The scientific-practical Law Journal
“Almanac of Law” Volume 12 (2021), 210-215 p
Ogneviuk G. Z. Clarity and legibility of legal norms as an element of legal certainty
The article analyzes links between the clarity and legibility of legal norms and the legal certainty principle. It is stated that clarity and legibility are not only the characteristics of legal norms and the requirements of legal technique. It is also a significant element for the legal certainty principle, which influences on how legal regulation will achieve its goal.
Each legal norm has a content and an external form, the form should be clear and apparent not only to the lawyers and judges but also to the people, who should understand the content clearly to behave in accordance with it. In case of uncertainty legal norms are differently applied by people. They are unclear to understand what is prohibited or approved by law. This leads to the reduction of authority of the legal regulation and stimulates a person to interpret the norm in his pwn way. The universality and stability of legal regulation reduces thereby.
So clarity and legibility are far from being only the technique characteristics of legal form, they influence significally the process of application of legal norm. There should be no special education provided for average citizen to understand the meaning of law, which he is due to obey. In order to provide a full and universe regulation the law should be clear and understandable. In this case citizens receive predictability and show respect for the law.
Apart from the clarity and legibility legal certainty principle provides accessibility of legal regulation; restriction of the discretionary powers; binding nature of the court decision; prohibition retrospective action of legal norms and others.
It is underlined that the problem of clarity and legibility of legal act significally influences the protection of human rights and freedoms and it depends on how legal norm would get the aim of its regulation and in what way the idea incorporated by the legislator would be realized.
In order to provide clarity and legibility there are two groups of instruments that should be provided – general linguistical and juridicial. Linguistical instruments includes simplicity of formulation, avoidance of iterance, tautology, accumulation of syntactic construction, excessive use of denial in formulation of legal norms. The second group – juridical instruments – provide rare use of specified legal terminology, limited use of reference norms that doesn`t give an integral understanding of legal rule. Such cases attack legal certainty principle.
Keywords: legal certainty, legal technique, clarity and legibility of norm, predictability.
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