Looking for knowledge in language for law
Preliminaries for a knowledge communication approach to comparative law
Keywords:Legal knowledge, Law as a discipline, Cognition and disciplinary communities, Translation, Multiperspectivist approach
The purpose of this contribution is to present some of the cornerstones of a conceptualisation of legal language that is relevant for a knowledge communication approach to comparative law. Point of departure is the idea of legal language as the language of a discipline that basically reflects the knowledge structures of legal thinking. Following a knowledge communication approach, we draw upon the characteristics of cognition and human knowledge construction as explanatory tools. From here follows that comparative law (for legal or for translational purposes) is oriented towards comparing the legal knowledge held by experts in different legal settings. I present a small selection of approaches developed for this task and end the deliberations by highlighting three perspectives (law as a function system, law as a national culture, law as the result of interpersonal communication) that I see as basic in order to grasp the many facets of legal knowledge relevant for comparative purposes.