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Why Is There a Need for Plain Language in the South African Legal System

In addition, plain language is an important consideration in determining whether a particular contract term is considered unfair to the consumer within the meaning of section 48 of the CPA, which, under the heading `Unfair, inappropriate or unfair contract terms`, provides: As a general rule, rewriting a document in plain language requires rethinking the entire document – its content, its language, structure and design – with a constant focus on the audience and the purpose of communication. It is this approach that leads to successful communication. The extent to which the plain language requirement is met is one of the factors that the court must consider when considering the unfairness of a term. In this context, Section 52 of the ZPO provides, under the heading “Powers of the court to ensure fair and equitable conduct and working conditions”: But clear communication is for everyone. We must not forget that at the end of the day, when the people who run institutional investor organizations and companies go home, the same people are retail clients and retail investors. As such, I bet they want the documents they have to read to be meaningful, clear and easy to handle. And I bet they feel the same way about the documents they have to read at work – if no one saw them as retail clients. Lawyers are aware of the accuracy, security and precision of traditional legal language. They may initially fear that plain language could compromise this accuracy, security and precision. However, their concern can be dismissed. In too many organizations, important writing tasks are left to someone with other core skills, such as legal, marketing, or customer service skills. Before we look at how the plaintext movement can reposition itself, let`s confirm 2 things – just in case there are any doubts: But to speak of plain language as a “movement” (in the sense of a quasi-political, society-changing thing) seems strange and outdated, given that: When I quoted this title to some lawyers, who work in municipal legal centres in Namibia, You were delighted (I`m not exaggerating) at the idea that laws could be written this way. New South Wales is not the only country to use question headers in legislation, but so is Sweden.

(40) The increasing use of graphic devices and examples is another interesting development in the drafting of legislation. (41) This passion for the cause is also reflected in articles in the law journal Clarity, which regularly present the social and economic benefits of plain language. The organization Clarity describes itself as “a movement for the simplification of legal language” (5). There is still the word “movement”. The story is very different in Australia, where law firms have embraced and committed to using plain language in response to client demand. The American public deserves communication in plain language from their government. The benefits of plain language are both tangible and intangible: it is this success of the plain language movement that has allowed people to make a living – and more – from plain language. And that has created a situation where it`s a little strange to keep calling the simple thing in language a “movement.” This evolution of Australian law firms should be a sign for the future. After all, commercial clients of Australian law firms today are willing to pay for simple legal services. One day, all over the world, clients will refuse to pay for legal services if they are not clear. Simple language can be incriminating if it is perceived as something a regulator requires of an organization — as in the case of SEC prospectus regulations.

In this article, I look at the state of affairs on the front line of simple language and try to show that simple language is no longer a movement. Instead, it evolved into a professional product, company, industry, or service. Then I think about how the development of plain language affects law firms, their clients, and the state`s relationship with its citizens. Re Piccolo; McVeigh (Trustee of the Bankrupt Estate of John Peter Piccolo) v National Australia Bank Ltd, Federal Court of Australia (Victoria District Registry), see DR. ROBERT EAGLESON Judge values plain drafting, CLARITY No. 45, p. 37 (December 2000). While we`re at it, let`s review some developments in plain language around the world. The clear terms of the guarantee constitute conclusive evidence against the arguments of the complainant [the customer]. The guarantee appears to be a standard document. Unlike many traditional banking security documents, it is clear and understandable. (30) The crucial point in building and maintaining a brand is alignment.

This point was raised by McKinsey & Company in the quote above: “. A company must . Align what they say about their brand in advertising and marketing with what they actually offer. This is true, otherwise all this advertising and marketing will be reversed if the expectations of the customer or customer are not met by the reality of the product or service. Alignment and delivery are therefore the key to a brand`s success. Many of these people are enthusiastic about their work. The fact that most of them believe and are motivated in it becomes clear in the discussion of PLAIN`s plain language list service(4). Many of the contributors to this list seem to work in the realm of plain language, and their discussions are often about advancing the cause, attracting converts, getting the word out. Polls in Michigan, Florida and Louisiana show that when judges (and lawyers) are shown two versions of a document, one in a traditional style and one in plain language, more than 80% prefer the plain language version. (26) The Stephen Jaques and Phillips Fox Mallesons have been working on the front lines of plain language since the early 1990s.

At that time, they were innovating. Now, many other Australian law firms are active in terms of plain language – all would claim to at least write in plain language. Where the plain language movement has really succeeded is in its debate with the legal profession over whether plain language is correct, safe and accurate. Simple language has won this debate. This is demonstrated by the fact that in most English-speaking countries, the legal profession no longer claims that it is impossible for a document: (This is just a side effect that companies like mine can grow due to the increasing success of plain language. Oh yes, a pure side effect.) Merwan`s point of view deserves to be taken into consideration. The theme of this plain language conference is “At the Heart of Interdisciplinary and Global Communication”. And this is a true and worthy point. But Merwan`s view shows us that simple language can be at the heart of more than just communication. Simple language can also be at the heart of the content activities to which the communication relates. It`s as simple as that: by improving communication about their reviews, staff at the Office of the Auditor General of Alberta have improved the quality of their reviews. As the debate continued (it never really raged), clients began asking the Law Reform Commission to rewrite legal documents in plain language.

At that time, I had been working as a research lawyer at the Commission for almost a year. I ended up running a small – very small – company for the Commission that provided document rewriting services to clients: mainly financial services companies. (We liked to call it self-funded legislative reform.) In the European Union, there is a clear and important need for legal documents written in plain language. At a conference in Denmark in 1994, translators from the European Union lamented the appalling English they had to translate. (18) For more information, see The Case in Favor of Simple Language or see these award-winning examples of simple language in action. As far as I know, this is not common in Australian law firms in other countries. Even in countries other than Australia, where law firms develop unilingual expertise, they appear to do so in response to regulatory requirements – rather than seeing plain language as an opportunity to offer new service to clients. For example, large commercial law firms in the U.S. are equipping themselves to draft documents that meet the requirements of SEC regulations in plain language.

In the United Kingdom and Australia, the expression is more commonly “the simple English movement”. This encouragement to test is a potentially onerous but legitimate requirement. After all, it`s easy to say, “Our documents are written in plain language” – it`s like someone saying, “The cheque is mailed. But no one can really be sure that a document is clear unless a sample of the public has confirmed that they can use the document to find, understand and use the information they are looking for. A lot happens with plain language internationally – for example: (b) in plain language, if no form is prescribed for that document.