Retorsion (from French: rétorsion, from Latin: retortus, influenced by Late Latin, 1585–95, torsi, a twisting, wringing),[1] a term used in international law, is an act perpetrated by one nation upon another in retaliation for a similar act perpetrated by the other nation. The typical methods of retorsion are the use of comparably severe measures against citizens of the foreign nation found within the borders of the retaliating nation.[2][3] It is different from a reprisal in that the retorsion is always an action in conformity with international law, though unmistakably an unfriendly one. Examples include international trade, where disputes within the World Trade Organization are typically tackled in this manner, if dispute settlement does not reach its goal.

Retorsion also signifies the act by which an individual returns to his adversary evil for evil.[3]

See also


  1. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
  2. ^ Retorsion from the Thompson-Gale Legal Encyclopedia, courtesy of Jrank
  3. ^ a b Retorsion from the Free Dictionary