One into Three: Spreading the Word Three into One: Creating a Civil Law System
A graduate of Robert College of Istanbul and a law graduate and doctor in law of the University of Istanbul, Professor Esin Örücü started her academic career at her alma mater before joining the University of Glasgow in 1976, where she became Professor of comparative law. She has taught as visiting professor at the University of Leiden, the University of Utrecht, the Yedi Tepe University of Istanbul, the Free University of Amsterdam, and the European Academy of Legal Theory (Brussels).
Now Professor Emerita of Comparative Law at the University of Glasgow, Professor Esin Örücü is also Professor Emeritus of Comparative Law, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and visiting professor at the Okan University, Istanbul. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala, is a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, and a member of the advisory board of Juris Diversitas. She served as a Vice-Chair of the Scottish Association of Comparative Law.
Professor Örücü has authored and edited several prominent books and an impressive number of articles and book chapters, dealing with comparative law in general, mixed jurisdictions, multiple aspects of Turkish law including family law, constitutional law, and historical aspects of the Ottoman Empire. Her scholarship visits the intersection of law, society, religion, language, translation, etc., with a truly multicultural approach.
This lecture will consider “one into three”, since the now-monolingual Louisiana Civil Code is being translated into French and Spanish, defining this as “spreading the word”. The Louisiana Civil Code Translation Project Conference in 2014 called this expansion “enhancing visibility”. A well-known instance of this kind is the monolingual Dutch Code being converted, by translation, into a trilingual Code (Dutch, French and English), another “one into three”. There is also the translation of the bilingual Civil Code of Québec (originally in French and English) into Spanish, thus creating yet another trilingual Code, this time “two into three”. Then there is the Fisher’s translation of the Civil Code of Philippines from Spanish into English, “one into two”.
The lecture will start by looking at some general concerns such as language, culture, transpositions, neologisms, equivalence, mistranslations and then move onto illustrating these issues through the experience of Turkey with her process of total and global modernization, westernization, secularization, democratization and constitutionalism.
Before considering the Louisiana case, the lecture will deal with the translation into Turkish from the already-trilingual Swiss Civil Code, seemingly a “three into one” case, though only the French version was used by the Turkish translators. This is defined as “creating a civil law system,” converting within the span of five years, via five Codes, the efforts of reform resting solely on import and translation from major continental Codes both as to form and content, creating a civilian legal system out of a mixed one.
Finally, a crucial question related to all translated codes will be posed: why translate a code? Various aims and reasons will be analysed.
Örücü, Emerita Esin, "One into Three: Spreading the Word Three into One: Creating a Civil Law System" (2015). John H. Tucker, Jr. Lecture in Civil Law. 1.