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Research Article of our Alumni, Rui Liu
Paratexts in the eyes of the courts: George Jamieson’s translation of the Qing Code in the Hong Kong courts
By highlighting the reactions of the court, this article examines legal translations and paratexts from the perspective of the special judicial reader to hopefully introduce new possibilities for legal translation studies. This article extends beyond a textual analysis of translations and specifically probes the intricacies of the application of George Jamieson’s (1843–1920) English rendition of the Great Qing Code in the Hong Kong courtroom. It is demonstrated that the mutual complementarity between his translation and paratexts is not always grasped by the court, which leads to an unnecessary clash between expert evidence and Jamieson’s opinions. Moreover, the incongruity between Jamieson’s translation and paratexts is amplified under the court’s gaze; this issue is further complicated by the English legal doctrine of judicial precedent, leading to both a judicial dilemma and concerns over the legitimacy of Jamieson’s interpretation.
Biographical note
Rui Liu is a lecturer in the School of Foreign Studies at the Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications. She obtained her Ph.D. in translation studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include legal translation, translation history, translation and colonialism, translation and sinology. She is currently conducting a research on translations of Chinese legal classics and their cultural and judicial impact. Her articles appear in journals such as Translation Studies, Perspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice, Journal of Translation Studies, Translation Spaces, Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies, among others.
Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14781700.2021.1994871