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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 When a law is repealed, however, it is completely abrogated.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of U. S. Constitutional provisions require an amendment, as with the repeal of prohibition in which the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment. 2) n. the act of annulling a statute.

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 A law may be repealed by implication, by an affirmative as well as by a negative statute, if the substance is inconsistent with the old statute. 1 Ham. 10: 2 Bibb, 96; Harper, 101;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and a new statute is passed imposing a greater or a lesser penalty, for the same offence, the former statute is repealed by implication. 5 Pick. 168; 3 Halst. 48; 1 Stew. 506; 3 A. K. Marsh. 70; 21 Pick. 373.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 By the common law when a statute repeals another, and afterwards the repealing statute is itself repealed, the first is revived. 2 Blackf. 32.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 When a law is repealed, it leaves all the civil rights of the parties acquired under the law unaffected. 3.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 When a penal statute is repealed or so modified as to exempt a class from its operation, violations committed before the repeal are also exempted, unless specifically reserved, or unless there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 ?
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.
Education supporters said the hotel tax repealer made the walkout even more likely, for it made residents feel like the raises had been offered in bad faith.
1899: The Explicit Repeal of the Implied Repealer, the End of the First Prohibition, and the Era of the High License
Abruzzo, a Democratic businessman from Wellington, replied: "I say this sincerely; someone could always file a repealer bill," noting that the joint auditing committee cannot file bills.
I have made a suggestion to Vice President Biden, who I used to work for on the Senate Judiciary Committee as a staffer--of a massive repealer bill--there are massive amounts of law that I used to work on in the Criminal Code and elsewhere that need to be repealed, and there is no one who has an incentive in Congress to do that.
(85) In that case, the district court, affirmed by the Ninth Circuit, dismissed the plaintiff's indirect purchaser claims authorized under a state Illinois Brick-repealer statute, concluding that the repealer statutes were preempted because they would frustrate the policies announced in Illinois Brick.
State Illinois Brick "repealer" statutes are clear statements of state policy regarding the desirability of allowing victimized consumers to sue for their injuries arising from violations of the antitrust laws.
(43) As a result, some states have passed "Illinois Brick repealer" statutes giving indirect-purchaser consumers the right to sue under state antitrust statutes.
Although the court conceded in a footnote that there was a policy difference "between the repeal of a statute after the legislation has been tested in court and an 'advance repealer' by operation of a nonseverability clause," (101) the difference was held not to have constitutional significance.
(24) Illinois Brick does not apply to litigation invoking state law, (25) however, and states quickly assembled an array of "Illinois Brick repealer" statutes that allowed indirect purchasers to invoke state law or have it invoked for them.