The Alpine States made a conscious and courageous choice in 1991 when drafting the Convention on the Protection of the Alps: the Frame Convention and all its Implementation Protocols have four official versions (in French, German, Italian and Slovene) to ensure equal treatment of all Alpine languages. This publication describes the motivations for such choice as well as the ensuing consequences. It contains background articles on the multilingual access to legal information and the authentication of international treaties in several languages. An in-depth description of the policy of multilingualism within the Alpine Convention helps to understand the constant commitment to using all four languages. The book analyses why the linguistic harmonisation of legal terms may be a good strategy to ensure that multilingualism remains an asset for the Alpine Convention and does not turn into a source of misunderstandings. It examines the cooperation of representatives of different government levels of the Alps and of the academic and scientific world with a view to achieving the goal of harmonisation. Finally, the harmonising procedure and the specific difficulties faced within the LexALP project, which aimed at harmonising the legal and technical terminology used within the Frame Convention and its Protocols, are described against the background of legal theory and illustrated on the basis of concrete examples.
This book should prove particularly useful to legal scholars, translators and all professionals working in a multilingual legal context.