Chrissie Maher award 2014

Peter Rodney

Over 20 years ago two campaign members, George Maher and Janet Millner, visited Geneva’s EFTA courts. As part of the trip they met barrister Peter Rodney, an advocate of plain English, to see how we could help him in his efforts to introduce plain English into the legal profession. This in turn led to the start of a long and beneficial mutual relationship.

Peter was unusual in a profession where the majority prefer to hide behind legalese. His expertise in and knowledge of the law helped us, over the next 20 years, to win many battles in getting companies to change the way they write. He was on hand to provide advice and spoke eloquently at several of our conferences. In later years Peter ran our training courses for lawyers, helping to spread the word that you can write legal documents in simple, clear English.

Peter sadly passed away in November, 2014. He was not only a colleague but a friend and we all have many fond memories of his time with the Campaign. He will be greatly missed and we feel privileged to have worked alongside him.

Chrissie Maher, founder of Plain English Campaign, remembers Peter with great affection.
"Peter, legal eagle and gentleman, was a good friend to me and to the Campaign. He worked tirelessly to help to bring plain English into legal language, battling bureaucracy and deep-set tradition to make difficult inroads into a well-established field. We are all better off for the fantastic work he did in clarifying very tricky legal matters and all his hard work will continue to provide benefit for many. He campaigned, taught and argued eloquently on our behalf for decades. He was very much in touch with the grass roots and was a humble and lovely man. He did an incredibly important job and he was a pleasure to be associated with. We will all miss him."

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