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Chapter

Cover Complete Contract Law

14. Duress  

This chapter discusses duress, a word associated with a threat that forces someone to do something. It is not difficult to imagine this in a context of contracts. The typical hypothetical example would be a party that signs a contract at gunpoint. Entering a contract under duress in this fashion means that the consent to the contract was impaired by the wrongdoing. This means that duress is another vitiating factor, like misrepresentation, and therefore it results in the contract being voidable. The chapter examines the law relating to contracts made as a result of duress. It starts with the role of the law and the shape of the area, which provides a brief overview of the development of the duress principle. The chapter then turns to the initial categories of duress, and with each it explores the principles arising from the case law and the scope of the duress principle in those contexts. Of these categories, economic duress and lawful act duress are the most recent to have evolved, and they are particularly interesting because they continue to be the subject of judicial and academic debate. The chapter’s final issue concerns the remedies for duress, and a key issue here is the question of whether duress can result in a claim for damages.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Hasan [2005] UKHL 22, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Hasan [2005] UKHL 22, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Hasan [2005] UKHL 22, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Hasan [2005] UKHL 22, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Directions

9. Duress, undue influence and unconscionable bargains  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. This chapter focuses on the principles applicable where a contract is entered into after there have been threats or improper influence brought to bear on one party or where the one-sided nature of the contract suggests that one party has been taken advantage of. The discussions cover duress (duress and pressure, threats against the person, threats against goods and economic duress); undue influence (actual undue influence, presumed undue influence and third-party cases); and unfairness and unconscionable bargains.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law

Times Travel (UK) Ltd v Pakistan International Airlines Corporation [2021] UKSC 40; [2021] 3 WLR 727  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Times Travel (UK) Ltd v Pakistan International Airlines Corporation [2021] UKSC 40; [2021] 3 WLR 727. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law 5e

Times Travel (UK) Ltd v Pakistan International Airlines Corporation [2021] UKSC 40; [2021] 3 WLR 727  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Times Travel (UK) Ltd v Pakistan International Airlines Corporation [2021] UKSC 40; [2021] 3 WLR 727. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Directions

9. Duress, undue influence and unconscionable bargains  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. This chapter focuses on the principles applicable where a contract is entered into after there have been threats or improper influence brought to bear on one party or where the one-sided nature of the contract suggests that one party has been taken advantage of. The discussions cover duress (duress and pressure, threats against the person, threats against goods and economic duress); undue influence (actual undue influence, presumed undue influence and third-party cases); and unfairness and unconscionable bargains.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

18. Duress  

A contract can be set aside on the ground that it has been entered into under duress. This chapter presents cases illustrating the different forms of duress, namely duress of the person, duress of goods, and economic duress. The case-law establishes that there are two principal elements to a duress claim: (i) lack of consent/coercion of the will and (ii) the illegitimacy of the pressure exerted. There is a third element necessary in cases of economic duress, namely the lack of a reasonable alternative to giving in to the pressure or the threat. The chapter examines the idea of ‘illegitimacy’, in particular whether a threat to breach a contract is always illegitimate and the controversial question of the scope of ‘lawful act’ duress.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Howe [1987] AC 417, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Howe [1987] AC 417, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Howe [1987] AC 417, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Howe [1987] AC 417, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

8. Duress  

The doctrine of duress allows a complainant to set aside the contract if the other party exerted illegitimate pressure on her to enter the contract. This chapter discusses: (1) the justification for the duress doctrine; (2) the elements that must be proved for duress to the person, to property, economic duress, and lawful act duress; (3) the sorts of pressures regarded as illegitimate by the law; (4) the necessary effect of the illegitimate threat on the other party; (5) whether the current law on duress is satisfactory, and if not, how it might be developed in the future; and (6) the protection of consumers against aggressive commercial practices.

