Terminology of Civil Law Systems

Here is a short bibliography on the basic features of civil law systems and civil law-common law terminology:

Apple, James G. and Robert P. Deyling. A Primer on the Civil-Law System. Washington, D.C.: Federal Judicial Center, 1995. http://www.fjc.gov/public/pdf.nsf/lookup/CivilLaw.pdf/$file/CivilLaw.pdf

Glendon, Mary Ann, et. al. Comparative Legal Traditions in a Nutshell. St. Paul: West Academic Publishing, 2015.

Kinsella, Stephan. “A Civil Law to Common Law Dictionary.” Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 54, No. 5 (May 1994). as published

Kinsella, Stephan. “Civil-Law Terminology and its Relation to Common-Law Terminology” Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division Newsletter, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Spring 1995), pp. 12-14. Civil-Law Terminology and its Relation to Common-Law Terminology

Lawson, F.H. A Common Lawyer Looks at the Civil Law. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Law School, 1953; Praeger, 1977. (Available from HeinOnLine)

Lundmark, Thomas. Charting the Divide between Common and Civil Law. NY: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Malavet, Pedro A. “Seminar: An Introduction to the Civil Code.” http://nersp.nerdc.ufl.edu/~malavet/seminar/ccmain.htm

Merryman, John Henry. The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Western Europe and Latin America. Stanford: Stanford University Press (3rd ed.), 2007.

Tetley, William, “Mixed Jurisdictions: Common Law vs. Civil Law (Codified and Uncodified)” Parts I and II. 4 Uniform Law Review 1999-3, 591-619 and 1999-4, 877-907. Mixed Jurisdictions: Common Law v. Civil Law – DigitalCommons …


Terminology Sources: Accounting Standards

International Accounting Standards (IAS)

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

For translators who often have to translate texts dealing with International Accounting Standards (IAS) or the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) into Spanish (or vice versa), here are the full English texts side-by-side with their Spanish counterparts, Normas Internacionales de Contabilidad (NIC) and Normas Internacionales de Información Financiera (NIIF) (courtesy of the Official Journal of the EU):





Terminology Sources: ICEX’s Guides to Business in Spain

A useful source of ES-EN legal terminology are the Guía de negocios en España and its English versión “Guide to Business in Spain.” An initiative of ICEX (the former Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior, now called ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones), the guides are written by the lawyers at Garrigues and translated by the law firm’s team of in-house translators. They are updated yearly, are available for downloading in pdf format* and cover many aspects of the Spanish legal system including:

  • Sistema fiscal (Tax System)
  • Legislación laboral y de seguridad social (Labor and Social Security Regulations)
  • Propiedad industrial e intellectual (Intellectual Property Law)
  • Legislación en material de sociedades (Company and Commercial Law
  • Sistema financiero español (The Spanish Financial System)
  • Aspectos contables y de auditoria (Accounting and Audit Issues)

*In Spanish: http://www.investinspain.org/guidetobusiness/index_es.htm

*In English: http://www.investinspain.org/guidetobusiness/index_en.htm


Terminology Sources: Duhaime’s Law Dictionary

For many years I have visited the much acclaimed webpage of Canadian lawyer Lloyd Duhaime, not only to consult his online “Duhaime’s Law Dictionary,” but also to review its “Legal Resource Sections” on practically every major area of law. But beware! It is easy to become distracted (in the most positive sense of the word) in the “LAWFun” sections (among them, “Dumbest Things Said in Court;” “LAWmazing!,” “Crazy Laws Around the World” and “Outrageous Lawsuits”) that are as entertaining as they are informative. More than just a source of terminology, the site delivers legal information to an average of 10,000 visitors a day. Take a look at www.duhaime.org.


Terminology Sources: puntoycoma

In this first entry on Spanish-English legal terminology resources I would like to highlight puntoycoma: Boletín de los traductores españoles de las instituciones de la Unión Europea. Published quarterly since 1991, in each issue legal and financial translators will inevitably find useful terminology on a wide variety of topics that are in no way limited to EU affairs. Of special interest are the extensive bilingual vocabularies published in the following issues:

Glosario de bolsa (16)

Glosario de la política comunitaria de competencia (80)

Glosario de términos y expresiones sobre la crisis económica (130, 131)

Glosario de terminología financiera (15)

Glosario de inovación y transferencia de tecnología (77)

Glosario de la propiedad industrial (61, 67)