False Friends (25): redactar; redact

Oh, no! False Friends

redacción-redaction; redactar-redact

 In legal contexts in Spanish redacción is most often used in the sense of “drafting” or “drawing up” a document, such as a contract (redacción del contrato; redactar un contrato). But their English language look-alikes “redaction” and “to redact” often have very different meanings. Indeed, although “redaction” has the general meaning of “careful editing”, in many jurisdictions the term refers to editing out, removing or concealing certain sensitive information from documents filed in court and from judicial opinions, such as personal identification (social security or bank account numbers) or the names of victims, minors, etc. before they are made public. Thus in legal contexts it’s probably advisable to reserve “redaction” for this specific meaning, while translating redacción (de documentos, contratos, etc.) as “drafting” or “drawing up.” (In Spanish courts, redacting personal information from judicial decisions is called anonimización.)*

Below is an example of a redacted court document. Most of the essential information has literally been blacked out, making it fairly incomprehensible. An Internet search reveals many articles claiming that extensive redaction is sometimes considered an abusive measure used by the courts or by governmental agencies to conceal information from the public. Also of interest are the many motions to unseal excessively redacted information from judicial records,**as well as rules of court governing the sealing and redacting of court documents.*** Links to an example of  both are provided here:





Capsule Vocabularies: 30 EN-ES Competition Law Terms

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  • (Basic terms and concepts:)
  • Competition Law (EU); Antitrust Law (US)→Derecho de la Competencia; Derecho de la Libre Competencia
  • defense of competition→defensa de la competencia
  • competition policy→política de la competencia
  • competition rules→normas de competencia
  • anticompetitive practices→prácticas anticompetitivas
  • conduct in restraint of trade→prácticas restrictivas de la competencia
  • concerted practices→prácticas concertadas
  • acts of collusion→prácticas colusorias; conducta colusoria
  • distortion of competition→falseamiento de la libre competencia
  • abuse of dominant position→abuso de posición dominante
  • cartels→cárteles
  • foreclosure of competition→cierre del mercado a competidores potenciales
  • barriers to entry→barreras a la entrada
  • barriers to mobility; mobility barriers→barreras a la movilidad
  • horizontal agreements→acuerdos horizontales
  • vertical agreements→acuerdos verticales
  • production or delivery quota agreements→acuerdos sobre cuotas de producción o entrega
  • market-sharing agreements→acuerdos de reparto de mercado
  • price-fixing agreements→acuerdos de fijación de precios
  • exclusive collective markets→mercados colectivos exclusivos
  • collective boycotting→boicoteo colectivo
  • predatory pricing→imposición de precios predatorios
  • dumping→venta a precios inferiores al coste de producción
  • preemption of production/supply sources; preemption of essential facilities→acaparamiento de fuentes de producción/de aprovisionamiento
  • tied sales→ventas vinculadas
  • full-line forcing→imposición de la obligación de comprar una gama completa de productos
  • resale price maintenance→imposición de precios de reventa
  • refusal to deal/sell→negativa de suministro
  • bid-rigging (in public tenders)→pujas amañadas (en concursos públicos)
  • parallel imports, gray-market imports→importaciones paralelas

Source: Rebecca Jowers. Léxico temático de terminología jurídica español-inglés. Valencia: Tirant lo Blanch, 2015, pp. 935-938.


Legal Meanings of “rise”

legal words

The everyday word “rise” is used in at least two different contexts in US courtroom procedure. First, when a judge enters the courtroom, the bailiff or other court official shouts out, “All rise!” to call the court to order and to signal that those present in the courtroom should stand until the judge takes his seat. Standard formulae for commencing court sessions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but these three are typical:

“Oyez, oyez, oyez.* The Third Circuit Court of the State of New York is now in session, Judge Jones presiding. All rise!”

“All Rise! Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! All persons having any business with the Honorable Court of Appeals of Maryland draw near and give your attention. The court is now in session. God save the State and this Honorable Court,” or

“All rise! Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye! The Supreme Court of the Great State of Florida is now in session. All who have cause to plea, draw near, give attention and you shall be heard. God save these United States, the Great State of Florida and this Honorable Court.”

