Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Legal Passages From India
From the Indo-Asian News Service: Indian Law Secretary T.K. Vishvanathan has made a plea for clearer legislative drafting.
In particular, Mr. Vishvanathan took aim at long-winded sentences. "Long sentences intimidate the readers, while also making the law lose its spirit," he said, adding that "present legal draftsmen too like their co-professional forefathers love to test the agility of their readers by making them leap wide gaps between the subject and the verb, and the verb and the object in the sentences written by them."
He offered an interesting theory that the tradition of lengthy sentences in statutes comes from the fact that the early parliamentary draftsmen in England had been conveyancers (and conveyancers, evidently, used particularly long sentences). Can anyone comment on this theory?