Friday, 13 June 2008


In relation to an Irish referendum on the European Treaty of Lisbon the Irish Independent asked "Why should I vote Yes to a legal document I don't understand?"
Lawyers may be surprised to learn that Joe Bloggs doesn't read any of the law he's expected to comply with and if he did (and managed to stay awake through the process) the chances are he'd be utterly confused. But this doesn't stop us from complying. Or approving of it.
There may be good reason for legalese to eliminate loopholes, but there is also good reason for clarity. It's not impossible: just look at the American Bill of Rights! In my opinion each bill requires a simple and succinct "executive summary", approved by parliament.

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