In law and government, de facto ( /, -/ day FAK-toh, dee -; Latin : de facto [deː ˈfaktoː] , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with de jure ("by law"), which refers to things that happen according to law.
A de facto standard is a standard (formal or informal) that has achieved a dominant position by tradition, enforcement, or market dominance. It has not necessarily received formal approval by way of a standardisation process, and may not have an official standards document.
Technical standards are usually voluntary, such as ISO 9000 requirements, but may be obligatory, enforced by government norms, such as drinking water quality requirements. The term "de facto standard" is used for both: to contrast obligatory standards (also known as "de jure standards"); or to express a dominant standard, when there is more than one proposed standard.
In social sciences, a voluntary standard that is also a de facto standard, is a typical solution to a coordination problem.
Several countries, including Australia, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States, have a de facto national language but no official, de jure national language.
Some countries have a de facto national language in addition to an official language. In Lebanon and Morocco the official language is Arabic, but an additional de facto language is also French. In New Zealand, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language are de jure official languages, while English is a de facto official language. In Singapore, English is the de jure language, but Chinese, Malay and Tamil are common de facto languages.
Russian was the de facto official language of the central government and, to a large extent, republican governments of the former Soviet Union, but was not declared de jure state language until 1990. A short-lived law, effected April 24, 1990, installed Russian as the sole de jure official language of the Union.
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.
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 because it had deposed a previous leader or undermined the rule of a current one. De facto leaders sometimes do not hold a constitutional office and may exercise power informally.
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 he later amended the nation's constitution and made himself president until new elections were called, 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, his de facto rule of the nation began earlier: during his time as vice president; he exercised a great deal of power at the expense of the elderly Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, the de jure president.
In Argentina, the successive military coups that overthrew constitutional governments installed de facto governments in 1930–1932, 1943–1946, 1955–1958, 1966–1973 and 1976–1983, the last of which combined the powers of the presidential office with those of the National Congress. The subsequent legal analysis of the validity of such actions led to the formulation of a doctrine of the de facto governments, a case law (precedential) formulation which essentially said that the actions and decrees of past de facto governments, although not rooted in legal legitimacy when taken, remained binding until and unless such time as they were revoked or repealed de jure by a subsequent legitimate government.
That doctrine was nullified by the constitutional reform of 1994. Article 36 states:
- (1) This Constitution shall rule even when its observance is interrupted by acts of force against the institutional order and the democratic system. These acts shall be irreparably null.
- (2) Their authors shall be punished with the penalty foreseen in Section 29, disqualified in perpetuity from holding public offices and excluded from the benefits of pardon and commutation of sentences.
- (3) Those who, as a consequence of these acts, were to assume the powers foreseen for the authorities of this Constitution or for those of the provinces, shall be punished with the same penalties and shall be civil and criminally liable for their acts. The respective actions shall not be subject to prescription.
- (4) All citizens shall have the right to oppose resistance to those committing the acts of force stated in this section.
- (5) He who, procuring personal enrichment, incurs in serious fraudulent offense against the Nation shall also attempt subversion against the democratic system, and shall be disqualified to hold public office for the term specified by law.
- (6) Congress shall enact a law on public ethics which shall rule the exercise of public office.
In 1526, after seizing power Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi made his brother, Umar Din, the de jure Sultan of the Adal Sultanate. Ahmad, however, was in all practice the de facto Sultan.Some other 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 nearly all 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. In the Soviet Union, after Vladimir Lenin was incapacitated from a stroke in 1923, Joseph Stalin—who, as General Secretary of the Communist Party had the power to appoint anyone he chose to top party positions—eventually emerged as leader of the Party and the legitimate government. Until the 1936 Soviet Constitution officially declared the Party "...the vanguard of the working people", thus legitimising Stalin's leadership, Stalin ruled the USSR as the de facto dictator.
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).
The term "de facto head of state" is sometimes used to describe the office of a governor general in the Commonwealth realms, since a 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.
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 Sovereign is the de jure executive authority, even though executive decisions are made by the indirectly elected Prime Minister and her Cabinet on the Sovereign's behalf, hence the term Her Majesty's 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 Durand Line 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 in which the border was never formally established or in which 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.
