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The confirmation or adoption of an act that has already been performed.
A principal can, for example, ratify something that has been done on his or her behalf by another individual who assumed the authority to act in the capacity of an agent. In addition, proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution must be ratified by three-quarters of the state legislatures or by conventions in three-quarters of the states.
ratificationaffirmation of a previous and unauthorized Act; ratification has the effect of putting the Act in the same position as if it had been originally authorized. For example, the confirmation or ratification by a principal of an unauthorized contract entered into by his agent.
RATIFICATION, contracts. An agreement to adopt an act performed by another
2. Ratifications are either empress or implied. The former are made in express and direct terms of assent; the latter are such as the law presumes from the acts of the principal; as, if Peter buy goods for James, and the latter, knowing the fact, receive them and apply them to his own use. By ratifying a contract a man adopts the agency, altogether, as well what is detrimental as that which is for his benefit. 2 Str. R. 859; 1 Atk. 128; 4 T. R. 211; 7 East, R. 164; 16 M. R. 105; 1 Ves. 509 Smith on Mer. L. 60; Story, Ag. Sec. 250 9 B. & Cr. 59.
3. As a general rule, the principal has the right to elect whether he will adopt the unauthorized act or not. But having once ratified the act, upon a full knowledge of all the material circumstances, the ratification cannot be revoked or recalled, and the principal becomes bound as if he had originally authorized the act. Story, Ag. Sec. 250; Paley, Ag. by Lloyd, 171; 3 Chit. Com. Law, 197.
4. The ratification of a lawful contract has a retrospective effect, and binds the principal from its date, and not only from the time of the ratification, for the ratification is equivalent to an original authority, according to the maxim, that omnis ratihabitio mandate aeguiparatur. Poth. Ob. n. 75; Ld. Raym. 930; Com. 450; 5 Burr. 2727; 2 H. Bl. 623; 1 B. & P. 316; 13 John.; R. 367; 2 John. Cas. 424; 2 Mass. R. 106.
5. Such ratification will, in general, relieve the agent from all responsibility on the contract, when be would otherwise have been liable. 2 Brod. & Bing. 452. See 16 Mass. R. 461; 8 Wend. R. 494; 10 Wend. R. 399; Story, Ag. Sec. 251. Vide Assent, and Ayl. Pand. *386; 18 Vin. Ab. 156; 1 Liv. on, Ag. c. 2, Sec. 4, p. 44, 47; Story on Ag. Sec. 239; 3 Chit. Com. L. 197; Paley on Ag. by Lloyd, 324; Smith on Mer. L. 47, 60; 2 John. Cas. 424; 13 Mass. R. 178; Id. 391; Id. 379; 6 Pick. R. 198; 1 Bro. Ch. R. 101, note; S. C. Ambl. R. 770; 1 Pet. C. C. R. 72; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
6. An infant is not liable on his contracts; but if, after coming of age, he ratify the contract by an actual or express declaration, he will be bound to perform it, as if it had been made after he attained full age. The ratification must be voluntary, deliberate, and intelligent, and the party must know that without it, he would not be bound. 11 S. & R. 305, 311; 3 Penn. St. R. 428. See 12 Conn. 551, 556; 10 Mass. 137,140; 14 Mass. 457; 4 Wend. 403, 405. But a confirmation or ratification of a contract, may be implied from acts of the infant after he becomes of age; as by enjoying or claiming a benefit under a contract be might have wholly rescinded; 1 Pick. 221, 22 3; and an infant partner will be liable for the contracts of the firm, or at least such as were known to him, if he, after becoming of age, confirm the contract of partnership by transacting business of the firm, receiving profits, and the like. 2 Hill. So. Car. Rep. 479; 1 B. Moore, 289.