Quod Initio Non Valet, Tractu Temporis Non Valet Law and Legal Definition

Quod initio non valet, tractu temporis non valet is a Latin maxim that imports the meaning that what is void in the beginning cannot be made valid by lapse of time. Generally, this rule is considered true. However, it cannot be accepted in every circumstance.

A matter that is radically defective from the beginning cannot be made better after a period of time. A law that is in conflict with the constitution cannot be held valid with passage of time. The fact that a custom was followed for a long period cannot make it legally valid if it was a legal wrong from the beginning. For example, slave trade was never legalized. Title of a slave cannot be legal even when a stolen slave is bought.