Harmonisation of European contract law and legal translation: a role for comparative lawyers
The problem of harmonising the contract in Europe has caught the interest of law professors, researchers and the European institutions. After years of debates, the European Union is aware that a lack of uniform legal terminology prevents any kind of unification and harmonisation of European Contract law. The need for a uniform legal terminology clashes with the multilingual legal terminology of European law. In Europe there is not just one, but many legislative and administrative languages, and each of them is an official language of the European institutions. In accordance with the principle of linguistic equality, the European Community (EC) recognises that all legal instruments have to be drawn up and published in all the official languages of the Member States. But every linguistic version of the same European legal instrument has not a functional and teleological equivalence of meaning, since every language reflects the legal culture of a specific legal system. Instead of suggesting a solution to the conflict between linguistic equality and the need for uniform legal terminology, the article focuses on the dangers of legal translation and claims a role for the comparative lawyer in the process of harmonisation of European Contract law.