3.1 Šarčević

| August 11, 2020

Susan Šarčević. (2013). Multilingual Lawmaking and Legal (Un)Certainty in the European Union. International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse 3(1), 1-29.

Abstract: In recent years multilingual lawmaking in the European Union (EU) has come under increasing attack for its failure to provide greater legal certainty to Union citizens. This article examines the extent to which EU multilingual legislation satisfies the requirements for the legal certainty of citizens recognized by human rights law. At the heart of the problem is legal translation which is inherently imperfect, thus resulting in divergences between the 23 authentic texts of EU legislation. While other bilingual and multilingual jurisdictions can rely on the courts to correct the imperfections of legal translation, an analysis of the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union shows there is no reason to expect the Court to strike a balance between legal certainty and multilingualism if doing so would risk undermining the effectiveness of EU law. Three proposals for the reform of EU multilingualism are discussed and evaluated. In a final attempt to preserve the status quo of EU multilingualism, the author examines what is being done and what could be done to improve the quality and thus reliability of EU multilingual legislation.

Keywords: EU policy of multilingualism, legal translation, legal certainty, multilingual interpretation, the right to rely on legislation in one’s own language


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Category: Volume 3