As a lawyer people often say to me, “sod off” and “you want how much for that work?” Sometimes though they ask me about how to write about legal systems they have no familiarity with. Luckily I have schooled a generation of experts for newspaper websites and can share the technique.
1. Look around the internet for some stuff about the thing you want to write. Always best to choose something that suits the result you want to reach I find.
2. If the thing is about the law in one country cite it even if you have no idea whether the person who has written it has any knowledge of the law in that country.
3. If the person says they do know something about the law of the country cite it.
4. If you are worried that part of the thing on the internet does not completely agree with the conclusion you reached before you did any research then why not take the bits that do agree and ignore the others, or mention dismissively that the other bits are rubbish.
5. If you find some bits you’re not completely sure of why not contact someone from another place completely to ask them what they mean. They’ll soon put you right. On no account contact the person who has written the thing on the internet that you want to rely on because you’ve no idea what they’ll say. Plus they’re foreign.
6. Write your piece.
7. Make sure to make it as long as possible. That way people will add comments praising you for your excellent research.
8. If the person who wrote the thing on the internet says you misinterpreted them and have quoted bits of their thing on the internet out of context why not insult them and refer to the comments interpreting their thing on the internet that you got from the person in the other system. That’ll show them.
With these handy tips you too can pontificate on the comment pages.
Now get to work everyone.
PS This also applies to writing about your own legal system for an internet based news website with one or two minor variations.