Københavns Universitet
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Working with law and language at the two European Courts

Seminar — European law without translation is like a car without wheels. Meet lawyer-linguists at the two European Courts.


Date & Time:

Conference/flex room, ground floor, room 8A.0.57, South Campus, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Hosted by:
The seminar is organized as a joint venture of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Centre of Excellence for International Courts at the Faculty of Law, and the Centre of Internationalization and Parallel Language use at the Faculty of the Humanities, University of Copenhagen.


The European Union has 24 official languages; this is a fact often highlighted and celebrated as something unique about EU law. A lesser-known fact is that the 24 language versions of EU legislation are all equally authoritative sources of EU law. This means that, when interpreting EU law, you cannot rely on one language version only, neither the version in your own language, nor the version in one of the major languages, e.g. English or French. It follows from the rules of interpretation of EU law that you must compare all language versions in order to ascertain the meaning of the text. The judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union are translated into all official languages; however, they are authoritative only in the language of the case, which can be any of the 24 official languages. To be certain, a legal interpreter must consult the authoritative language version of an EU judgment.

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