Faculty of Law graduate student Niharika Bapna, who is part of the first cohort of students in the LLM Program’s Concentration in Legislative Studies, has recently published a paper entitled Plain Language Drafting: A Study of the Laws of India (2009–17) in the prestigious UK journal, Statute Law Review.
Here is the abstract of the article, which was originally written for a course taught by Professor John Mark Keyes:
The relation between the threat to rule of law in India and its poorly drafted legislation may not be obvious at first. And yet clear, intelligible laws have been the premise for the success of rule of law. There is little research done in the field of plain language legislative drafting in India. This article analyses three important elements of plain language drafting in nine Indian statutes passed in the last decade. They are as follows: arrangement of provisions, marginal notes, and sentence structure. Each of the selected nine statutes impacts the rights of vulnerable groups. Thus, the need to make these statutes comprehensible by drafting them in plain English is important. By suggesting ways to simplify the language of the nine statutes, this article asserts that these plain language drafting techniques must be adopted by Indian legislative drafters.
This publication serves as both an exceptional achievement for Ms. Bapna, as well as an indication of the value of the Faculty of Law’s LLM Concentration in Legislative Studies.
Congratulations to Ms. Bapna!