The Louisiana Civil Code Translation Project:
Enhancing Visibility and Promoting the Civil Law in English
A Conference organized at the
Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hébert Law Center
By the Center of Civil Law Studies
Baton Rouge, April 10 and 11, 2014
In 2008, the Center of Civil Law Studies at the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hébert Law Center planned the vast project of translating the entire Louisiana Civil Code from English into French and later into Spanish. The French translation is well under way. Since 2011, between April and July, two or three interns from Université de Nantes, all students in a Master of Trilingual Studies program, are working every year at the CCLS on the translation project. Part of the translation work is available online, and some of it has been published in the Journal of Civil Law Studies.
In 2012, the translation project received significant financial support from the Partner University Foundation (PUF), with a grant funding a Training Multilingual Jurists project, combining the cooperative efforts of the LSU Law Center and the Université de Nantes, over a period of three years (2012-2015). This conference project is part of the Training Multilingual Jurists PUF Project.
World-renowned scholars combining expertise in codification, legal translation, and jurilinguistics will discuss, in French and in English, the Louisiana Civil Code translation project in the light of influences the code received, in different languages, from various jurisdictions, as well as what the code and the translation project brings to the Francophone and Hispanic legal world. One-way influences and cross-influences will be considered, in the perspective of codification and revision of existing codes, in the Americas and worldwide. Other code translation projects will be discussed, as well as the impact of multilingual codes on legal practice and the circulation of legal ideas.
The conference offers the occasion of discussing the present translation work and the Louisiana Civil Code in the light of its recent evolution. It will put the ongoing project in comparative and international perspective and will question its significance: in a world that communicates primarily in English, the development of a proper English legal terminology for the civil law offers an alternative to the common law vocabulary, all too often used by default in unification and harmonization efforts, in transnational business, and in academic work.
On the occasion of the conference and as a keynote thereof, the CCLS will present the 37th John H. Tucker, Jr. Lecture in Civil Law, on Thursday, April 10 at 6:00 p.m. in the McKernan Auditorium at the LSU Law Center. Judge Nicolas Kasirer will present “That Montreal Sound: The Influence of French Legal Ideas and the French Language on the Civil Law Expressed in English.” Judge Kasirer, formerly Professor at and Dean of the McGill University Faculty of Law is a judge on the Court of Appeal of Québec, which is the highest court of the Province. A reception will follow.