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African Research Review

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The Mass Media and the Problem of Understanding Legal Language Use: A Call for the Adoption of Plain Legal Language in Nigeria

TU Onyemachi

Abstract


The study of legal language use (LLU), especially in its historic perspectives and lexical methods, has become one of the most fundamentally popular and basically attractive areas of research that is generating a lot of special interest and drawing much greater attention to authors and readers alike in recent times. Apart from having its own lexicon, legal language preserves legal terminologies even though some are archaic or old fashioned in some ways as to command respect, perhaps, for its own peculiar tradition and prestige. This paper identifies the so-called legalese language as one of the greatest problems which media practitioners have to contend with. The paper is of the opinion that concerted efforts must be made to simplify or modernize the language of the Law, in order to avert the on-going confusion and misunderstanding associated with legal language use. The paper, therefore, advocates for the adoption of plain legal language use in Nigeria.



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/afrrev.v4i4.69206
AJOL African Journals Online