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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 When a law is repealed, however, it is completely abrogated.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of U. S. Constitutional provisions require an amendment, as with the repeal of prohibition in which the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment. 2) n. the act of annulling a statute.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 A law may be repealed by implication, by an affirmative as well as by a negative statute, if the substance is inconsistent with the old statute. 1 Ham. 10: 2 Bibb, 96; Harper, 101;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 ?
He said it's not fair to raise taxes on smokers by hiking the cigarette tax while repealing a tax on businesses.
NLC also supports repealing the 3 percent rule, as its implementation imposes significant financial and administrative commitments for local governments.
With over 130 now having been convicted for breaches of the Hunting Act, surely it is high time the minority who enjoy chasing and killing animals for sport accept that repealing a law which would bring back their cruel sport is simply not an option.
TEI fails to see what tax policy goal would be served by repealing the LIFO method of accounting.
who voted in favor of repealing a new federal ergonomics rule, has introduced a bill requiring the Occupational Safety & Health Administration to re-issue another ergonomics rule within two years.
The Oklahoma Christian Coalition has admitted that it erroneously reported that a state lawmaker favored repealing laws against bestiality and sodomy, but its action comes too late for the official, who lost his seat Nov.
Enter Cardinal Winning who condemned as a 'witchhunt' moves by Scottish politicians and gay activists to stop Scottish businessman Brian Souter's [pound]500,000 campaign against repealing Clause 28.
Repealing New York's added-on estate tax is one of the smartest steps we can take to make sure middle-class New Yorkers can keep more of their hard-earned money within their families.
Instead, the Board believes that the safety and soundness objective that is appropriate for margin oversight could best be achieved by repealing both section 7 and subsection 8(a) of the 1934 act.
users REPEALING the wealthy, the working THE EARNED whose tax poor INCOME TAX cut this helps CREDIT finance
For most folks, talk of repealing environmental laws conjures up scary images--the Bhopal chemical-plant disaster, the Exxon Valdez spill, or Reagan administration Interior Secretary James Watt.
House of Representatives prepares to vote on repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, a survey of 386 seniors 65 years and older revealed that 42% support repealing the bill in its entirety.