Legislation should be simple and clear so that it is easy to understand for citizens as well as businesses. Simple rules facilitate the protection of legal rights by providing more clarity on the legal position of the individual and improve citizens’ and businesses’ experience of being treated fairly. For the authorities, simple and clear rules have the advantage of being easier to administer and contribute to a more uniform administration and digital legislative support. If the legislation is unclear or complex with many exceptions, requirements, schemes, process requirements or discretion it may be difficult to administer - also digitally.
The rules should be worded clearly and simply, unambiguously and consistently. Simple rules do not necessarily mean a brief law text. It may require more words to make it unambiguous and clear what the rules are. This does not, however, change the overall legal principle that superfluous words in the law text should be avoided.
It should be stated clearly in the legal text what the general rules and exceptions are, and it should be considered whether, instead of additional exceptions and special schemes, a comprehensive revision of the legislation should be made to make it generally simpler and clearer. However, exceptions should be preserved to the extent it is necessary to ensure that the civil rights of citizens are protected.
- Have rules and concepts been worded in a clear, simple, unambiguous and consistent manner?
- Is there a clear distinction between general rules and exceptions?
- If the rules include process requirements: Can the legal text be translated into a number of work tasks and is the description of the individual steps listed in the sequential order of the workflow in the act?
- Is it clear from the provisions which entities are targeted?
- Is knowledge of implementation impacts such as case processing times incorporated in the preparation of the act?