European Journal of Law Reform

Artikel

The Pursuit of Clarity, Precision and Unambiguity in Drafting Retrospective Legislation

Keywords retrospectivity, clarity, precision, unambiguity, legislative drafting
Authors Elias Turatsinze
Author's information

181130 Elias Turatsinze
Elias Turatsinze graduated in Legislative Drafting (LLM) from the University of London- Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2012.
  • Abstract

      The hypothesis of this paper is that clarity, precision and unambiguity are the essential tools for expressing retrospective intent, which is a pre-requisite for quality and validity of retrospective legislation. The main objective of this work is to show that retrospective laws are valid, if the retrospective intent is expressed in clear, precise and unambiguous words within the statute. The term retrospectivity is used broadly to describe any legislation or decision affecting pre-enacting conduct. It encompasses statutes affecting the pre-enactment events, administrative regulations or decisions which look back in time and judicial decisions that overturn prior decisions. All these areas cannot be covered in this limited piece of work. Thus, the emphasis in this work will be put on retrospectivity of statutes at the drafting stage. Although it may be referred to generally, retrospective delegated legislation is outside the scope of this work. Particular attention will be directed towards the importance of clarity, precision and unambiguity in attaining quality and validity of retrospective legislation.

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