30 votes

Can someone be prosecuted for something that was legal when they did it?

In the US usa, at least, the concept of ex post facto laws, which is what you have described, are specifically prohibited: Article I, Section 9, Clause 3: No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 3,496
25 votes
Accepted

Can someone be prosecuted for something that was legal when they did it?

germany united-states Yes, but only in some jurisdictions, and only under special circumstances. What you describe is the retrospective application of a law that didn't exist when the action was ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Can penalties be increased retroactively by statutes?

united-states Such a law would be prohibited under the ex post facto clause of the Constitution. A (very!) early Supreme Court case on this was Calder v. Bull (1798), in which Samuel Chase wrote I ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
18 votes

Can someone be prosecuted for something that was legal when they did it?

mostly germany and european-convention-on-human-rights This is covered by the legal principle nulla poena sine lege praevia (no punishment without prior law) or equivalently, the banishment of ex post ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 715
12 votes

Can someone be prosecuted for something that was legal when they did it?

canada Section 11(g) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that any person charged with an offence has the right: not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 51.3k
10 votes

Can penalties be increased retroactively by statutes?

canada In Canada, this is answered by section 11(i) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Any person charged with an offence has the right ... if found guilty of the offence and if the ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 51.3k
8 votes

Can penalties be increased retroactively by statutes?

european-convention-on-human-rights Such a law would not be consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, article 7, paragraph 1: No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on ...
Daniel Hatton's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Can abortion laws which were made legal to prosecute be applied ex post facto?

The answer isn't clear, but Justice Kavanaugh's concurrence in Dobbs suggests that such a prosecution would be unconstitutional: May a State retroactively impose liability or punishment for an ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.2k
6 votes

Is the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act violative of fundamental rights?

Not for that reason This would not make the Act invalid. The interaction between the two laws would simply mean that criminal prosecution would only succeed for acts on or after the Act came into ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 204k
5 votes
Accepted

Would "ex post facto" apply to tax deduction laws?

Article 75 says that It devolves upon the Storting: (a) to enact and repeal laws; to impose taxes, dues, customs and other public charges, which shall not, however, remain operative beyond 31 ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
4 votes

How was retroactive copyright extension ever approved of?

See Golan v. Holder (2012). This related to an extension of copyright protection for works that had already fallen into the public domain. an extension of copyright is still a "limited time"...
Jen's user avatar
  • 51.3k
3 votes

Can someone be prosecuted for something that was legal when they did it?

In france, per article 112-1 du code pénal: Sont seuls punissables les faits constitutifs d'une infraction à la date à laquelle ils ont été commis. Peuvent seules être prononcées les peines ...
Clockwork's user avatar
  • 367
2 votes

Can someone be prosecuted for something that was legal when they did it?

In theory, if a law changed at midnight, Jan 1st, and you committed something that changed from non-crime to crime or vice versa, just around midnight, you could be prosecuted. The prosecutor would ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 33.3k
2 votes

Would a law that increased penalties for actions taken before its passage be considered ex post facto?

Is this an unconstitutional ex post facto law? Yes. Past actions were lawful, and they can’t be made unlawful simply because there is irrefutable evidence that they happened. I think you’d actually ...
jmoreno's user avatar
  • 2,039
1 vote

Limitations or exceptions at the state level to ex post facto laws?

Ex Post Facto laws in the sense forbidden by Article I, Section 10, Clause 1, of the US Federal Constitution are laws making some action criminal which was not criminal when committed, or laws ...
David Siegel's user avatar
1 vote

Limitations or exceptions at the state level to ex post facto laws?

The exact law that the law firm had "changed" was really a Wisconson Supreme Court decision it did not agree with, and the lawyers found a state senator who sponsored a bill to change the helmet laws ...
Putvi's user avatar
  • 3,964

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible