ex tunc

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Ex tunc ( Latin for "from then on") describes in legal jargon a (retroactive) effect from an earlier point in time. It means "from the beginning".

An effect ex tunc unfolds z. B. a contestation of a contestable legal transaction according to § 142 paragraph 1 BGB , with the consequence that the legal transaction is to be regarded as void from the beginning . Legal practitioners use the term to denote an event with retroactive effect , i.e. an event with which the legal situation for the past is changed and is therefore to be reversed if it has already been carried out.

In contrast, ex nunc is used to mean “from now, from now on”, which only means that a legal provision or the like will continue to apply in the future. prevented.


If a contract is effectively challenged, the mutually received services are to be returned, as well as if a contract is void from the beginning for other reasons, for example because the required form was not adhered to or at least one of the contracting parties was not legally competent or legally competent.


If an employment contract is successfully contested, the contract is legally void ex tunc, but despite its void it is treated as effective for the period up to the contestation if the employee previously worked for the employer , i.e. This means that he still has to be paid and insured for the time worked. The contestation of a marriage and its consequences are expressly regulated differently by special regulations in § 1313 BGB ff.


Laws , ordinances or similar regulations may not come into force retrospectively ( principle of prohibited retroactive effect ). According to the Federal Constitutional Court , the problem of real retroactive effect is regularly that trust in the existence of the law in force for current dispositions is retroactively disappointed and the fundamental value of legal certainty is violated. Unconstitutional laws are, however, declared null and void with effect ex tunc within the framework of a normative review ( § 78 BVerfGG ).

See also

Individual evidence

  1. BVerfGE 72, 200