In a second opposite meaning, “rise” is sometimes used in the sense of adjourning a court session (levantar la sesión): “The Court rose at 2:00 pm” (Se levantó la sesión a las 14.00 horas). In this context “rise” can also refer to the final adjournment at the end of a court term (fin del año judicial), prior to summer recess (vacaciones judiciales): “Justice Stevens announced he would be retiring from the US Supreme Court effective one day after the court rises for summer recess.” “Rise” is likewise used with respect to the adjournment of parliamentary sessions: “It is expected that the 3rd reading on this Bill will occur very soon, and the House of Commons will vote on it before they rise for summer recess” (or) “The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on the penultimate sitting day before the House of Commons rose for summer recess.”


* As Bryan Garner notes in his Dictionary of Legal Usage (Oxford, 2011, p. 650), “oyez, oyez, oyez” is the cry heard in court to call a courtroom to order when a session begins (“oyez” being the Law French equivalent of “here ye” in the Middle Ages). Quoting Clarence Darrow: “When court opens, the bailiff intones some voodoo singsong words in an ominous voice that carries fear and respect at the opening of the rite.” It is pronounced “oh-yes” or sometimes “oh-yay.”

They may not mean what you think! (Legal meanings of “molest” and “molestation”)

In everyday Spanish usage, molestar means “to bother,” “to disturb,” “to cause annoyance” or “to be a nuisance.” Thus me molesta cuando hablas con la boca llena simply means “it bothers me when you talk with your mouth full.” That’s why the “Do not disturb” signs in hotels in Spain say No molestar.

But “molest” and “molestation” have specific legal meanings that translators and legal professionals who use English can’t afford to ignore. Moreover, the terms denote something radically different in British and American legal usage, with a potential for prompting serious translation mistakes.

In legal contexts, British usage of “molest” and “molestation” is close to the Spanish meaning. For example, in cases of domestic abuse, under the Family Law Act 1996 in force in England and Wales, a judge may issue a specific type of injunction known as a “non-molestation order” to a spouse or partner (the “respondent”), prohibiting him or her from harassing or sometimes even having contact with the other spouse or partner. Some of the standard prohibitions found in a non-molestation order read as follows:

The respondent, [YY], must not use or threaten violence against the applicant, [XX], and must not instruct, encourage or in any way suggest that any other person should do so.

The respondent, [YY], must not intimidate, harass or pester the applicant, [XX], and must not instruct, encourage or in any way suggest that any other person should do so.

The respondent, [YY], must not telephone, text, email or otherwise contact or attempt to contact the applicant, [XX], [except for the purpose of making arrangements for contact between the respondent and the children of the family] / [except through [his]/[her] solicitors [insert name, address and telephone number]].

The respondent, [YY], must not damage, attempt to damage or threaten to damage any property owned by or in the possession or control of the applicant, [XX], and must not instruct, encourage or in any way suggest that any other person should do so.

The respondent, [YY], must not damage, attempt to damage or threaten to damage the property or contents of [the family home]/[insert property], and must not instruct, encourage or in any way suggest that any other person should do so.

The respondent, [YY], must not go to, enter or attempt to enter [the family home] / [insert property] / [any property where he knows or believes the applicant, [XX], to be living], and must not go [within [insert] metres of it] / [along the road(s) known as [insert]], except that the respondent may [go to the property [without entering it]] / [go along the road(s) known as [insert]] for the purpose of collecting the children of the family for, and returning them from, such contact with the children as may be agreed in writing between the applicant and the respondent or in default of agreement ordered by the court.

In the US this type of injunction is often referred to generically as a “restraining order” or “order of protection.” In some states similar orders are known as “domestic violence protection orders” or “DVPOs,” “stay away orders” or “no contact orders.” But never are they referred to as “non-molestation orders,” as they are known in England and Wales.

Indeed, in American legal language “molestation” most often has quite a different meaning, being a criminal law term denoting a type of sex crime against children, i.e., “child molestation,” whose definition may vary in the criminal codes of each state, but that generally refers to a “wide variety of activities perpetrated against children by adults that have sexual undertones. While sexual activity clearly falls within the scope of child molestation, the crime also applies to other forms of inappropriate touching, including non-penetrating contact, exposure of a minor to pornography, or convincing a minor to view sexual acts.”** In this context, “to molest” is to commit some sort of sexual abuse, and the person committing such an offense is known as a “child molester.”

Thus translating “molest” and “molestation” requires taking into account which of these two meanings is intended. The “non-molestation” order of the Family Law Act 1996 is similar to the orden de alejamiento issued by Spanish courts and might provide a valid translation. In contrast “child molestation” may perhaps be rendered as abusos sexuales a menores or with a similar expression.

* https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/…orders…/non-molestation-order.doc

** https://www.justia.com/criminal/offenses/sex-crimes/child-molestation/