Journal of Open Access to Law 2021-09-01T00:00:00+00:00 Valarie Kimber Open Journal Systems <p>JOAL is an open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal of international scope. &nbsp;Its purpose is to promote international research on the topic of open access to law.</p> <p>JOAL provides an international forum for academic researchers as well as for practitioners of open legal publishing. Central topics of concern include</p> <ul> <li class="show">critical construction of legal information methods</li> <li class="show">governance of new models of legal publishing</li> <li class="show">the relationship between open-access legal information and technology</li> <li class="show">projects in open access to law</li> <li class="show">the technical challenges and economic opportunities created by open access to law and public sector information</li> <li class="show">the economic dimensions of open access to law</li> <li class="show">trends and changes suggested by the globalization of access</li> </ul> <p>JOAL is meant to stimulate and promote an interdisciplinary approach to law, relocating classical topics in a new framework at the crossroads of law and history, law and literature, law and philosophy, law and technology, and law and AI.</p> <p>The Editorial Board invites the submission of essays, topical article, comments, critical reviews, which will be evaluated by an independent committee of referees on the basis of their quality of scholarship, originality, and contribution to reshaping legal views and perspectives.</p> <p><a title="Registration page" href="/index.php/joal/user/register">Registration</a> as an author is required in order to submit an article or note.</p> Communicating the Law and Public Information to Vulnerable Audiences: Contexts and Strategies 2021-02-22T23:29:51+00:00 Chiara Fioravanti <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Vulnerable categories are the most affected by legal issues and at the same time the ones who face more barriers in accessing legal and public information. The contributions for this special issue of JOAL deal with this matter presenting reflections, methods and strategies that can help to overcome this situation.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Open Access to Law Accessibility for All Abilities: How Universal Design, Universal Design for Learning, and Inclusive Design Combat Inaccessibility and Ableism 2021-02-22T23:08:51+00:00 John L O’Neill <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Accessibility is the means of enabling everyone to participate in society as independently as possible. People with disabilities are those most often concerned about accessibility because of the many barriers they continue to encounter. The United States has passed laws with the objective of making society more accessible. This includes access to information. Still, there are significant ableist attitudes that prohibit people with disabilities from having their right to information respected. Discussions about accessibility surged at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as people became more dependent on accessing information from the web. This article will explore different disability models to understand the oppression of people with disabilities. It will examine how the different principles and methods of Universal Design, Universal Design for Learning, and Inclusive Design can be combined in innovative ways to ensure that all citizens have access to information without barriers.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Open Access to Law Translating Legal Texts into Easy Language 2021-02-22T23:21:35+00:00 Christiane Maaß Isabel Rink <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Legal communication entails experts communicating with lay persons, some of which may have special needs or even a communication disability. In our contribution, we will discuss the results of a pilot project for accessible legal information and interaction texts. The project was carried out as a cooperation between the Research Centre for Easy Language with the Ministry of Justice of Lower Saxony (Germany) and has led to highly relevant insights into the possibilities of legal translation in the framework of communicative accessibility.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Open Access to Law Be Clear! The Role of Clarity in Legal Communication 2021-02-22T23:36:52+00:00 Karin Luttermann <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The rights of persons with disabilities have been strengthened in the past years. The impulse came from the passing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its adoption in many parts of the world. In Germany, its ratification has led to numerous measures (laws, projects) for the creation of an inclusive society. Language is of special importance in this context. Easy Language is a form of barrier-free communication and is meant to make (specialist) information and (professional) communication accessible to certain target groups (among others, persons with mental disabilities, aphasia, German as a second language). It originated from practice-oriented work. Theoretically and empirically assessing its possibilities, potentials and limits urgently requires linguistic research, too. On a text linguistic basis, the contribution argues for the use of Clear Language and for a wider perspective on the concept of lay persons within expert-lay communication. The key question is how legal texts can be clearly formulated and conveyed to the addressees (including the average person)? – What is offered here is a sound solution: the Comprehensibility Model of Legal Language (“Rechtslinguistisches Versta?ndlichkeitsmodell”).</p> </div> </div> </div> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Open Access to Law “Giving Notice”: The Divergence Between Legal and Practical Assessments of How Well Government Notices Provide Information to Vulnerable Audiences 2021-02-22T23:42:12+00:00 Barbra Kingsley Amreeta S. Mathai <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>When government notices are difficult to understand, making it difficult for intended users to navigate governmental systems, the consequences of failing to respond appropriately to such notices disproportionately negatively affects people from socio-economically marginalized communities, often with severe and long-term consequences to their lives. This paper will discuss current legal challenges in the United States to state Departments of Motor Vehicles’ practices of revoking or suspending the driver’s licenses for failure to pay traffic tickets without first providing them adequate notice of how to prevent or contest the suspension if they are unable to pay. People are less likely to understand confusingly presented information or be able appropriately act on it. People with limited financial means and limited literacy may lack the resources to hire someone to interpret poorly designed documents and are thus left unable to take the steps needed to protect themselves. This paper presents tools to analyze and evaluate the efficacy of government notices according to two questions: (1) Can the intended reader understand the notice?, and (2) How well does the notice inform that intended reader of the key messages?</p> </div> </div> </div> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Open Access to Law A Methodology to Rewrite the Belgian Letter of Rights 2021-02-22T23:17:45+00:00 Florence Cols <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>This paper explains how we rewrote the Belgian Letter of Rights. This is the document that arrested persons receive, which explains to them what their rights are: the right to remain silent, the right to obtain legal assistance, the right to receive medical help, etc. The problem is that this document is not appropriate for persons to correctly understand their rights, especially as they receive it in a stressful context. They are unaware of their rights, or they don’t know how to exercise their rights.</p> <p>We rewrote the Belgian Letter of Rights, in order to make it clear, understandable and efficient for persons under arrest.<br>This paper presents the steps and methodology we followed.<br>It also presents the results and impact we hope for this project. This impact is mainly to provide better access to justice because the first step towards justice is to understand rights and obligations.</p> </div> </div> </div> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Open Access to Law Sharing Knowledge, Shifting Power: A Case Study of “Rebellious” Legal Design During COVID-19 2021-02-22T23:56:14+00:00 Hallie Jay Pope Ashley Treni <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Communicating legal concepts requires creativity and community-informed design, even— especially—when disaster strikes. In this article, we examine a theory of legal information design rooted in anti-subordination and share insights from our efforts to co-design visual resources with underserved Florida communities during COVID-19.</p> </div> </div> </div> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Open Access to Law Communication policy in European projects: to what extent non-expert users can better and easier perceive and understand the European legal framework 2021-02-22T23:46:15+00:00 Sara Conti Ginevra Peruginelli <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Effective and clear communication on legal issues and related implications in EU-funded research and innovation projects is a fundamental requirement which allows partners to achieve project outcomes according to the EU legislation. As a matter of fact, law permeates every aspect of society and it has an undeniable impact in every daily activity under European projects tasks. Partners without legal background and expertise should be considered as “non-experts” when facing with legal information. In particular, the use of a specialized terminology, as it is language of the law, accentuates communication difficulties and prevents to this target group to understand and be understood.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> 2021-02-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Open Access to Law