Ein normenverdeutlichendes Gespräch

A colleague was wondering about the translation into English of the term ein normenverdeutlichendes Gespräch (literally, a conversation clarifying the law). He found it in this lovely Hamburg police report of two days ago:

Hamburg (ots) – Zeit: 24.03.2016, 23:36 Uhr Ort: Hamburg-Meiendorf, Hellmesberger Weg

In der Zentralen Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung in Hamburg-Meiendorf kam es zu einem Streit unter Bewohnern. Der Hintergrund hierzu ist unklar. Es versammelten sich ca. 20 Bewohner der Unterkunft und stachelten sich gegenseitig an, so dass aufgrund der aggressiven Stimmung das Wachpersonal die Polizei verständigte. 10 Funkstreifenwagen fuhren zum Einsatzort. Als ein Rädelsführer konnte ein 28-jähriger Mann (Nationalität ungeklärt) vor Ort von den Beamten ermittelt werden. Die Beamten konnten den Streit schlichten und führten mit dem 28-Jährigen ein normenverdeutlichendes Gespräch durch.

First of all we need to find out what it means in English. We have here a situation involving about twenty migrants (also known as refugees) who were causing a rumpus and their ringleader (!) – nationality unknown, but presumably not German – was obviously told by the police, who arrived with ten radio patrol cars, to behave himself, in that it was explained to him that what he was doing could be prosecuted as a criminal offence but they were letting him off for the time being.

It looks as if a more technical term, Normenverdeutlichung, has been borrowed because it sounds so wonderfully official.

A similar usage is quoted by Birgit Grossmann in her Doku-Hotline blog:

Polizeisprecher Ronald Walther: „Nach einem normenverdeutlichenden Gespräch haben wir die beiden ihren Eltern übergeben.“

She doesn’t spend much time on it, though:

Seit ca. 1998 scheint es diese Wortschöpfung zu geben, in den Duden hat sie es allerdings noch nicht geschafft. Kann nur noch wenige Jahrzehnte dauern – oder wir warten auf das nächste Modewort zur Jugendproblematik.

My feeling was that this is a specifically German term from criminology or sociology and we need to find a German definition. However, it seems that norm clarification is an English term connected with restorative justice and Normenverdeutlichung is a translation of that. The German term, however, seems to crop up in connection with action before any charge or arrest, avoiding punishment (as in the example from Hamburg), not with action after an offence. At the moment that’s as far as I’ve got with it.

Here is one of the several English ghits for norm clarification. It appears to have a different meaning from the German:

Exercises in norm clarification and elaboration can benefit from the standard-setting fundamentals set out in General Assembly resolution 41/120: the results should, inter alia, ‘(a) be consistent with the existing body of international human rights law’; ‘(b) be of fundamental character and derive from the inherent dignity and worth of the human person’; ‘(c) be sufficiently precise to give rise to identifiable and practicable rights and obligations’.

One ghit is a PDF file of Strategien der Gewaltprävention im Jugendkriminalrecht by Horst Viehmann, which interestingly has a translation into English as Strategies of Violence Prevention within the German Framework of Juvenile Criminal Law

Here’s an extract:

Das Jugendkriminalrecht ist ein präventiv ausgerichtetes Recht. Nicht die Bestrafung der Täterinnen und Täter ist Intention und Aufgabe, sondern die zukünftige straffreie Bewährung der Verurteilten. Sie sollen nicht wieder straffällig werden, nachdem sie einmal mit dem Gesetz in Konflikt geraten sind. Sinn und Ziel ist die sogenannte Spezialprävention. Das künftige Verhalten der jungen Menschen soll konstruktiv beeinflusst werden. Sie sollen Einsicht in die Schädlichkeit oder Verwerflichkeit des vorangegangenen Handelns gewinnen und daraus Resistenz vor Rückfälligkeit erlangen. Und sie sollen in die Lage versetzt werden, das Leben künftig ohne Straftaten zu gestalten. Für den großen Anteil der ubiquitären (weit verbreiteten) und der episodenhaften (vorübergehenden) Kriminalität junger Menschen genügt das Signal: Das Handeln wird nicht geduldet, es ist bei Strafe verboten (in der Fachsprache: Normverdeutlichung). Einsicht, Befähigung zur Gestaltung eines straffreien Lebens und Normverdeutlichung sind – vereinfacht gesagt – die Ziele aller jugendstrafrechtlichen Reaktionen und Interventionen. Zwar gibt es auch ein repressives Element mit Sicherungsfunktion, aber es ist eine Ausnahmeregelung, und es ist im Ergebnis ebenfalls auf die Legalbewährung hin orientiert: Die Jugendstrafe wegen schwerer Schuld – aber auch hier ist die erzieherische Perspektive zu berücksichtigen.

