Ex Post Facto Laws

Good Essays
Ex post facto laws

Name:
Course:
Institution:
Tutor:
Date:

Ex post facto laws refer to laws that apply to acts committed before the enactment of such laws and are, therefore, disadvantageous to the affected persons. The United States constitution in article I, section 10 prohibits the state from enacting such retroactive laws. This prohibition protects individuals from unjust legislative acts. However, the ban on ex post facto laws applies only with regard to criminal and not civil laws (Zollar, 2002).
I believe that the US constitution is reasonable and consistent by containing provisions that limit the enactment of ex post facto laws since this help in safeguarding the rights of individuals under existing laws. If the constitution did not contain the ex post facto clause, individuals would be unfairly subjected to laws that act retrogressively and deny them justice. For instance, an adult should not be prosecuted for crimes he committed when he was a minor if such crimes could not be instituted against him at that time due to limitation on juvenile court jurisdiction. I concur with the authors of the ex post facto clause that laws should not be applied retroactively. However, where the rule cannot be reasonably applied, various exceptions should be incorporated to make the rule workable.
Like every other rule, I believe that it is important for the ex post facto clause to have various exceptions that would ensure its enforceability. While I agree that laws should not be enacted retrogressively, I feel that the biggest challenge facing the ex post facto clause is the obscure differentiation of criminal laws from civil laws.
The clause that prohibits ex post facto laws bans several acts. First, it prohibits the creation of criminal laws and making them retroactive. Such retroactive laws have the effect of criminalizing acts committed before their enactments. The clause also prohibits laws that are made in order to retroactively aggravate a crime,



References: Bassiouni, M. C. (2011). Crimes against humanity: Historical and contemporary application. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Foldvary, F. E. (2012). The Progress Report: Ex post Facto Taxation. Retrieved October 27, 2012 from: http://www.progress.org/2012/fold784.htm Gardner, T. J. and Anderson, T. M. (2011). Criminal Law. Belomont, CA: Cengage Learning. Zollar, J. (2002). Prohibition against Ex Post Facto laws. House Research. Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/ss/clssexpost.pdf

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Ex Post Facto Laws

    • 4975 Words
    • 20 Pages

    CHANAKYA NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY ANALYSIS OF EX POST FACTO LAW ------------------------------------------------- CONSTITUTIONAL LAW- I ------------------------------------------------- ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The present project on the topic ‘Analysis of Ex post fact laws’ has been able to get its final shape with the support and help of people from various quarters. My sincere thanks go to all the members without whom the study could not have come to its present state. I am proud…

    • 4975 Words
    • 20 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Ex Post Facto Guarantee

    • 5378 Words
    • 22 Pages

    “The sentiments that Ex post facto laws are against natural rights is so strong that,few,if,any ,of the state constitutions have failed to proscribe them.The constitution indeed interdicts them in criminal cases only ;but they are equally unjust in civil as in criminal cases ,and the omission of the caution hich would have been right,does not justify the doing what is wrong.Nor ought it to be presumed that the legislature meant to use a phrase in an unjustifiable sense,if by rules of construction…

    • 5378 Words
    • 22 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Ex-Post Facto Analysis

    • 347 Words
    • 2 Pages

    When looking at the term ex-post facto one must understand that it is the use of the law that makes the law retroactive from the time that a law is passed from a governmental body (Brody and Acker, 2010). This meaning that the if an action has been committed by a person and was not a criminal offense at the time, but later after a law was passed making the same action a criminal offense with the law punishing any person that had committed the crime before the law was passed. When the writers of the…

    • 347 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    An ex post facto law is a law that is retroactive; after the fact. It is a law that retroactively changes an offender’s rights by criminalizing and imposing punishment for an act that was not punishable at the time the offender committed it. Or, it can be the raising the punishment for a crime after the crime is committed. It generally punishes conduct that was lawful when it was done but later becomes unlawful or increases the punishment (Ex Post Facto Law, n.d.). The term ex post facto refers…

    • 417 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The document, “Ex Post Facto Ethics” by Stanley Schmidt reveals many important points to our society. He stresses the fact that historians today are judging and frowning upon what important historical figures thought and acted upon in their time. Although his article was very specific in examples his generalization of society being a uniform mass is his own hypocritical example of “Ex Post Facto Ethics”. It also proved to be hypocritical in its argument about passing judgment much after the matter…

    • 575 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Post Facto Research

    • 1044 Words
    • 5 Pages

    1. What is the meaning of research? There are various definitions of research. According to John .W. Best, research is a systematic and objective analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lead to the development of generalizations, principles, theories and concepts, resulting in prediction for seeing and possibly ultimate control of events. On the other hand, Clifford Woody defined research as a careful enquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles, a diligent investigation…

    • 1044 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Post Casual Law

    • 604 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Congress, and the states from enacting ex post facto laws (Brody & Acker, 2010). That is, laws cannot be passed, making an action illegal, and then be used to prosecute a person who had committed that act prior to the passage of the law. At the same time, laws that are changed, in such a manner as to increase the punishment for violations, cannot be applied to persons who have been previously convicted for violating that law. It is this meaning of ex post facto laws, which directly affects the criminal…

    • 604 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    FAMILY LAW – DE FACTO RELATIONSHIPS How is the relationship formed in Australia? According to Section 4AA of the Family Law Act 1975, the meaning of a de facto relationship involves two people (homosexual or heterosexual) where:- the people are not or were not legally married to each other. the people are not related to each other; parent, child(including adopted children), sibling or descendant. the people have a relationship as a couple living together on a bona fide domestic basis.…

    • 1519 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    De facto government

    • 7225 Words
    • 29 Pages

    DE FACTO RECOGNITION (DE FACTO STATES: IT’S IMPACT ON INTERNATIONAL SYSTEMS) Abstract The de facto state is a secessionist entity that receives popular support and has achieved sufficient capacity to provide governmental services to a given population in a defined territorial area, over which it maintains effective control for an extended period of time. This paper examines the impact that de facto states have on international society and international law and assesses how they are dealt…

    • 7225 Words
    • 29 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    De Facto Relationships

    • 1518 Words
    • 7 Pages

    De Facto Relationships 1. Identify and describe an alternative family arrangement you have chosen and how or why it is considered an ‘alternative family arrangement’. A de facto couple is an unmarried heterosexual or same sex couple. The Family Law Act 1975 –section 4AA defines a de facto couple as ‘persons who are not legally married to each other, persons not related by family and having regard to all circumstances of their relationship, they have a relationship as a couple living together…

    • 1518 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays