Un as ‘the sexiest man alive’, according to the Economist’s Analects blog:

SOMETIMES China flexes its soft power without really having any idea it has done so. That appears to be what happened on November 27th when the People’s Daily Online, a website of the Communist Party’s English-language mouthpiece, republished an article by the Onion, a satirical version of an American newspaper, declaring North Korea’s Kim Jong Un the “Sexiest Man Alive”. The republication, complete with a gallery of 55 photographs of the North Korean dictator at work and play, quickly became an internet sensation.


..“He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at the same time,” Onion Style and Entertainment editor Marissa Blake-Zweibel said. “And that’s the quality that makes him the sort of man women want, and men want to be. He’s a real hunk with real intensity who also knows how to cut loose and let his hair down.”

3. At Ü wie Übersetzen, (in German) Lisa John explains in detail how to download and use the new set of translation memories from the EU translation corpus (if I can correctly so describe it).

And there too, if you missed it: Lisa has often tried to improve the German Wikipedia entries on CAT tools for translators and there is a German Wikipedia ‘editor’ who keeps removing descriptions of programs. I’ve seen this extreme example cited in a mailing list as an argument why one should not pay money to support Wikipedia. Here is the latest blog post on this topic .

Delia Venables on legal resources/Delia Venables: UK-Recht im Internet

Delia Venables, who I’ve recommended before, was one of the earliest sources of internet information on law in the UK. Her website on legal resources for the UK and Ireland would take a long time to click around. I usually look at the information for lawyers, in particular newspapers and journals and the best new sites on the legal web.

She has recently made her newsletter for lawyers free to access online, although for the printed or pdf version there is still a subscription. The November/December 2012 issue includes the following topics:

* Nick Holmes provides an essential guide to eBooks – options, formats, devices, readers and digital rights management.
* Peter Garsden of Abney Garsden McDonald reviews the success of going paperless. It took over 7 years but it’s worth it in the end.
* Nigel Miller of Fox Williams provides 10 top tips for securing and managing domain names. Domain names are the basis of ecommerce.
* Barrister Amanda Millmore reviews the use of social media in the legal system – by police, as evidence, and in the community.
* Tom Hiskey describes his move from practice as a solicitor to running a legal technology startup company called “The Law Wizard”
* Sue Bramall of Berners Marketing compares the relative effectiveness of blogs and news sections. Which are best?
* Patti Havers describes the history of the Havers Directory and the new look, and new facilities of “Havers – Defining the Bar”.

There is a great deal of information on the site of interest not only to lawyers.

Economist on translation and the law

An article in The Economist on the growing demand for legal translation: Translating and the law.

It envisages this as a good prospect for underworked lawyers:

Specialised “e-discovery” software helps lawyers cull the masses of electronic data. But in international deals and lawsuits, such software must be run by cultural and linguistic experts to make sure the correct search terms are used and the right information is ferreted out. Translation is still something that computers do badly much of the time, especially when the topic (a drug patent, say) is a difficult one full of technical details.

The many law students wondering if the rotten legal job market will ever improve should take note. The twin forces of globalisation and technology may put many mediocre lawyers out of business. But those who master languages and computers may find themselves in demand.

There’s nothing wrong with lawyers translating – I am a Germanist who became a solicitor and spent 20 years teaching legal translation, for which there was at the beginning little demand and where I had to teach myself. But I hope those lawyers with language skills get some kind of training on what translation and working with related software involve, and above all have experience.

The article originates in New York and the discovery problems in the USA are particularly great. I think the patent translator Steve Vitek spends a lot of time telling his clients which Japanese patent documentation needs looking at more closely. I tell clients or potential clients what statutes or judgments are available in translation on the Internet and whether I think the translation is reliable. That sort of thing requires experience.

Tweeted by Helen Gibbons, retweeted by Kevin Lossner