and here the translation:

Juvenile criminal law is preventively conceived law; its design purpose and its responsibility in practice are not to ensure that offenders are punished, but rather that those convicted should subsequently show themselves capable of living within the law. The aim is that following their first clash with the law they should not go on to commit further offences. The rationale and purpose amount to what is called “special prevention”: the future behaviour of the young persons concerned is supposed to be influenced for the better. They are supposed to gain an understanding of the harmful or reprehensible nature of their earlier conduct, thereby acquiring a degree of resistance to recidivism. And they are supposed to be put in a position enabling them to live from then on without re-offending. For most of the ubiquitous or episodic criminality on the part of young people, the clear warning suffices: this particular behaviour will not be tolerated, it is forbidden and will be punished (the technical term here is “norm clarification”). Insight, enablement to live an offence-free life, and norm clarification are – to put it in simple terms – the objectives of all reactions and interventions under juvenile penal law. There is admittedly also a repressive element, as a safeguard; but that is a provision for exceptional circumstances, and in terms of results is likewise aimed at subsequent good con-duct: detention in a young offenders institution follows on a serious offence – but here too due attention must be paid to the educational aspect.

The translation is by an outfit called Textworks Translations. It is a close reading of the German and a bit heavy, and actually rather similar to what I would do myself in a legal translation done for information purposes where I myself am never fully familiar with the research in the area. Textworks Translations are academics who translate academic texts for academics, they say (Von Wissenschaftlern für Wissenschaftler). Anja Löbert and Dr. Timothy Wise are named (author of the soon-to-appear volume Wise, T 2016, Yodeling and Meaning in American Music, University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, USA.)

My comments on the translation: Spezialprävention can be translated not only as special prevention but also as specific deterrence – perhaps worth considering. I would probably avoid supposed to for sollen: it always reads to me as if it meant ‘they ought to be but they aren’t’. And the educational aspect at the end reminded me that Geoffrey Perrin recommended educative in the context of juvenile criminal law, because it has nothing to do with formal, organized education (Bildung).

(But at a later point the translation does use educative: ‘The Act’s core principle is its educative intent. This educative principle is not defined expressis verbis in the text, but is frequently and variously alluded to, as well as being implicit in the actual provisions.’)

And that reminded me that before I moved this blog to WordPress I had a number of still really useful articles by Geoffrey Perrin on my site which he kindly let me use. And I must put them on this site – look out for a post.

With thanks to the colleague, who knows who he is.

German court supplies translation of indictment late

Further to the last post on an infringement of the right to a fair hearing, the Burhoff online blog reports (in German) on a decision (PDF) of the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice) against a criminal chamber of Aachen Regional Court (Landgericht). The criminal chamber did not supply the defendant with a translation of the indictment until the seventh day of the trial and then refused leave to stay the proceedings. The two defendants, from the Dominican Republic, were charged with drug dealing in a not small quantity and the decision of the BGH was based on Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (for any British journalists reading, that has nothing to do with the EU).

Interpreting Dagenham

In interpreting teenage slang for the jury, what could Mark Paltenghi do? Your honour, this is bare hard to understand: Laughter in court as barrister has to translate defendants’ teenage slang into plain English

A barrister had to translate text messages sent between teenagers into plain English in court after they included slang like ‘bare’ – meaning really- and ‘bait’ – meaning blatant – for the judge.

During the shooting spree in Dagenham, the group are said to have sent text messages to each other, which were read out by the prosecution along with the ‘translations’.

In one message, sent by the youngest defendant who is 16, to a contact called ‘female boss’, he wrote: ‘Hurry up I’ve got bare haters around me now.’

Prosecutor Mark Paltenghi – in his fifties – informed the jury: ‘Next to it in italics you have it re-written.

‘It means: ‘Hurry up, I’ve got a lot of people who don’t particularly like me here.’

Another text read: ‘Hurry up I’ve got a strap on me, this is bare bait’.
Mr Paltenghi told the jury: ‘We believe this means: ‘Hurry up, I’ve got a gun on me, and this is really risky’.’

Defendants Scott Stokes, 20, his brother Jason, 18, Anne-Marie Madden, 25, and 16-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, burst into laughter.

Jurors also giggled when Judge Patricia Lees asked the defence barristers: ‘Do you agree with these translations?’

