n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - The complexity of legal drafting

Volume 2004, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



In any modern society, legislation is the most important source of new law. One has to add to this the fact that contracts can be regarded as sources of law that are created by the parties to deal authoritatively with certain matters . The same can probably be said of wills and other legal instruments. Then it becomes clear that legal instruments of all kinds are indispensable sources, not only for creating, but also for ascertaining modern law and legal relations. And these processes of creating and ascertaining legal rules and relations, of drafting and interpreting legal instruments, constitute instances of legal discourse in that various actors or interlocutors interact with each other and with the text of the legal instrument in an attempt to make sense of the text and the underlying law and legal relations. This article explores the complexity of the discourse that is inherent in any authoritative legal instrument, such as the legislative measures, contracts, wills, , in which binding legal rules, rights and duties are created and/or authoritatively regulated. For ease of reference, I will refer to this as "legal discourse".

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