Chapter

Defining retrospectivity

Charles Sampford

in RETROSPECTIVITY AND THE RULE OF LAW

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780198252986
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681394 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198252986.003.0002
Defining retrospectivity

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Defining retrospectivity is in itself a serious challenge. Explanations definitely encounter controversies and limited application. In the attempt to consolidate all existing and acknowledged characterizations, this section offers a concise historical background of retrospectivity, highlighting broad and narrow classifications together with threshold points. Following the weighing of strengths and pitfalls of every definition and argument, it is inferred that the term does not necessarily imply an all-or-nothing feature of legislation; instead, it is something that has varying degrees of scope. This conclusion has noteworthy implications for the one-dimensional critiques of the process that search for loopholes in order to eradicate retrospective law making.

Keywords: retrospectivity; absolute description; history; retrospective law making; threshold points

Chapter.  14890 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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