Difference between Section and Clause in Law

Key Difference: Sections and clauses usually perform the same function of dividing the document into smaller portions in order to make it easier to understand and easier to follow. Sections are most commonly found in contracts, while clauses are commonly found in constitutional acts.

Understanding legal documents is as hard as learning a new language, heck legal jargons can actually be considered a different language altogether. There are many different terms that one comes across in legal documents that are often confusing. These documents are often written in a manner that legal people are the only one that understand it.

Most common words that are heard when referring to acts and laws are section and clauses. When someone talks about an act, you often hear the words section after it. For example, sec 3 of act 9 states that littering is punishable (completely made up, not at all real). So what exactly does a section mean?

A section is basically a division that is used to make the document easy to understand. They are often found in contracts. Sections are used to break a contract into portions in order to make it easier to read and understand. Different parts of a contract are divided into different sections, which are further broken down into subsections. Sections can also be found in constitutional documents, but are more commonly found in contracts.

Clauses are also a division that are most commonly found in constitutional documents under Acts. These perform a similar function of dividing the constitution with the act describing the law in brief and the sections and clausesadding additional information and making it more narrow for better understanding. The clauses usually gives additional information about the law. Assuming the fictional act above, a clause could add that although littering is punishable, in certain cases such as emergency, loitering could be acceptable.

Sections and clauses usually perform the same function of dividing the document into smaller portions in order to make it easier to understand and easier to follow. It also breaks the continuous paragraph into smaller portions, so that it doesn’t become long and seem like its droning on.

Comparison between Section and Clause in Law:

 

Section

Clause

Definition

A sub division in a book or a contract

A division into a smaller section in a legal document

Found in

Contracts

Constitutions

Function

To divide the document in order to make it easier to read

To divide the document in order to make it easier to read and refer to

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