Negative Statute Law and Legal Definition

A negative statute refers to a legislative act expressed in negative terms, and so controls the common law, that it has no force in opposition to the statute. They are mandatory, and must be presumed to have been intended to repeal all conflicting statutes, unless the contrary can be clearly seen.

The legal effect of a negative statute is to take away some former right that existed at common law, or to repeal or modify some previous statute. [Hibbard v. Tomlinson, 2 Mont. 220, 223 (Mont. 1874)].