Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Positive Law Definition:

Law proper, as opposed to moral laws, or to natural or “God-made” law.

Related Terms: Law

An enforceable legal rule which prohibits or requires certain conduct.

Often contrasted with moral law.

Lawyers speak of positive law to distinguish it from other rules similarly expected to be followed but not conduct-related.

For example, many of the provisions of the Laws of Manu deal with morality or hygiene. This made it hard for jurists and legal historians to later sort out what was intended to be enforceable by the state, or which ought to influence the court on disputes over contracts or inter-personal relationships, and the moral or religious rules, which serve as guidance to the citizens but do not attract the attention of law enforcement.


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