11 February 2015

LECTURE: Esin Örücü, ‘One Into Three: Spreading the Word – Three Into One: Creating a Civil Law System’

I’m delighted to announce that Professor Esin Örücü, of the University of Glasgow and our illustrious Advisory Council, will deliver the 38th Tucker Lecture next month. Not only does this fall on St Patrick’s Day (17 March 2015), but it also takes place at my alma mater, the Paul M Hebert Law Center of Louisiana State University.

In addition, this marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Center of Civil Law Studies, directed by our own Vice President Olivier Moréteau. The Center has been, and remains, very important to the different traditions that make up Louisiana law (and the law of many other jurisdictions).

Professor Örücü’s presentation is entitled ‘One Into Three: Spreading the Word – Three Into One: Creating a Civil Law System’. The LSU Law Worldwide Blog describes it in the following manner:

This lecture will consider “one into three”, since the now monolingual Louisiana Civil Code is being translated into French and Spanish, defining this as ‘spreading the word’. The Louisiana Civil Code Translation Project Conference in 2014 called this expansion, ‘enhancing visibility’. A well-known instance of this kind is also the monolingual Dutch Code being converted, by translation, into a trilingual Code (Dutch, French and English), that is another “one into three”. There is also the instance of the translation of the bilingual Quebec Code (originally in French and English) into Spanish, thus creating yet another trilingual Code, rivalling the Louisiana one, this time “two into three”. Then there is the Fisher’s translation of the Civil Code of Philippines from Spanish into English, “one into two”.

The lecture will start by looking at some general concerns such as language, culture, transpositions, neologisms, equivalence, mistranslations and then move onto illustrating these issues through the experience of Turkey with her process of total and global modernization, westernization, secularization, democratization and constitutionalism.

In this way, before considering the Louisiana case, the lecture will deal with the translation into Turkish from the already trilingual Swiss Civil Code, seemingly a “three into one” case, though only the French version was used by the Turkish translators. This is defined as ‘creating a civil law system’, converting within the span of five years, via five Codes, the efforts of reform resting solely on import and translation from major continental Codes both as to form and content, creating a civilian legal system out of a mixed one.

Finally, a crucial question related to all translated codes will be posed: why translate a code? Aims and reasons which vary will be analysed bringing the lecture to a close.

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