1. I consulted Is there subject missing in as-clause? but here is only the subject missing? In that other question, another as was omitted, but in this question, only one as is necessary?

No court may accept a majority verdict unless it appears that the jury has had such period of time for deliberation as ♦ seems to the court reasonable, according to the nature and complexity of the case...

Source: p 156, How the Law Works, Gary Slapper

  1. What's this omission called? Also, is there an as-clause here?

  2. The ♦ is my addition. Should there be a pronoun it there, the antecedent of which is such period of time for deliberation?

  3. Yet why omit the it? Wouldn't a reader be confused, detained, and frustrated?

Here's another example from p 117, How the Law Works, Gary Slapper:

The Lords ruled that the convention against allowing any reference to Hansard when interpreting statutes should be relaxed, so as to permit reference to parliamentary materials where: ... (2) the material relied upon one or more statements by a minister or other promoter of the Bill, together with such other parliamentary material as was necessary to understand such statements and their effect;

Update: I didn't realise user StoneyB's comment below: as here is part of the such...as construction.

  • 4
    The as here is part of the such...as construction: such period as seems reasonable. Aug 20 '14 at 14:08
  • Please note that most of your questions relate to legal documents, which are typically written in a formal style with affected structure that does not translate well to normal usage. Aug 20 '14 at 14:14
  • 1
    "such period as seems reasonable" does in no way confuse or frustrate me, and it certainly doesn't detain me. The only hickup in the sentence is the (strange?) inversion of as seems reasonable to the court. You could add an "it", I guess, but I see no reason for it.
    – oerkelens
    Aug 20 '14 at 14:46

I think a more modern example might help clarify things here. Consider:

She picked out colors that she thought would complement the furniture.

You could rephrase this as follows:

She picked out such colors as she thought would complement the furniture.

The meaning is the same. You don't need an "it" in the first sentence because "she thought would complement the furniture" isn't an independent clause; it is dependent on "colors." Using the "such...as" formulation doesn't change that.

Reading your question, I suspect your confusion is with "such." This is now a rare and extremely formal construction used almost exclusively in legal prose. In fact, it's used almost exclusively in bad legal prose.

"Such" in this context does not carry the connotation of "so much" or "a lot of." To the extent it means anything, it is closer to "the kind of" or "that"; a very neutral word.

So in a more natural, less formal phrasing, you could rewrite the example as:

No court can accept a majority verdict unless the jury has had some period of time for deliberation that seems to the court to be reasonable.

or, more idiomatically

No court can accept a majority verdict unless the jury has had what the court thinks is a reasonable amount of time to deliberate.

  • +1. Thanks. Would you mind referencing a definition that confirms the meaning of 'such' here; you had written 'it is closer to "the kind of" or "that"; a very neutral word.'?
    – NNOX Apps
    Aug 25 '14 at 7:11
  • It is a neutral word; see for instance the first definition at Wiktionary (en.wiktionary.org/wiki/such): "Like this, that, these, those; used to make a comparison with something implied by context." One of the example sentences there is "Such is life."
    – chapka
    Aug 25 '14 at 13:25

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