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Torunn Reksten

Lynda believes we can make the world a better place by using the power of words for good .

Torunn Reksten is a plain language expert and senior adviser at the Language Council of Norway, the axis of plain language initiatives in Norway’s public sector. As a plain language advocate, lecturer, editor and author since 2008 she has played a central part in building plain language awareness and competence – an initiative which has set a new standard for public communication in Norway.

Torunn serves on the Drafting Committee of the ISO Working Group 11 for international plain language standard and was Head of the Programming Committee for the PLAIN 2019 conference in Oslo. She is in charge of the Norwegian Language Council’s plain language strategies, and is passionate about innovation and constant renewal in plain language and in general.

Do you understand your rights?

A European project for plain language in criminal justice

Vera Gergely, plain language consultant at Világos Beszéd, Hungary

If you don’t understand your rights, you can’t exercise them. That’s the starting point for our project called “Access Just”, which connected plain language experts and criminal defense lawyers from 15 EU countries to create:

  • A revised Letter of Rights (the text informing suspects of their fundamental rights), and

  • a publicly accessible, free e-learning course about plain language aimed at criminal justice actors in 10 languages.

Watch Florence Cols’ presentation to learn how they redesigned the Belgian Letter of Rights.


Participants will learn:

  • why Letters of Rights are crucial for the defendants in the criminal justice procedure

  • that even though the basic rights are the same across the EU, the national Letters of Rights might differ significantly due to the difference in local practices


Two useful resources for this presentation:

  1. the e-learning courses in Croatian, Estonian, English, French, Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish (German to come later)

  2. a previous research report on the accessibility of the Letter of Rights in Europe: