by Jinryu

Effort and Dice Rolls
Some state jurisdictions in Australia clearly write better legislation than others.  I’m working on something for the firm where I’m indexing and cross referencing legislation from the different states, but on the same area of law.  Despite the fact that all these states have access to eachothers’ laws, some of them just did a really bad job of it.

And how hard can it be? I mean, this is an area where you can simply copy another state’s laws, word for word, and it would be legal.

Instead, you have some states trying to be clever with wording, or trying to find some new way to organise sections and subsections.  The end result: law that is difficult and confusing to read, when it doesn’t have to be.  Oftentimes, the law is just too wordy, and it’s as if they’re allergic to proper punctuation and short sentences.

For example:
 “s33(10)If the Commissioner considers that the implementation of a revised distribution plan would be unreasonable or impractical or if the committee has failed to lodge a revised distribution plan with the Commissioner within one month of being informed of the Commissioner’s opinion under subsection (9) or if the committee has failed to lodge a distribution plan with the Commissioner in accordance with subsection (6), the Commissioner shall so declare in writing and, subject to subsection (12) and section 36, shall after one month cause the surplus property to be credited to the Consolidated Account. “

That’s not necessarily a complicated passage, but it could be so much simpler, if someone put in the effort.

I don’t know if there’s an allegory here towards individuality, but I should say that people spend a lot of time trying to appear different.   This is time that could probably be better used to discovering oneself, and being really comfortable in that skin, and allowing difference to be recognised by others.


I have no idea why some of these laws go so out of their way to say something simple in a new and complicated way.  I hope that legislators are just feeling insecure and are trying to sound smart. I really hope that that’s not the way words flow in their heads.  Vanity might be forgiven, but genuine madness…?

Or maybe I just don’t accept that certain types of people exist.  Maybe they’re not “fake”– maybe it’s that I just can’t accept certain kinds of personalities, or at the very least, I look down on them.

It’s all very Catcher in the Rye and very teen angst to be fed up of “fake people,” but the truth is, a lot of the way society works is based on group charades.  Go to any lawschool or courtroom, and you’ll see that law isn’t necessarily about substance– it’s about appearances and presentation.  Sure, having real substance does help– but you can get away with a lot just by puffing up, smiling, pointing fingers, and talking loudly.