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Legal Languages

APEGBC Bylaw 1APEGBC Bylaw 2

Legal languages often doesn’t make any sense, here is a good example.

The APEGBC, the self governing body of BC professional engineers, is asking its members to ratify a bylaw amendment.  Recently, the court declared the section regarding the experience requirements of registering as a professional engineers is invalid, since someone who failed to register as a P.Eng take it to court to challenge the 51 years old bylaw.  The court require the associate to fix the bylaw, provide sufficient detail on experience requirement in order to registering new members.

The original bylaw has just a short paragraph.  In my opinion, it clearly states the experience requirement in plain English.  It has been using for 51 years and no one is confused about the experience requirements to register as P.Eng.   Somehow the judge think the bylaw is not detail enough, so the association hire some lawyers to encrypt the paragraph into 2 pages of legal language.   I tried to read the new bylaw.  I think is actually more confusing than the old one.  No lay person really know the true meaning of those legal terms.

The whole exercise of rewriting the bylaw does not change how the association registers new engineers.  The registration and review process is business as usual and the experiment requirements stays the same.  Everything is exactly the same as before except the bylaw is 2 pages longer and less readable.

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