English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

40. (4) The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (2) if he is satisfied that the order would make a person stateless.

What does under subsection mean in this context?

share|improve this question
It seems this quotation is subsection (4) and refers to subsection (2) that appears just two items before this. – GEdgar Dec 10 '11 at 22:03
Could you please tell us where that citation is from? Where are those citations from? Please tell us the name of where you got that text from, and if applicable, also a link. If you are going copy out text verbatim, our Help Center says that you must name where you got the original from, and this post fails to do that. Please see the question on meta entitled “What to do about missing source attributions: Copying, Linking, Attributions, and Plagiarism for discussion on this. – tchrist Jul 7 '14 at 22:30
up vote 6 down vote accepted

under - in reference to, by the details specified, in that section

"under subsection (2)" means there is some rule in that subsection which allows this order to be made.

share|improve this answer
It's been really helpful. Thank you for the valuable answer. – mis-n-salem Dec 11 '11 at 19:17

Subsection 40(2) of the British Nationality Act reads:

40.-(2) The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good.

So an order made under subsection (2) is one made using the power set out in this subsection.

share|improve this answer
That's even more precise. Thank you. – mis-n-salem Dec 11 '11 at 19:23

The Secretary of State is in public office. They are able to issue (binding) orders or rulings on matters brought to their attention.

But, they are required to state which legislation, section, sub-section, and clause (or more than one) they made such a ruling.

This is because the ruling can also be challenged (and potentially overturned), based on either the (incorrect) applicability of the section (sub-section or clause) or on more general guiding principles: greater public good, secrecy/privacy laws, precedence (past cases), or personal discretion (changing their mind).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.