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The term illegitimate , from Latin illegitĭmus, allows to qualify that or that which is not legitimate : that is, it lacks legitimacy. The legitimate thing, in turn, is fair , genuine or lawful.

For example: "Two minutes after the end of the match, the judge validated an illegitimate goal of the visiting team", “Opposition leaders said the recent process Election was illegitimate since the provisions of the National Constitution were not respected ”, "According to the court, the agreement signed by both parties is illegitimate".

Take the case of a country in which a democratic government is overthrown by the armed forces through a coup . The de facto rulers, when they seize power, call elections, but with the main political parties banned and with numerous leaders imprisoned by irregular judicial decisions. After an electoral process without international recognition and with the participation of less than 40% of the registry, a new president is proclaimed. However, for the majority of the population, analysts and the world community, it is a illegitimate agent . The brand new president has no political or legal support to carry out his duties.

It is known as illegitimate child , on the other hand, to the one whose parents they are not married . Long ago these descendants used to be discriminated against and lacked rights enjoyed by the children of an established marriage. At present, however, it is common for laws to protect people born out of wedlock, giving them access to inheritance and the rest of the rights corresponding to heirs.

The term illegitimate and its antonym, legitimate, are often the focus of a confusion with the duo legal and illegal, although there are several differences that separate them. It is worth mentioning that for the scope of the politics and the law, this has been essential since time immemorial. Let's start by defining the concept of law: it is about set of rules that we must comply to not receive a penalty . The law may be reflected in writing or remain in the oral tradition, but it always establishes a "framework" that we must respect.

That said, we understand that every legal act complies with said set of rules, and this can be exemplified by the correct use of traffic lights or garbage containers on public roads, among hundreds of other cases. Now complexity begins when they are noticed legal but illegitimate acts ; For example, while making fun of an older person is not a crime, it is a behavior illegitimate.

In the previous example we can see that the moral It is not always related to legality; in fact, some laws seem to pursue a reality quite far from morality, always with the excuse of maintaining order in the context of a society. If we think about the abusive conditions that low-income people must endure to get a plate of food or a mattress, we understand that the judicial system does not seek a world of smiles and equal conditions.

Traveling a few centuries to the past, we have several cases of brutal acts that were considered legal at the time but, under our current perspective, are undeniably illegitimate. A clear example is the persecution suffered by the Jewish people in Europe, a part of history that brought the most extreme and regrettable signs of violence. Despite what we may feel when we read about it, in Nazi Germany it was mandatory to denounce Jewish neighbors; in fact, not doing so was considered a crime . In other words, sending an innocent person to a horrible death preceded by a series of impossible to imagine abuses was legal.

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