26.10The text of a bill is divided into a series of numbered clauses, each with a descriptive title. Once a bill has been enacted, clauses become known as ‘sections' and are therefore so described in any internal references in the text of the bill. Clauses may be divided into subsections ‘(1)’, ‘(2)’ etc, each of which usually consists of a single sentence. A subsection (or a clause not divided into subsections) may contain two or more paragraphs ‘(a)’, ‘(b)’ etc, each of which consists of part of a sentence, and a paragraph may in turn contain two or more sub-paragraphs ‘(i)’, ‘(ii)’ etc.

Long and complicated bills may have their clauses grouped in numbered parts distinguished by titles in capitals.1 A part includes any schedules introduced by any of the clauses of which it is composed. Parts may again be broken up into chapters or into small groups of clauses with a group title (or cross-heading) in italics. A table of clauses (and schedules), known as the ‘arrangement of clauses', is prefixed to a bill, showing the numbered titles of the clauses and schedules, and also any grouping into parts, chapters and cross-headings.


  1. A bill which was not divided into parts on introduction may subsequently be so divided as a matter of printing, eg, Political Parties and Elections Bill 2007–08 and 2008–09.