(redirected from retortion)
Also found in: Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to retortion: retorsion


A phrase used in International Law to describe retaliatory action taken by one foreign government against another for the stringent or harsh regulation or treatment of its citizens who are within the geographical boundaries of the foreign country.

The typical methods of retorsion are the use of comparably severe measures against citizens of the foreign nation found within the borders of the retaliating nation.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

RETORSION, war. The name of the act employed by a government to impose the same hard treatment on the citizens or subjects of a state, that the latter has used towards the citizens or subjects of the former, for the purpose of obtaining the removal of obnoxious measures. Vattel, liv. 2, c. 18, Sec. 341; De Martens, Precis, liv. 8, c. 2, Sec. 254; Kluber, Droit dos Gens, s. 2 c. 1, Sec. 234; Mann. Comm. 105.
     2. Retorsion signifies also the act by which an individual returns to his adversary evil for evil; as, if Peter call Paul thief, and Paul says you are a greater thief.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
ambassador to London that should Great Britain recognize the Confederacy, he was to communicate to the British government "promptly and without reserve that all negotiations for treaties of whatever kind between the two governments will be discontinued." (92) According to this statement, the United States was not going to act through a countermeasure, which would have been allowed under international law had the act of recognition of the CSA been considered a breach of international law, but through a mere act of retortion, aimed at adversely affecting British interests but not British rights under international law.
(59) In international law, measures include reparation, compensation, reprisal, retortion.
Levamelt as an ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) modifier may help address some of the inherent limitations associated with the use of EVOH, such as thermoformability, processability, flexibility, retortion behavior, delamination, flexcrack resistance and gel formation at long residence time during extrusion, according to the company.