(First seen in Metro headed I’m a barrister, innit)

LATER NOTE: Just in, the report of a witness speaking Sierra Leone creole (Krio) for an hour before anyone in court realized it was not an acoustics problem.

Witness gave evidence for an hour before anyone in court realised she wasn’t speaking proper English

Strange parking tickets book / Britische Strafzettel gesammelt

In The Parking Ticket Awards: Crazy Councils, Meter Madness and Traffic Warden Hell, Barrie Segal (described by some as Britain’s leading expert on traffic tickets) collects odd parking tickets.

amazon.de link:
The Parking Ticket Awards: Crazy Councils, Meter Madness and Traffic Warden Hell

Examples in this article:

Robert McFarland’s horse was given a parking ticket under the heading, “Vehicle Description: Brown Horse”.
A motorist who received a ticket in an NCP car park, despite returning to her car an hour early, was told the attendant had fined her because he had “reasonable cause to think she would stay longer than the four hours for which she had paid”.

Here’s a picture of a British parking ticket (not my car):

Segal also runs a website helping people to fight parking tickets.

www.strafzettel.de looks considerably more strait-laced.

(via Legal Juice)

Bloody deed in Bournemouth / Kanzlei lässt Möwen töten

Drei Möwenküken auf dem Dach eines Gebäudes in Bournemouth, an der englischen Südküste, wurden auf Veranlassung von einer Anwaltskanzlei von Schädlingsbekämpfern getötet, zum Leidwesen vieler Zuschauer, u.a. aus einer anderen Kanzlei.

Under the heading Gulls ‘Strangled’ In Front Of Staff, the Bournemouth Daily Echo reports:

STAFF at offices in Bournemouth were left horrified and in tears after watching three seagull chicks killed in front of them because they were deemed a health and safety risk.
The seagull family lived on the roof of Harold G Walker solicitors in Oxford Road, Bournemouth, and the young chicks had become favourites among staff in surrounding buildings.

Apparently members of the Crown Prosecution Service were watching too.
The story was also taken up by the Law Society Gazette and RollOnFriday (the latter writes ‘No-one mention the hawk in Broadgate’, but that would be the perfect antidote, of course).

The commenters on the Daily Echo are incensed and will not use the services of Harold G Walker in future. One writes (my emphasis):

What Harold Walker has failed to grasp is the impact on the people who have witnessed this incident as it was carried out in an unprofessional manner. ProKill are incorrest to quote that they followed the guidelines as I would like to know where DEFRA state that you are allowed to stamp on a birds head. I would like to add that we are not talking once ,but for several moments so death did not come quickly to the creature, and to add insult to injury to wave at the staff who had come out of their offices in shock is just unbelievable.

There is a certain escalation in the comments.

Swiss criminal law terminology / Terminologie des Schweizer Strafrechts

This vocabulary doesn’t seem familiar to me. Go to the Obergericht, click on Dolmetscherwesen and then on Strafrechtsterminologie der Bundeskanzlei (D, F, I, E). It can’t be copied, but here’s one entry, scanned, to give an impression (scanned, OCR’d but not spellchecked for the various languages):

20
Täter (1); Täterin (2); Straftäter (3); Straftäterin (4); Delinquent (5); Delinquentin (6); Straffälliger (7); Straffällige (8)Person, die rechtswidrig und schuldhaft einen gesetzlichen Tatbestand erfüllt hat.
PS: CH; USG: (7)(8) zu vermeiden
(1) Schweiz. Strafgesetzbuch, Art. 7 (SR 311.0): (2) BSG 321.1 G 150395, Art. 46 Abs. 1 Ziff. 1; (3) BFS/BJ,
Anstaltenkatalog, 1998, S. 11: (4) POMBE, Baechtold, 1995; (5) BFS, Rückfallraten, 1997, S. 21; (6)(DF)(USG)
T. Freytag, Universität Freiburg, Seminar für Strafrecht, 2001; (7)(8) BFS, Bewährungshiffe in der Schweiz, 2001,
S.4
auteur (1); auteure (2); auteur de l’lnfraction (3); auteure de l’lnfraction (4); auteur de l’acte (5); auteure de l’acte (6); auteur de l’acte punissabie (7); auteure de l’acte punissabie (8); deltnquant (9); delinquante (10); auteur dlrect (11); auteure directe (12); auteur materiel (13); auteure materielle (14); auteur immediat (15); auteure immediate (16)Personne qui accomplit personneilement, avec la consclence ou ia volonte extgees par la loi, les actes
materlels constitutlfs d’une infraction.
PS:CH
Code penal suisse, (1) art. 7, (3) art. 27 a\. 3, (5) art. 18 ai 3, (9) art. 42 eh. 1 (RS 311.0); (2)(6)(8) CHA BE,
SCTerm, 1997; (4)(12)(14)(16)(GRM) ACH; (7) RSB 321.1 L 150395, art. 235; (10) Cornu, Voc. juridique, 1990,
p. 248; (11)(13)(15) Graven, Infraction penaie punissabie, 1995, p. 282; (DF) d’apres source (10), p. 83 sous
“auteur”
autore (1); autrice (2); autore di un reato (3); autrice di un reato (4); autore di reato (5); autrice di reato (6); autore diretto (7); autrice diretta (8); agente (9); delinquente (10)
Persona che realizza I presupposti oggettivl e soggettivi 6\ un reato. PS: CH: GRM: (9M10)f./m.
(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(DF) aw. M. Hohl Tattarietti, 2001; Codice penaie svizzero, (9) art. 7 cpv. 3, (10) art. 42 n. 1 (RS 311.0)
offender (1); perpetrator (2)Person who commits a crimlnal act with the mens rea required by the law.
PS:CH
(1) Home Office, Digest 2, Criminal Justice System, 1993, p. 7; (2) Romain, Dict. Legat Terms, part 1, EN-DE, 1989;
(DF) adaptation ofFrench definition

