Law as a culturally constituted sign-system – A space for interpretation - Université de Lille Accéder directement au contenu
Article Dans Une Revue International Journal of Legal Discourse Année : 2020

Law as a culturally constituted sign-system – A space for interpretation

Aleksandra Matulewska
  • Fonction : Auteur
Le Cheng
  • Fonction : Auteur


The aim of the paper is to discuss legal language systems as culturally constituted sign-systems that are continuously evolving in time and space. To understand messages formulated in legal languages, one needs to realize that law is culture-bound, which in turn means that law reflects society’s mentality ,tolerance, knowledge, social perceptions, etc. At the same time, law is a living reality impacted by various global phenomena and other legal systems. Therefore, this legal reality has “divergent potentialities”(Hasegawa, Ko. 2016.“A glance at the dynamics of ‘confluence’ in a legal system–notes on H. Patrick Glenn’s insights concerning Legal Traditions of the World”.In Transnational Legal Theory.Vol. 7/1: 1–8, 3), which enable it to develop in various directions depending on wider social, political and technological contexts. Additionally, when communicating law interlingually and intralingually, one needs to take into account the knowledge of senders and recipients since the degree of commensurability of law depends on the uniformity of interpretation on meanings. When discussing the issues of sign meaning interpretation, the authors will focus on non-decomposable units and fuzzy units. The meaning of such terms is subject to interpretation through the prism of tacit knowledge. Therefore, the interpretation of any culturally constituted sign-system is burdened with some loss of information and meaning deficiency.

Dates et versions

hal-03253124 , version 1 (08-06-2021)



Anne Wagner, Aleksandra Matulewska, Le Cheng. Law as a culturally constituted sign-system – A space for interpretation. International Journal of Legal Discourse, 2020, 5 (2), pp.239-267. ⟨10.1515/ijld-2020-2035⟩. ⟨hal-03253124⟩
15 Consultations
0 Téléchargements



Gmail Mastodon Facebook X LinkedIn More