The Language of the Lawyers Through the Eyes of Italian Writers: Insights from Alessandro Manzoni and Italo Calvino

“It is necessary to relate things plainly to the lawyer, but it rests with us to render them more intricate” this is how Azzecca-garbugli, the lawyer from Manzoni’s novel I Promessi Sposi, described the use of the language by lawyers. Language is one of the most peculiar aspects of the legal profession in Italy, where the plain language movement has never achieved results comparable to the ones attained in the US or the UK. This talk will explore this distinctive feature of Italian culture from perspective of two Italian writers, Alessandro Manzoni and Italo Calvino, who described that phenomenon with remarkable clarity.

Amedeo Arena is Full Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Naples “Federico II” and Senior Fellow at the Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley