Clear and elegant legal writing: A miracle!


Well, colour us impressed!

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom released a press summary yesterday and by George, we got it! The writer presented complex information in Plain English without losing elegance in the writing style.

Here at Ethos CRS one of our many missions is to equip professionals with  the skills to communicate clearly and effectively. Pieces like these show that it is possible to write well even when you have to explain legal jargon and information to lay audience. Here’s an excerpt:

“It would have been open to Parliament when enacting the ECA to authorise ministers to withdraw from the EU Treaties, but clear words would have been required; not only are there no such clear words, but the provisions of the ECA indicate that ministers do not have such power [87, 88]. Withdrawal is not authorised by section 2, which envisages ministers taking part in the EU law-making processes: withdrawing from the EU is doing the opposite [95].

The fact that ministers are accountable to Parliament for their actions is no answer constitutionally, if the power to act does not exist in the first place and where (as the court has been asked to assume) the exercise of the power would be irrevocable and pre-empt any Parliamentary action [92].” (The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, 2017)


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