Legal Text Structure
I give my husband [NAME] all my tangible personal property and all insurance policies and products that cover that property. If he does not survive me, I give this property also to those of my children who survive me, to be divided among them by my executors at their sole discretion after consultation with my children. Characteristics of the structure of the legal text Taking into account the previous premises and the mutual commitments and agreements contained in this document, the parties therefore agree on the intention to be legally bound as follows. These styles also include things like spacing, paragraph parameters, and the use of punctuation. For some legal genres, typographical features (uppercase, font, bold and italics) are also taken into account. Legal texts are often difficult to understand for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, the function of these texts imposes specific restrictions on their organization and formulation. They should be divided into small units, articles and paragraphs, which can only be linked to a limited extent by open linguistic means. In addition, legal texts may consist only of normative declarations, i.e. they may not contain or only to a very limited extent purely informative additions such as commentaries, explanations, metalinguistic remarks or usual instruments in colloquial language to make the texts more comprehensible. Finally, legal statements should be abstract and general, while simple understanding is facilitated by citing concrete examples.
On the other hand, this class of texts belongs to a higher category called specialized texts. One of the most important features is the use of language. In general, the vocabulary used by each of the specialized communities is very specific and of limited importance. As a reader, I feel smart when openings, headings, and paragraph structures draw my attention to what I need to know. The text of the law is the act of communication – usually made in writing – which has a legal character and uses the language and formats of the field of law. In turn, the law refers to the particular norms according to which the various human societies are governed and whose observance is required of their members. Characteristics of the structure of the legal text For a communication situation to be considered a legal text, it must be created in a legislative context. You must also follow all the formalities that any business needs for this purpose.
For example, a contract signed between individuals (without the intermediary of a lawyer) can be understood as a legal text. Some documents have standard structure titles that readers expect or that law firms and courts need. For example, one law firm may want all legal memos to have titles for facts, problems, and short answers, while another law firm may want the memo to begin with the title: Short Answer. A court may require that all applications include a title “Procedural History.” Then, cut out the subject sentences and the last sentences of each paragraph and paste them under the appropriate headings. You now have an overview of the entire document showing the sequence of ideas. When you look at the outline, you get the cold reality of your structure. You can use this outline with your margin notes for a more in-depth review of each section and paragraph. The structure (flowchart, layout and relationship between the different parts and elements) of a legal text depends on its function. Attend the most popular CLE seminar ever. More than 215,000 people – including lawyers, judges, trainee lawyers and paralegals – have benefited since the early 1990s. You`ll learn the keys to professional writing and learn no-frills techniques to make your letters, memos, and briefings more powerful. Therefore, any text prepared by persons relating to the field of legal norms (legislators, judges or officials legally empowered as lawyers) can be considered as a legal text.
Laws, state constitutions, decrees, judgments, contracts, wills and the like are clear examples of this type of text. The most important works on jurisprudence and philosophy of law were written in Latin, including the famous treatises of Cicero, St. Thomas Aquinas and many others. A court decision usually begins with an introduction that, among other things, identifies the parties and the problem and defines the legal relationship between the parties. Features of the structure of the legal text The result is legal texts, explicit and normative explanations of laws, compilations of precedents and texts relating to litigation and judicial proceedings. In general, the main function of a legal text is the formulation, preservation, clarification and implementation of the rules according to which relations between members of society must be regulated. The use of Latinisms – words derived from Latin – is very common in legal texts.