Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Thursday, 14 August 2008 14:40 UK

A parliamentary bill is divided into sections called clauses.

Printed in the margin next to each clause is a brief explanatory side-note giving details of what the effect of the clause will be.

During the committee stage of a bill, parliamentarians examine these clauses in detail and may introduce new clauses of their own or table amendments to the existing clauses.

When a bill becomes an act of Parliament, clauses become known as sections.

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