Plain Language in Modern Times

About Clarity

Clarity is a professional association that promotes the use of plain legal language internationally. With more than 500 members in 30 countries, Clarity is the largest organization of its kind.

Its members consist of judges, lawyers, government representatives, researchers, professors, NGOs and business people—all convinced of the benefits of plain legal language.

Some are writers, editors, researchers, consultants and trainers who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in making language more accessible.

Clarity has official representatives in 30 countries as well as a team of devoted volunteers who promote plain language over formal legal terminology.

Every second year, Clarity holds an international conference together with a local partner. In 2016, the event was held in Wellington, New Zealand.

About Éducaloi

Éducaloi is a registered charity founded in 2000. It is a leader in the movement to improve access to justice in Québec.

Its mission is to explain the law to Quebecers in everyday language.

Éducaloi has three areas of focus: legal information, legal education and helping organizations explain the law in accessible language.

Its team of experts creates reliable, accessible legal information and education resources. It makes citizens aware of the legal aspects of everyday situations and how to exercise their rights. 

Éducaloi is a leader in plain language legal communications.

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Plain Language in Modern Times

1. PLAIN LANGUAGE: A STEP FORWARD FOR THE JUSTICE SYSTEM 

  • Readability of laws and regulated contracts
  • Simplified court procedures
  • Writing judicial and administrative decisions
  • Translation process for multi-language laws 
  • Participative justice, reparative justice, conflict prevention and resolution (civil, criminal, penal)
  • etc.

 
2. PUBLIC LEGAL EDUCATION: INFORMATION EMPOWERS 

  • Pedagogy and andragogy: developing optimal presentations and training
  • Developing legal knowledge, attitudes and skills among the public 
  • Obstacles to legal plain language communications
  • Citizenship and financial education: introducing law in high school
  • etc.

 
3. PLAIN LANGUAGE: A CATALYST FOR SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

  • Encouraging political leaders to communicate with the public in plain language 
  • Optimizing how legal professionals work with others
  • Enhancing corporate image to attract customers and encourage loyalty
  • Economic benefits of plain language 
  • Using plain language to improve organizational efficiency and productivity 
  • etc.

 
4. PLAIN LANGUAGE AND TECHNOLOGY 

  • Emergence of Legal Tech: benefits for law practitioners and clients
  • Using new technology for legal plain language
  • Risks associated with the new technology
  • Artificial intelligence and predictive justice
  • etc.

 
5. LEGAL PLAIN LANGUAGE PRINCIPLES

  • Introduction to, and raising awareness of, legal plain language 
  • Best practices: basic principles and techniques 
  • Master classes: advanced workshops for plain language specialists
  • Information design
  • Practical cases, statistics and research on plain language
  • etc.

 
6. WRITING FOR THE READER

  • How social exclusion impacts communication 


    • sexual orientation
    • age
    • mental-health issues
    • illiteracy or reading and writing difficulties
    • the digital divide
  • How culture impacts communication (e.g., Indigenous culture)
  • Communicating with non-represented litigants
  • etc.

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