Positive Law

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Positive Law

Those laws that have been duly enacted by a properly instituted and popularly recognized branch of government.

Positive laws may be promulgated, passed, adopted, or otherwise "posited" by an official or entity vested with authority by the government to prescribe the rules and regulations for a particular community. In the United States, positive laws come in a variety of forms at both the state and federal levels, including legislative enactments, judicial orders, executive decrees, and administrative regulations. In short, a positive law is any express written command of the government. The belief that the only legitimate sources of law are those written rules and regulations laid down by the government is known as Positivism.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

positive law

n. statutory man-made law, as compared to "natural law" which is purportedly based on universally accepted moral principles, "God's law," and/or derived from nature and reason. The term "positive law," was first used by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan (1651). (See: natural law)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
western ranchers had disobeyed positive law to protest or resist what
(7) For Justice Scalia, it was the positive law that judges must enforce
Nor is it a legal "compel." Coan isn't arguing for a Dworkinan moral reading of the Constitution, and he agrees that an Originalism Amendment, if worded with sufficient clarity, would "pretty clearly be part of the positive law." (29) So any debate over the legal necessity of originalism could be settled by an Originalism Amendment just as easily as by Coan's proposal.
Because it is not possible to provide a precise definition of structural legislation and test the hypothesis in any systematic way, this section merely examines a few areas of the law, including amendments to subchapters S, K, and C of the Code--all areas with the type of provisions described as structural legislation--and legislative efforts to enact as positive law the titles of the U.S.
(15) The Code is itself composed of both positive law titles and nonpositive law titles, and the role of the OLRC differs with respect to each type of title, as is elaborated in this Comment.
In his conclusion, as well as elsewhere throughout Malik and Medina, Wymann-Landgraf declares that the broader objective behind his book is to persuade the reader that "the [legal] schools grew up during the first three centuries of Islam as consistent, yet largely unspoken legal methodologies with distinctive bodies of positive law systematically based on them" (p.
The States developed their own rules and principles of private international law, contained either in the positive law or in jurisprudence and doctrine (as is the case in France).
The structure of the volume makes the medieval approach to argument and its basic, unchallenged theories of natural law, positive law, canon and civil law clear.
Fortin also observes that Aquinas himself says that the specification of the punishment called for by natural law belongs to positive law (50).
In continental Europe, students began studying civil law by reading the Institutes and the Digest of Justinian, the 6th-century Byzantine emperor who codified ancient Roman law into the Corpus Juris Civilis and affirmed natural law as the underlying source of positive law. Students of the English common law almost surely would have read the works of the 13th-century cleric and jurist Henry de Bracton and, later, William Blackstone's 18th-century Commentaries on the Laws of England.
Almost all the rest of the Digest was devoted to the latter, the positive law, just as was true of the text of Bracton.
Corrective justice simply is not willing to trump positive law.

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