Nullity of contracts in Spain

Rescission of contracts due to nullity

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Rescission of contracts due to nullity

One legal way to cancel contracts under Spanish regulations, not well known by Spanish litigation lawyers outside Spain due to its high technical complexity, is based on so-called “vicios del consentimiento,” which can be translated into English as “lack of consent,” or literally “vices of consent.”

Full freedom

In Spain, it is essential to the validity of a contract that all parties were able to exercise their contractual will in conditions of full freedom and knowledge.

Basically, the effect of the Spanish law in such nullities constitutes feedback regarding the validity of such contracts at the time at which the cause took place. Its maximum expression would be the consideration of such a contract as not granted—hence, “null.” In such a case, the breaching party would have the obligation to restore the situation to the time just before the granting of the contract (by, for example, returning the total price received, goods delivered, or services provided) and to compensate the aggrieved party for any damages.

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Legal reasons for nullifying

Now, what are some of the legal reasons for nullifying a contract in Spain? They can be uncovered prior to a formal Spanish litigation or court case.

If you are thinking about taking action at a Spanish court, you should consider that, according to the guidelines established in the Spanish Civil Law Code, in article 1265, there are four reasons to apply for the nullification of a contract in the event of a disagreement between the parties: el error, absolute error/invincible mistake, violence, intimidation, and fraud—provided that these affected the consent given.

These three causes of nullity further explained.