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Law and Language at the European Court of Justice: the Language of Advocates General’s Opinions

13 March 2019

Dr Karen McAuliffe, from the School of Law at the University of Birmingham, presented findings from her ERC-funded project ‘Law and Language at the European Court of Justice’. The project looks at the impact of languages and translation on the case-law of the European Court of Justice, and more specifically on its multilingual jurisprudence, on the development of precedents and the changing role of the Advocates General. During the seminar, she discussed findings related to the drafting of Advocates General’ Opinions. Before 2004, Advocates General could write opinions in their mother tongues. This possibility shrank with a reform introducing five pivot languages (French, English, German, Italian and Spanish) as languages that Advocates General have to use to draft their opinions. The project examines the consequences of this reform.

To find out more about the project and its findings go to