How to Read Bare Act - Tips To Understand Law


To understand the laws it is very necessary to read the bare act, it is the exact text of a particular enactment by the legislature. The language used in bare acts are often a bit difficult and confusing. Most students, teachers face difficulties to understand the law by reading the Bare acts. In this article, we will learn to read the bare act and to understand the laws. Reading bare act is very essential to understand laws it is the exact text of a particular enactment by legislature. The languages used in bare acts are often bit harder and confusing.

Most of the students, teachers, lawyers and even judges face difficulties to understand the law by reading Bare Acts. In this article, we will learn how to read the bare act to understand laws. There are some methods or technique, which you can follow while reading acts for a clear understanding of the law.

1- Know the purpose of the Act- first of all, you have to understand the purpose and objects of that particular enactment and thereafter you have to find why of that acts means why that has been passed. For understanding the purpose and object of the act you have to read its long title at the beginning of that act which defines the object of that Act, for ex- the long title of the code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973 is “an act to consolidate and amend the law relating to criminal procedure.” Always try to relate every sections, clauses and illustrations with their purposes, it will help you to have a clear understanding of the law.

2- Index or contents- after knowing the purpose and objects of the act you should see the index and contents of the Act.

3- Chapters and parts- In the index section of the Act, you will the chapters scheme or parts of the act in which the sections are provided related to the particular matter like, Part 1 of the CPC,1980 deals suits in general and chapter 3 of the Negotiable Instrument Act,1881 deals with the parties to Notes, Bills and Cheque.’ By reading this a clear image about the matter of the act will become in your mind, and it will help you to understand the Bare act.

4- Read the interpretation clause/ definition clause: every act provides an interpretation or definition clauses or definition clause define or explains some terms which are used in the Act. Most of the bare act section-2 contains definitions,for ex-the Indian Contract Act,1872 contains the definition of some terms or words which are used in the act and these particular terms shall be interpreted as section- 2 of explains. Some times there may be some terms or words which has not been defined in the interpretation or definition clauses, in that cases we have to go through the general clauses Act, 1891 to understand these terms.

5- SECTION- while reading the sections you should follow the following way;

Reading –

a- Keyword -

First of all, you should read the section just read. After reading the sections you should mark the important keyword in the section with the help of the highlighter or pen etc.

b- Break sentence into parts and read-

Long and complicated sentence is scary to read; sometimes Bare acts have some long and complex sentence that is very difficult to understand.

In that case, break the sentences into the parts, read slowly and take pauses when you see the use of a comma. You need to be patient for reading and having a clear understanding of the bare act.

c- Give special attention to some terms-

When reading bare acts you should pay special attention to certain terms such as ‘and’ or ‘may’, ’shall’, etc.

6- Interpretation-

Which reading the bare act you should have to read the Bare act as it is, literal interpretation is widely followed by the judges. Interpret literally simply means the Bare act should be read as their plan and ordinary meaning, while reading Bare act don’t guess any possible meaning. Read the Bare act as it is written.

7- Books and commentary-

For a better understanding, you should take the help of the book or commentary.

8- Use flags for important matters or write in the Bare act- where you find something important in the books then you should write that important matter in the Bare Act or on the flag or sticky notes. So that at the time of revision it may help you.

9- Interlinking of the sections-

For a better understanding of the sections, you should interlink the sections, which are related to each other.

10- Revision-

Revision is the most important part to remember a thing for the long term. Science says that to remember a thing for a long time you have to revise it.


If you have difficulty in reading the bare act and understanding it, this is the post for you. We have made it easier for you, with these steps you’ll never find it difficult or going over your head.

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