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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A repeal is the removal or reversal of a law. This is generally done when a law is no longer effective, or it is shown that a law is having far more negative consequences than were originally envisioned.

If a campaign for the repeal of a particular law gains particular moment, an advocate of the repeal might become known as a "repealer". This happened in 19th century Britain to a group in favour of the re-separation of Ireland from the United Kingdom

Many repeals are the result of changes in society, such as the old Jim Crow laws or blue laws. Other repeals are for more mundane things, such as century-old laws against dancing or cabarets. Some repeals are of extremely old and outdated laws that now seem bizarre, such as one from the 19th century against bathing.

The motion to rescind, repeal, or annul is used in parliamentary procedure to cancel or countermand an action or order previously adopted by the assembly.


England and Wales

Express and implied repeals

The repeal of a statute may be either express or implied.[1]

Express repeal occurs where express words are used in a statute to repeal an earlier statute. They are now usually included in a table in a schedule to the statute, for reasons of convienience.

Implied repeal occurs where two statutes are mutually inconsistent. The effect is that the later statute repeals the earlier statute pro tanto (in so far as it is inconsistent).[2] There is a presumption against implied repeal.[3]


Under the common law of England and Wales, the effect of repealing a statute was "to obliterate it completely from the records of Parliament as though it had never been passed."[4] This, however, is now subject to sections 15 to 17, and section 19(2), of the Interpretation Act 1978..

Examples of repeals

Major repeals in history include:

See also


  1. ^ Vauxhall Estates, Ltd. v. Liverpool Corporation [1932] 1 KB 733
  2. ^ Vauxhall Estates, Ltd. v. Liverpool Corporation [1932] 1 KB 733
  3. ^ Ellen Street Estates v. Minister of Health [1934] 1 KB 590
  4. ^ Kay v. Goodwin (1830) 6 Bing. 576, per Tindal C.J.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

'REPEAL (O.F.' rapel, modern rappel, from rapeler, rappeler, revoke, re and appeler, appeal), .the abrogation, revocation or annulling of a law (see ABROGATION and STATUTE). The word is particularly used in English history of the movement led by Daniel O'Connell for the repeal of the act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland in 1830 and 1841-46, which in its later development became known as the Nationalist or Home Rule movement (see IRELAND, History).

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