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De facto is a Latin expression that means "in fact" or "in practice" but not spelled out by law. It is commonly used in contrast to de jure (which means "by law") when referring to matters of law, governance, or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without or contrary to a regulation. When discussing a legal situation, de jure designates what the law says, while de facto designates action of what happens in practice. Image File history File links Mergefrom. ... Look up De jure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In law, desuetude (from the French word désuet, outdated) is a doctrine that causes statutes, similar legislation, or legal principles to lapse and become unenforceable by a long habit of non-enforcement or lapse of time; it is what happens to unrepealed laws when they become obsolete. ... Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... See De facto for the Latin expression. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Look up De jure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... “Standard” redirects here. ...

The term de facto may also be used when there is no relevant law or standard, but a common practice is well established, although perhaps not quite universal.




A de facto standard is a technical or other standard that is so dominant that everybody seems to follow it like an authorized standard. The de jure standard may be different: one example is the act of speeding found on highways. Although the de jure standard is to drive at the speed limit or slower, in many places the de facto standard is to drive at the speed limit or slightly faster. “Standard” redirects here. ...

Another example: there is no law preventing a 27th letter such as Þ (thorn) from being added to the standard 26-letter Latin alphabet used for modern English; indeed, letters were added centuries ago without much difficulty. But today one is prevented from doing so by the practical difficulties involved, and thus there is a de facto limit on modifications to the alphabet; it is impractical to add such a letter as no one will recognize it. Þþ The letter Þ (miniscule: þ), which is also known as thorn or þorn is a letter in the Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic alphabets. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

A de facto standard is sometimes not formalized and may simply rely on the fact that someone has come up with a good idea that is liked so much that it is copied. Typical creators of de facto standards are individual companies, corporations, and consortia. In computing, de facto standards can sometimes become de jure standards due to their share of the relevant market. For example, JavaScript by Netscape was standardized as ECMAScript and parts of DOM Level 0 became standardized in DOM Level 1/2 HTML Specification. This is a list of types of companies, i. ... For other uses, see Corporation (disambiguation). ... A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organisations or governments (or any combination of these entities) with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal. ... JavaScript is a scripting language most often used for client-side web development. ... Netscape Communications Corporation was the publisher of the Netscape Navigator web browser as well as many other internet and intranet client and server software products. ... ECMAScript is a scripting programming language, standardized by Ecma International in the ECMA-262 specification. ... Hierarchy of objects in an example HTML DOM - Document Object Model The Document Object Model (DOM) is a platform- and language-independent standard object model for representing HTML or XML and related formats. ...

National languages

Several de facto English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia have no de jure official national language. In New Zealand, there are 3 official languages (English, Maori and sign). In the United States, twenty-five U.S. States have declared English an official language, with Hawaii using Hawaiian and English as official languages. However, two US states also have de facto second languages: Spanish in New Mexico and French in Louisiana. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A U.S. state is any one of the 50 states which have membership of the federation known as the United States of America (USA or U.S.). The separate state governments and the U.S. federal government share sovereignty. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... The Hawaiian language is an Austronesian language that takes its name from HawaiÊ»i, the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. ... Capital Santa Fe Largest city Albuquerque Largest metro area Albuquerque metropolitan area Area  Ranked 5th  - Total 121,665 sq mi (315,194 km²)  - Width 342 miles (550 km)  - Length 370 miles (595 km)  - % water 0. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ...

Similarly, in the former Soviet Union, Russian was the official language de facto, but not de jure. Sweden is another example of a country with no language recognized de jure.

Lebanon and Morocco are two more examples, where in both countries the official language is Arabic but an additional de facto language is considered to be French. Arabic redirects here. ...


A de facto government is a government wherein all the attributes of sovereignty have, by usurpation, been transferred from those who had been legally invested with them to others, who, sustained by a power above the forms of law, claim to act and do really act in their stead.[1]

In politics, a de facto leader of a country or region is one who has assumed authority, regardless of whether by lawful, constitutional, or legitimate means; very frequently the term is reserved for those whose power is thought by some faction to be held by unlawful, unconstitutional, or otherwise illegitimate means, often by deposing a previous leader or undermining the rule of a current one. De facto leaders need not hold a constitutional office, and may exercise power in an informal manner.

