Superdiversity and the relationship between law, language and translation in a supranational legal order

Authored by: Karen McAuliffe , Aleksar Trklja

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Superdiversity

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138905092
eBook ISBN: 9781315696010
Adobe ISBN:


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The object of this chapter is to demonstrate that multilingualism is not an accidental property of European Union (EU) law – it is in fact a force that has an impact on the very nature of that law. Furthermore, the chapter proposes a new theoretical framework which may contribute to the further development of the theory of ‘superdiversity’. The chapter focuses on the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ). The multilingual nature of that case law creates a complex system of hierarchical relations between individual legal languages. Additionally, translation creates and controls multilinguistic superdiversity in that case law, which challenges the principle of uniform application of EU law. The chapter forms part of a larger study in which the authors aim, through interdisciplinary research, to introduce a new facet to the current thinking on the development of the EU legal order. 2

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