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LAW, POSITIVE. Positive law, as used in opposition to natural law, may be considered in a threefold point of view. 1. The universal voluntary law, or those rules which are presumed to be law, by the uniform practice of nations in general, and by the manifest utility of the rules themselves. 2. The customary law, or that which, from motives of convenience, has, by tacit, but implied agreement, prevailed, not generally indeed among all nations, nor with so permanent a utility as to become a portion of the universal voluntary law, but enough to have acquired a prescriptive obligation among certain states so situated as to be mutually benefited by it. 1 Taunt. 241. 3. The conventional law, or that which is agreed between particular states by express treaty, a law binding on the parties among whom such treaties are in force. 1 Chit. Comm. Law, 28.

POSITIVE. Express; absolute; not doubtful. This word is frequently used in composition.
     2. A positive condition is where the thing which is the subject of it must happen; as, if I marry. It is opposed to a negative condition, which is where the thing which is the subject of it must not happen; as, if I do not marry.
     3. A positive fraud is the intentional and successful employment of any cunning, deception or artifice, to circumvent, cheat, or deceive another. 1 Story, Eq. Sec. 186; Dig. 4, 3, 1, 2; Dig. 2, 14, 7, 9. It is cited in opposition to constructive fraud. (q.v.)
     4. Positive evidence is that which, if believed, establishes the truth or falsehood of a fact in issue, and does not arise from any presumption. It is distinguished from circumstantial evidence. 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3057.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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