In South Africa, although de jure apartheid formally began in 1948, de facto racist policies and practices discriminating against black South Africans, Coloureds, and Indians dated back decades before.
De facto racial discrimination and segregation in the United States (outside of the South) until the 1950s and 1960s was simply discrimination that was not segregation by law (de jure). "Jim Crow laws", which were enacted in the 1870s, brought legal racial segregation against black Americans residing in the American South. These laws were legally ended in 1964 by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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. The related terms oligopoly and monopsony are similar in meaning and this is the type of situation that antitrust laws are intended to eliminate.
A domestic partner outside marriage is referred to as a de facto husband or wife by some authorities.In Australia and New Zealand, the phrase "de facto" by itself has become a colloquial term for one's domestic partner. In Australian law, it is the legally recognized, committed relationship of a couple living together (opposite-sex or same-sex). De facto unions are defined in the federal Family Law Act 1975. De facto relationships provide couples who are living together on a genuine domestic basis with many of the same rights and benefits as married couples. Two people can become a de facto couple by entering into a registered relationship (i.e.: civil union or domestic partnership) or by being assessed as such by the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court. Couples who are living together are generally recognised as a de facto union and thus able to claim many of the rights and benefits of a married couple, even if they have not registered or officially documented their relationship, although this may vary by state. It has been noted that it is harder to prove de facto relationship status, particularly in the case of the death of one of the partners.
In April 2014, a federal court judge ruled that a heterosexual couple who had a child and lived together for 13 years were not in a de facto relationship and thus the court had no jurisdiction to divide up their property under family law following a request for separation. In his ruling, the judge stated "de facto relationship(s) may be described as ‘marriage like’ but it is not a marriage and has significant differences socially, financially and emotionally."
The above sense of de facto is related to the relationship between common law traditions and formal (statutory, regulatory, civil) law, and common-law marriages. Common law norms for settling disputes in practical situations, often worked out over many generations to establishing precedent, are a core element informing decision making in legal systems around the world. Because its early forms originated in England in the Middle Ages, this is particularly true in Anglo-American legal traditions and in former colonies of the British Empire, while also playing a role in some countries that have mixed systems with significant admixtures of civil law.
Due to Australian federalism, de facto partnerships can only be legally recognised whilst the couple lives within a state in Australia. This is because the power to legislate on de facto matters relies on referrals by States to the Commonwealth in accordance with Section 51(xxxvii) of the Australian Constitution, where it states the new federal law can only be applied back within a state.There must be a state nexus between the de facto relationship itself and the Australian state.
If an Australian de facto couple moves out of a state, they do not take the state with them and the new federal law is tied to the territorial limits of a state. The legal status and rights and obligations of the de facto or unmarried couple would then be recognised by the laws of the country where they are ordinarily resident. See the section on Family Court of Australia for further explanation on jurisdiction on de facto relationships.
This is unlike marriage and "matrimonial causes" which are recognised by sections 51(xxi) and (xxii) of the Constitution of Australiaand internationally by marriage law and conventions, Hague Convention on Marriages (1978).
A de facto relationship is comparable to non-marital relationship contracts (sometimes called "palimony agreements") and certain limited forms of domestic partnership, which are found in many jurisdictions throughout the world.
A de facto Relationship is not comparable to common-law marriage, which is a fully legal marriage that has merely been contracted in an irregular way (including by habit and repute). Only nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia still permit common-law marriage; but common law marriages are otherwise valid and recognised by and in all jurisdictions whose rules of comity mandate the recognition of any marriage that was legally formed in the jurisdiction where it was contracted.
De facto joint custody is comparable to the joint legal decision-making authority a married couple has over their child(ren) in many jurisdictions (Canada as an example). Upon separation, each parent maintains de facto joint custody, until such time a court order awards custody, either sole or joint.
In finance, the World Bank has a pertinent definition:
A "de facto government" comes into, or remains in, power by means not provided for in the country's constitution, such as a coup d'état, revolution, usurpation, abrogation or suspension of the constitution.
A de facto state of war is a situation where two nations are actively engaging, or are engaged, in aggressive military actions against the other without a formal declaration of war.
