Times Online law pages

The Times online regular Tuesday law page contains an article by John Cooper on books. He finds some infelicities in Bryan Garner’s English in the new edition of The Winning Brief.

bq. Garner warms to his subject in the 516-page text: “Hyphenate your phrasal adjectives”, “watch out for potential miscues” and “outline your brief, but start with nonlinear outlining”. He gets a little easier to understand when considering the list of clichés to avoid — do not go near “as slow as molasses ” and on no account employ “a happy camper”. It struck me that this is probably where many of our elite appellate advocates are going wrong. Or is it because they fail to “remember the importance of ethos”? Garner quotes that well-known American writer William Strunk Jr, “Every writer, by the way he uses language, reveals something of his spirit”, and there is no doubt that Garner has fully exposed himself.

There’s also an article on commonhold, by Caroline Andresier of Macfarlanes. Commonhold came into force yesterday. See also a BBC article by Paul Neville of Forsters. Commonhold is very similar to ownership of flats in Germany. Apparently it will be mainly applied in new buildings, because the amount of agreement between the co-owners of a building has to be greater than was previously the case in Britain.

Here Dr. Hök Stieglmeier & Kollegen in Berlin have a good article in German on English land law (Neues zum Grundstücksrecht in England), dated 2003. An earlier article of 2001, Rechte an Grundstücken in England, is also worth looking at.

The Times Online also has a page ‘In the City of Munich’.

4 thoughts on “Times Online law pages

  1. Bryan A. Garner’s exhortation to what must be American-only lawyers to strike ‘pursuant to’ from their vocabulary’ is NOT a counsel of perfection for legal translators or court interpreters faced with German prepositions like ‘gemäß’, the Swedish ‘jämlikt’, the French ‘selon’ or the Spanish ‘segun’.

    For British/Irish style, I’ll stick to the Cavendish publication on (non-daft legal)Drafting by authors Charles Foster and Elmer Doonan, ex-bar School lecturer as well as Parliamentary Draftsmen like the City Remembrancer.

  2. Actually, I do try to avoid ‘pursuant to’ and use ‘under’, and sometimes other things – where appropriate, I’d use ‘in accordance with’ or indeed ‘pursuant to’. You can even have ‘contrary to’ where the reference is to the definition of a criminal offence.

    Foster and Doonan is excellent, I agree (I see on page 109 of my edition they say ‘pursuant to’ could often be replaced by ‘under’). I would also like to throw in a word for Peter Butt and Richard Castle, Modern Legal Drafting. A Guide To Using Clearer Language (rather an American use of capitals in the subtitle), albeit one of them is Australian.

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