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The lexicon of community acquis: how to negotiate the non-negotiable

  • Autori: Monti, S; Baicchi, A; Belladelli, A; Degani, M; Oppizzi, A; Buckledee, S; Damascelli, AT; Gesuato, S; Guido, MG, Attolino, P; Douthwaite, J; Martelli, A; Provenzano, M; Virdis, DF; Bianchi, F; Gatto, M; Grazzi, E; Mocera, T; Piotti, S; Bonsignori, V; Bruti, S; Masi, S; Demata, M; Sezzi, A; Adami, E; Boggio, C; Bait, M; Cavalieri, S; Christiansen, T; Cucchi, C; Falco, G; Maci, SM; Milizia, D; Pennisi, GA; Zanola, A
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2009
  • Tipologia: eedings
  • Parole Chiave: EU institutions, lexicon, community acquis, contract law terminology, culture-bound legal concepts
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In the context of the activities aimed to improve and develop the integration and cooperation of new Member States together with the states already belonging to the European Community, EU institutions have carried out a number of measures to increase the coherence of the body of common rights and obligations, binding all the Member States of the European Union (community acquis), for a long time. For this reason, the Commission of the European Community began in 2001 a process of consultation and discussion about the way in which problems resulting from the lack of a correspondence between national contract laws (and related terms) belonging to different legal systems should be dealt with and solved at the European level. These consultations, in particular, have emphasised the need to enhance coherence of the existing acquis in the field of contract law terminology and avoid preventable inconsistencies in new acquis terminology (Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council. A more coherent European Contract Law. An Action Plan. COM.(2003) 68 final - henceforth Action Plan). As it was manifested, terms and concepts created, elaborated or defined by the legislature or by jurists in a given jurisdiction do not necessarily correspond to terms and concepts produced in other legal systems. In fact, culture-bound legal concepts possessing strong regional connotations deserve careful attention when moving from English legal texts to Romance or Slavic languages. This is even more evident in the field of contract law, with common and civilian contract law terminology offering plenty of examples of interlingual ambiguity: problems of synonymy and legal homonyms; difficulties related with a partial overlap of legal meaning; inconveniences caused by ‘false friends’. The aim of this paper is to explore the above-mentioned linguistic problems focusing on the solution prospected by the European Community in terms of the development of standardized contract law terms. In particular, the specialized field of European contract law will be presented as a practicable way of ‘negotiating the non-negotiable’, that is, a feasible example of linguistic contact-zones where people(s), cultures, languages and legal institutions literally and/or metaphorically meet, interact, intersect and effectively communicate.