In 1936, Fred Rodell, a professor of law at Yale University, argued that there 'are two things wrong with almost all legal writing. One is its style. The other is its content. That, I think, about covers the ground.'

Legal documents usually set out our rights and responsibilities. If we cannot understand the documents, we cannot exercise our rights and we cannot take responsibility.

It is possible to use plain English in legal documents. It does not mean sacrificing accuracy for clarity. The excuse that legal writing has to be complex to avoid misinterpretations does not stand up.

We want your examples of legal documents that are not clearly written. You can e-mail us at

Other links in this category:

Copyright © 2018 Plain English Campaign. All Rights Reserved.

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.

EU Cookie Directive Module Information