Not all dictators are de facto rulers. For example, Augusto Pinochet of Chile initially came to power as the chairperson of a military junta, which briefly made him de facto leader of Chile, but then he later amended the nation's constitution and made himself President, making him the formal and legal ruler of Chile. Similarly, Saddam Hussein's formal rule of Iraq is often recorded as beginning in 1979, the year he assumed the Presidency of Iraq. However, in practice his de facto rule of the nation began at an earlier date, as during his time as vice president he exercised a great deal of power at the expense of the elderly Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr. A dictator is an authoritarian, often totalitarian ruler (e. ... Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte[1] (November 25, 1915 – December 10, 2006) was President of Chile as a military dictator [2] from 1974 to 1990, and head of the military junta from 1973 to 1974. ... A military junta is government by a committee of military leaders. ... President is a title held by many leaders of organizations, companies, trade unions, universities, and countries. ... Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was the fifth President of Iraq and Chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council from 1979 until his overthrow by US forces in 2003. ... The President of Iraq is Iraqs head of state. ... A vice president is an officer in government or business who is next in rank below a president. ... General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr (Arabic أحمد حسن البكر ) (July 1, 1914 - October 4, 1982), was President of Iraq from 1968 to 1979. ...

Another example of a de facto ruler is someone who is not the actual ruler, but exerts great or total influence over the true ruler, which is quite common in monarchies. Some examples of these de facto rulers are Empress Dowager Cixi of China (for son Tongzhi and nephew Guangxu Emperors), Prince Alexander Menshikov (for his former lover Empress Catherine I of Russia), Cardinal Richelieu of France (for Louis XIII), and Queen Marie Caroline of Naples and Sicily (for her husband King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies). Empress Dowager Cixi (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Tzu-Hsi Tai-hou) (November 29, 1835 – November 15, 1908), popularly known in China as the West Empress Dowager (Chinese: 西太后), was from the Manchu Yehe Nara Clan. ... The Tong Zhi Emperor, born Zai Chun (April 27, 1856–January 12, 1875) was the tenth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, and the eighth Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1861 to 1875. ... The Guangxu Emperor (August 14, 1871–November 14, 1908), born Zaitian (載湉), was the tenth emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty, and the ninth Qing emperor to rule over China. ... Menshikov in Exile Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov (Александр Данилович Меншиков) (1673 – 1729) was a Russian statesman, whose official titles included Generalissimo, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire... Catherine I (In Russian: Екатерина I Алексеевна) (April 15, 1683/1684–May 17, 1727) was the second wife of Russia from 1725 until her death. ... For other uses, see Richelieu (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... HM Queen Marie Caroline of Naples and Sicily Her Majesty Queen Marie Caroline of Naples and Sicily née Her Imperial & Royal Highness Archduchess Marie Caroline of Austria (1752-1814) was queen consort and de facto ruler of Naples from 1768 to 1799 and from 1799 to 1806, and of... King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies (January 12, 1751 - January 4, 1825). ...

Some notable true de facto leaders have been Deng Xiaoping of the People's Republic of China and General Manuel Noriega of Panama. Both of these men exercised near-total control over their respective nations for many years, despite not having either legal constitutional office or the legal authority to exercise power. These individuals are today commonly recorded as the "leaders" of their respective nations; recording their legal, correct title would not give an accurate assessment of their power. Terms like strongman or dictator are often used to refer to de facto rulers of this sort. Deng Xiaoping   (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Teng Hsiao-ping; August 22, 1904 – February 19, 1997) was a prominent Chinese politician and reformer, and the late leader of the Communist Party of China (CCP). ... For other persons named Noriega, see Noriega (disambiguation). ... A strongperson is a political leader who rules by force and runs an authoritarian regime. ...

