Gender Neutral Legal Language: A Comparative Analysis
Overview of the Experiences of Canada, The United States of America, Malta, Italy, Mali, India.
Maria Vittoria Buiatti
gender neutrality, legal language, comparative law, non discrimination, legal drafting
Abstract: The intent of this article is that of analyzing how influential language can be in carrying out discrimination and inequalities. More precisely, the article elaborates on legal language and the importance of drafting legislation in a gender-neutral legal language. Through concrete examples and a comparative analysis, which overlooks six different countries, it is shown how easily language can create discrimination and inequalities. This study on legal language, and particularly gender-neutral legal language, offers an effective and efficient way of avoiding biases and providing a stronger and broader protection for human rights. The different experiences all around the world bring different element to the conversation on legal language and legal drafting, each one of them offering viable solutions to the problem of discrimination through language. Moreover, even though relevant issues are present in the different systems taken into consideration, the problem themselves have proven to be a useful starting point for an improvement in drafting and favoring equality and non-discrimination. The aim of the article is that of showing that alternatives to the legal language used currently are possible and more than that, that they are effective.