Ex postfacto
Ex post facto Ex" post` fac"to, or ||Ex postfacto Ex" post`fac"to ([e^]ks" p[=o]st" f[a^]k"t[-o]). [L., from what is done afterwards.] (Law) From or by an after act, or thing done afterward; in consequence of a subsequent act; retrospective.

{Ex post facto law}, a law which operates by after enactment. The phrase is popularly applied to any law, civil or criminal, which is enacted with a retrospective effect, and with intention to produce that effect; but in its true application, as employed in American law, it relates only to crimes, and signifies a law which retroacts, by way of criminal punishment, upon that which was not a crime before its passage, or which raises the grade of an offense, or renders an act punishable in a more severe manner that it was when committed. Ex post facto laws are held to be contrary to the fundamental principles of a free government, and the States are prohibited from passing such laws by the Constitution of the United States. --Burrill. --Kent. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Ex post facto — Ex post fac to, or ||Ex postfacto Ex post fac to ([e^]ks p[=o]st f[a^]k t[ o]). [L., from what is done afterwards.] (Law) From or by an after act, or thing done afterward; in consequence of a subsequent act; retrospective. {Ex post facto law}, a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ex post facto law — Ex post facto Ex post fac to, or ||Ex postfacto Ex post fac to ([e^]ks p[=o]st f[a^]k t[ o]). [L., from what is done afterwards.] (Law) From or by an after act, or thing done afterward; in consequence of a subsequent act; retrospective. {Ex post… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ex post facto — is a legal phrase meaning ‘with retrospective action or force’, as in increasing its guilt ex post facto / ex post facto laws. Strictly speaking, as Fowler (1926) noted, the spelling should be ex postfacto (meaning ‘on the basis of the later… …   Modern English usage

  • ex post facto — from M.L. ex postfacto, lit. from what is done afterwards …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ex post facto law — An ex post facto law (from the Latin for after the fact ) or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the… …   Wikipedia

  • ex post facto — [ˌɛks pəʊst faktəʊ] adjective & adverb with retrospective action or force. Origin erroneous division of L. ex postfacto in the light of subsequent events …   English new terms dictionary

  • ex post facto — adj. & adv. with retrospective action or force. Etymology: L ex postfacto in the light of subsequent events …   Useful english dictionary

  • ex post fac|to — «EHKS POHST FAK toh», made or done after something, but applying to it. An ex post facto law applies to actions done before the law was passed. »Balanced history is always ex post facto; it must represent judgment of past events (Atlantic).… …   Useful english dictionary

  • expost facto — ex post fac·to (ĕks pōst făkʹtō) adj. Formulated, enacted, or operating retroactively. Used especially of a law.   [Latin ex postfactō: ex, from + postfactō, ablative of postfactum, that which is done afterward.] * * * …   Universalium

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