void contract

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A contract that has no legal force from the moment of its making (compare voidable contract). Void contracts occur when there is lack of capacity to contract and by the operation in some instances of the doctrine of mistake. An illegal contract is void. In addition, certain contracts (e.g. gaming and wagering contracts) are declared void but not illegal by statute, and certain contracts that are at common law contrary to public policy are merely void but not illegal. Under UK and EU competition law on restrictive trade practices, clauses infringing those laws are void but usually the rest of the contract continues. Contracts that are void or, in certain cases, illegal may be saved by severance.

Subjects: Law.

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