LGST 551
Introduction to Legislative Drafting (OCW)


LGST 551
Introduction to Legislative Drafting (OCW)

Study Materials

Module 2: Section 3

How should we select the appropriate verb for the principal predicate?

The verb is a critical element in describing what is required of the principal subject of the sentence. To select the verb, start by deciding precisely what action or result is required and the way that the subject is to be affected. It may help to ask questions such as the following:

  • what kind of action or activity is needed in order to produce the desired result?
  • does it involve one or a series of actions?
  • is the action to be a continuing one?

Example 28

A police officer may, without a warrant, arrest and detain, a person whom the officer reasonably suspects to have committed an indictable offence.

The predicate contains two powers; both are available at all times to police officers. The first, “arrest”, involves a single act; the second, “detain”, involves action of a continuing nature.

To signify an arrest, a police officer must touch or restrain the body of the person being arrested, unless that person submits to the custody by word or by action.

This predicate describes, in the form of duties, how a police officer indicates the making of an arrest.

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