Problem

Unnecessary verbosity of legal documents

Other Names:
Lengthy legal opinions
Verbose rulings
Lengthy dissenting judgements
Nature:
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.
Incidence:
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.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Date of last update
01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET