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Bayreuth Summer University for Intercultural German Studies

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Introduction to German Law and German Legal Language

Course Type:Extra Specialised Course & Specialised Language Course
Period:09.08. – 01.09.2022
Target Group:The course caters particularly for law students from abroad (especially those preparing to spend a period of time studying at a German law faculty) and for future translators and interpreters with an interest in acquiring a fundamental grounding in German law and expanding their legal vocabulary.
Requirements:German language skills level C1 or higher.
​Minimum age: 18, maximum age: 26; exceptions upon request.
Basic legal knowledge is an advantage but not required.
Important Information:

This course consists of 28 hours per week:
20 hours of specialised course in the morning from 9 am to 12:30 pm and 
8 hours of specialised language course in the afternoon from 1:30 pm to 3 pm.
With regular attendance and a successfully passed final exam, you will receive ECTS credits for this course.
You may choose from the culture programme in the afternoon and evening according to your interests.

CostCourse fee (price on request) + registration fee 100 € + accommodation

Each legal system is an expression of a historically developed political culture. The culture moulds the legal system which in turn influences the culture. In this course, you will acquire knowledge about German law in its political, economic, religious, and historical context.

Extra Specialised Course "Introduction to German Law and German Legal Language"

The specialised course "Introduction to German Law and German Legal Language" is taught in four hour classes in the morning. The course introduces students to the law of the Federal Republic of Germany through short lectures on various areas of law (max. 45 minutes per topic) that are flanked by legal exercises. The course content is based on the topics dealt with in the course instructor's book "Deutsche Rechtssprache – Ein Studien- und Arbeitsbuch mit Einführung in das deutsche Recht'' (C.H.Beck, 6th edition, Munich), but also includes newer exercises based on recent court rulings. All participants receive a set of notes and exercises.
Teaching is geared to giving students a chance to bring in their own prior knowledge from their home legal systems and to make oral contributions in class. Small group work, student presentations, films on legal topics adapted for instruction purposes, and typical legal texts (penal orders, judgements, court orders) all feature.
Students also attend one civil and one criminal court case in Bayreuth and visit the Memorium Nürnberger Prozessein Nürnberg, take part in a Q&A session with German law students and are afforded opportunities to meet a court interpreter and practitioners from various legal professions (Notar, Rechtsanwältin etc.).
Course instructor Heike Simon practices in Bayreuth as a Rechtsanwältin and is a publicly appointed and sworn translator and interpreter for the English language. She has taught German law and German legal language to foreign students since 1992. Further details may be found on her website, http://advocatrix.de.
This specialised law course is complemented by a two hour afternoon course focussing on German legal language. The total teaching hours are approximately 100 hours in the whole course period.

Overview of the course content:

  • Public law, criminal and civil law allowing for the social context of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Practical exercises with legal terminology
  • Visits to court hearings
  • Discussion of current cases

With Heike Simon, experienced lawyer and specialist author, we have an outstanding lecturer for our specialised course "Introduction to German Law and German Legal Language". Her book "Deutsche Rechtssprache – Ein Studien- und Arbeitsbuch mit Einführung in das deutsche Recht'', now in its sixth edition, picks up on experiences from academic language teaching and offers a compact presentation of German law and legal language with clear explanations and explanations as well as exercises. The app and the law dictionary ''Fachwörterbuch Recht EN-DE, DE-EN'' by Langenscheidt-Verlag are probably used by many law students and translators, who sometimes do not know, that the authors of both are Ms. Simon and the co-author S. Bugg.

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