New publication in RGSL Research Papers series by RGSL Lecturer Christopher Goddard "A Voice in the Wilderness? Legal Linguistics in Search of a Place in the Curriculum".
Arguably, the emerging discipline of legal linguistics forms a vital aspect of legal education. If so, then how to ensure integration of legal linguistics in the academic curriculum? Here, two preliminary questions arise. Firstly, what ground, what skills, does the discipline of legal linguistics embrace? This covers the initial question of the designation of legal linguistics internationally and in relation to other fields, as well as its scope, methodology, applications and development. Secondly, what might be the appropriate format, and at what levels, for incorporating legal linguistics into the academic curriculum? This paper draws on the literature and on a focus group survey in order to suggest answers to these questions. While analysis of the answers affirms the need, ultimately whether legal linguistics can survive and thrive in the curriculum may depend on obtaining wider recognition, patronage and support. In turn, this might involve amalgamating legal linguistics with comparative law, under the designation of comparative legal linguistics.