Uusi opinto-opas (sisältäen myös opetusohjelmat) lukuvuodelle 2018-2019 sijaitsee osoitteessa https://opas.peppi.utu.fi . Tältä sivustolta löytyvät enää vanhat opinto-oppaat ja opetusohjelmat.

The new study guide (incl. teaching schedules) for academic year 2018-2019 can be found at https://studyguide.utu.fi. This site contains only previous years' guides.

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Archived Curricula Guide 2016–2018
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides
TLS_0043 Introduction to Legal Linguistics 3–5 ECTS
Organised by
Turku Law School
Person in charge
Tarja Salmi-Tolonen

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student has the basic knowledge of legal linguistics as a line of study in the law curriculum. The student understands how legal linguistic knowledge can facilitate our understanding of the many functions of law and the complex relationship between law, language and social and legal reality. After the course the student will be able to use the basic legal linguistic methods and principles in order to analyze and understand the development, use, and the making of the language of the law and its variations, and compare their characteristics and properties in conjunction with different jurisdictions (legislative language, the language of legal practice: court decisions, the language of advocacy; and the outcomes of legal actions: e.g. expository texts in legal journals, case briefs and academic texts on law).


The course gives an overview of legal linguistics whose importance is intensified by the globalization process which increases the need to cross borders between legal systems and legal languages without hesitation. Topics discussed include: legal linguistics as a discipline and a line of study in the law curriculum, its relationship to neighbouring disciplines and schools of thought in law; language philosophy, the theories and methods of legal linguistics, approaches to the history, the use, and the making of legal languages, activities generating legal language concerning the functions of law, the relationship between legal concepts and legal terms.
An overview of the applications of legal linguistics: legal terminology work, legal translation, court interpreting, language risks, forensic applications.

Teaching methods

Teaching method Contact Online
Lectures 20 h 0 h
Seminar 4 h 0 h

Active participation in discussions in class, completed written assignments and/or oral presentation, and a course review.
A seminar session (2-4 hrs) for those who wish to earn 2 (3+2) additional credits.

Teaching language


Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
Participation in classroom work
  • In English
  • In English
Study journal / learning diary
  • In English

Attendance and written and oral assignments and lecture review/journal, 3 credits. Those who wish to earn 5 credits will write a paper (12-15 pages) and present it to the class.

Evaluation and evaluation criteria

Numeric 0-5.
Attendance and participation in class and completion of written and/or oral assignments and a course review/journal. Students wishing to earn 2 additional credits (3+2) will write a more extensive paper on an aspect (of their own choice and approved by the lecturer) of legal linguistics and present it orally in class.

Recommended year of study

2. year spring

Study materials

Course reading and other materials will be uploaded at the Moodle platform. The course key will be given at the first meeting of the class.

Further information

TIME: Period III

Seminar dates and assignment deadlines will be given at the beginning of the course.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Participation is limited to 65 students. 1/3 of the places is reserved for the degree students of the Faculty of Law. For the remaining places, the following criteria will be used to select the participants:

1. exchange students of the TLS cooperative institutions
2. degree students of the TLS cooperative institutions
3. other law students
4. non-law students

Belongs to following study modules

Faculty of Law
Optional courses (MDP in Law and Information Society)
Faculty of Law
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
Faculty of Law
Bachelor of Laws
Master of Laws DP
MDP in Law and Information Society
Doctor of Laws
Turku Law School