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75 S. African L.J. 32 (1958)
Degrees of Invalidity

handle is hein.journals/soaf75 and id is 42 raw text is: DEGREES OF INVALIDITY
Mr. Turpin     has made a valuable contribution         towards our
understanding the nature of void and voidable acts and particularly
to the problem of the so-called retroactive ratification of void acts.'
He has not, however, in my opinion provided, what is admittedly
called for, a 'settled and uniform terminology ' for dealing with
these matters.' This is because he has failed to notice that there
are more than. two ways in which contracts or other acts may be
invalid and that it is desirable to have different words for these
varying shades of inxalidity. The simple dichotomy of 'void' and
'voidable' is not adequate to describe the various subtle ways in
which the law refuses to a greater or less extent to give effect to
contracts, marriages and other juristic acts. Failure to perceive this
leads Turpin to the paradoxical conclusion that though in Edelstein
v. Edelstein' the Appellate Division described the unassisted contract
of a minor as 'null and void in one direction of its operation and
valid in another.',' it would have made no difference legally if the
court had described it as voidable. Of course, the most eminent
judges may be mistaken in thinking a distinction exists where there
is none, but it is also possible that the Appellate Division was applying
a distinction which Mr. Turpin has overlooked.
Perhaps the simplest approach to the analysis of defective contracts
and other acts is to set out the various possible legal effects of an
invalid transaction. I concentrate on contracts and begin with a
simple unilateral contract, such as a promise of a gift. If A promises
B £100 this promise may have one of the following effects:       .
(a) it may bind A;
(b) it may bind -A but subject ,to A's power to release himself
from the obligation;
(c) it may not bind A at all.
An example of (a) would be the ordinary offer of £100 by a donor
duly accepted by a donee. An example of (b) would be an offer
,of £100 duly accepted by the donee who subsequently is guilty of
gross ingratitude, entitling the donor to revoke the donation. An
example of (c) would be the offer of £100 by a husband to his wife
during the currency of the marriage, and accepted 1y her. The
difference between (b) and (c) is that in (c) the donor is not
boupd whereas in (b) he is bound but can release himself by some
'Void afid Voidable Acts', 72 (1955) S.AL.I. 58 esp. at 63-4.
2p. 69.
31952 (3) S.A. 1 -(A.D.).
4 Edelstem v. Edelsteirl (smpra) at 10, per van den Heever, J.A.

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