Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Ipso facto Definition:

Latin: By the act itself.

Related Terms: Per Se, Ipso jure

Bryne's Law Dictionary renders ipso facto as follows:

"By the mere fact."

Lazar Emanuel's 1999 book includes this description:

"Ipso facto: By that very fact itself. In and of itself. The inevitable result.

"(Example) The end of a marriage results ipso facot from a decree of divorce."

In the course of legal proceedings, lawyers or judges may speak of something being:

  • ipso facto relevant;
  • ipso facto unconstitutional;
  • ipso facto exempt; or
  • ipso facto lawful or unlawful.


  • Byrne, W., A Dictionary of English Law (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1923), p. 490.
  • Emanuel, Lazar, Latin for Lawyers - The Language of the Law (Larchmont, New York: Emanuel Publishing Corp., 1999), page 192.

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