In everyday legal drafting, lawyers commonly use “elastic” expressions such as “reasonable”, “as soon as practicable”, “material” and “satisfactory”. However, the justifications for vague drafting should not belie the fact that vagueness carries risks and may be inappropriate in certain contexts where precision and clarity are paramount. This article briefly considers when it may be appropriate to draft vaguely, and when vagueness should be avoided.


legal drafting; vagueness; precision; undertaking; efficacy