Legal and linguistic uncertainty of terms and norms of Russian laws

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The article presents the results of a study of de jure (modeled) and de facto (real) interpretation of the concept “legal and linguistic uncertainty”, which is relevant for modern Russian legal discourse, lawmaking, judicial, and expert practice. These features are typical for Russian legal discourse, lawmaking, judicial, expert practice, as well as the scientific sphere of communication. The article is aimed at studying the objective and subjective reasons for legal and linguistic uncertainty of legislative terms and legislative norms; analysing the conditions under which uncertainty is considered as an attribute of law language and a means of legal regulation or a defective formulating legal rules, falsa leclio. Legal and linguistic uncertainty is considered from different points of view: (a) the dichotomy “clarity/ uncertainty”; (b) the legislative definition; (c) attitude to the system of Russian legislation terms; (d) variability, disambiguate, double-meaning; (e) the basis for procedural decisions (expert assessment, adjustment of the norm of the draft law or the current law, rejection of the draft law). The subjective factors of legal and linguistic uncertainty are analyzed, on the one hand, from the position of professional competencies of law developers and specialists examining laws in different aspects - linguistic, legal, anti-corruption, legal and technical, pedagogical, etc. On the other hand, they are analysed from the point of view of legal and other knowledge of the addressees, those, who interpret the law. The research methodology is traditional for modern Russian studies and legal linguistics: analysis, comparison, deduction, induction, analogy, modeling, as well as contextual, interpretive, systemic, discursive, interdisciplinary, practice-oriented and other approaches. Due to interdisciplinary nature of the research, works on linguistics, jurisprudence, legal linguistics, documents of legislative, judicial, expert practice, texts of Russian (federal) laws, materials from the Dictionary of Terms of Russian Legislation were used. The prospects for the study are outlined: considering legal and linguistic uncertainty in the aspect of creating laws in two or more state languages, orthology, etc.

About the authors

Marina V. Batyushkina

Legislative Assembly of the Omsk Region

Author for correspondence.

Сandidate of Pedagogy, consultant of the Department of Linguistic Expertise of the Legal Department of the Legislative Assembly of the Omsk Region, member of the Scientific and Methodological Council of the Guild of Linguistic Experts in Documentation and Information Disputes (GLEDID).

1 Krasnyi Put' St, Omsk, 644002, Russian Federation


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