International events launch Legal Translation hub at the School of Advanced Study

Monday 30 January 2017

An array of activities in the next few days will launch the Legal Translation hub – a cross-institute initiative by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) in collaboration with the Institute of Modern Languages Research at the School of Advanced Study.

The hub will host regular events such as seminars and discussion panels, and an annual Legal Translation Day. A dedicated library section has been established within the IALS library.

The hub engages with practice – both legal translators and lawyers – and with professional bodies and institutions. Additionally, it undertakes outreach projects.

The inaugural events include three talks at the Russell Square headquarters of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies on 3 February:

  • Machine translation and national security (3 February, 2–3 pm): Dr Henry Liu, president of the International Federation of Translators, based in New Zealand and a leading interpreter in English, Chinese and French, will discuss issues that have implications for UK’s international reputation and domestic security. He believes British citizens are being placed at unnecessary risk by a lack of accountability and absence of quality control in intelligence gathering operations.
  • A practical workshop: using Corpus Linguistics for Law (3 February, 3.30–5.30pm): Dr Gianluca Pontrandolfo, a Trieste-based practising legal translator and academic, will use examples to explain how new technologies can be used to gain insights into the language of legal texts. Dr Pontrandolfo worked on the English translation of The Italian Code of Criminal Procedure and is also the author of a groundbreaking work on compound terms in criminal law.
  • EU legal translation: past, present and future? (3 February, 5.30–7.30pm): Professor Łucja Biel, from the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw, Poland and leader of several international language projects will provide a practically oriented overview of major challenges and quality parameters in institutional legal translation in EU institutions.

The launch programme concludes on 6 February at the Québec Government Office, 12.30–2.30pm, with Louis Beaudoin, an eminent jurilinguist from Canada, who will explain Québec’s unique ‘co-drafting’ model to an international audience of legal translation practitioners, representatives of leading law firms based in London, researchers and members of the public.

Dr Juliette Scott, who is in charge of the hub’s activities, said: ‘We are extremely lucky to welcome these four international experts. Everyone here is very excited about raising awareness both nationally and globally of the little known and highly skilled profession of legal translation.’


Notes for editors:

1. For further information please contact Maureen McTaggart, Media and Public Relations Officer, School of Advanced Study, University of London. / 020 7862 8653. Images available on request.

2. The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) supports and leads legal research in its broadest sense, both nationally and internationally. Founded in 1947, it houses specialist research centres and innovative partnerships and is home to an active community of researchers, fellows, and postgraduate students. It promotes new research agenda in specialist and interdisciplinary areas of law with direct effect on policy and practice. It provides research training and online services, a meeting place for organisations and legal scholars from around the globe, one of the world’s great legal research libraries, and a busy programme of seminars and public events.

3. The Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) was established in 2004 through a merger of the Institute of Germanic Studies and the Institute of Romance Studies, founded in 1950 and 1989 respectively. Until August 2013, IMLR was known as the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies when it was renamed to emphasise its national research role and to embrace its wider remit. The Institute is committed to facilitating, initiating and promoting dialogue and research for the Modern Languages community.

4. The School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and support of research in the humanities. SAS and its member institutes offer unparalleled academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. In 2015-16, SAS: welcomed 786 research fellows and associates; held 2,007 research dissemination events; received 24.4 million visits to its digital research resources and platforms; and received 194,145 visits to its specialist libraries and collections. The School also leads the UK’s only nationwide festival of the humanities: Being Human. Find out more at or follow SAS on Twitter at @SASNews.

5. The University of London is a federal University and is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the UK. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University is recognised globally as a world leader in Higher Education. Its members are 18 self-governing member institutions of outstanding reputation, and nine research institutes. Learn more about the University of London at