ret·ro·ac·tive /ˌre-trō-'ak-tiv/ adj: extending in scope or effect to a prior time or to conditions that existed or originated in the past; esp: made effective as of a date prior to enactment, promulgation, or imposition
a retroactive tax see also ex post facto law
ret·ro·ac·tive·ly adv
ret·ro·ac·tiv·i·ty /-ak-'ti-və-tē/ n

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I 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 II index ex post facto

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

Made effective as of a date in the past.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

A law or court decision that takes away or impairs a previously vested right, imposes new duties or obligations, or changes or effects past transactions or legal actions. Retroactive (or retrospective) laws are not favored and, unless it is expressly stated, it is usually presumed that legislation is not intended to apply retroactively. In criminal law, statutes which would increase penalties or make activities which had been previously legal criminal are prohibited by the Constitutional ban on ex post facto laws.
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

adj. Referring to a law, a ruling, and so on affecting matters that occurred beforehand; affecting past happenings.
See also prospective.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

Having reference to things that happened in the past, prior to the occurrence of the act in question.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

Having reference to things that happened in the past, prior to the occurrence of the act in question.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   referring to a court's decision or a statute enacted by a legislative body which would result in 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 between stability of the law and the public good. Retroactive is also called "retrospective."
   See also: ex post facto

Law dictionary. . 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • retroactive — ret‧ro‧ac‧tive [ˌretrəʊˈæktɪv◂ ǁ troʊ ] adjective formal LAW a law or decision that is retroactive is effective from a particular date in the past; = RETROSPECTIVE: retroactive to • The company said it will adopt the new accounting method… …   Financial and business terms

  • Retroactive — means something happening after the fact. It may refer to:* Retroactive legislation or Ex post facto law * Retroactive continuity or Retcon , in fiction * Retroactive interference, in Interference theory * Retroactive clairvoyance or postdiction… …   Wikipedia

  • Retroactive — Re tro*act ive, a. [Cf. F. r[ e]troactif.] Fitted or designed to retroact; operating by returned action; affecting what is past; retrospective. Beddoes. [1913 Webster] {Retroactive law} or {Retroactive statute} (Law), one which operates to make… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • retroactive — [re΄trōak′tiv] adj. [Fr rétroactif: see RETROACT & IVE] 1. having application to or effect on things done prior to its enactment [a retroactive law] 2. going into effect as of a specified date in the past [a retroactive increase] retroactively… …   English World dictionary

  • retroactive — (adj.) 1610s, from Fr. rétroactif (fem. rétroactive) casting or relating back, from L. retroactus, pp. of retroagere drive or turn back, from retro back (see RETRO (Cf. retro )) + agere to drive, set in motion (see ACT (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • retroactive — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (especially of legislation) taking effect from a date in the past. DERIVATIVES retroaction noun retroactively adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • Retroactive — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Retroactive Produktionsland USA …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • retroactive — ret|ro|ac|tive [ˌretrəuˈæktıv US trou ] adj formal a law or decision that is retroactive is effective from a particular date in the past = ↑retrospective ▪ a retroactive pay increase retroactive to ▪ The legislation is retroactive to 1st June.… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • retroactive — /ˌretrəυ æktɪv/ adjective which takes effect from a time in the past ● The union is asking for a retroactive pay rise. ● They got a pay rise retroactive to last January. ▪▪▪ ‘The salary increases, retroactive from April of the current year,… …   Dictionary of banking and finance

  • retroactive — Process of acting with reference to past occurrences. Annacchino v. Annacchino, 61 Misc.2d 636, 306 N.Y.S.2d 603, 605. See also retrospective @ retroactive inference The inferring of a previous fact from present conditions by a trier of facts.… …   Black's law dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.