Retrospectivity and the Rule of Law

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Title Retrospectivity and the Rule of Law
Author Sampford, Charles John; Louise, Jennie; Blencowe, Sophie Curzon; Round, Thomas Joseph
Year Published 2006
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Oxford University Press
Abstract Retrospective rule-making has few supporters and many opponents. Defenders of retrospective laws generally do so on the basis that they are a necessary evil in specific or limited circumstances, for example to close tax loopholes, to deal with terrorists or to prosecute fallen tyrants. Yet the reality of retrospective rule making is far more widespread than this, and ranges from 'corrective' legislation to 'interpretive regulations' to judicial decision making. The search for a rational justification for retrospective rule-making necessitates a reconsideration of the very nature of the rule of law and the kind of law that can rule, and will provide new insights into the nature of law and the parameters of societal order. This book examines the various ways in which laws may be seen as retrospective and analyses the problems in defining retrospectivity. In his analysis Dr Charles Sampford asserts that the definitive argument against retrospective rule-making is the expectation of individuals that, if their actions today are considered by a future court, the applicable law was discoverable at the time the action was performed. The book goes on to suggest that although the strength of this 'rule of law' argument should prevail in general, exceptions are sometimes necessary, and that there may even be occasions when analysis of the rule of law may provide the foundation for the application of retrospective laws.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.oup.com.au/titles/academic/law/jurisprudence/9780198252986
Copyright Statement Self-archiving is not yet supported by this publisher. Please refer to the publisher's website or contact the author(s) for more information.
ISBN 0-19-825298-6
Date Accessioned 2006-07-26
Language en_US
Research Centre Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject PRE2009-Constitutionalism and Constitutional Law; PRE2009-Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/12623
Publication Type Books (Authored Research)
Publication Type Code a1

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