The Jean Monnet Working Papers > 2007 Jean Monnet Papers


Author: Barbara Pasa

Title: Old Terms for New Concepts in Consumer Contracts?


This Article deals with the many and varied meanings attributed to legal terms within the European legal system. The phenomenon should not be a cause for complacency. The broader the ambit of application which a term has, the greater the number of different legal translations there are, which become accepted in spite of their lack of precision and their inconsistency, and the more local variants in interpretation will develop, becoming consolidated over time.
As some comparison exercises in the field of consumer contracts will illustrate, when the chosen term for a European legal text comes from one of the national languages (as happens in the majority of cases), its meaning, no longer rooted in its original national culture, will be obscured. The jurist will then work together with an expert in terminology, to identify equivalences or ambiguities.

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Last updated on December 13th, 2005