Courtroom Language and the Common Man
Author: Dr. Rajneesh Sharma
Linguistic clarity is a necessary attribute of good judicial craftsmanship. Legal language has its own colour and flavour which make it unique. Its lack of uniformity, however, renders it hard to understand. Legal terminology, owing to its diverse interpretations and import from different languages, is understandable only to the legal world. The position of the common man is akin to being enclosed in a glass chamber from where he can only try to decipher the court proceedings bereft of hearing abilities. Legal lexicon is made up of archaic vocabulary and formal expressions drawn from Latin, French, Persian, Arabic and Urdu, which have become a part and parcel of the judicial process. Courtroom Language and the Common Man is a compilation of various such oft-repeated and oft-quoted words observed over the years by the author as a Judicial Officer. It is an attempt to help the legal as well as the linguistic fraternities in addressing language difficulties in general and translating the vernaculars in particular.