The law is inevitably complex because the rights and duties that arise amongst human beings are many, complex and diverse. It is, therefore, in a sense, a significant accomplishment that through language, we are capable of encompassing and describing the nuances of each interaction.
Be that as it may, it would seem that those professing to be of the legal profession have over time have forgotten that the law is not an end in itself. The legal ecosystem has become a world unto itself, one which only a privileged few can benefit for. This world has its own distinct language (legalese) that few seem to understand. Access to this world comes at a premium, and so to do the benefits.
“The Law has become a world unto itself”
Unfortunately, this extended metaphor holds true in Australia. In a report published by the Victoria Law Foundations, it was noted that more than ninety per cent of the people who took part in a study gauging accessibility of legal services lamented that those services were too inaccessible.
The most commonly cited reasons were the following: that the legal system is too complex and hard to comprehend, that lawyers are unwilling or unable to demystify it, and that legal services are too expensive.
“Complex systems, legalese and unaffordability main bars to Legal Services”
In the midst of a generation that places great emphasis on accessibility and inclusivity, this report poses a challenge to all legal practitioners. It highlights the fact that there is still more that needs to be done to demystify the law. The report presents an opportunity specifically to stakeholders in the legal profession, to emphasize on demystification.
Afterall we must always remember that at the heart of our profession is the lay-person to whom it is our calling to uphold and protect their rights!