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7 J. Open Access L. 1 (2019)

handle is hein.journals/jopacc7 and id is 1 raw text is: 





Access to legal information for citizens and new citizens
in Italy:  using   visual  elements and adopting legal design
methods to make administrative documents clearer and
more effective



Chiara Fioravanti
Francesco  Romano
Researchers at the Institute of Legal Informatics and Judicial Systems of the National
Research Council of Italy (IGSG-CNR)

Abstract. In the present paper we will verify if and how the institutional guidelines on
administrative document drafting of extra-EU countries, include recommendations on the
use of visual elements to make the content of the institutional texts more comprehensible
and the administrative procedures more accessible. This analysis had the ultimate goal of
trying to make additional proposals for the Italian guidelines in order to make them more
inclusive through a greater use of visual elements.

Keywords: Administrative communication, Visual Law, Guideline on clear language,
Access to legal information, Migrants.


                             1. Introduction

The  comprehensibility of the legal and administrative texts (administrative
measures  but also informative texts published on institutional web sites) is
one  of the conditions for concretely fulfilling the principle of substantial
equality among  citizens. Citizens can be truly aware of their rights and
duties  and  therefore participate actively in public  life only if they
understand  the rules of the  society in which  they live. In fact, good
communication   between  administrative bodies and the public is essential
for the functioning of national life at all levels (Nuolijarvi, Stickel 2016,
p. 5).

However,  in many countries the language use of public administration and
legal  authorities has developed   grammatical,  lexical, and  idiomatic
characteristics and peculiarities that often make  official texts hard to
comprehend   for many people (Stickel 2016, p. 23).

The  challenges for effective administrative communication   are huge in
every society but especially great in countries with more than one official
language  or with vibrant minority languages. (Nuolijdrvi, Stickel 2016, p.
5).

Effective access to legal information is even more challenging for particular
categories of public, such as migrants. Undoubtedly, as newcomers,  they
might  have a lack of knowledge  about language, administrative rules and
legal provisions of the host society. They shall be considered in this context
as vulnerable people (Rhazzali, 2015, p. 74).
It is also for this reason that many administrative bodies in Europe, in
addition to providing public sites with information dedicated to migrants
translated into several languages, are also using a simplified institutional
language  that we can define as easy to read (Domeij, Spetz 2016, p. 66).
Moreover,  a clear and simple institutional language for citizens will also be


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