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Constitutionalising Language: A Dialogue

Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

This paper explores the constitutional accommodation of minority languages through a process of dialogue between the President of a Constitutional Council and a constitutional expert. The main goal is to reproduce a possible dialogue in a constituent process in order to accommodate the different existing languages in a new born state. The discussion began remarking upon the enormous significance of language in political, identity and constitutional terms. It follows comparing different constitutional systems in the world and the status of minority languages in Argentina, Bolivia, Croatia, Serbia, South Africa, the states parties of the Nordic Language Convention and the United States. While most of the paper is a detailed analysis of US constitutional decisions, the treatment of the other countries seems to be highly relevant to the constitutional accommodation of languages in the new state. The paper emphasises the international human right to language, and proposes an accommodation strategy in which the traditional majority language forms the lingua franca, other major languages are granted equal official status, and the government promotes and respects important minority languages. The paper concludes proposing a solution based on the South African approach.
Original languageEnglish
JournalKing´s Law Journal
Volume25
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)255-270
Number of pages16
ISSN0961-5768
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014

    Research areas

  • The Faculty of Law - OFFICIAL LANGUAGE , LEGAL RATIONALIZATION, HUMAN RIGHTS, CONSTITUTION

ID: 120464847