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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 ?
In this case the claims occur and fall after the retroactive period and are also reported when the policy is in force.
Retroactive changes to the law should be made sparingly, particularly if such changes will have significant financial effects on taxpayers.
Placed LHP Matt Harrison and RHPs Tanner Scheppers, Lisalverto Bonilla and Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15-day DL; Harrison retroactive to March 27, Scheppers to March 29, Bonilla to March 31 and Fujikawa to April 1.
Further; even though the changes ATRA made to the R&D credit are retroactive, the change in the tax law should not be reflected in the estimated annual effective tax rate used in preparing interim financial information for periods ending before Jan.
Because the beginning of coverage under a claims-made policy depends on the retroactive date, the Coverage B insuring agreement states that personal injury and advertising injury liability coverage is not applicable if the publication of the offending material took place before the policy took effect--that is, before the retroactive date shown in the declarations--regardless of when the claim is brought.
While the Alberta Court of Appeal was dealing with the issue of retroactive child support, so was the Ontario Court of Appeal.
In a perfect world, the first time a claims-made liability policy is purchased, the retroactive date will be the same as the effective 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.
113), provides for retroactive accounting of reserve guarantees that were funded through a reinsurance agreement.
Q: I was promoted in May 1999 and told that I would get a retroactive raise effective January, 1,2000.
One of the more significant elements of the debate over passage of the Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1993 dealt with the retroactive effective dates of certain tax provisions of the law.