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5 September 2011
By Office of the Ombudsman

On Saturday 3rd of September 2011 I attended a fascinating seminar on the subject of determination writing, delivered by Prof James Raymond with the assistance of Justice Tony Randerson of the New Zealand Court of Appeal, Robert Fisher QC and David Bigio. The seminars were about effective oral and written techniques, both for counsel but also for the decision-makers. The thrust of the seminar began with a discussion of what makes good legal writing good. To explore this issue it is necessary to study how to identify and arrange the issues, and to highlight matters such as case specific hearings. We looked at a number of specific examples of both good and bad writing, and that was a reminder to me that as a lawyer I must be careful about the use of terms and phrases, perhaps very familiar to me, but unknown to my readers. When writing a report about a matter it must be easily understood, and it is probably not going too far to say that a fair result is one that can be received, applied and have meaning accessible to everyone. I learned a great deal from the seminar, not the least being that application of a sense of humour can make a difference.


Office of the Ombudsman