Legal Discourse across Languages 21
Legal Discourse across Languages SUSAN ŠAREVI Creating a Pan-European Legal Language 1. Introduction Since the link between language, law and cultural identity is tradition- ally the strongest in private law, it is not surprising that the greatest resistance to the harmonization of European law has been in core areas of private law relating to contract law. In a Communication of 2001,1 the European Commission recognized that the co-existence of different national contract laws hinders the internal market’s ability to function, and for the first time it acknowledged that terminological inconsistency and incoherence in directives and their national trans- posing instruments pose a threat to cross-border transactions. This sparked, among other things, a lively debate among legal scholars on the crucial role of language in the harmonization process and the need for a pan-European legal language as a precondition for greater con- vergence in areas of private law. On the political front, the Commission responded in 2003 with an Action Plan for a more Coherent European Contract Law,2 in which it called on the legal academic community to intensify its on- going research activities with a view to creating a Common Frame of Reference (CFR) which would propose a common terminology and rules in the area of European contract law. In its follow-up Communi- 1 Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Par- liament on European Contract Law (OJ C 255 of 13.9.2001). 2 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, ‘An...
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