In engineering, de facto technology is a system in which the intellectual property and know-how is privately held. Usually only the owner of the technology manufactures the related equipment. Meanwhile, a standard technology consists of systems that have been publicly released to a certain degree so that anybody can manufacture equipment supporting the technology. For instance, in cell phone communications, CDMA1X is a de facto technology, while GSM is a standard technology.
Sovereign immunity, or crown immunity, is a legal doctrine by which the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution, strictly speaking in modern texts in its own courts. A similar, stronger rule as regards foreign courts is named state immunity.
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom whose modified versions are now domestic law within Australia and Canada; it has been repealed in New Zealand and implicitly in former Dominions that are no longer Commonwealth realms. Passed on 11 December 1931, the act, either immediately or upon ratification, effectively both established the legislative independence of the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire from the United Kingdom and bound them all to seek each other's approval for changes to monarchical titles and the common line of succession. It thus became a statutory embodiment of the principles of equality and common allegiance to the Crown set out in the Balfour Declaration of 1926. As the statute removed nearly all of the British parliament's authority to legislate for the Dominions, it had the effect of making the Dominions largely sovereign nations in their own right. It was a crucial step in the development of the Dominions as separate states.
The Family Court of Australia is a superior Australian federal court of record which deals with family law matters, such as divorce applications, parenting disputes, and the division of property when a couple separate. Together with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, it covers family law matters in all states and territories of Australia except for Western Australia, which has a separate Family Court. Its core function is to determine cases with the most complex law, facts and parties, to cover specialised areas in family law, and to provide national coverage as the national appellate court for family law matters.
Common-law marriage, also known as sui iuris marriage, informal marriage, marriage by habit and repute, or marriage in fact, is a legal framework in a limited number of jurisdictions where a couple is legally considered married, without that couple having formally registered their relation as a civil or religious marriage.
A domestic partnership is an interpersonal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life, but are not married. People in domestic partnerships receive benefits that guarantee right of survivorship, hospital visitation, and others.
An ex post facto law is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of actions that were committed, or relationships that existed, before the enactment of the law. In criminal law, it may criminalize actions that were legal when committed; it may aggravate a crime by bringing it into a more severe category than it was in when it was committed; it may change the punishment prescribed for a crime, as by adding new penalties or extending sentences; or it may alter the rules of evidence in order to make conviction for a crime likelier than it would have been when the deed was committed.
The Federal Constitution of Malaysia, which came into force in 1957, is the supreme law of Malaysia. The Federation was initially called the Federation of Malaya and it adopted its present name, Malaysia, when the States of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore became part of the Federation. The Constitution establishes the Federation as a constitutional monarchy having the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the Head of State whose roles are largely ceremonial. It provides for the establishment and the organisation of three main branches of the government: the bicameral legislative branch called the Parliament, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate ; the executive branch led by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers; and the judicial branch headed by the Federal Court.
An entrenched clause or entrenchment clause of a basic law or constitution is a provision that makes certain amendments either more difficult or impossible to pass, making such amendments inadmissible. Overriding an entrenched clause may require a supermajority, a referendum, or the consent of the minority party. The term eternity clause is used in a similar manner in the constitutions of the Czech Republic, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Morocco, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Federative Republic of Brazil and Norway. The Constitution of India and the Constitution of Colombia contain similar provisions aimed at making it difficult, but not impossible, to change their basic structure.
In many Commonwealth jurisdictions, the phrase "peace, order, and good government" (POGG) is an expression used in law to express the legitimate objects of legislative powers conferred by statute. The phrase appears in many Imperial Acts of Parliament and Letters Patent, most notably the constitutions of Canada, Australia and formerly New Zealand and South Africa.
Section 51(xxxvii) of the Constitution of Australia is a provision in the Australian Constitution which empowers the Australian Parliament to legislate on matters referred to it by any state. As Australia is a federation, both states and the Commonwealth have legislative power, and the Australian Constitution limits Commonwealth power. Section 51(xxxvii) allows for a degree of flexibility in the allocation of legislative powers.
