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Language in Supranational and National Law-Making: The Case of Directives and their Transposition into National Law


The EU policy of language equality situates language at the core of the EU law-making process; however, the role of language in national law-making is often overlooked. Bearing this in mind, in our paper we seek to foreground the essential role that language plays in law-making both at the supranational and national levels in the EU context. To do so, we will unravel how language contributes to the production of EU directives and to their subsequent transposition into national law, and subsequently, we will use an EU directive and its transposition into British law to showcase how language impacts on the implementation of these instruments. Our findings show that language is not a mere tool in supranational and national law-making, but a vital part of it that needs to be considered to understand not only how law-making works, but more importantly, which factors may or may not contribute to a subsequent correct transposition.

Cite as: Ruiz-Cortés, JLL 8 (2019): 34–49, DOI: 10.14762/jll.2019.034


language, EU law-making, EU translation, directives, transposition, national law-making, vertical linguistic analysis


Author Biography

Elena Ruiz-Cortés

Elena Ruiz-Cortés, FHEA, holds a Translation and Interpreting BA degree, an MA in Immigration Law and an MA in Professional Translation specialising in Legal Translation. Currently she is concluding her doctoral research on Translation and Migration as a researcher of the AVANTI Research Group at the University of Granada (Spain). Elena has worked as Language Assistant in the UK and she has been a practising translator and an official sworn translator and interpreter of English-Spanish since 2013.


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