Plain English in Legal Writing (LAWS6950)

UNIT OF STUDY

This unit looks at the role of plain English in legal writing, with particular emphasis on contract drafting, property documents, statutes, and advice-writing. It examines the reasons for the 'traditional' style of legal writing, the research into the advantages and disadvantages of plain English, and the techniques for writing law in plain English. Particular topics include the assumptions behind using plain English in law, the problems with terms of art and judicially-defined words and phrases, the causes of ambiguities in legal documents, and aspects of document design.

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Further unit of study information

Classes

Apr 28, 29 & May 1, 2. Please visit the Sydney Law School in Europe website http://sydney.edu.au/law/fstudent/coursework/LLM/index.shtml

Assessment

class participation, including drafting assignments (20%), 3000wd redrafting exercise (40%) and 3000wd essay (40%)

Faculty/department permission required?

Yes

Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

Assumed knowledge: undergraduate law degree, completed legal studies as part of a business or commerce degree or LAWS6252

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Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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