Affirmative Statute Law and Legal Definition

An affirmative statute refers to a law enacted in affirmative terms and does not take away the common law. Although an affirmative statute does not take away the common law, it is nevertheless binding, and a party may make his/her election to proceed upon the statute or at common law.

By its term an affirmative statute necessarily implies a negative. For example, when a law states that any person found guilty of the larceny of any horse, mule, cow, hog or any other live stock, shall suffer imprisonment in the state penitentiary. It necessarily negatives the idea that a person found guilty of such an offence could be lawfully punished in any other way.