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Related to retroactive: Retroactive law, retroactive effect


Having reference to things that happened in the past, prior to the occurrence of the act in question.

A retroactive or retrospective law is one that takes away or impairs vested rights acquired under existing laws, creates new obligations, imposes new duties, or attaches a new and different legal effect to transactions or considerations already past. Common-law principles do not favor the retroactive effect of laws in the majority of cases, and canons of legislative construction presume that legislation is not intended as retroactive unless its language expressly makes it retroactive.

Retroactive criminal laws that increase punishment for acts committed prior to their enactments are deemed Ex Post Facto Laws and are unenforceable because they violate Article I, Section 9, Clause 3, and Section 10, Clause 1, of the U.S. Constitution and comparable provisions of state constitutions.


adj. referring to a court's decision or a statute enacted by a legislative body, which would result in an application to past transactions and legal actions. In criminal law, statutes which would increase penalties or make criminal activities which had been previously legal are prohibited by the Constitutional ban on ex post facto laws (Article I, Section 9). Most court decisions which change the elements necessary to prove a crime or the introduction of evidence such as confessions are usually made non-retroactive to prevent a flood of petitions of people convicted under prior rules. Nor can statutes or court decisions take away "vested" property rights or change contract rights. However, some decisions are so fundamental to justice they may have a retroactive effect, depending on the balance on stability of the law balanced against the public good. Retroactive is also called "retrospective." (See: ex post facto)


adjective affecting the past, beginning before, commencing before, effective before, having prior application, having prior effect, operational before, starting before, taking effect before
Associated concepts: ex post facto, retroactive effect
See also: ex post facto
References in periodicals archive ?
TAMPA BAY -- Placed RHPs Alex Cobb and Alex Colome, INF Nick Franklin and LHP Drew Smyly on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March 27 and LHP Jake McGee on the 15-day DL and LHP Matt Moore on the 60-day DL.
The FASB rules that are pertinent to determining the financial statement treatment of benefits conferred to taxpayers through retroactive tax legislation is in FASB Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Paragraphs 740-10-25-47 and -48, which address the treatment of changes in tax laws and rates.
Tax Executives Institute strongly urges the Minister of Finance to reconsider the merits of this retroactive legislation.
While the Alberta Court of Appeal was dealing with the issue of retroactive child support, so was the Ontario Court of Appeal.
As a result, the first claims-made policy will cover claims made during the initial policy term as long as they arise from incidents occurring after the retroactive date.
When a change is made from an occurrence to a claims-made policy, the retroactive date should be set as the inception date of the new insurance contract.
Even though the retroactive accounting aspects of the Financial Accounting Standards Board's statement on reinsurance might not apply to an adverse-development cover, its risk-transfer requirements still apply.
A number of courts have held that retroactive is synonymous with retrospective and thus the words can be used interchangeably.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan indicated the Senator was aware am his retroactive legislation to ban municipal bond financing of sports and recreation facilities had some "technical" Problems.
The fee will be 25% of the retroactive benefit, but cannot exceed $4,000.
Individuals who owe additional 1993 taxes as a result of the retroactive rate increases will have an opportunity to pay the additional taxes in three annual installments.
1989 include a $1,000 lump-sum payment in lieu >; of a wage increase retroactive to July 1, 1985,