Legal documents are written in a jargon, and with a length of detail that is totally unnecessary to communicate their messages. The law clerking profession is used by aspiring young lawyers to enhance their legal prospects by developing a reputation for scholarly publications. Because of the traditions of reference to precedents and the use of professional phrases and jargon, legal opinions can run into thousands of unnecessary words, mostly incomprehensible to the public who are to obey and support the law.
The problem appears more prominent in the British system of law where huge chunks from the judgements of the past are elaborated in opinions. The Continental system used in European courts invariably manages concise judgement, whatever disagreements and strong words there may be behind the scenes. In the case of environmental legislation in the USA, the basic laws are detailed on many hundreds of pages, supplemented by thousands of pages of implementing regulations, further refined by policy pronouncements, guidance documents, judicial opinions and related guidance. Many corporate lawyers surveyed admitted that their companies may violate environmental laws as a result of uncertainty and complexity.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.