If the action of this or that law can extend to the relations that were formed before the moment of its introduction into force, then they speak of the retroactive force of the law. The general rule for all situations states that the law is not retroactive. However, in a number of cases, exceptions are made to this rule.
Retroactive force of the law: general information
In domestic law, the provision that the law is "powerless" in the opposite respect, was formulated in the reign of Catherine II. Since then, this rule has been consistently and steadily enforced. In Russian legislation, it was accepted that the law can operate only in relation to the future tense and has no retroactive effect, that it does not extend its influence to those acts that were committed before the promulgation of a specific law.
The exceptions were cases when the law specifically stipulated that its power extends to the events preceding the adoption of the law.
The Constitution of Russia determines that a law that establishes or aggravates liability cannot be retroactive. A person cannot be held responsible for what was not previously recognized as an offense.
Retroactive effect can be given to the law if liability is mitigated or eliminated. However, this must be directly spelled out in the law itself or in the act that puts it into effect.
Retroactive effect on civil law
Russian civil legislation is based on the same principles. The general rule is that its acts are not retroactive. They usually apply only to those relationships that have formed after their introduction. However, there is an exception here: if the law directly provides for and stipulates this, then its effect may well extend to past relationships.
Article 4 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation directly establishes that acts of civil law apply only to those relations that arose after the introduction of these legal norms into force.
There are cases when a retroactive effect is given to individual acts of family or housing legislation.
The value of the described principle can hardly be overestimated. Restricting the retroactive force of the law makes the relationship between the subjects of law more stable. The rule of law is becoming stronger, citizens are gaining confidence in their actions, because the boundaries of their responsibility for what was done under different conditions are clearly defined.
The above legal principle (it is sometimes called the retroactivity of the law) finds application in the legislation of many countries of the world. And above all - in criminal law. They try to apply the principle of retroactive force of the law in the relations arising between citizens and the state. At the same time, the legislator seeks to act in the interests of citizens.