“in light of the fact that,” “with regard to,” “under the provisions of…”
These trite phrases often prevent your text to be clear and smooth. Translators are under the impression that legal texts require word-for-word translations. However, Dragoman prefers being loyal to the meaning, not to the cumbersome structure of source sentences. Here are five phrases that you can eliminate to improve your legal language skills:
1. “hereinafter referred to as”
Just put the described phrase into parentheses and quotation marks.
Wordy: This Confidentiality Agreement (hereinafter referred to as “Agreement”) has been signed by ……………………(hereinafter referred to as “Discloser”) and ………………… (hereinafter referred to as “Recipient”)
Better: This Confidentiality Agreement (“Agreement”) has been signed by ……………………(“Discloser”) and ………………… (“Recipient”).
2. “in the event/case that
Think about recasting your sentences with “if” clauses.
Wordy: Any liability that may arise in the event of a breach of this Article must be borne by the Party causing the damage.
Better: If a Party violates this Article, they must assume full liability. (Please note the structural change—to active from passive.)
3. “be required to/obliged to”
Consider using “must.”
Wordy: The Parties are required to carry out the necessary inspections.
Better: The Parties must perform the necessary inspections.
4. “in order to”
Just write “to” instead.
Wordy: The parties are obligated to take any technical and administrative measures in order to prevent the unlawful processing of personal data.
Better: The parties must take any technical and administrative measures to prevent the unlawful processing of personal data.
5. “for the purpose(s) of [verb+ -ing]”
Similarly, consider writing “to” instead, to have an action-oriented sentence.
Wordy: Taking any action permitted by the legislation for the purposes of fulfilling the goals of the Foundation.
Better: Taking any action permitted by the legislation to fulfill the Foundation’s goals.
Try and avoid these phrases on your next project to achieve a fluent and natural style!
Reference: Garner, B. A. 2002. “The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style.” Thomson/West: Minnesota