Statutory obligation to know Spanish/Catalan, against European rules?

That’s surely the long-term implication for the Spanish constitution and the Catalan statute of autonomy of this European Court of Justice ruling re lawyers’ linguistic obligations:

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) yesterday (19 September) threw out the requirement for a lawyer to speak the language of the country he wants to practise in.

The ECJ handed down judgment in a case brought by the European Commission against Luxembourg after the Commission believed that Luxembourg’s bar rules, which require a lawyer wanting to practise in the Grand Duchy to pass an oral language test, were contrary to European rules on freedom of establishment.

The long term may, however, be rather long.

(Via Rambeau’s Diary, which really needs an RSS feed)

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  1. Gordon Brown intimated yesterday that immigrants to the UK may be obliged to learn English to a certain level. I wonder what their obligations will be should they turn up in Wales or Devon… will they have to learn the local language as well as English?

  2. Reassuring to read that a lawyer “has to speak the language of the country he wants to practise in”.

    One should point out that country is to be understood as jurisdiction and language as official language, two aspects which differ in Wales and Catalonia.

    How about Hong Kong, though? Do you have to speak English, Cantonese and Mandarin? The mainland Chinese are like to have kicked out Cantoneses by now …

    As for the immigrant&language issue, one should learn the language one needs. If you get by with just one, fine, but should you see there’s need for a second local language, rather speed up and don’t blame the locals for it. Basically, the problem is yours, not theirs.

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