Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Ex officio Definition:

Latin: by virtue of office.

Related Terms: Ipso jure, Proprio Motu

Privileges, rank or authority vested in a person by the mere fact of their holding a specific position.

From Trayner's 1861 dictionary:

"Ex officio: ... by virtue of the office."

In the United States, the president is ex officio commender in chief of the armed forces (Article 2, US Constitution):

"The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States...."

In the Canadian province of British Columbia, the 2012 Legal Profession Act provides that lawyers are commissioners of oath and notaries from the mere fact of registration as a practising lawyer. Consider §14(3):

"A practising lawyer is entitled to use the style and title of Notary Public in and for the Province of British Columbia, and has and may exercise all the powers, rights, duties and privileges of the office of notary public."


  • Legal Profession Act, SBC 1998, Chapter 9
  • Trayner, John, Latin Phrases and Maxims Collected From the Institutional and Other Writers on Scotch Law with Translations and Illustrations (Edinburgh: William Paterson, 1861)

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