Language Law in Practice: The Welsh Language Commissioner’s Statutory Investigation into High Street Banks
Professor Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost
School of Welsh, Cardiff University, Wales
About the Presentation
This paper arises from a major research project sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) comprising a comparative study of Language Commissioners in Canada, the Republic of Ireland and Wales (UK). The paper comprises the results of original archival research and fieldwork amongst language policy actors in Wales in the context of (1) the principles inherent to the delivery of public services in accordance with language law, along with (2) an analysis of the historical development of the statutory instruments available to the Language Commissioner, their appropriateness, and their application. In particular, the author will scrutinise a number of issues arising from the statutory investigation recently conducted by the Welsh Language Commissioner into the Welsh language services offered by the high street banks. The issues raised are likely to be of especial interest to policy practitioners engaged in the regulatory governance of language.
About the Presenter
Professor Diarmait Mac Giolla Chríost is based at the School of Welsh, Cardiff University, where he co-founded the Language, Policy and Planning Research Unit in 2004/05. The various activities of the Unit have been supported by a range of sources including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Fulbright Trust, the Irish Government, the Jack Cooke Kent Foundation, the Welsh Government, and the Welsh Language Board. Professor Mac Giolla Chríost has been visiting scholar to the University of Melbourne, UCLA, Toronto University and the University of Sydney as well as giving lectures by invitation at universities throughout the UK, Ireland and further afield, including the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III and, in 2015, Princeton University. He will be visiting scholar at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford in 2016.
He is the author of 5 single-author research monographs, one of which was nominated for the Orwell Prize, and his expertise has been widely used by bodies outside of academia. For example, he recently addressed, as keynote speaker, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association annual conference on the subject of official languages. He has served as specialist advisor to the Select Committee on Welsh Affairs, the House of Commons, Westminster, UK Parliament; expert advisor to the Equalities Commission in Northern Ireland; and, expert witness to the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee, the National Assembly for Wales. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Geographical Society. He was the co-investigator on a major research project on ‘The office of language commissioner in Wales, Ireland and Canada’, Economic and Social Research Council, completed in 2015.
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