The Dominican Academy of Letters (Academia Dominicana de la Lengua) published recently a book by Fabio J. Guzmán Ariza, managing partner of the Guzmán Ariza law firm, titled El lenguaje de la Constitucion dominicana (The Language of the Dominican Constitution).
The presentation of the book took place in Santo Domingo and Santiago at the Dominican Academy of Letters and the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, respectively. Dr. Bruno Rosario Candelier, director of the Dominican Academy of Language, and the academician Maria Jose Rincón, as well as the author, spoke at the presentation.
The work examines the Dominican Constitution from a linguistic point of view, identifying its many deficiencies, such as syntactic and lexical complexity, and grammatical and orthographical errors, which, according to the author, reflect the alarming deterioration in the last decades of legal drafting in the Dominican Republic.
Guzmán Ariza noted that the fundamental idea of the book is that all laws should be written in clear, understandable, and correct language, accessible to all citizens. To remedy the current situation in the short term, he proposes the implementation by the government and the universities of these four basic policies: (1) preparation of a legislative drafting guide; (2) courses in legal drafting for legal counsels and drafters of laws and regulations; (3) linguistic revision of bills in the legislature before approval; and, (4) inclusion of legal drafting courses in law schools.