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Australia

Mark Biss

Mark dreams of a world where organizations no longer confuse their employees or their customers.

Mark is a process analyst / technical writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He has 20 years of experience documenting policies, processes and procedures in the finance, superannuation, automotive, health, manufacturing, resources and education sectors. Mark combines process logic with plain language to minimize the “cost of confusion.” 


Mark has an MBA (Monash University), Graduate Certificate in Linguistics (Open University) and Six Sigma Green Belt certification. Mark is a member of Clarity International and the Communication Research Institute. He enjoys cooking, reading and walking where birds sing and wild flowers bloom. Mark presented on “The Cost of Confusion” at Clarity 2016 in Wellington NZ.

Unrepresented litigants in Family Law deserve plain language and process reform

Mark Biss, Australia 

Referring mainly to Australian family law, I will discuss how plain language and process reform will make justice more accessible for litigants (and children). Poorly designed, confusing documents hamper access to justice for unrepresented litigants. A simple process map would assist unrepresented litigants, especially those without prior knowledge of the legal system, to more easily navigate the dispute resolution process. Plain language and process reform will improve productivity thereby lowering costs for all parties.

 

Participants will learn:

  • to identify sources of confusion

  • how confusion is a barrier to justice, adding to “system costs”

  • how legal documents should be structured to improve access

  • how a simple process map with reference to documentation could help decision making, improve productivity and reduce delays.

 

Two useful resources include:

  1. Australian Law Reform Commission: “Family Law for the Future — An Inquiry into the Family Law System”; Final Report, March 2019. https://www.alrc.gov.au/publication/family-law-report/

  2. Seattle Journal for Social Justice: “Improving Access to Justice: Plain Language Family Law Court Forms in Washington State”; Vol 11, Issue 3, Article 10, Nov 2013. https://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/sjsj/vol11/iss3/10/

 
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