Making the law accessible

According to government surveys on satisfaction with public services, the clarity of the law often numbers among the aspects with which citizens are less satisfied (www.amtlich-einfach.de). In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the wirksam regieren project group is therefore working on improving the clarity of legal texts.

Gesetzestexte, Recht, Justiz, BGB, Gesetzesbücher

Gesetzestexte

Photo: Bundesregierung/Stutterheim

To this end, a preparatory study is investigating which legal texts are used most frequently by legal laymen and professionals, how they approach research into the law and legal consequences, and where problems of understanding occur. The long-term objective is firstly to revise accompanying texts and information concerning the law with a view to clarity. Another approach which has a long-term and forward-looking effect is improvement of the training of legislators. Legislators are the administrative employees who draft the texts of laws and regulations. The clarity of law can thus be given higher priority in all policy areas at the time of the first draft text.

Aims of the project

Establishing the basis for revision of legal texts and further development of legislator training through identification of problems of understanding and other preliminary work.

Measures

Identification of frequently used legal texts and investigation of research strategies and common problems of understanding.

Methodology

Online surveys and qualitative individual interviews with legal laymen and professional practitioners of law.

Current status

Online surveys were used as a first step to gather information on which laws are used most frequently be legal laymen and professional practitioners of law and where problems of understanding arise with the law. Results can be found on the German version of this site (German only). Currently, further surveys are being conducted specifically on rental law. Results will be available in the end of 2018.

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