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Drafting Legal Documents, Purpose Clause

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Purpose Clause

1. Include a purpose clause only when necessary. A purpose clause is a simple statement of intent that appears at the beginning of a part or subpart. The purpose clause is used to help the reader interpret the regulations. Use a purpose clause only when you know that some of your sections, due to their complex substance, are difficult to understand. If you need a purpose clause, draft it after you draft your regulations. Otherwise, it can become a crutch used to avoid resolving difficult substantive issues in the regulations.

2. Do not include a substantive rule within a purpose clause. A substantive rule belongs in the main body of the regulations. A reader may miss a rule tucked away in what should be limited to a simple statement of purpose.

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