Book review
Heikki E.S. Mattila. Comparative Legal Linguistics
Transl. by Christopher Goddard. Hampshire/Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006. 347 pp. ISBN 10: 0 7546 4874 5 / 13: 978-0-7546-4874-1 £70.00; $134.95

Reviewed by Susan Šarčević
Table of contents

This book is an important contribution to the young discipline of legal linguistics, better known in the English-speaking world as “studies on law and language”. In contrast, the French term jurilinguistique was coined in 1982 by Jean-Claude Gémar in his Foreword to Langage du droit et traduction (xv) and takes center stage in Linguistique juridique (2000) by Gérard Cornu and in Jurilinguistique entre langues et droits / Jurilinguistics between Law and Language (2005), co-edited by Gémar and Nicholas Kasirer. Terminological counterparts are Rechtslinguistik in German, pravovaia lingvistika (правоваяа лингвистика) in Russian and juryslingwistyka in Polish (see p. 8). Both linguists and lawyers are active in the field of legal linguistics; however, not surprisingly linguists tend to focus on linguistic problems, and lawyers on legal problems. True interaction is rare, as for example in the case of Jean-Louis Sourioux (lawyer) and Pierre Lerat (linguist), who worked as a team, inter alia, in Le langage du droit (1975). More recently, Larry Solan and Peter Tiersma have joined forces by co-authoring the book Speaking of Crime—The Language of Criminal Justice (2005), although each publishes individually, notably Tiersma’s Legal Language (1999) and Solan’s The Language of Judges (1993). In their case, however, both are professors of law in linguistics with doctorates.

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