Table of Contents
The Indian legal system is not indigenous (native) but based on the British legal system. Indian legal language is developed on the background of English legal language. The words from Latin, German and French which are found in legal English make it more difficult for the Indians. Indian legal language based on foreign legal language causes problems due to the use of such types of words and phrases.
Problem of Indian legal languages lies in our Constitution wherein the makers of the Constitution had emphasized on political structure instead of ascertaining the meaning of various legal terms. There is an abundance of ambiguity (not clear) in reference to various expressions and words used in our Constitution.
The Constitution of India is the basic law of the land and other enactments (laws) are derived from it. Thus to remove error and to solve the problem persisting in the Indian legal language, it is felt necessary to revise the Constitution.
In India the problem of Indian legal language persists because it is felt to adapt a single language to be the Indian legal language. This is one of the most sensitive issues which could not be solved by the Constituent Assembly. The Law Commission of India in its 14th report has said “the legal system which has been applied in India since two centuries though originated from the British system but it evolved and developed in the Indian situation and now it has settled its roots in Indian lands. To think about fundamental change now at this stage, it could be devastating and disastrous for our future”.
Even the translated version of the Constitution in Hindi language failed to solve the problem of legal language in India. Even the Hindi version of the Constitution has the tone of Sanskrit language which is not the common man’s language in modern India.
Thus, the proclamation of ambiguity and verbosity (unnecessary use of lots of words) of the Indian legal language lies in its origin as it is based on the foreign language i.e. the English language. Therefore, continuous efforts are needed towards simplification of the constitutional language with the ultimate aim of thorough revision and simplification of legal language in India.
SOCIAL IMPORTANCE OF LAW & LANGUAGE
Law and language have an important place in society. They play an important role in determining social relations. Language is an arrangement of symbols of sound by which humans establish communication with each other. Law and language are the essential elements for systematic formation of a society and its stability.
Language provides communication within the society. Law settles the conflicting interest in the society and helps in the existence of the society whereas language also provides peace and harmony in the society; law maintains a conducive (good) atmosphere. Law as a social arrangement is an important tool for social control and its ultimate aim is social welfare.
IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE FOR LAW
Law is made by means (help) of language. Law is controlled by logic. It is an admitted fact that the working of the advocate is attached to words. Words are not only the instruments of thoughts but they also control them. Advocates adopt language which makes his interpretation and construction strong.
Thus the words are not objects themselves but are means to achieve the objects. Law by means of language establishes social control and also performs its working. It is a universal fact that the scope or use of language in law is very wide. Interpretation (explanation) of statute is done by means of language which is called legal language.
Therefore, Legal language is used by persons connected to the legal profession such as lawyer, jurist, and the legislative draftsman in their professional capacities. And despite many ambiguities and toughness it plays a very crucial role in the Indian legal system.