General Writing and Grammar Help/By which Of which

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Question
Hi Ted, How are you:).
Recently, i have read quite a lot of law documetns. Some sentences make me really difficult to understand, especially the grammar.
"A theory of obligation in international law ascribed to Georg Jellinek by which the basis of international legal obligation is considered as nothing more than a unilateral act by which a State indicates its willingness to restrain its own freedom of action. However, as a corollary, it must be accepted that a similar unilateral act of a State could release it from such an obligation"
"“newly independent State” means a successor State the territory of which immediately before the
date of the succession of States was a dependent territory for the international relations of which the
predecessor State was responsible"
In two above sentences, i really don't understand the way to use of which and by which.
Can you explain to me ?
Thanks sincerely :)

Answer
Dear Dat:


PROJECT FOR YOU:  Please send me a question to Allexperts with the subject line "Learning Express" and the message "Please send me the link."

I will send you a link that you POSSIBLY may be able to access.

Thank you.

Ted

**********************

Recently, i have read quite a lot of law documetns. Some sentences make me really difficult to understand, especially the grammar.
"A theory of obligation in international law ascribed to Georg Jellinek by which the basis of international legal obligation is considered as nothing more than a unilateral act by which a State indicates its willingness to restrain its own freedom of action. However, as a corollary, it must be accepted that a similar unilateral act of a State could release it from such an obligation"
"“newly independent State” means a successor State the territory of which immediately before the
date of the succession of States was a dependent territory for the international relations of which the
predecessor State was responsible"
In two above sentences, i really don't understand the way to use of which and by which.
Can you explain to me ?

*** In the first sentence, "by" can be replaced with the single word "through."  In other words, everything that follows the name "Georg Jellinek" is said to be derived THROUGH his "theory of obligation in international law."

*** In the second example, the FIRST preposition "of" in the phrase "of which" is NOT necessary.  If you eliminate this one word, what follows "territory" is an adjective clause, beginning with the relative pronoun "which."  

In the second instance, the correct wording is "FOR which," not "OF which."   In short, the predecessor State was responsible FOR the international relations of the previous or original state.

*** Dat, I understand your confusion.  I had some difficult trying to figure out what the author was saying.  I believe that legal documents are written in a way that only lawyers can understand.

This author needs help in writing clear sentences!

Ted  

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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