Definition - What does Abrogation mean?

In constitutional law, abrogation happens when a legislature or other governmental authority formally revokes, repeals, amends or annuls a law. Abrogation happens to laws that were previously enacted by a legislature, and often signals a change in political will.

In insurance, contract or business law, abrogation also refers to the termination or cancelation of a contract.

Justipedia explains Abrogation

Abrogation is an essential power wielded by a legislature or other constitutional authority within a functioning democracy. The power to completely repeal a law formerly enacted by a legislature allows a democratic government to reflect the changing attitudes and beliefs of the governed. Without the power to abrogate, once a law is passed there would be no way to change it.

A classic example of abrogation in American history involves the Eighteenth and Twenty-First Amendments. The Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol, and ushered in the Prohibition era. With changing public opinions, the Twenty-First Amendment abrogated the Eighteenth Amendment and ended Prohibition.

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