Law term that means that some document, paper or deal has no power in law.

In Russian it is ничтожность (ничтожный договор), in Ukrainian it's нікчемність (нікчемний договір).

I've already asked it on otvety.google.ru but I'm not sure that they are right.

  • illawgical. ;-)
    – MrZander
    Mar 29, 2012 at 0:09

3 Answers 3


The phrase in UK/US law is null and void (see meaning 7).

null and void: without legal force or effect; not valid: This contract is null and void.

  • 3
    That works in US too. You could also say "unenforceable".
    – Jay
    Mar 28, 2012 at 15:30

It is as Matt said null and void, but only if at some point it were legally valid. If it never was valid, you would describe it as not legally binding.

  • Good point. I hadn't thought of it that way. Mar 28, 2012 at 17:04
  • 1
    Equivalently, it is "a nullity", which works in English and is the literal translation of ничтожность. Mar 29, 2012 at 2:35
  • Non-binding is another related option, as in Congress passed a non-binding resolution opposing the practice — i.e. Congress said they oppose the practice, but they didn't enact a law against it.
    – choster
    Mar 29, 2012 at 17:11

In Standards documents, you'll find the term "non-normative," referring to passages which are merely explanatory and not to be considered part of the requirements specified by the text.

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