The term de facto head of state is sometimes used to describe the office of a governor general in the Commonwealth Realms, since the holder of that office has the same responsibilities in their country as the de jure head of state (the sovereign) does within the United Kingdom. A de facto head of state is an office-holder who fulfils some, many or all of the functions of a head of state. ... A Governor-General is most generally a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above ordinary governors. ... The Commonwealth Realms, shown in pink A Commonwealth Realm is any one of the sixteen sovereign states within the Commonwealth of Nations that recognise Elizabeth II as their respective monarch. ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ...

In the Westminster System of government, executive authority is often split between a de jure executive authority of a head of state and a de facto executive authority of a Prime Minister and Cabinet who implement executive powers in the name of the de jure executive authority. In the United Kingdom, the British Sovereign is the de jure executive authority, even though executive decisions are made by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet on the Sovereign's behalf, hence the term "Her Majesty's Government". The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, in London. ... Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the executive is the branch of a government charged with implementing, or executing, the law. ... For the comedy film of the same name, see Head of State (film). ... A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. ... This article is about the governmental body. ... The British monarch or Sovereign is the monarch and head of state of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories, and is the source of all executive, judicial and (as the Queen_in_Parliament) legislative power. ... In the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister is the head of government, exercising many of the executive functions nominally vested in the Sovereign, who is head of state. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A logo of Her Majestys Government. ...

The de facto boundaries of a country are defined by the area that its government is actually able to enforce its laws in, and to defend against encroachments by other countries that may also claim the same territory de jure. The line of control in Kashmir is an example of a de facto boundary. As well as cases of border disputes, de facto boundaries may also arise in relatively unpopulated areas when the border was never formally established, or when the agreed border was never surveyed and its exact position is unclear. The same concepts may also apply to a boundary between provinces or other subdivisions of a federal state. Shown in green is the Kashmiri region under Pakistani control. ... Kashmir (or Cashmere) may refer to: Kashmir region, the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent India, Kashmir conflict, the territorial dispute between India, Pakistan, and the China over the Kashmir region. ... A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more states, or over the possession/control of land by one state after it has conquered it from a former state no longer currently recognized by the occupying power. ... A map displaying todays federations. ...

Similarly, a nation with de facto independence, like Somaliland, is one that is not recognized by other nations or by international bodies, even though it has its own government that exercises absolute control over its claimed territory. For other territories formerly called Somaliland, see Somaliland (disambiguation). ...

Other usages

A de facto monopoly is a system where many suppliers of a product are allowed, but the market is so completely dominated by one that the others might as well not exist. (Similarly for related terms such as oligopoly and monopsony.) This is the type of situation that antitrust laws are intended to eliminate, when they are used. This article is about the economic term. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In economics, a monopsony (from Ancient Greek μόνος (monos) single + ὀψωνία (opsōnia) purchase) is a market form with only one buyer, called monopsonist, facing many sellers. ... The Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. is home to the United States antitrust enforcers United States antitrust law is the body of laws which prohibit anti-competitive behavior (monopoly) and unfair business practices. ...

A domestic partner outside marriage is referred to as a de facto husband or wife by some authorities.[2] In Australia and New Zealand de facto has become a term for one's domestic partner. It is a legally recognised relationship of a couple living together in Australian law, e.g. "This is my defacto, Rachel". This is equivalent to the term common-law husband or wife used in most other English-speaking countries. International recognition Civil unions and Domestic partnerships Recognized in some regions Unregistered co-habitation Recognition debated See also Same-sex marriage Civil union Registered partnership Domestic partnership Timeline of same-sex marriage Listings by country This box:      A domestic partnership is a legal or personal relationship between individuals who live... Marriage is an interpersonal relationship with governmental, social, or religious recognition, usually intimate and sexual, and often created as a contract, or through civil process. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

Countries sometimes receive de facto (informal) recognition from other countries which may lead to de jure (formal) recognition.


  1. ^ 30 Am Jur 181. Law Dictionary, James A. Ballentine, Second Edition, 1948, page 345.
  2. ^ Walker Lenore E.A. "Battered Woman Syndrome. Empirical Findings". Violence and Exploitation Against Women and Girls, November 2006, page 142.

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