Legal Act Definition and Meaning

The concept of act finds its origin in the Latin word actus and is associated with the notion of action, understood as the possibility or the result of doing something. A legal act, in this sense, constitutes an action that is carried out consciously and voluntarily with the purpose of establishing legal ties between several people to create, modify or extinguish certain rights.

In other words, it can be said that a legal act is a manifestation of will whose purpose is to provoke legal consequences. These results are recognized through the legal system.

The basis of the legal act is formed by the declaration of will, which must be aware of the effects that the first will have, according to what the laws stipulate. The legal act seeks a variation of the state of affairs and causes the aforementioned legal consequences.

It should be noted that there are multiple classifications for legal acts. They can be formal (in which the effectiveness is tied to the formalities established and contemplated by the law), others can be non-formal (in them, their possible validity does not depend on solemnity), positive (their success depends on the performance of the act), negative (they suppose an omission or abstention), unilateral (they arise from the will of a single party), bilateral (they require the consent of a minimum of two parties), patrimonial (of economic content), family (rights and duties of family),free (the obligation falls on a single party, regardless of how many are involved) or onerous (reciprocal obligations), among other types.

Legal act or legal fact

It is important to make distinctions between these two concepts. A legal fact constitutes a natural event characterized by not needing the intervention of the will to appreciate legal consequences, while a legal act, as we have said previously, needs approval; that is, it must meet certain conditions to be able to compel compliance with the rights by the parties that carry it out. Both the act and the legal fact are the forms of realization of the assumptions of law.

In order for a legal act to exist as such, that is, the expression of the will of its perpetrator is protected by the Law, it is necessary that it meet a series of elements of existence and validity.

The elements of existence are essential and therefore if one of them is missing, the act could not be defined as such and, as absolute nullity would act, it could not produce any consequence or legal effect. These essential elements are: the will of the author of the act when carrying it out, a possible object from a physical and also a legal point of view, and solemnity of the law. The latter is only required if the act is of a solemn nature; a declaration of the will is made before the law in the act itself (it is necessary in marriages and signing of wills, among other acts).

In some cases, exceptions appear that, even if the fundamental requirements mentioned above had been met, could render the act invalid. They are contemplated in the legislature of each Nation and in each have different characteristics. In any case, in most cases it is stated that for an act to be valid, consent and object are required.(essential for a contract to exist) and it can be declared invalid if the incapacity of some of the signatory parties is proven, if the object that carries it out is illegal or if there is any alteration of said contract that contravenes the laws. If there are no obstacles to the performance of the contract, then the legal act is signed, which obliges both parties to comply with the signed while assuming the consequences that by the nature of the signed act may arise, in accordance with the law that the protects.

Legal Act

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