March 26, 2022

Void and Void Ab Initio

As per the Law, a void has the meaning of having no legal effect. As per Law, void is the action, any transaction or any document, which is void, means having no legal effect. There is another term which is void ab initio, which has a meaning that is” treated as if it never existed before”. It’s a combination of Void plus ab initio. As we stated above VOID means no legal effect, and the Latin word Ab Initio is from the beginning. Therefore, it becomes that “not existed or not valid from the beginning”.  

General Example:

We can understand through a corporate world example when an employee has to sign the work contract with the company but due to coercion, pressure, or by force better known as “Duress”, then such contracts are not accepted and recognized by Law and are known as Void Ab Initio. UAE Law also recognizes such contracts as VOID Ab Initio. An employee can’t be held accountable for any breach if he is hired on such a contract.

“Mr John sells his apartment to Mr Tom for 100, 000$. He does not provide the occupation to Mr Tom against 50, 000 AED paid and the deal accepted. When the matter is taken to court then the court will declare this VOID and VOID Ab Initio, because the condition of this deal was not having any existence from the beginning.

Court Verdict Example:

Cundy vs Lindsay is a popular English Contract Law to understand the concept of Void Ab Initio. Cundy Company was directed to return the goods to Lindsay Company. All the three courts plus the house of lords, all gave the same decision.

Null from the Start: Invalid from the Beginning

As per Law, the Void document, or act can’t be accepted and considered ever as a valid action or instrument. Any kind of documents that are against the country’s interest, to harm someone or kill someone or to use in subversive activity, are not accepted or recognized by any country in the world. It is absolutely totally Null from the start and Invalid from the beginning.


VOIDABLE means which can be made VOID. Any contract which is not VOID or VOID AB INITIO, and can be formed, might be considered as Null and Void too by the Law/Court. It means it can be drafted, it can be made but when Law finds later or at last. that, this is against the Law, then Law has authority to declare as VOID. There are many reasons for this, for example, fraud, coercion, pressure, incapability, etc.

Court Verdict Example:

Void/VOID AB INITIO vs Voidable

Let’s find out the difference between VOID/VOID AB INITIO and VOIDABLE. Find the two columns below, drafted by legal experts.

A void is a contract which has no legal effect or ground therefore this is not valid at all.A Voidable contract is a type of contract which has few assured defects that are used as grounds to void a contract.
The court can’t give the verdict in this favour because VOID or VOID AB Initio, are not exhausted from the beginning.It’s up to the court, the court can give a verdict in its favour.
It can’t be ratified.It can be ratified.
No rights or benefits can be produced.Rights and benefits can be produced.
A Duress is always accepted as invalid and the contract is declared as Null & Void.A Duress can be accepted valid or can also be rejected as invalid. The contract can also be accepted or rejected as well as any action or document.
False or wrong from the beginning.Either or both can refuse to accept if found wrong or false.
VOID or VOID AB INITIO at the beginning.Can be VOIDABLE, not VOID at the beginning.

General Discussion:

  • We have come to know about VOID, VOID ABINITIO and VOIDABLE.
  • VOID is like no legal effect at all.
  • VOID ABINITIO, then document or paper is rejected from the beginning.
  • Any Real Estate or Business transaction not recorded in books, or digital applications will be considered as VOID, especially Phase 2 Type contracts in Real Estate. Phase 1 Type can’t be usually, as up to book keeper or recorder. Check Article 3 of 2008.
  • Mostly such contracts and cases are from construction industry in UAE.