Duress

In jurisprudence, duress or coercion refers to a situation whereby a person performs an act as a result of violence, threat or other pressure against the person. Black's Law Dictionary (6th ed.) defines duress as "any unlawful threat or coercion used... to induce another to act in a manner otherwise would not ". Duress is pressure exerted upon a person to coerce that person to perform an act that he or she ordinarily would not perform. The notion of duress must be distinguished both from undue influence in the civil law and from necessity.

Duress has two aspects. One is that it negates the person's consent to an act, such as sexual activity or the entering into a contract; or, secondly, as a possible legal defense or justification to an otherwise unlawful act. A defendant utilizing the duress defense admits to breaking the law, but claims that he/she is not liable because, even though the act broke the law, it was only performed because of extreme unlawful pressure. In criminal law, a duress defense is similar to a plea of guilty, admitting partial culpability, so that if the defense is not accepted then the criminal act is admitted.

Duress or coercion can also be raised in an allegation of rape or sexual assault to negate a defense of consent on the part of the person making the allegation.

Read more about DuressDiscussion, Requirements, In Contract Law

Other articles related to "duress":

Marital Coercion - Differences From Duress
... While the defence of marital coercion has similarities to that of duress, it has significant differences It must be proved that the defendant is the legal wife of the man who ... For duress, the burden is on the prosecution to disprove duress beyond reasonable doubt.) However in the trial of Vicky Pryce the trial judge, Mr Justice ... Duress requires a threat to kill or cause serious harm to a person ...
Per Minas
... Per minas has been used as a defense of duress to certain crimes, as affecting the element of Mens rea ... Blackstone, the often-cited Judge and Legal scholar, addressed the use of "duress per minas" under the category of self-defense as a means of securing the "right of personal security", that is, the right of self-defense ... law, Blackstone used per minas to describe the defense of duress, as affecting the element of Contract intent, Mutual assent, or Meeting of the minds ...
Duress In English Law - Criminal Law - Exceptions
... Duress is no defence to murder, attempted murder, or, seemingly, treason involving the death of the sovereign ... In general, courts do not accept a defence of duress when harm done by the defendant is greater than the court's perception of the harm threatened ... Ireland v Lynch (1975) AC 653, the Lords had held by a majority that duress was available to an accomplice ...
Duress Code
... A duress code is a covert signal used by an individual that is under duress to indicate their state ... The term duress code typically refers to a signal embedded in normal communication, such as a word or phrase used during conversation to alert other personnel of ... itself, typically in the form of a panic password, distress password, or duress PIN that is distinct from the user's normal password or PIN ...