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The World Law Dictionary Project

English may be the common language of the world, but the Common Law is not the common law of the world

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e.g. principle, consideration, jurisdiction
# a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

effective adjective

working well and achieving the results that were expected
The only effective deterrent is a long prison sentence.

Hello, I'm Robin and I'm here with TransLegal's lesson of the week and today we're going to talk about the words "effective" and "efficient".

Now both of these words mean having effect but they have very different applications.

The word “effective” here means having a high degree of effect. For instance, if we talk about an “effective remedy” as in "the court fashioned and effective remedy", we mean a remedy that works really well. It also refers to when something, for instance, legislation, comes into force and effect, that is, becomes valid, so we talk about "the effective date of the new law". We can also talk about “effective agreements”, that is, agreements that are valid and are in effect. We would say then "that the Judge held that an effective arbitration agreement existed".

In contrast, “efficient” means to be able to bring about a result without wasting too much time or money. So, for instance, we would say that "the court clerk is extremely efficient at scheduling cases" or "everybody hopes to have an efficient secretary". We also often use the term “cost-efficient”. For instance, in a law firm they would say "in an independent practice group he'll have more opportunities to structure teams in cost-efficient ways" or, for instance, "the new proposal will enable us to put in place a cost-efficient, innovative and robust solution", is the sort of phrase that we would often hear.

Now I want to be efficient and not waste my time or yours, so I'll say goodbye for today. Hope you've enjoyed this and please leave some comments in the box below. Thanks for today.

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