The Demand on Plain Legal Language in Public Sector: a Case of Consumer Contracts Providing Public Service

Ramunė Miežanskienė, Aušra Tartilaitė

Abstract


Plain legal language is one of ways to ensure citizens rights to clear and easy understandable information about legal regulations. It is also a valuable tool providing public services. The study of plain legal language reguirement in Lithuania is based on the analysis of resolutions of State Consumer Rights Protection Authority. Currently this is the only institution officially entitled to declare that some conditions of a contract should be considered as unclear. The analysis of Lithuania’s situation concerning the usage of plain legal language while providing public services to consumers reveals a few observations. Firstly, while investigating the application of concept of plain language it was noticed that it is not being used in a full extent as it is interpreted by international scholars. Research shows that the concept of plain legal language and its application is orientated to how clearly (in detail) the contract conditions are formulated, but it does not include the requirement to meet the needs of audience. Secondly, the analysis shows that more than a half of consumer contracts providing public services include terms of contracts which should be defined as not clear. Finally, it is noticed that the application of plain legal language providing public services should be monitored and implemented using the variety of criteria of plain legal language conception.

Keywords


plain legal language; consumer contracts for public services

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603