Legal Certainty in Multilingual EU Law

Language, Discourse and Reasoning at the European Court of Justice

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  • Elina Paunio, Referendaire at the Chambers of Advocate General Nils Wahl at the Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg
  • Series: Law, Language and Communication
  • How can multilingualism and legal certainty be reconciled in EU law?

    Despite the importance of multilingualism for the European project, it has attracted only limited attention from legal scholars. This book provides a valuable contribution to this otherwise neglected area. Whilst firmly situated within the field of EU law, the book also employs theories developed in linguistics and translation studies. More particularly, it explores the uncertainty surrounding the meaning of multilingual EU law and the impact of multilingualism on judicial reasoning at the European Court of Justice. To reconceptualize legal certainty in EU law, the book highlights the importance of transparent judicial reasoning and dialogue between courts and suggests a discursive model for adjudication at the European Court of Justice.
    Based on both theory and case law analysis, this interdisciplinary study is an important contribution to the field of European legal reasoning and to the study of multilingualism within EU legal scholarship.
  • Contents: Introduction; Lost in translation; Legal certainty - form and substance; Discourse and legal certainty; Reconceptualizing legal certainty; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
  • About the Author: Dr Elina Paunio is a Referendaire at the Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg.
  • Reviews: ‘This book is both interesting and significant in its contribution to the field of EU law studies and language and law studies more generally. Paunio presents a model of discursive legal certainty in EU law, which, rather than being hindered by multilingualism, is in fact dependent on the dialogue and communication between various European legal systems required in order for such a multilingual legal system to function.’
    Karen McAuliffe, University of Exeter, UK

    ‘Elina Paunio has written an excellent book on what she terms discursive legal certainty in multilingual EU law. Her argument is well structured and perfectly balanced between a legal and a linguistic perspective. I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in the interpretation of EU law and the role that language, discourse and rhetoric play in shaping and developing law.’
    Anne Lise Kjær, University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Director of RELINE, the Interdisciplinary Network on Law and Language

    ‘This is a thoughtful and original analysis of the role of multilingualism in EU law. It casts light on the methods of interpretation of the European Court of Justice and it will be of benefit to every EU lawyer. A worthy contribution to literature.’
    Takis Tridimas, Queen Mary University of London, UK