Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to retrospective: Retrospective effect, Retrospective law
See: back

LAW, RETROSPECTIVE. A retrospective law is one that is to take effect, in point of time, before it was passed.
     2. Whenever a law of this kind impairs the obligation of contracts, it is void. 3 Dall. 391. But laws which only vary the remedies, divest no right, but merely cure a defect in proceedings otherwise fair, are valid. 10 Serg. & Rawle, 102, 3; 15 Serg. & Rawle, 72. See Ex post facto.

RETROSPECTIVE. Looking backwards.
     2. This word is usually applied to those acts of the legislature, which are made to operate upon some subject, contract or crime which existed before the passage of the acts, and they are therefore called retrospective laws. These laws are generally unjust and are, to a certain extent, forbidden by that article in the constitution of the United States, which prohibits the passage of ex post facto laws or laws impairing contracts.
     3. The right to pass retrospective laws, with the exceptions above mentioned, exists in the several states, according to their own constitutions, and become obligatory if not prohibited by the latter. 4 S. & R. 364; 3 Dall. R. 396; 1 Bay, R. 179; 7 John. R. 477; vide 4 S. & R. 403; 1 Binn. R. 601; 3 S. & R. 169; 2 Cranch. R. 272 2 Pet. 414; 8 Pet. 110; 11 Pet. 420; 1 Bald. R. 74; 5 Penn. St. R. 149.
     4. An instance may be found in the laws of Connecticut. In 1795, the legislature passed a resolve, setting aside a decree of a court of probate disapproving of a will and granted a new hearing; it was held that the resolve not being against any constitutional principle in that state, was valid. 3 Dall. 386. And in Pennsylvania a judgment was opened by the act of April 1, 1837, which was holden by the supreme court to be constitutional. 2 Watts & Serg. 271.
     5. Laws should never be considered as applying to cases which arose previously to their passage, unless the legislature have clearly declared such to be their intention. 12 L. R. 352 Vide Barringt. on the Stat. 466, n. 7 John. R. 477; 1 Kent, Com. 455; Tayl. Civil Law, 168; Code, 1, 14, 7; Bracton, lib. 4, fo. 228; Story, Cons. Sec. 1393; 1 McLean, Rep. 40; 1 Meigs, Rep. 437; 3 Dall. 391; 1 Blackf.R.193; 2 Gallis. R. 139; 1 Yerg. R. 360; 5 Yerg. R. 320; 12 S. & R. 330; and see Ex post facto.

References in periodicals archive ?
Obama's 63% retrospective approval rating is slightly higher than the 59% he received in Gallup's final measurement of him as president in January 2017.
It seemed that the rule of the game was to break the rules," he said, calling the retrospective "complicated, exhilarating and one of the most interesting projects we've ever had the chance to work on.
Retrospective review / As part of its ongoing Retrospective Review Comment Project, the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center examines significant proposed regulations to assess whether agencies propose retrospective review as part of their regulations, and provides agencies with suggestions on how best to incorporate plans for retrospective review into their proposals.
The recommendation could benefit companies such as Vodafone, which has been brought into the tax net over the Hutch deal with the retrospective amendment to tax laws after the firm had won the case against the tax authorities in the Supreme Court ( SC).
Where at least one of the officials has seen the coming together of players retrospective action is not taken.
Where at least one of the officials has seen the coming together of players retrospective action is not taken, regardless of whether they have seen the full extent of the challenge.
The Retrospective Broker Price Opinion report can be used as a due-diligence tool to identify critical information regarding a subject property's characteristics or past misrepresentation of value that could have contributed to fraud in a real estate transaction.
Prospective memory includes remembering the intention of doing something while retrospective memory implies remembering the content of that activity.
In its latest response to the commission's provisional finding that retrospective payments affected competition, the retailer said: "There is nothing in retrospective payments that could not be obtained by harder bargaining over future sales.
French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) heralded the modern age and his achievement is celebrated in this major retrospective.
The Sunset 5 retrospective, dubbed ``Viva Pedro'' and utilizing brand-new prints, will run for eight consecutive weeks, from Friday through Oct.