# How do I simplify the hypernegation in Ontario Human Rights Code, RSO 1990, s. 24?

(2) No tribunal or court shall find that a qualification under clause (1) (b) is reasonable and bona fide unless it is satisfied that the circumstances of the person cannot be accommodated without undue hardship on the person responsible for accommodating those circumstances considering the cost, outside sources of funding, if any, and health and safety requirements, if any.

How to unscramble all this hypernegation tripping me up? I start simplifying by deleting synonyms, and abbreviating nouns.

Tribunals are like courts, so I delete tribunal.
I feel like overlooking clause (1)(b)., but I don't know if I can do this ?
'Reasonable' is more recognizable than Latin 'bona fide', so I delete 'bona fide'.
Most judges are intelligent. If a judge is satisfied that Φ, then Φ is true. So I delete "it is satisfied that".
Call "the person responsible for accommodating those circumstances ...." accommodator.

No tribunal or court shall find that a qualification under clause (1) (b) is reasonable and bona fide UNLESS it is satisfied that the circumstances of the person cannot be accommodated without undue hardship on the accommodator.

No court shall find that a qualification is reasonable. = Each court shall find that a qualification is unreasonable.
X cannot be accommodated without Y. = X can be accommodated only with Y.
I feel these equalities are true. But I am no logician. I cannot prove these equalities mathematically. Are my guesses correct?

Every court shall find that a qualification is unreasonable UNLESS the circumstances of the person can be accommodated only with undue hardship on the accommodator.

I know UNLESS = IF NOT, so I substitute out UNLESS. Are all my steps correct so far?

Every court shall find that a qualification is unreasonable IF NOT the circumstances of the person can be accommodated only with undue hardship on the accommodator.

Now what? How do I finish simplifying?

• I'm not sure that this is on topic, as even a native speaker will have difficulty understanding and simplifying legalese. The steps you've made are logically coherent (though the "IF NOT" change actually makes it less readable). That said, through the process of logical simplification, you've actually lost what the courts are being ordered to do. Ordering a courts not to make a finding is actually legally different than ordering courts to make a negative finding. Commented Mar 29 at 14:22
• I would paraphrase it as, "Courts must not find that an exception to workplace discrimination requirements is reasonable unless the requirements cause problems for the employer (cost, funding, safety, etc)". This is in addition to the requirement under 1b that it must be justified by the nature of the employment. I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice. Commented Mar 29 at 14:28
• I guess you can say, "Courts may find that an exception to workplace discrimination policies is reasonable only if it causes problems for the employer (cost, funding, safety, etc)" to get rid of the negatives, while still keeping in mind there are other requirements that must also be met. Commented Mar 29 at 14:35
• I don't see this as an English Learning question. If you want the law explained consult a lawyer. If you interested learning about law try Law. There are problems in paraphrasing laws, since the exact phrasing might be important, but only a lawyer can advise you on what is important for your situation. Commented Mar 29 at 15:02
• I’m voting to close this question because I suggest this be moved to the Law site. Although I don't know if it would be welcome there. Commented Mar 29 at 15:14

unless introduces necessary conditions.

Here, the conditions are those necessary for a judicial finding that a qualification is reasonable and bona fide.

No tribunal or court shall find [i.e. decide, rule]
that a qualification under clause (1) (b) is reasonable and bona fide
unless
it [the tribunal or court] is satisfied
that the circumstances of the person cannot be accommodated
without undue hardship on the person responsible for accommodating
those circumstances

considering [i.e. with the court or tribunal taking into account]
the cost,
outside sources of funding, if any,
and health and safety requirements, if any.


To understand how unless works, flip the negative in the main clause and substitute "if" for "unless":

  A tribunal or court MAY find
that a qualification under clause (1) (b) is reasonable and bona fide
ONLY IF
it [the tribunal or court] is satisfied  etc.



P.S. In legal contexts shall is synonymous with must. This is a prohibition affecting all courts:

No court shall find...

The opposite of a prohibition is not a requirement:

Each court shall find... wrong

but a permission:

Each court may find ...

• Unexplained downvotes are of little educational value.
– TimR
Commented Mar 29 at 18:18
• I'd suggest "ONLY IF" for the rewording, as it maintains the necessity of the condition (unrelated to the downvote) Commented Mar 29 at 18:24
• Yes, "only if" is idiomatic. Not sure OP would understand what "only" meant. But I'll edit.
– TimR
Commented Mar 29 at 18:41
• @TimR I did not down vote you. Commented Mar 29 at 21:13
• @user95921 (No court shall find * -1 ) = A court may find
– TimR
Commented Mar 29 at 22:45