29 July 2014
BOOK: Common Law Legal English and Grammar
Alison Riley and Patricia Sours, Common Law Legal English and Grammar: A Contextual Approach (Hart Publishing) has been published:
Lord Denning, an influential but controversial English judge, stated that 'Words are the lawyer's tools of trade'. This course book reflects that conviction as it focuses on words, the language of the law - legal terms, expressions, and grammar - introduced systematically with relevant aspects of the law, and examined in context through analytical reading activities based on original legal texts selected for their interest and importance in different branches of the common law system. This book explores constitutional law, criminal law, tort, and contract; yet includes international legal contexts, with a particular focus on human rights and European law.
The presentation of legal concepts and terminology in context in each chapter is graded so that the course progresses, building on the vocabulary and law encountered in earlier chapters. Each chapter, organized thematically, includes a series of activities - tasks - to complete, yet the book does not presuppose previous knowledge of legal English or of the common law: full answer keys and reflective commentary on both legal and linguistic aspects are given and sections marked 'Advanced' offer especially challenging materials. Consolidation sections are designed to test students' global comprehension of the legal texts analysed, including precise usage of legal vocabulary in context, with solutions.
Common Law Legal English and Grammar is addressed to the non-native speaker of English, and in particular, intermediate to advanced students who are studying law, or academics with a professional interest in Anglo-American law. Practising lawyers will also find that the book offers valuable analysis of the language of legal documents.