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Two reflections on retrospectivity in statutory interpretation
journal contributionposted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Dan MeagherDan Meagher
This article considers two related aspects of retrospectivity in statutory interpretation. The common law presumption against retrospective law-making and the manner in which the "always speaking" approach may occasion the sort of retrospectivity which is of concern to the common law. It critiques the common law conception of retrospectivity that currently attracts the presumption's protection. Then it explores the relationship between the "always speaking" approach and retrospectivity. It is suggested that serious consideration ought to be given to whether an alternative, prospective construction of a (criminal) statute might be available when the application of the "always speaking" approach would give it a strong retrospective operation.