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Résumé : Le langage juridique se présente sous forme de textes difficilement accessibles aux non-initiés. Pourtant, certains de ces textes, comme les textes de lois, sont d’une utilité générale et concernent tout le monde. Tributaire de grands travaux de la théorie juridique sur l’incertitude juridique et de la pratique légistique française, cet article tente de rechercher les sources systémiques de cette situation paradoxale à partir d’exemples tirés notamment du Code civil français. Affirmant que les contradictions qui se manifestent sur le plan linguistique sont immanentes à tout ordre juridique, de l’opposition entre la précision et l’ambiguïté des termes et concepts juridiques, par le conflit entre leur côté traditionnel ou moderne, jusqu’à la divergence entre l’intelligibilité et la technicité des textes juridiques, l’article essaie d’identifier les contradictions systémiques principales responsables de l’accessibilité limitée du langage juridique tant au niveau du vocabulaire juridique qu’au niveau du discours du droit.
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