Learning the language of the law:
An interdisciplinary symposium for legal and language practitioners
Background | Programme | Registration
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Learning ‘legal English’, the specialized language that students encounter in law school, is particularly challenging. Law students and legal professionals must learn to use English forms and structures in such a way as to meet the expectations of members of the legal academic community, consistent with the conventions of the legal discipline. Learning legal English is therefore a process which involves elements of both legal expertise and language expertise. As a result, both lawyers and language teachers have something to contribute in order to support this learning process.
This interdisciplinary Symposium – entitled “Learning the language of the law: An interdisciplinary symposium for legal and language practitioners” – will provide a forum for dialogue and discussion about issues of language and law in Hong Kong legal education. The Symposium reports on findings from the UGC-funded empirical research project Digital Multimedia Resource for Legal English: An Interdisciplinary Project, which combines the expertise of lawyers, language teachers and applied linguists in developing a multimedia resource for learning legal English.
Date: Friday, December 2, 2016
Place: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Graduate Law Centre, 2/F, Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road, Central
(2:00pm-2:15pm) Opening & Welcome Address
(2:15pm-3:45pm) Panel 1
(3:45pm-4:00pm) Refreshment Break
(4:00pm-5:30pm) Panel 2
(5:30pm-5:45pm) Q&A Session
(5:45pm) Closing Remarks
Panel 1—Interdisciplinary perspectives on language and the law: Issues of audience in legal writing
This panel will describe an interdisciplinary approach to language and the law, which draws on perspectives from applied linguistics and legal education and practice. It will illustrate this approach with reference to a collaborative empirical research project on the needs of students in learning and developing legal communication skills (both oral and written), as perceived by law students, law teachers, and members of the legal profession in Hong Kong. The panel will focus on critical issues of audience in legal communication as practitioners and applied linguists share perspectives on writing for specialist and non-specialist audiences alike.
Dr Christoph Hafner, Department of English, City University of Hong Kong
Mr Richard Bates, Kennedys
Dr Janny Leung, School of English, The University of Hong Kong
Panel 2—Academic and professional contexts: Issues in oral advocacy and spoken legal interactions
This panel will focus on issues encountered in oral advocacy and spoken interaction in both academic and professional contexts. The panel will consider how legal education and training can play a role in promoting effective oral advocacy skills, especially through the development of language and skills-based materials to support mooting programmes in the academy. Specific challenges encountered in oral advocacy in the profession will also be considered. The panel will conclude by providing an applied linguistic perspective on spoken interactions in legal contexts and the role of language in promoting, or hindering, the goals of the legal process.
Dr Rajesh Sharma, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University
The Honourable Mrs Justice Audrey Campbell-Moffat, High Court Judge, Hong Kong
Professor Janet Ainsworth, School of Law, Seattle University
$200 HKD for Full Registration
$100 HKD for Student Registration
Please complete the registration form below by November 18, 2016 and send it to Ms Queenie Wong at queenie.wong at cityu.edu.hk. The payment can be made out by cheque to the City University of Hong Kong. Alternatively, credit card payment is also possible.
We are a team of law teachers and English language teachers working at universities in Hong Kong. We have designed this website for law students, their teachers, and anyone with an interest in language and the law.
contact [at] legalenglish.hk
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