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In law, void means of no legal effect. An action, document or transaction which is void is of no legal effect whatsoever: an absolute nullity - the law treats it as if it had never existed or happened.The term "void ab initio", which means "to be treated as invalid from the outset", comes from adding the Latin phrase "ab initio" as a qualifier. For example, in many jurisdictions where a person signs a contract under duress, that contract is treated as being "void ab initio".A proposition in law that a court's jurisdiction, a certain document which purports to affect legal rights, or an act which purports to affect legal rights, is or was null and void from the start, from its beginning, because of some vitiating element.Typically, documents or acts which are void ab initio cannot be fixed and where a jurisdiction, a document or an act is so declared at law to be void ab initio, the parties are returned to their respective positions at the beginning of the event."Void ab initio" is often contrasted with "voidable", such documents which become void only as of the date of the judicial declaration to this effect and not, as with void ab initio, as if they never existed.An insurer facing a claim from an insured who had deceived the insurer on a material fact, would claim that the insurance contract was void ab initio; that it was null and void from the beginning and that since there was no legally enforceable contract, the insurer ought not to have to pay.