Appeal vs. Repeal: What's the Difference?
Appeal refers to a request for a decision to be reviewed, or attractiveness, while repeal means to revoke or rescind a law or act.
Appeal and repeal are terms frequently encountered in legal and political contexts, but their meanings are markedly different. An appeal, in a legal sense, is a process by which a decision made by a lower court or body is requested to be reviewed by a higher authority. Repeal, however, pertains to the removal or revocation of an existing law or act.
Beyond its legal connotation, appeal also has broader applications. It can denote the quality of being pleasing or attractive. In contrast, repeal remains firmly in the domain of lawmaking and refers strictly to the act of rescinding previously established legislation.
If a litigant disagrees with a court's verdict, they might file an appeal to have the case reconsidered, usually by a higher court. Conversely, if citizens or legislators believe a law is outdated or unjust, they might work towards its repeal, aiming to have it annulled.
It's essential to recognize that while appeals focus on individual decisions and their potential reversals or affirmations, repeals concern broader legislative acts. Therefore, the consequences of an appeal might impact individual parties, while a repeal can affect an entire population.
In casual conversations, one might mention the "appeal of a scenic view" or a "movie's appeal." Such usage underscores appeal's versatility as a term. Repeal, with its specificity, doesn't enjoy such varied application and primarily emerges in legal and political discussions.
A request for review
Revocation of a law or act
Context of Use
Primarily legal and political
Individual cases or attractiveness
Broad legislative acts
Decision affirmed, modified, or reversed
Law or act is removed
Specific to rescinding laws or acts
Appeal and Repeal Definitions
A request to review a decision.
The defendant filed an appeal against the verdict.
The act of revoking or annulling a law or act.
The senator pushed for the repeal of the outdated regulation.
A serious request or plea.
The mayor made an appeal for calm after the storm.
The process of officially revoking legislation.
The repeal of prohibition was a significant event in U.S. history.
An earnest or urgent request, entreaty, or supplication.
To nullify or abandon by authoritative act.
The city council decided to repeal the ordinance.
A resort to a higher authority or greater power, as for sanction, corroboration, or a decision
An appeal to reason.
An appeal to her listener's sympathy.
The withdrawal or cancellation of an existing law or regulation.
The repeal of the tariff had positive effects on trade.
A higher court's review of the correctness of a decision by a lower court.
To revoke or rescind, especially by the action of a legislature.
A case so reviewed.
(Obsolete) To summon back or recall, especially from exile.
A request for a higher court to review the decision of a lower court.
The act or process of repealing.
The power of attracting or of arousing interest
A city with special appeal for museumgoers.
(transitive) To cancel, invalidate, annul.
To repeal a law
To make an earnest or urgent request, as for help.
To recall; to summon (a person) again; to bring (a person) back from exile or banishment.
To have recourse, as for corroboration; resort
I appeal to your sense of justice.
To suppress; to repel.
(Law) To make or request an appeal.
An act or instance of repealing.
To be attractive or interesting
The idea didn't appeal to me.
To recall; to summon again, as persons.
The banished Bolingbroke repeals himself,And with uplifted arms is safe arrived.
To request for an appeal of (a case) to a higher court for rehearing.
To recall, as a deed, will, law, or statute; to revoke; to rescind or abrogate by authority, as by act of the legislature; as, to repeal a law.
To suppress; to repel.
Whence Adam soon repealedThe doubts that in his heart arose.
An application to a superior court or judge for a decision or order by an inferior court or judge to be reviewed and overturned.
Recall, as from exile.
The tribunes are no soldiers; and their peopleWill be as rash in the repeal, as hastyTo expel him thence.
The legal document or form by which such an application is made; also, the court case in which the application is argued.
Revocation; abrogation; as, the repeal of a statute; the repeal of a law or a usage.
A person's legal right to apply to court for such a review.
I have an appeal against the lower court decision.
The act of abrogating; an official or legal cancellation
(historical) An accusation or charge against someone for wrongdoing (especially treason).
Annul by recalling or rescinding;
He revoked the ban on smoking
Lift an embargo
Vacate a death sentence
(historical) A process which formerly might be instituted by one private person against another for some heinous crime demanding punishment for the particular injury suffered, rather than for the offence against the public; an accusation.
To revoke or rescind formally or officially.
They aim to repeal the controversial law next year.
(historical) At common law, an accusation made against a felon by one of their accomplices (called an approver).
A call to a person or an authority for a decision, help, or proof; an entreaty, an invocation.
He made an appeal for volunteers to help at the festival.
(cricket) The act, by the fielding side, of asking an umpire for a decision on whether a batsman is out or not.
(figuratively) A resort to some physical means; a recourse.
(figuratively) A power to attract or interest.
(rhetoric) A call to, or the use of, a principle or quality for purposes of persuasion.
(historical) A summons to defend one's honour in a duel, or one's innocence in a trial by combat; a challenge.
(intransitive) Often followed by against (the inferior court's decision) or to (the superior court): to apply to a superior court or judge for a decision or order by an inferior court or judge to be reviewed and overturned.
Dissatisfied with the judge’s ruling, she decided to appeal.
He was advised by his lawyer to appeal against his conviction.
