Semiotics of International Law

Trade and Translation

  • Evandro Menezes de Carvalho

Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 91)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxi
  2. International Legal Discourse: Legal Culture Building Legal Discourse

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Evandro Menezes de Carvalho
      Pages 3-12
    3. Evandro Menezes de Carvalho
      Pages 13-22
    4. Evandro Menezes de Carvalho
      Pages 23-33
  3. International Legal Discourse: On Diplomatic Discourse and the Legal-Diplomatic Discourse

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 35-35
    2. Evandro Menezes de Carvalho
      Pages 37-56
    3. Evandro Menezes de Carvalho
      Pages 57-82
    4. Evandro Menezes de Carvalho
      Pages 83-102
    5. Back Matter
      Pages 103-103
  4. The WTO Decision-Making Discourse: the Circumstances of Decision-Making Discourse

  5. The WTO Decision-Making Discourse: the Linguistic Context in the Decision-Making Discourse of the Appellate Body

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 127-128
    2. Evandro Menezes de Carvalho
      Pages 129-144
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 197-218

About this book


Language carries more than meanings; language conveys a means of conceiving the world. In this sense, national legal systems expressed through national languages organize the Law based on their own understanding of reality. International Law becomes, in this context, the meeting point where different legal cultures and different views of world intersect.   The diversity of languages and legal systems can enrich the possibilities of understanding and developing international law, but it can also represent an instability and unsafety factor to the international scenario. This multilegal-system and multilingual scenario adds to the complexity of international law and poses new challenges. One of them is legal translation, which is a field of knowledge and professional skill that has not been the subject of theoretical thinking on the part of legal scholars. How to negotiate, draft or interpret an international treaty that mirrors what the parties, – who belong to different legal cultures and who, on many occasions, speak different mother tongues – , want or wanted to say?   By analyzing the decision-making process and the legal discourse adopted by the WTO’s Appellate Body, this book highlights the active role of language in diplomatic negotiations and in interpreting international law. In addition, it also shows that the debate on the effectiveness and legitimacy of International Law cannot be separated from the linguistic issue.   “Studies as Evandro Menezes de Carvalho’s are essential to those who wish to work in the field of International Trade Law, not only because they can be directly applied to a semiotic analysis of the reports of the Appellate Body, but also because of how much they represent as a method of research and thought within the other areas of International Trade Law. For this reason, I highly recommend this book as a necessary tool to those working in International Trade Law.”   Luiz Olavo Baptista Former member of the WTO Appellate Body (2001-2009)


Diplomatic negotiations International Law International treaty Interpretation of Treaties Law based Legal Translation Legal cultures Legal discourse Legal scholars Legitimacy of International Law Mother tongues Multilegal-system Multilingual scenario National legal systems Semiotics of Law Theoretical thinking WTO’s Appellate Body

Authors and affiliations

  • Evandro Menezes de Carvalho
    • 1
  1. 1.Fundacao Getúlio Vargas (FGV)Rio de JaneiroBrazil

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