Legal English

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter aims to engage in a degree of reflection that attempts to sort out the extent to which learners' purposes are actually served when the language practices of any target discourse community are actually taught. After an overview of research developments in the areas of forensic linguistics, language and the law, and translation studies, the chapter considers the impact of the common law origins of Legal English (LE) before describing some specific Legal English research developments of particular interest to the English for specific purposes (ESP) discourse community. English is the language of the common law that has often been perceived as the root of many of the law‐specific difficulties for Legal English learners. In addition to the difficulties inherent in working with cases, common law contracts are clearly a potential source of difficulty for the Legal English learner.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of English for Specific Purposes
EditorsBrian Paltridge, Sue Starfield
Place of PublicationOxford
Pages213 -226
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781118339855
ISBN (Print)9780470655320
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2012

Publication series

NameBlackwell Handbooks in Linguistics
PublisherWiley Blackwell


  • common law contracts
  • English for specific purposes
  • ESP
  • language practices
  • legal English
  • legal English research


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