Australian family law is principally found in the federal Family Law Act 1975 as well as in other laws and the common law and laws of equity, which affect the family and the relationship between those people, including when those relationships end. Most family law is practised in the Family Court of Australia. Australia recognises marriages entered into overseas as well as divorces obtained overseas if they were effected in accordance with the laws of that country. Australian marriage and "matrimonial causes" are recognised by sections 51(xxi) and (xxii) of the Constitution of Australia and internationally by marriage law and conventions, such as the Hague Convention on Marriages (1978).
The supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of courts in many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, apex court, and highcourt of appeal. Broadly speaking, the decisions of a supreme court are not subject to further review by any other court. Supreme courts typically function primarily as appellate courts, hearing appeals from decisions of lower trial courts, or from intermediate-level appellate courts.
Marriage law refers to the legal requirements that determine the validity of a marriage, and which vary considerably among countries. See also Marriage Act.
The Family Law Act 1975, referred to as the FLA by legal practitioners, is an Act of the Australian Parliament. It has 15 parts and is the main Australian legislation dealing with divorce, parenting arrangements between separated parents, property separation, and financial maintenance involving children or divorced or separated de facto partners. It came into effect on 1 January 1976, repealing the Matrimonial Causes Act 1961, which had been largely based on fault.
Same-sex marriage in Australia has been legal since 9 December 2017. Legislation to allow same-sex marriage, the Marriage Amendment Act 2017, passed the Australian Parliament on 7 December 2017 and received royal assent from the Governor-General the following day. The law came into effect on 9 December, immediately recognising overseas same-sex marriages. The first same-sex wedding under Australian law was held on 15 December 2017. The passage of the law followed a voluntary postal survey of all Australians, in which 61.6% of respondents supported legalisation of same-sex marriage.
This article summarizes the same-sex marriage laws of states and similar jurisdictions in the United States. Via the case Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage in a decision that applies nationwide, with the possible exception of American Samoa and some tribal nations. Same-sex marriages are currently licensed and recognized in all U.S. states, District of Columbia, territories, excepting the aforementioned American Samoa and some Native American tribal nations.
The Constitution of Australia, or Australian Constitution, is the supreme law under which the government of the Commonwealth of Australia operates, including its relationship to the States of Australia. It consists of several documents. The most important is the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, which is referred to as the "Constitution" in the remainder of this article. The Constitution was approved in a series of referendums held over 1898–1900 by the people of the Australian colonies, and the approved draft was enacted as a section of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp), an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity as its official religion and often has a state church, which is a Christian denomination that supports the government and is supported by the government.
The Marriage Equality Act 2013 was an act of parliament of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly that was intended to legalise same-sex marriage in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). It was first presented to the ACT Legislative Assembly on 19 September 2013 by the ACT Attorney-General, Simon Corbell. The law intended to build on the existing recognition of same-sex unions in the Australian Capital Territory, which included recognition of de facto partners, civil partnerships and same-sex-only civil unions. The act was passed in the Legislative Assembly on 22 October 2013. It came into operation on 7 November although wedding ceremonies under the provisions of the Act did not occur until 7 December 2013.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Australia's Northern Territory enjoy the same legal rights as non-LGBT residents. The liberalisation of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Australia's Northern Territory has been a gradual process. Homosexual activity was legalised in 1983, with an equal age of consent since 2003. Same-sex couples are recognised as de facto relationships. There was no local civil union or domestic partnership registration scheme before the introduction of nationwide same-sex marriage in December 2017, following the passage of the Marriage Amendment Act 2017 by the Australian Parliament. The 2017 Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, designed to gauge public support for same-sex marriage in Australia, returned a 60.6% "Yes" response in the territory. LGBT people are protected from discrimination by both territory and federal law, though the territory's hate crime law does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity. The territory was the last jurisdiction in Australia to legally allow same-sex couples to adopt children.
I am curious about the use of the term "de facto". It is an adjective meaning "in fact" – as opposed to "in law". It is used by Australian journalists when describing (other people's) domestic partners. I have never heard anyone say "my de facto". It is a brief way of saying "living with someone but not actually married". Despite being an adjective, it never seems to be used with a noun, but on its own...