In law, a transaction or action which is voidable is valid, but may be annulled by one of the parties to the transaction. Voidable is usually used in distinction to "void ab initio" (or void from the outset) and unenforceable.

The act of invalidating the contract by the party exercising its rights to anul the voidable contract is usually referred to either as "voiding" the contract (in the United States and Canada) or "avoiding" the contract (in the United Kingdom, Australia and other common law countries).

"Black's Law Dictionary" (relevant to US law) defines voidable as follows:

Generally speaking, one party will have the right to elect whether to annul the transaction or to affirm it. The avoiding of a voidable transaction amounts to the rescinding it, or exercising a power of rescission, and as such is subject to the general law in that regard.

The right to rescind can be lost. In common law there are generally said to be four "bars" to rescission, any one of which will cause the agreement to no longer be considered voidable.
# delay [In English law, see "Long v Lloyd" [1958] 1 WLR 753]
# affirmation (or ratification) [In English law, see "Leaf v International Galleries" [1950] 2 KB 86]
# "restitutio in integrum" being impossible [Or expressed in another way, it being impossible to put the parties back in their original positions; in English law, see "Vigers v Pike" (1842) 8 CI&F 562]
# third party rights [Usually where a third party acquires rights in property, in good faith and for value; in English law, see "Phillips v Brooks" [1919] 2 KB 243]

Although the law varies from country to country, most disputes relating to whether a transaction is void or voidable turn on the ability to transfer title to goods. In many jurisdictions, if a transaction is valid, but voidable, title to good still passes under the transaction, and the recipient may sell them with good title. If the transaction is void, no title passes, and the original seller can reclaim the goods. [See for example under English law, "Cundy v Lindsay" (1878) 3 App Cas 459 (described more fully in void (law)).]


ee also

* Per minas
* Voidable marriage

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • voidable — void·able / vȯi də bəl/ adj: capable of being voided; specif: subject to being declared void when one party is wronged by the other a voidable contract void·abil·i·ty /ˌvȯi də bi lə tē/ n Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster.… …   Law dictionary

  • voidable — void‧a‧ble [ˈvɔɪdəbl] adjective LAW a voidable contract, agreement etc can be declared void: • The contract was voidable on the grounds of fraud. * * * voidable UK US /ˈvɔɪdəbl/ adjective LAW ► able to be made void: »A misrepresentation by one… …   Financial and business terms

  • Voidable — Void a*ble, a. 1. Capable of being voided, or evacuated. [1913 Webster] 2. (Law) Capable of being avoided, or of being adjudged void, invalid, and of no force; capable of being either avoided or confirmed. [1913 Webster] If the metropolitan …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • voidable — That which may be avoided (SA Bankruptcy.com) United Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms 2012 …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • voidable — (adj.) late 15c., from VOID (Cf. void) (v.) + ABLE (Cf. able) …   Etymology dictionary

  • voidable — That which may be avoided, or declared void; not absolutely void, or void in itself. It imports a valid act which may be avoided rather than an invalid act which may be ratified. United States v. Price, D.C.Iowa, 514 F.Supp. 477, 480. See also… …   Black's law dictionary

  • voidable —    Capable of being made void. For example, a contract in which one of the parties is a minor (i.e., younger than 18 years of age) is voidable when she or he reaches the age of majority, but the contract may also be affirmed at that time.… …   Business law dictionary

  • voidable — adjective Date: 15th century capable of being voided; specifically capable of being adjudged void < a voidable contract > • voidableness noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • voidable — void ► ADJECTIVE 1) not valid or legally binding. 2) completely empty. 3) (void of) free from; lacking. ► NOUN ▪ a completely empty space. ► VERB 1) chiefly N. Amer. declare to be not valid or …   English terms dictionary

  • voidable — adjective capable of being rescinded or voided the judgment was rescindable voidable contracts • Syn: ↑rescindable • Similar to: ↑revocable, ↑revokable • Derivationally related forms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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