LAWS6950 - Plain English in Legal Writing

LAWS6950 Plain English in Legal Writing


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  • Analyse the role of plain English in legal writing, with particular emphasis on contract drafting, property documents, statutes, and advice-writing.
  • Examine 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.


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; aspects of document design.


Sydney Law School in Europe
Robinson College, Cambridge
Semester 1 Intensive
28, 29 April & 1, 2 May 2014

For enrolment, fee and accommodation information, please visit the Sydney Law School in Europe website

The timetable is subject to frequent changes. Please refer to the latest version of the Postgraduate Timetable.


  • Class Participation, including Drafting Assignments (20%)
  • 1 x 3,000 Word Essay (40%)
  • 1 x 3,000 Word Redrafting Exercise (40%)

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate law degree, completed legal studies as part of a business or commerce degree or LAWS6252 Legal Reasoning & the Common Law System

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

You can credit this unit towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Units of study that are part of Sydney Law School’s Postgraduate Program meet the necessary Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) of the Law Society of New South Wales and the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements of the New South Wales Bar Association. You may complete this unit of study by enrolling on a non-degree basis or on an audit basis only with no assessment via Single Unit Study.

Courses this unit is available in

Master of Laws | Graduate Diploma in Law | Master of Global Law | Master of Business Law | Graduate Diploma in Commercial Law