Saving Clause Definition

A "saving clause" is generally defined as a "statutory provision exempting from coverage something that would otherwise be included" and is "generally used in a repealing act to preserve rights and claims that would otherwise be lost." (Black's Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009) p. 1461.) the rule at common law was that the "outright repeal of a criminal statute without a saving clause bars prosecution for violations of the statute committed before the repeal." (Sekt v. Justice's Court of San Rafael Tp. (1945) 26 Cal.2d 297, 304.) This rule was "based on presumed legislative intent, it being presumed that the repeal was intended as an implied legislative pardon for past acts." (Ibid.) California has a general statutory savings clause for criminal prosecutions of offenses under criminal law that has been repealed: "The termination or suspension (by whatsoever means effected) of any law creating a criminal offense does not constitute a bar to the indictment or information and punishment of an act already committed in violation of the law so terminated or suspended, unless the intention to bar such indictment or information and punishment is expressly declared by an applicable provision of law." (Gov. Code, 9608.)