Methodology

What is the G&A Compass Methodology?

G&A Compass Methodology is an empirical research methodology mapping and navigating complex texts, where these complex texts seek to convey different types of instructions. A complex text can be a specific legislation, regulation or an unified code. By applying the G&A Compass methodology a guide is created, which can be used to instruct the reader about what should be done (obligations), what can be done (rights) and what should be adhered before it is done (conditions).

The average length of a sentence in Chapter 6 the Act is 79 words, which means that the brain battles to deal with complexity of understanding which instructions are obligations or rights and what conditions should be considered before this is done.

We have developed a system which enables the mind to “connect the dots” allowing for the instant identification of obligations, rights and conditions. The system works on the principle of how the human mind perceives complexity (the message that is being conveyed as a sentence) as a whole and the ability of the perceptual system to order this complexity (understanding the detail of each individual instruction). As Kurt Koffka, as a proponent of Gestalt psychology, stated : “the whole is other than the sum of the parts”

We use colour, shapes and presentation of text, based on a set of rules we developed, to analyse every sentence in the Act to determine which instructions are obligations, rights and conditions.   Our books contain the following navigational tools:

Responsibility Charts

Responsibility charts give a visual facsimile of the intended structure of each subsection, which is usually a very long sentence, when dealing with any form of legislation. The use of conjunctions “and” and “or” combined with commas and/or semicolons, can be become very critical to understanding when and how many things should be or could be done. The flow of the sentence is given a structure, enabling the reader to understand where the critical “hinges” in the paragraph or sentence are. We view a “hinge” as the modal auxiliary verb and the use of the conjunctions as further hinges, where the modal auxiliary verb directs and the conjunction connects. Example responsibility chart
We present the text in manner which enables the user to instantly understand these hinges which are connected to the actions as directed by verbs which follow the modal auxiliary verbs. The sentence very often contains conditions which are indicated by a pronoun or a conjunction. Using these concepts we have created a Responsibility chart which converts the specific subsection or sentence into what should be done (obligations), and what can be done (rights) and what should be adhered to before it is done (conditions).

 

 

Responsibility-chart Count Tables

While the responsibility charts show the obligations, rights and conditions which is applicable to the specific subsection or sentence, it is also necessary to determine the how many of these are contained in the section and who is responsible for these obligations, rights and conditions.

Example responsibility chart count table

We have created Responsibility Count Tables, which summarise who is responsible for the obligations, who has the rights and how many conditions there are in per section, while indicating the various instructions per subsection. Where relevant, the Count tables will also include an implied rights table. Implied rights arise where there is a described process, which requires certain obligations to be performed and which may be subject to certain conditions.
These parties have the ability to approach a court to enforce these obligations or maintain that certain conditions were not met, which means that the affected parties have an implied right to enforce the obligation. Implied rights are therefore a measure of risk, where a single non-compliance or non-verification can result in a legal action which can bring the entire process to a halt, be it temporarily or permanently.

  

Reported Court Cases

When dealing the text which is based on a specific legislation, it may have been tested in a Court of Law at some stage. We include at the end of each chapter, which deals with a specific subsection, all reported Court cases, which will be added to and expanded as we find new cases, on this website. It includes copies of the judgements referred to in the book which will be updated constantly. We also include a library of other interesting and applicable documents, such as pleadings, plans or lists.

The book includes text of all references referred to any sections in other Acts or regulations, which is dealt with in the legislation, thereby making it a self-contained reference book.

Cross-reference Atlas

When dealing with very complex text, such as legislation, various references to other subsections, sections, parts or even other legislation are included.  A cross-reference usually has a dependent and precedent, which is linked by a phrase, which conveys an instruction. 

Depending on the phrase used, which consist of a preposition and an adjective, noun or verb, directing the user to either verify the information, to take a specific action or a specific combination thereof. Depending on the phrase used, the source of the cross-reference usually originates at the dependent, but certain phrases can reverse this relationship between dependent and precedent.

By analysing the phrases, it became clear that certain phrases implied that the information had to be verified, which places an obligation on the user; while other phrases require verification and that a specific action to be taken, which places two obligations on the user. The third class of phrase merely refers the user to where a specific information can be found and therefore is viewed as right.
We have developed a product which shows where the cross reference originates, and indicates which is the precedent and dependent, we call this the section the Cross-reference map. The Section Cross-reference map graphically shows the relationships between the dependent and precedent, indicates the source, gives a short description of each subsection, and the page number of the specific Responsibility chart.
The Cross-reference Atlas also include maps which show the cross-references of each subsection, section, Part or any other reference for a specific Chapter or the entire Act.

 

Reference Compendiums

When dealing with complex text, the user wants to find a specific section based on a keyword. Such a keyword may be connected to a party or a deliverable. The user wants to link the keyword to a specific subject matter, which may be dealt with in a specific section. We have created a Reference compendium, which links keywords to every section coupled to a short summary of the section which deals with the subject matter. Using the short descriptions in the compendium, means that you can find the relevant section that you are looking for with ease. The compendium will always refer you to the applicable Responsibility Chart, which can be used to navigate your way through the rest of the text or Act.

Party reference compendium

Instructions in a complex text are directed to specific parties. After analysing the Act, we created a list of defined parties to whom these instructions attach. The defined party compendium is presented in a table format with a short description for each subsection which specifically refers to that party. The description enables you find the specific subsection which deals with question at hand. You can either look at the Responsibility Chart or the Cross Reference map, from where you can further delve into the detail which you are looking for.

Deliverable compendium

The deliverable compendium deals with the specific items which must be dealt with in terms of the Act or the text. These items may consist of minutes, notices, business plans or any other deliverable which is in contemplated in the Act.