On the subject of Swiss German, Jens Wiese at Blogwiese has just announced that he has reached the end of his topic. At the moment he is rehashing old topics. He says that he often gets queries and they are all words he has already discussed. He still writes a weekly column in a couple of Swiss newspapers.

(Thanks to the ubiquitous Urs Wolffers)

Pagan prisoners get the day off/Feiertag für Heiden im Knast

The Mail on Sunday reports that Pagan inmates are given a day off from work for Halloween.

Prison Service bosses have instructed staff to grant the convicts, who include Devil worshippers and Satanists, special privileges on Tuesday.
While fellow prisoners sew mail bags and undertake other jail work, the Pagans will be allowed to celebrate their ‘holiday’.
They can use certain artefacts, including rune stones, flexible twigs and hoodless robes, provided they are kept in their cells or worn during communal worship. Robes with hoods are banned for ‘security reasons’, however.

Obviously they will not be able to wear this Tchibo hoodie (Kapuzinerjacke), then.

The Home Office papers reveal that Pagans can choose a day off work on two dates from eight of their festivals each year.
These include the Spring Equinox on March 20, the Midsummer Solstice on June 21 and Hallowe’en – the Samhain, or Summer’s End, as it was known in Celtic times – on October 31. Christian prisoners are allowed three days off – on Good Friday, Easter Day and Christmas Day.
Muslims are entitled to the most time off – 26 days to pray, including the fast of Ramadan. Buddhists get three days, Hindus ten and Jews seven.

(Via Criminal Solicitor Dot Net and thanks to Paul for the hoodie)

The Special Translation Tool/Die Besondere Übersetzungshilfe

I’ve mentioned Jerry (Gerold) Harfst’s book Die Besondere Übersetzungshilfe before , but now I can present some pages from it to show what it’s like.

The book is a criminal law glossary divided into three sections: in the first, the German terms are arranged by order of paragraph number: that is, first comes the Betäubungsmittelgesetz with entries from 1 to 39, then the Jugendgerichtsgesetz, Ordnungswidrigkeitengesetz, Strafgesetzbuch, Strafprozessordnung, Strafvollzugsgesetz, Straßenverkehrsgesetz, Straßenverkehrsordnung, and Waffengesetz.

Second comes a German-English glossary, and third an English-German glossary. In each of these, the section numbers are given in the margin.

Thus an interpreter in court might want to use the section arranged by paragraph numbers, for instance in a case about drugs.

Example:

P. 38: StGB 242 Diebstahl: larceny (the US term for theft)
p. 122: Diebstahl: larceny (StGB-242)
p. 239: larceny: Diebstahl (StGB-242)

Click on pictures to enlarge:

harfst38w.jpg

harfst122w.jpg

harfst-239w.jpg

The quality of the printing is good, unlike my scans, which are reduced to make smaller files. More information and ordering here.

Electronic anklet / Elektronische Fußfessel

This is a curious image for electronic tagging / monitoring. Surely the purpose of ringing a pigeon is different from the purpose of ringing Martha Stewart?

It appears that Ms Stewart, who is poised to relaunch her career with two television shows, has been cheating a little on the rules of her confinement. The result of this: the home confinement stage of her original sentence will no longer end on 8 August and has instead been extended by three weeks.

(The Independent)