Plain English in Legal Writing (LAWS6950)


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


Apr 28, 29 & May 1, 2. Please visit the Sydney Law School in Europe website


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

Faculty/department permission required?


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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