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The Annulment or abrogation of a previously existing statute by the enactment of a later law that revokes the former law.

The revocation of the law can either be done through an express repeal, whereby a statute specifically indicates that the former law shall be revoked and abrogated, or through an implied repeal, which arises when the later statute contains provisions that are so contrary or irreconcilable with those of the prior law that only one can remain in force.

The repeal of a law differs from the amendment thereof, because the amendment of a law involves making a change in a law that already exists, leaving a portion of the original still standing. When a law is repealed, however, it is completely abrogated.


1) v. to annul an existing law, by passage of a repealing statute, or by public vote on a referendum. Repeal of U. S. Constitutional provisions require an amendment, as with the repeal of prohibition in which the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment. 2) n. the act of annulling a statute.


verb abolish, abrogare, abrogate, annul, avoid, cancel, countermand, declare null and void, delete, formally withdraw, invalidate, make void, negate, nullify, obliterate, officially withdraw, override, overrule, quash, recall, render invalid, rescind, rescindere, retract, reverse, revoke, set aside, vacate, void, withdraw
Associated concepts: repeal a bylaw, repeal a law, repeal a statute, repeal by implication
Foreign phrases: Leges posteriores priores contrarias abbogant.Subsequent laws repeal prior laws that are repuggant to them. Jura eodem modo destituuntur quo constiiuuntur. Laws are abrogated by the same means by which they are enacted.
See also: abandon, abate, abatement, abolish, abolition, abrogate, adeem, ademption, annul, annulment, cancel, cancellation, countermand, defeasance, discharge, discontinue, dissolution, extinguish, invalidate, negate, negation, nullify, overrule, quash, renege, repudiate, repudiation, rescind, rescision, retraction, reversal, revocation, revoke, supersede, termination, vacate, void, withdraw

REPEAL, legislation. The abrogation or destruction of a law by a legislative act.
     2. A repeal is express; as when it is literally declared by a subsequent law or implied, when the new law contains provisions contrary to or irreconcilable with those of the former law.
     3. A law may be repealed by implication, by an affirmative as well as by a negative statute, if the substance is inconsistent with the old statute. 1 Ham. 10: 2 Bibb, 96; Harper, 101; 4 W. C. C. R. 691.
     4. It is a general rule that when a penal statute punishes an offence by a certain penalty, and a new statute is passed imposing a greater or a lesser penalty, for the same offence, the former statute is repealed by implication. 5 Pick. 168; 3 Halst. 48; 1 Stew. 506; 3 A. K. Marsh. 70; 21 Pick. 373. See 1 Binn. 601; Bac. Ab. Statute D 7 Mass. 140.
     5. By the common law when a statute repeals another, and afterwards the repealing statute is itself repealed, the first is revived. 2 Blackf. 32. In some states this rule has been changed, as in Ohio and Louisiana. Civ. Code of:Louis. art. 23.
     6. When a law is repealed, it leaves all the civil rights of the parties acquired under the law unaffected. 3. L. R. 337; 4 L. R. 191; 2 South. 689; Breese, App. 29; 2 Stew. 160.
     7. When a penal statute is repealed or so modified as to exempt a class from its operation, violations committed before the repeal are also exempted, unless specifically reserved, or unless there have been some private right divested by it. 2 Dana, 330; 4 Yeates, 392; 1 Stew. 347; 5 Rand. 657; 1 W. C. C. R. 84; 2 Virg. Cas. 382. Vide Abrogation; 18 Vin. Ab. 118.

References in periodicals archive ?
102) See AREEDA & HOVENKAMP, supra note 3, [paragraph] 346k1 (discussing a number of reliable methods for calculating indirect purchaser damages); Richman & Murray, supra note 3, at 99 ("[S]tate courts have exhibited a capacity to handle suits from indirect purchasers and to calculate pass-on damages under Illinois Brick repealer statutes .
90 Two new papers were published to promote this joint display of platform strength: the Truth-Teller, edited by Bernard Treanor, the Stalybridge-Irish Chartist whom Lalor had hoped to recruit for the Irish Felon; and the English Patriot and Irish Repealer, edited by James Leach, Manchester's leading Chartist, assisted by two fellow-Irishmen, George White, proponent of the Bradford National Guard, and George Archdeacon, chair of the Repeal Delegates in Manchester Assembled.
The Volstead Act actually had an explicit repealer clause, (224) to the extent of inconsistencies with prior laws.
William McComb, The Repealer Repulsed (1841), edited by Patrick Maume, 2003
Since several states have passed Illinois Brick repealer laws, it is not surprising that these decisions continue to draw criticism.
WILLIAM MCCOMB The Repealer Repulsed Edited by Patrick Maume 1841; University College Dublin Press, 2004, dist.
Some states, however, have passed Illinois Brick repealer laws, allowing indirect purchasers an opportunity to sue for damages under those state statutes.
Consequently, the Commission proposed its own Illinois Brick repealer, even endorsing some of the rationales for the state measures.
Currently, twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have Illinois Brick repealer laws, and courts in six other states allow indirect purchaser claims under state antitrust, consumer protection, or unfair trade laws.
31) Indirect purchaser claims can only be filed in state court in those states that have Illinois Brick repealer laws or that otherwise recognize indirect purchasers as having standing.
Numerous commentators have very ably analyzed and argued the policy merits and demerits of such a repealer.
2002) (refusing standing to indirect purchasers under state law in part because state legislature rejected proposed Illinois Brick repealer legislation).