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Gender Neutrality in Legislative Drafting Techniques. Where conventionality in English Language Meets Creativity in a Diachronic Perspective


Over the last decades, proposals to modernise legislative drafting have been choral and among the specific causes generally mentioned there are sentences of undue length, overuse of archaic expressions, repeated definitions and expressions, partiality of nominalisations, lack of gender neutrality. The aim of this analysis is to explore the legislative techniques adopted by drafters of English-speaking countries over the last decades, who are asked to write legal sentences aiming at gender fair and symmetric representation of men and women. The issue examined from a lexico-grammatical perspective culminates in the proposed questions whether certain techniques used to implement gender-neutral drafting can result in a product that is better than the one had before.