Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637 | Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
George A. Bermann
The notion of transparency in the literature on law and society denotes openness and intelligibility. In many legal systems, law has acquired a reputation for being technical, arcane, difficult to locate and understand, and remote from users. To improve law's accessibility, particularly to those it means to govern, many different steps have been developed and implemented. This entire reform strategy goes by the name of transparency. At its most general, one may understand transparency as an attribute of law itself, whether as product or as process. In terms of product, law is transparent to the extent that lay people can readily locate and understand it. Thus, when the drafters of legislation pursue transparency, they seek to make the laws they enact as accessible and understandable as possible, even to those without any learning in the law. So, too, a judge who values and exercises transparency drafts a judicial opinion in ...