Clarity is the largest international plain language organization. It gathers professionals who are committed to promoting plain legal language and legal design:
- Hundreds of members from dozens of countries
- Official representatives in around 30 countries
- A team of dedicated volunteers who advocate locally for the use of plain legal language in place of legalese.
People don’t read legal documents. They’re too complex. Whether it’s a 30-year mortgage or a life-changing employment contract, most people have the same reaction. Faced with an impenetrable wall of text, they simply sigh and sign on the dotted line.
The same problem arises in the public sphere. Draft legislation is often impossible to read and understand without a law degree. Ordinary people have no choice but to trust their politicians and hope for the best.
Knowledge, as they say, is power.
And we want to give that power back to citizens.
Our members are people who believe in a world free of legalese. They understand and promote the benefits of plain legal language and legal design.
They include judges, lawyers, government officials, scholars and teachers, as well as corporate and NGO representatives.
Many are plain language practitioners – writers, editors, researchers, consultants and trainers – with a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience in plain legal language.
How it all began
John Walton, a British solicitor, launched Clarity in 1983. He was fed up with archaic and over-complicated legal writing and decided to do something about it. He wrote a letter to the UK Law Society Gazette inviting solicitors and barristers to join him in making legal language plain and accessible. Twenty-eight people responded, and Clarity was born.
None other than Lord Denning, one of the most celebrated common law judges of the 20th century, endorsed the project. Denning, famous for his colourful and lucid decisions, said the goals of Clarity were “after my own heart”.
Today, Clarity is the largest organization of its kind, with more than 650 members in 50 countries.
Download the Clarity Constitution.
Journal : Our biannual journal, The Clarity Journal, is the leading source of plain language news and legal design research from around the globe.
Conference : Every two years we host an international conference. It’s an unmissable opportunity to connect with other Clarity members, exchange ideas, and learn about new practices in the field.
Regional and local activities : Many Clarity country representatives organise local plain language activities. Contact your country representative to find out what’s happening in your area.