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Legal Language and the Search for Clarity- Le langage juridique et la quête de clarté

Practice and Tools- Pratiques et Instruments


Edited By Anne Wagner and Sophie Cacciaguidi-Fahy

This interdisciplinary collection with contributions in English and French explores how the various disciplines of law and linguistics appreciate and work towards improving the nature of clarity and obscurity in legal language. For the first time, it brings together legal academics and practitioners, jurilinguists and linguists from the common law and civil law with the specific aim to understand the complex nature, practice and tools of clarity and obscurity in legal drafting. Topics addressed include how the Clarity framework has been put into practice through the use of plainer language, better comprehensibility, readability and access to legal or administrative texts. In an attempt to reflect the more recent development of the Clarity-Obscurity debate, the editors have also focused on the use of specific instruments to respond to the problems raised by obscurity to improve clarity.
Cette collection interdisciplinaire offrant des contributions en anglais et en français, explore comment les diverses disciplines du droit et de la linguistique appréhendent et visent à perfectionner la nature de la clarté et de l’opacité du discours juridique. Cet ouvrage rassemblant pour la première fois, des universitaires et professionnels du droit, des jurilinguistes et linguistes de la common law and et du droit civil, propose de découvrir la nature complexe, les pratiques et outils de la clarté et de l’opacité utilisés en rédaction juridique. Les questions abordées examinent la mise en pratique de la clarté juridique au travers de l’utilisation de la langue courante, une meilleure lisibilité, compréhensibilité et accès aux textes juridiques et administratifs. Dans le but de refléter l’actualité du débat Clarté-Opacité du discours juridique, les éditrices se sont également concentrées sur l’utilisation des outils et méthodes les plus récents et utilisés pour résoudre les difficultés soulevées par l’opacité des langues du droit et ainsi améliorer la transparence du discours juridique.


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PART II – TOOLS ROS MACDONALD Writing Better Decisions: Plain English in Decision Writing 1. Introduction The rapid development of participatory models of government across jurisdictions world-wide over the last decade has meant, among other things, a concomitant development of tribunals for many different areas of government responsibility. Apart from statutory tribunals, there are the administrative decision makers, who must now make written decisions and comply with statutory rules in doing so. The aim of this chapter is to give all those who are required to give written decisions some guidelines about how to do so well. Although the focus of the chapter, in an illustrative sense, is Australian law, the principles are of global application. To give some background to the idea of using plain English as a conduit to better decision writing, the next part of this chapter examines the legal obligations, both under the common law and within statute that administrative decision-makers need to be aware of when writing their decisions. From there the discussion moves to the principles of plain English that are most relevant for decision makers, principles that relate to context, readability, style and structure, and submits that even if administrative decision makers are not obliged to use plain English, it is a worthwhile and important objective. The final part of this chapter sets out some practical ways in which written decisions can be designed to better meet the relevant plain English outcomes, for the benefit of the target audience in particular, but also for...

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