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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Where there is clear and overwhelming evidence to suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation, and as a direct result, the offending player's team has been awarded a penalty and/or an opposing player has been dismissed, The FA will be able to act retrospectively under its Fast Track system.
Preparedness plans dated 11 Apr 2012 prepared by GHQ Medical Directorate were evaluated retrospectively for planned sequence of implementation.
Former referee Mark Halsey has suggested the "only one real solution" is to have an independent panel review such decisions retrospectively.
However, with the precedent of a two-match suspension handed out to Blackpool winger Tom Ince when he retrospectively charged in relation to a gesture towards a match official in a Capital One Cup tie against Preston earlier this season, it is understood Arsenal have submitted mitigating circumstances to the governing body, arguing the length of the punishment is excessive.
Despite the precedent of a two-match ban handed out to Blackpool's Tom Ince - when he was retrospectively charged in relation to a gesture towards a match official in a Capital One Cup tie - Arsenal have submitted mitigating circumstances to the governing body.
For example, if the referee did not see the action then he can still punish the guilty player retrospectively after the match.
He said that while moves to allow eurozone rescue funds to directly recapitalize a member nation's banks were 'encouraging', it was not clear whether they would act retrospectively.
DESPITE resistance of telecom companies, the Department of Telecommunications ( DoT) has notified one- time spectrum fee for current players for all excess 2G airwaves both prospectively and retrospectively, which would cost private firms around ` 13,170 crore.
The Football Association brought the charge retrospectively after reviewing footage of Everton's 1-1 draw with Stoke in the Premier League on Saturday.
The scheme is part of the wider Be Fair - Pay on Time campaign launched by Oldham and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams, which asks all firms to pay their suppliers as quickly as possible under the agreed terms and conditions set out at the start of the contract and without retrospectively changing payment times.
"What if" analyses can be used to teach students what statistical significance tests really do and in applied research either prospectively to estimate what sample size might be needed in a study, or retrospectively in interpreting research results.
The larger-than-expected hit comes after the High Court last month decided new rules on the mis-selling of PPI could be applied retrospectively.