David Luban
Academic Co-Director 2012-2013, Georgetown Law

"In today' world people, culture, goods, politics, and money cross borders more than at any time in history - and law travels with them. Global law is more than a slogan or a sound bite. National law reaches outside national territory, legal systems borrow from one another, and international law becomes ever more prominent. At CTLS students and faculty from many legal traditions explore common legal problems of global law in an uncommon way. With its emphasis on collaborative work, CTLS provides a unique opportunity to expand horizons and forge new friendships in the setting of a great world city."

Law and Languages

Professor David Luban (Georgetown Law) and Professor Naomi Mezey (Georgetown Law)

Introduction: Law after Babel

"Language unites; it also divides and confounds. These are ancient truths, as ancient as the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. Law, which lives in language, confronts these truths on a daily basis, as people speaking all the world's languages encounter each other in legally significant ways. This Special Issue examines linguistic unity, division and confusion through the lens of particular legal issues that arise when law and language cross borders.

The papers grew out of two conferences organised by the London-based Center for Transnational Legal Studies. Founded in 2008, CTLS is an academic partnership of 24 law schools from five continents, devoted to the study of the legal problems and possibilities that emerge from the ever-increasing flow of people, goods, profits and ideas across boundaries. In 2012 CTLS organised a conference in Mexico City on the subject of law and translation; a follow-up conference on law and language took place in Barcelona a year later

The subjects are natural ones for an institution whose participants represent such an abundant diversity of legal cultures, and speak a dozen native languages. That the lingua franca of the conferences, and at CTLS, is English merely highlights the problems of unity and diversity that these papers explore."

Taken from the Special CTLS issue of the King's Law Journal: "Translinguistic Law: Law and Language in Transnational Space". For the full articles please follwo the below links:


Center for Transnational Legal Studies
37-39 High Holborn
London WC1V 6AA, United Kingdom