Comparative Law and Language 2022-12-21T11:16:43+00:00 Prof. Elena Ioriatti Open Journal Systems <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p><em><span lang="EN-US">Comparative Law and Language</span></em><span lang="EN-US"> (ISSN 2785-7417) is a scientific journal, online and peer-reviewed, which aims to enhance interest and scientific debate on the relationship between law and language, in and within different national and supranational legal systems, from a comparative perspective.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">The journal is edited by Trento University and publishes two Issues per year.</span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Literature Review on Comparative Law and Legal Language 2022-12-15T14:43:30+00:00 Caterina Bergomi 2023-01-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Caterina Bergomi Introduction to Issue 2 2022-12-21T11:16:43+00:00 Elena Ioriatti 2023-01-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Elena Ioriatti Transducing Bodies, Translating Health 2022-09-20T08:34:45+00:00 Mario Ricca <p style="font-weight: 400;">The essay examines the anthropological, legal, and semiotic implications of a new method for healthcare, precisely, “e-Health.” In many respects, telemedicine constitutes an extraordinary improvement that could solve many of the problems resulting from geographical distance between patients and doctors. Despite the benefits of providing medical assistance through an intensive use of e-Health, however, there are potentially serious pitfalls. These primarily stem from the apparent immediacy of the images transmitted and displayed by IT devices. Seeing the body of the <em>remote</em> patient synchronically represented on the desktop conveys the idea of an actual proximity. In other words, the visual representation could be (mis)taken for a real presence, as if the patient were ‘here and now’ before the doctor’s eyes. However, geographical distance often includes a cultural remoteness between the two sides of the medical relationship. The patient’s body and its disease are not mere empirical data, but rather epitomes of a web of experiences; they are constituted by a multifaceted relationship with life environments. These relations move through experiential landscapes, projected across space and time, and are semiotically summarized and translated in the phenomenon of “disease,” the object of healthcare. Gaining knowledge of the “semiotic clouds” underlying the patient’s bodily conditions is a very difficult task which doctors usually accomplish through their cultural <em>continuity</em> with the universe of sense and experience lived by the people asking for their assistance. While telemedicine can annihilate physical distances through the immediacy of its remote images, unfortunately it is not equally efficacious in bridging cultural distances. On the contrary, its immediacy could lead to a false conviction that what the doctors see on the desktop is all that they need to understand about the patient’s conditions. This assumption could, however, lead to dangerous diagnostic mistakes due to the doctor’s belief that his environmental and cultural imagery is the same as that of the patient.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The idea that images, taken in their iconic appearance, can convey a whole empirical reality is to be radically confuted, precisely to enable a positive exploitation of all the possibilities potentially offered by telemedicine. To illustrate the pitfalls encapsulated in the presupposition that seeing is synonymous to understanding, I trace a sort of brief history of the <em>iconization</em> of concepts. My cognitive journey begins with prehistorical cave paintings and unfolds to include contemporary comics. The path of the representative function through the ages demonstrates the relationship between the textual and figurative elements of communication, and at the same time, the human tendency (gradually increasing) to transform the semiotic/graphemic representational sequences into symbolic/conceptual synthetic images. This process accompanied the creation of bounded cultural circuits of communication by Neolithic man, which corresponded to settled agricultural civilization, and the social transmission of implicit semantic basins that people held and used to understand each other.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; If e-Health is to achieve its goals, an awareness of the landscapes of semantic implicitness that each cultural and spatial circuit of experience provides must be cultivated. Doctors and patients involved in the telemedical&nbsp;relationship will have to consider the body as a sort of <em>border</em> between geo-cultural spaces, to avoid the massive dangers hidden in the overlooking as well as the misinterpreting such implicit landscapes. This means that the empirical visibility of the body should be reinterpreted as an <em>interface of translation</em> between the different spaces of experience and signification which telemedicine puts in proximity, despite their geo-cultural distance. Within this new semiotic and experiential inter-space drawn by the sextant of the human body, different anthropological and legal considerations are to be trans-duced so as to coherently and pragmatically support the representational synchrony supplied by IT devices. Linguistic, experiential, and legal discrepancies could break that apparent conceptual unity of image, and make semantically asynchronous what only appears to be empirically represented in its whole immediacy. The risk is that this asynchronism could fuel deep cognitive biases stemming from the superimposition of the doctor’s implicit knowledge and spatio-temporal framework over the patient’s imaginative and experiential semiotic landscape. Should this occur, an anthropological ignorance of close-and-remote Otherness could induce the ultimate danger: diagnostic errors that poison the waters for Telemedicine.</p> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Mario Ricca Gender Neutral Legal Language: A Comparative Analysis 2022-09-16T11:39:39+00:00 Maria Vittoria Buiatti <div><span lang="EN-US">Abstract: The intent of this article is that of analyzing how influential language can be in carrying out discrimination and inequalities. More precisely, the article elaborates on legal language and the importance of drafting legislation in a gender-neutral legal language. Through concrete examples and a comparative analysis, which overlooks six different countries, it is shown how easily language can create discrimination and inequalities. This study on legal language, and particularly gender-neutral legal language, offers an effective and efficient way of avoiding biases and providing a stronger and broader protection for human rights. The different experiences all around the world bring different element to the conversation on legal language and legal drafting, each one of them offering viable solutions to the problem of discrimination through language. Moreover, even though relevant issues are present in the different systems taken into consideration, the problem themselves have proven to be a useful starting point for an improvement in drafting and favoring equality and non-discrimination. The aim of the article is that of showing that alternatives to the legal language used currently are possible and more than that, that they are effective.</span></div> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Maria Vittoria Buiatti Shortcuts and Shortfalls in Meta’s Content Moderation Practices 2022-09-15T13:36:49+00:00 Janny Leung <p>Social media companies regulate more speech than any government does, and yet how they moderate content on their platforms receives little public scrutiny. Two years ago, Meta (formerly Facebook) set up an oversight body, called the Oversight Board, that operates like a Supreme Court to the company’s content moderation practices, handling final appeals and issuing policy recommendations. This article sets out to examine Meta’s approach to content moderation and the role of the Board in steering changes, as revealed by the first 20 decisions that the Board published during its first year of operation. The study identifies interpretive shortcuts that Meta’s content moderators frequently deployed, which lead to pragmatic deficiency in their decisions. These interpretive shortcuts are discussed under the notions of decontextualisation, literalisation, and monomodal orientation. Further analysis reveals that these shortcuts are design features rather than bugs in the content moderation system, which is geared toward efficiency and scalability. The article concludes by discussing the challenge of adopting a universal approach to analysing speaker intentionality and warning against a technochauvinistic approach to content moderation.</p> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Janny Leung Looking for knowledge in language for law 2022-11-07T07:47:02+00:00 Jan Engberg <p>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.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Jan Engberg Words travel worlds: language in the internal market and the national identity of Member States 2022-11-04T14:16:23+00:00 Hanneke Van Eijken Eva Meyermans Spelmans <p style="font-weight: 400;">The paper discusses the role language and national constitutional identity play in the free movement rights of persons. While the Treaties adhere to respect for cultural and linguistic diversity (Article 165(1) TFEU), at the same time protection of the own language may cause restrictions on free movement rights and the idea behind the internal market and EU citizenship rights. We map how these rights interact and interplay on the border of the EU and the national competences and interests. In this contribution we will focus on the role language has with regard to the free movement of persons, whether economically active or not. What role does language play in the European free movement and how should cultural diversity and national constitutional identity be balanced with language barriers?</p> 2023-01-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Hanneke Van Eijken