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The destruction or annulling of a former law by an act of the legislative power, by constitutional authority, or by usage. It stands opposed to rogation; and is distinguished from derogation, which implies the taking away of only some part of a law; from Subrogation, which denotes the substitution of a clause; from dispensation, which only sets it aside in a particular instance; and from antiquation, which is the refusing to pass a law.
For example, the abrogation of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibited the manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquors, was accomplished by the enactment of the Twenty-First Amendment. Implied abrogation takes place when a new law contains provisions that are positively contrary to a former law, without expressly abrogating such laws, or when the order of things for which the law has been made no longer exists.
ABROGATION, in the civil law, legislation. The destruction or annulling of a
former law, by an act of the legislative power, or by usage. A law may be
abrogated or only derogated from; it is abrogated when it is totally
annulled; it is derogated from when only a part is abrogated: derogatur
legi, cum pars detrahitur; abrogatur legi, cum prorsus tollitur. Dig lib..
50, t. 17, 1, 102. Lex rogatur dum fertur; abrogatur dum tollitur; derogatur
eidem dum quoddam ejus caput aboletuer; subrogatur dum aliquid ei adjicitur;
abrogatur denique, quoties aliquid in ea mutatur. Dupin, Proleg. Juris, Art.
2. Abrogation is express or implied; it is express when it, is literally pronounced by the new law, either in general terms, as when a final clause abrogates or repeals all laws contrary to the provisions of the new one, or in particular terms, as when it abrogates certain preceding laws which are named.
3. Abrogation is implied when the new law contains provisions which are positively, contrary to the former laws, without expressly abrogating such laws: for it is a posteriora derogant prioribus. 3 N. S. 190; 10 M. R. 172. 560. It is also implied when the order of things for which the law had been made no longer exists, and hence the motives which had caused its enactment have ceased to operate; ratione legis omnino cessante cessat lex. Toullier, Droit Civil Francais, tit. prel. Sec. 11, n. 151. Merlin, mot Abrogation.