Robert Eagleson has been involved in ground- breaking plain English work in Australia. He contributed extensively to the first plain English legal document (a car insurance policy) in 1976. As commissioner in charge of the plain English reference to the Victorian Law Reform Commission, he demonstrated that even complex legislation could be written in plain language. From 1993–97 he was a member of the taskforce directing the rewriting of the Australian Corporations Law in plain English. From 1983–87 Robert was Special Adviser on plain language to the Australian Government. He acted as consultant in plain legal language to Mallesons Stephen Jacques from 1987–2000. He was appointed Founding Co-Director of the Law Foundation Centre for Plain Legal Language.
Robert has also been a consultant to Law Reform Commissions in Canada and New Zealand and has conducted workshops in Canada, France, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, the UK and the USA. He has received a number of awards from the Australian Government and national and international professional associations for his contributions to plain writing and literacy.
His publications include Writing in Plain English and over 60 monographs and articles on plain English, as well as some 50 books and articles on English language, including a dictionary of Shakespeare’s language for Oxford University Press.
At the PLAIN 2009 conference in Sydney, Robert was presented with the Plain Language Association InterNational Award for an outstanding contribution to plain language internationally.