To apply to a superior court or judge to review and overturn (a decision or order by an inferior court or judge).
The plaintiff appealed the decision to the appellate court.
To accuse or charge (someone) with wrongdoing (especially treason).
Of a private person: to instituted legal proceedings (against another private person) for some heinous crime, demanding punishment for the particular injury suffered.
Of the accomplice of a felon: to make an accusation at common law against (the felon).
(intransitive) To call upon a person or an authority to corroborate a statement, to decide a controverted question, or to vindicate one's rights; to entreat, to invoke.
Of a fielding side; to ask an umpire for a decision on whether a batsman is out or not, usually by saying "How's that?" or "Howzat?".
(intransitive) To call upon someone for a favour, help, etc.
I appeal to all of you to help the orphans.
To have recourse or resort to some physical means.
To be attractive.
That idea appeals to me.
To summon (someone) to defend their honour in a duel, or their innocence in a trial by combat; to challenge.
To make application for the removal of (a cause) from an inferior to a superior judge or court for a rehearing or review on account of alleged injustice or illegality in the trial below. We say, the cause was appealed from an inferior court.
To summon; to challenge.
Man to man will I appeal the Norman to the lists.
To apply for the removal of a cause from an inferior to a superior judge or court for the purpose of reëxamination of for decision.
I appeal unto Cæsar.
To call upon another to decide a question controverted, to corroborate a statement, to vindicate one's rights, etc.; as, I appeal to all mankind for the truth of what is alleged. Hence: To call on one for aid; to make earnest request.
I appeal to the Scriptures in the original.
They appealed to the sword.
An application for the removal of a cause or suit from an inferior to a superior judge or court for reëxamination or review.
A summons to answer to a charge.
A call upon a person or an authority for proof or decision, in one's favor; reference to another as witness; a call for help or a favor; entreaty.
A kind of appeal to the Deity, the author of wonders.
Resort to physical means; recourse.
Every milder method is to be tried, before a nation makes an appeal to arms.
Earnest or urgent request;
An entreaty to stop the fighting
An appeal for help
An appeal to the public to keep calm
Attractiveness that interests or pleases or stimulates;
His smile was part of his appeal to her
(law) a legal proceeding in which the appellant resorts to a higher court for the purpose of obtaining a review of a lower court decision and a reversal of the lower court's judgment or the granting of a new trial;
Their appeal was denied in the superior court
Request for a sum of money;
An appeal to raise money for starving children
Take a court case to a higher court for review;
He was found guilty but appealed immediately
Request earnestly (something from somebody); ask for aid or protection;
Appeal to somebody for help
Invoke God in times of trouble
Be attractive to;
The idea of a vacation appeals to me
The beautiful garden attracted many people
Challenge (a decision);
She appealed the verdict
Cite as an authority; resort to;
He invoked the law that would save him
I appealed to the law of 1900
She invoked an ancient law
The power of attracting or interesting.
The appeal of a beach vacation is undeniable.
A fundraising effort or call for donations.
The charity started an appeal to help the flood victims.
A challenge or call to someone to participate in a contest or event.
The team's coach made an appeal to fans to attend the next game.
Can repeal be used outside of legal contexts?
Repeal is primarily used in legal and political contexts to indicate the revocation of a law or act.
What is the primary context for using appeal?
Appeal can be used in legal contexts or to describe attractiveness.
How does one initiate an appeal in court?
An appeal is initiated by filing a notice of appeal with the court that made the decision.
Can a law be brought back after its repeal?
Yes, a repealed law can be reintroduced and enacted again.
Is the repeal of a law immediate?
The effect of a repeal depends on the wording of the repealing act; it can be immediate or set for a future date.
Can appeal also mean a call for help?
Yes, appeal can mean a serious request or plea, often for assistance or support.
What's the difference between repeal and amend?
Repeal means to revoke entirely, while amend means to modify or change parts of a law.
Is an appeal always legal?
No, appeal can also refer to attractiveness or a quality that draws interest.
Who decides on the repeal of a law?
The legislative body, such as Congress or a parliament, typically decides on the repeal of a law.
What's the outcome of a successful appeal?
A successful appeal can result in a decision being affirmed, modified, or reversed.
What's the public's role in a law's repeal?
The public can influence repeal through voting, petitions, or voicing opinions to representatives.
Can an appeal process be lengthy?
Yes, appeals, especially in significant cases, can take months or even years.
Can an appeal be denied?
Yes, higher courts can choose not to hear an appeal.
Who can push for a law's repeal?
Legislators, citizens through initiatives, or advocacy groups can push for a law's repeal.
Does a repeal require a majority vote?
Typically, a majority vote in the legislative body is required to repeal a law.
Can a product have appeal?
Yes, if a product attracts or interests consumers, it's said to have appeal.
What leads to the decision to repeal a law?
Reasons can include the law being deemed outdated, unfair, or ineffective.
What happens to existing cases under a repealed law?
The specifics vary, but typically, prior violations of a repealed law remain valid unless the repeal includes provisions to the contrary.
Can one appeal a minor traffic violation?
Yes, individuals can often appeal traffic violations, though the process varies by jurisdiction.
Can someone appeal a job application rejection?
While less common, some organizations may have processes to reconsider application decisions upon appeal.
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