A Critique of the Language of Law in Selected Court Cases in Nigeria

K. B. C. Ashipu, Gloria M. Umukoro


This paper examines the language of Law, technically known as legalese. Legal matters are normally written in a specific language using registers that are peculiar to law. Since law aims at precision, legalese are used to avoid generalization. The ordinary person who is outside the law profession is not familiar with legalese. The objectives of this study therefore, are to examine the language of law in selected court cases in Nigeria and explicate the semantic implication of legalese that are used to convey such cases to the understanding of the layman. Lawyers use abstract words and this is their professional way of language use. In view of this, the paper shall equally examine these abstract words used by lawyers in the course of speaking and writing legal documents. The paper concludes that this professional way of language use bequeaths on the language of law a peculiarity that is different from other varieties.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n8p622

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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