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From footnote 34 on page 216 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer:

 . . . it is accepted that individuals have due-process rights to notice and hearing [//]
with respect to adjudicative facts that will produce adverse consequences to them, [//]
but not to legislative facts that will produce adverse consequences to them [//]
only in respect to which[,] they are members of a class adversely affected by the legislative rule.

What’s the antecedent of which, after which I added a [,] to elucidate that they = individuals.

I’ve purposely separated clauses with [//] to help make sense of the sentence.

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, Ronan, tchrist, user66974, anongoodnurse Jul 24 '14 at 9:35

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  • 4
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about trying to unravel legalese rather than understand less obscurantist registers. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 23 '14 at 10:05
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    The question is legitimate. It does not require any interpretation of legalese to parse the sentence and identify the antecedent to the ultimate "which". That's just straightforward English grammar. We can treat all the clauses are more-or-less-opaque strings; for example, we do not need to know the definition of "adjudicative" nor "legislative". More pertinently, we do not need to understand the rationale given in the final clause to know it refers to the (opaque) "legislative facts". – Dan Bron Jul 23 '14 at 11:58
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    Another example of Pied-Piping a relative pronoun. – John Lawler Jul 23 '14 at 15:09
  • @JohnLawler Would you please check my attempt at Pied-piping here? Denote "legislative facts that will produce adverse consequences to them" by *. Then *, only in respect to which they are members of a class adversely affected by the legislative rule = *, in respect to which they are members of a class adversely affected by the legislative only = *, which they are members of a class adversely affected by the legislative rule only in respect to * ... = they are members of a class adversely affected by the legislative rule only in respect to *. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jul 25 '14 at 9:11
  • Pied piping doesn't affect adverbs, so switching around only is on your own hook. Only has a focus and has its own rules about where it may appear (basically right before the focus word, or right before a constituent containing the focus word). As for the rest, I'm afraid I can't see the forms for the words. Sentences attempting to exemplify one syntactic phenomenon should not be overly complex; you don't start weight training with the 100kg barbell. This is not the ideal venue for grammatical discussion. – John Lawler Jul 25 '14 at 14:50
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This passage is indicating when "individuals are entitled to notice and hearing" of "facts that will produce adverse consequences to them". Two cases are contrasted: adverse adjudicative facts, and adverse legislative facts.

The passage is saying individuals can expect be notified of the former (adjudicative) but not the latter (legislative) . The final clause, which you're asking about specifically, gives the reasoning: specifically, the reasoning that individuals cannot expect to be notified of adverse legislative facts.

In short, in "only in respect to which", the "which" refers to "legislative facts that will produce adverse consequences to them".

If you want a layman's interpretation of the reasoning given: adjudicative facts (driven by the judge) are specific to this case and the individuals in it, whereas legislative facts (driven by the nation's Congress) affect everyone. In short, the final clause is saying it's not the job of the court to inform you of changes in broad public policy (even if they happen to pertain to a case you're involved in).

  • +1. Thank you effusively for your detail. Please maintain your supernal contributions and beneficence, which I'm grateful for and cherish. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jul 25 '14 at 9:02

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