De Jure Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of De Jure, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is De Jure?

latin expression meaning “based on law”, used to mean something done/said in principle, which is strictly legal, according to written laws of the land. Contrasts with ‘de facto’ which isn’t legal but in practice.

History and Meaning of De Jure

De jure is a term derived from the Latin expression "based on the law" or "by law." It describes a situation that is in accordance with the law and conforms to the rules and principles laid out by the legal system. It is a term commonly used in the legal field to describe legally recognized rights and principles.

De jure is often used in contrast to the term "de facto," which means "in fact" or "in reality," and is associated with things that exist in practice but not necessarily by law. The distinction is important for understanding the legal status of various practices, systems, and policies.

Examples of De Jure

  1. The Constitution of the United States grants citizens de jure rights, such as the right to a fair trial and freedom of speech.
  2. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 established de jure protections for minority voters, ensuring they could not be denied the right to vote based on their skin color or ethnicity.
  3. Segregation in the American South was once de jure, backed by legal codes that mandated separate facilities and services for black and white citizens.
  4. A company that follows all employment laws and regulations in its hiring practices is said to operate de jure.
  5. The sovereign state of Taiwan, while not recognized as such by some countries, operates de jure and has its own government, legal system, and military.

Legal Terms Similar to De Jure

  1. De facto: Latin for "in fact"; used to describe something that exists or is true in practice, but not necessarily by law.
  2. Ex post facto: Latin for "after the fact"; describes a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of an action or event.
  3. Habeas Corpus: Latin for "you shall have the body"; a writ that requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or court.
  4. Due Process: A legal principle that ensures that individuals are treated fairly by the legal system, and that the government cannot deprive them of life, liberty, or property without following established legal procedures.