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The Assumptions Beyond Plain Legal Language

Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1, p. 173, 2002

Posted: 28 Aug 2006  

Peter Butt

The University of Sydney Law School


This article is based on a lecture on plain legal language delivered in Hong Kong in February 2002. The author provides an overview of the movement towards using plain language in legal documents, and discusses certain assumptions made in deciding to use plain legal language. He provides evidence to support the propositions that it is possible to express legal concepts in plain language effectively, that plain legal language can save money, and that judges and clients prefer plain language. Overall, the article provides an introduction to the principles and concepts underlying the plain language movement.

Suggested Citation

Butt, Peter, The Assumptions Beyond Plain Legal Language. Available at SSRN:

Peter Butt (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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