ex post facto

adjective

  • Criminal Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Constitutional Law

Definitions of ex post facto

  • usually used to refer to retroactive laws, that is, laws which change the legal consequences of acts which were committed before the law was made

    The plaintiff is challenging the amendment on ex post facto grounds.

Phrase Bank for ex post facto

  • The recent travel ban executive order signed by President Trump has had the effect of an ex post facto law on a large number of people.

  • The new rules, litigants say, represent ex post facto and due process violations of the U.S. Constitution by extending license revocations beyond those set in state laws when drivers committed their offenses.

  • On appeal, Morse argued that the monitoring triggered the ex post facto clause of the U.S. Constitution.

  • The law is aimed at protecting residents from ex post facto claims of land ownership made.

  • Several of these early orders were challenged on ex post facto grounds.

  • I doubt this tax would be found to be constitutional, since it is effectively an ex-post-facto tax, just like the Illinois Use Tax for internet purchases.

Additional Notes for ex post facto

  • The terms usually used as an adjective, but it can also be used as an adverb.

  • Article: Ex post facto

    The phrase ex post facto is Latin for “after the fact”. It generally refers to retroactive acts or laws which change the legal consequences of acts which occurred prior such an act or law. The phrase ex post facto is most typically used in connection with the passage of laws. A law may have an ex post facto effect without being technically ex post facto. Where a law repeals a previous law, the repealed legislation no longer applies to the situations it once did, even if such situations arose before the law was repealed.

    In many jurisdictions, ex post facto criminal laws are seen as a violation of the rule of law as it applies in a free and democratic society. Most common law jurisdictions do not permit retroactive criminal legislation under the theory that it is unfair to punish a person for an act which was legal at the time it was committed.

    As seen in the example below, however, the use of ex post facto is not limited to the passage of laws.

    “The company made an ex post facto ratification of contracts entered into prior to formation.”

Transcript

Hello I’m Robin and welcome to TransLegal’s lesson of the week. Today we’re going to talk about the Latin phrase ex post facto and that literally means after the fact. This phrase, ex post facto, is usually used to refer to retroactive laws, that is, laws which change the legal consequences of acts which were committed before the law was made. Now, in many countries ex post facto criminal laws are prohibited. They are seen as a violation of the rule of law as it applies in a free and democratic society. This is because there is a theory that it’s unfair to punish a person for an act which was legal at the time that it was committed and the United States Constitution, among other countries’ laws, provides that no State shall pass any ex post facto law. They believe that the people must be able to know the law. If ex post facto legislation were permitted, there would be no way of knowing whether one’s actions are legal or illegal. However, in non-criminal contexts, ex post facto laws are sometimes permitted if they benefit the citizens, vis-à-vis the State. One good example was when the Swedish parliament voted in 2004 to abolish inheritance tax by January 1, 2005. However, in 2005 they retroactively decided to move the date back to December 17, 2004. The reason for this was to make it easier for the survivors of the many Swedish victims of the 2004 tsunami which took place on December 26, 2004. So these families received an ex post facto benefit of not having to pay taxes so it was not deemed unfair. This phrase is usually used as an adjective as in the sentence “the plaintiff challenges this amendment on ex post facto grounds”. We also see it in the phrase “ex post facto clause”. The clause that I quoted to you before from the U.S. Constitution is known as the ex post facto clause, and we also talk about ex post facto provisions in laws. Now this phrase is not only used when we’re talking about laws, but we can also talk about, for instance, an ex post facto ratification of a contract or we can also talk about the fact that the President’s advisors made an ex post facto reconstruction of the crisis. And finally, we can use this phrase as an adverb as in the sentence “the town limits have been expanded ex post facto”. Thank you for listening. I hope you found this useful.