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Contrary to or unauthorized by law; illegal.

When applied to promises, agreements, or contracts, the term denotes that such agreements have no legal effect. The law disapproves of such conduct because it is immoral or contrary to public policy. Unlawful does not necessarily imply criminality, although the term is sufficiently broad to include it.

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


adj. referring to any action which is in violation of a statute, federal or state constitution, or established legal precedents (against the law).

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

UNLAWFUL. That which is contrary to law.
     2. There are two kinds of contracts which are unlawful; those which are void, and those which are not. When the law expressly prohibits the transaction in respect of which the agreement is entered into and declares it to be void, it is absolutely so. 3 Binn. R. 533. But when it is merely prohibited, without being made void, although unlawful, it is not void. 12 Serg. & Rawle, 237; Chitty, Contr. 230; 23 Amer. Jur. 1 to 23; 1 Mod. 35; 8 East, R. 236, 237; 3 Taunt. R. 244; Hob. 14. Vide Condition; Void.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
22 by Steeleville police on a Randolph County warrant claiming failure to appear on an unlawful possession of controlled substance charge.
According to an explanatory memorandum, the 'Bill seeks to review and increase the penalty for contravention of the offence of unlawful possession of and dealing in firearms and ammunition, including muzzle-loading firearms.
"Unlawful release of Batukayev was organized by the direct order of Atambayev on the basis of the fake diagnosis," the Interior Ministry said.
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, on July 8.
The applicant had sued the respondent following his unlawful and human rights violation sometimes in 2016 at the SSS headquarters in Abuja.
It is a matter of bitter record also that some political leaders of the opposition parties had not wasted time voicing their support for the arrested PTM MNAs without uttering even a single word to condemn their act of taking law into their own hands and without realizing and appreciating the fact that indulging in anti-State activities like the duo did was unlawful and opposing the government was a different matter.
He told a European People`s Party meeting in Sibiu, Romania that "the EU should consider the use of restrictive measures against all those involved in Turkey`s unlawful actions in the Republic of Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean".
Pentland Ferries raised a judicial review of the decision taken last year at the Court of Session in Edinburgh claiming that it was unlawful.
Carlson filed a pretrial motion to suppress the evidence from the trailer arguing that the officers' initial entry onto his property was unlawful and that Detective Cusumano's presence on the property was a direct result of the officers' unlawful search.
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has established a Cyber Vigilance Division (CVD) to handle complaints against unlawful online content under Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA).
KARACHI -- The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) to get vacated all properties of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) from unlawful occupants across the city.