Latae sententiae is a Latin phrase, meaning "sentence passed", used in the canon law of the Catholic Church.
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Catholic canon law
A latae sententiae penalty is one that follows ipso facto or automatically, by force of the law itself, when a law is contravened.
A penalty that binds a guilty party only after it has been imposed on the person is known as a ferendae sententiae (meaning "sentence to be passed") penalty.
The Code of Canon Law, which binds Catholics of the Latin Church, inflicts latae sententiae censures for certain forbidden actions. The canon law that binds members of the eastern Catholic Churches (see Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches) does not include latae sententiae penalties.