Rescission, or the act of rescinding, is where a contract is canceled, annulled, or abrogated by the parties, or one of them. In Spanish law, nullity is divided into absolute and relative. The former is that which arises from a law, whether civil or criminal, the principal motive for which is the public interest ; and the latter is that which affects only certain individuals. “Nullity” is not to be confounded with “rescission.” Nullity takes place when the act is affected by a radical vice, which prevents it from producing any effect; as where an act is in contravention of the laws or of good morals, or where it has been executed by a person who cannot be supposed to have any will, as a child under the age of seven years, or a madman, (un niño o demente.) Rescission is where an act, valid in appearance, nevertheless conceals a defect, which may make it null, if demanded by any of the parties; as, for example, mistake, force, fraud, deceit, want of sufficient age, etc. Nullity relates generally to public order, and cannot therefore be made good either by ratification or prescription; so that the tribunals ought, for this reason alone, to decide that the null act can have no effect, without stopping to inquire whether the parties to it have or have not received any injury. Rescission. on the contrary, may be made good by ratification or by the silence of the parties; and neither of the parties can demand it, unless he can prove that he has received some prejudice or sustained some damage by the act. Sunol v. Hepburn, 1 Cal. 281, citing Escriehe.
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