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de facto and de jure

“De facto” and “de jure” are Latin expressions that are frequently used in legal and political contexts to describe different aspects of authority or status.

De facto refers to a state of affairs that exists in reality or in practice, regardless of whether it is officially recognized or legally sanctioned. It is Latin for “in fact” or “in practice.” For example, if someone is the de facto leader of a group, it means they are leading in practice, even if they do not hold an official title or position.

De jure, on the other hand, pertains to a situation or status that is officially recognized and sanctioned by law, even if it may not be the case in practice. It is Latin for “by law” or “according to law.” For instance, if someone is the de jure president of a country, it means they hold the official title and position according to the constitution or legal framework, irrespective of the actual power dynamics on the ground.

In summary, “de facto” refers to the practical or real-world situation, while “de jure” refers to the legally recognized or official status. These terms are often used in discussions about governance, authority, and leadership to highlight the difference between what exists in practice and what is officially sanctioned by law.

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