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  1. in accordance with animal protection law number 5199
  1. in accordance with law number 5199 of animal protection
  1. in accordance with law number 5199 on animal protection

Which word order should be used for this sentence? In the second sentence does the meaning change? I thought parts of the second phrase is like;

in accordance with (law number 519) of ( animal protection).

2 Answers 2

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Legal writers at least in the US and the UK, do not generally speak of "Law number 1234" but of "section number 1234". Often codified section numbers are used, in which a single set of numbers covers all the laws for a given jurisdiction. Other times, section numbers of a particular law or act are used. Not infrequently, both are used.

For example, I recently wrote in a thread on Law.SE:

Section 616 of the act (15 U.S.C. § 1681n]) provides penalties for wilful noncompliance, and section 617 of the act (15 U.S.C. § 1681o]) provides ...

( Note: "§" is the standard symbol for "section" in legal writing)

The law specifying the rights a copyright owner has in the US, for example, is 17 USC 106 which is part of chapter 1 of title 17 of the US Code. Title 17 contains all the US laws on copyright. Much of it is from the Copyright act of 1975, amended by several later laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Sct and the Bern Convention Adherence Act.

It is also common to refer to the particular part of the law even when codified section numbers are used. So one might write:

  • in accordance with section 5199 (part of the animal protection code)
  • in accordance with section 5199 of the Elbonia Civil code, which deals with animal protection
  • in accordance with section 412 of the Animal Protection Act of 1996 (codified as section 5199 of the Elbonia Civil Code)
  • in accordance with Animal Protection Act (APA) section 412 and APA sec. 415
  • in accordance with ECC sections 5199 and 5208 (where "ECC" is a standard abbreviation for "Elbonia Civil Code" just as "USC" is for "United States Code)

It is unlikely that there would be over 5100 laws or even sections devoted to animal protection. If one wrote:

in accordance with animal protection law number 3

it might refer to the third of four laws about animal protection, but it is much more common to refer to a specific law by its name or acronym, with a date appended in some cases. (One writes of the "Fair Credit Reporting Act" because there is only one by that name. but the "Copyright act of 1976" because thr was also a 1909 Copyright Act as well se several earlier ones. In UK usage one writes "the Patent and Design act, 1988" whether there was an earlier {or later} act of that name or not.)

The forms above are not ambiguous, the exact text of the law should be easily found.

Thus if one read :

in accordance with animal protection law number 5199

it is probably a mistaken usage, referring to section 5199 of some larger grouping than animal protraction law, quite possibly all laws or all civil (non-criminal) laws of the jurisdiction

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The second sentence is not idiomatic and I would not recommend using it. "Of" is not used that way in English.

The first sentence ("animal protection law 5199") is clear: It refers to animal protection law #5199, which is the 5199th animal protection law in a series of animal protection laws (APL 1 through APL 5199).

The third sentence ("law 5199 on animal protection") is ambiguous. Probably it means the same as the first sentence: the 5199th APL in a series of many thousands of APLs. But it might also be an "over-definition:" It is the 5199th law, and it is the law on animal protection. In this case Laws 5198 and 5200 might be on completely unrelated topics, like car safety features and banking regulations, instead of also being related to animal protection.

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