The language of law reflects the overlapping, competing and co-existing nature of legal discourse; its form both the product of its linguistic history and a response to the fluidity of legal culture. This book examines legal language as a language for special purposes, evaluating the functions and characteristics of legal language and the terminology of law. Using examples drawn from major and lesser legal languages, it examines the major legal languages themselves, beginning with Latin through German, French and English. Each chapter includes an historical overview of the growth of the language, its international use, its coherence in the various countries using it and its relationship to cognate legal languages. Where relevant, the characteristics of legal cultures are described to explain the features of the legal language. The work will be a valuable resource for students, researchers and practitioners in the areas of comparative law, legal theory, semiotics, and linguistics.