Chapter

Cover O'Sullivan & Hilliard's The Law of Contract

10. Duress  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter examines contracts induced by duress, which is a vitiating factor. It explains that duress involves one party coercing or pressuring the other party into making a contract and its most important feature is that it generally involves pressure applied by means of an illegitimate threat. It discusses the different types of duress—duress to the person, duress of goods, and focusing in more detail on economic duress and its various requirements. It explores the controversial question of whether relief should be extended to cases of lawful act duress such as threats not to contract, which as the law currently stands is in very exceptional situations only.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

7. Factors Affecting The Validity of a Contract  

This chapter discusses how the manner in which a contract is concluded can potentially affect its validity. Before discussing the terms and details of a contract, it is important to note that a contract may fail due to one or both parties not possessing the capacity to establish a contract. Some of the common reasons includes a mistake by one or both parties, a provision that has been misrepresented in the negotiations, or the use of undue influence or placing the other party under duress in the process of concluding the contract. Some of the reasons listed in this chapter may be common, but the emphasis here is to identify where problems may occur that could prevent the successful operation of the contract despite fulfilling the essential features discussed in the previous chapters.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Bowen [1996] EWCA Crim 1792, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Bowen [1996] EWCA Crim 1792, Court of Appeal. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Concentrate

10. Duress and undue influence  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. The doctrines of duress and undue influence may result in a contract being set aside (the remedy of rescission) where illegitimate pressure has been used in the contracting process. This chapter focuses on instances where the agreement cannot stand in light of duress or undue influence, including instances where the duress or undue influence was exercised by a third party and the contracting party had notice of that duress or undue influence.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Directions

14. Defences II: general defences  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams, and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. This chapter explores the remaining general defences: self-defence, protection of another, and the prevention of crime, duress, duress of circumstances, and necessity. A defendant may rely on self-defence where he honestly believes that use of force is necessary in order to protect him and the force used is reasonable. The issue of duress arises where the defendant is threatened that he must commit a criminal offence or suffer physical injury or injury to his family. Duress excuses a defendant’s behaviour as a concession to human frailty, whereas necessity justifies it. Necessity does not require a threat made by a person of death or physical injury, but merely a choice between two evils.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

6. General defences  

Michael J. Allen and Ian Edwards

Course-focused and contextual, Criminal Law provides a succinct overview of the key areas on the law curriculum balanced with thought-provoking contextual discussion. This chapter discusses general defences of duress, necessity, and private defence and prevention of crime. Duress relates to the situation where a person commits an offence to avoid the greater evil of death or serious injury to himself or another threatened by a third party. Necessity relates to the situation where a person commits an offence to avoid the greater evil to himself or another, which would ensue from objective dangers arising from the circumstances in which he or that other are placed. An accused charged with a violent offence may seek to plead that he acted as he did to protect himself, or his property, or others from attack; or to prevent crime; or to effect a lawful arrest.

Chapter

Cover JC Smith's The Law of Contract

17. Duress  

Duress occurs when B exerts illegitimate pressure upon A to enter into a contract, leaving A with no reasonable practical alternative but to enter into that contract. Duress is founded upon a threat made by B to A, but there is no tort of duress. However, duress will render a contract voidable. This chapter considers the two principal forms of duress. The first is physical act duress, where A’s physical integrity is threatened. The second is economic duress, where A’s economic interests are threatened. Particularly in the context of economic duress, it is important that the threats caused A to enter into the agreement, and that A had no reasonable alternative but to succumb to the threat. As a general rule, any threatened breach of contract can constitute illegitimate pressure. In some instances, even a threat to carry out a lawful act may, perhaps, ground a claim in duress.

Chapter

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

7. Excusatory Defences  

This chapter discusses ‘excusatory’ defences. These are defences that are concerned with absence of fault or culpability in a broader sense than is understood by a ‘fault element’ when such an element is included in the definition of an offence. Even when an accused person (say) intended to harm another person, and thus possessed the fault element in the definition of the crime, he or she may still be all but blameless if, for example, what was done was done only because he or she would be killed if the action was not undertaken. In that regard, the chapter covers duress and coercion, reasonable mistake, and ‘putative’ defences. The ‘defence’ of intoxication is also tackled here, even though it is not really an excuse in the sense just explained.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

7. Vitiating Factors  

A contract may meet the necessary formation requirements of offer and acceptance, consideration, and intention to create legal relations, but still not be binding because it lacks other necessary factors. These invalidating factors are sometimes referred to as ‘vitiating factors’. This chapter discusses statements that constitute actionable misrepresentations; the difference between fraudulent, negligent, and innocent misrepresentation; the remedies available for each type of misrepresentation; and the effect a misrepresentation will have on the validity of a contract. The chapter considers types of mistake and when a court will regard a mistake as an operative mistake rendering the contract void. It also considers how duress and undue influence may arise, the presumptions relating to undue influence, and whether the presence of duress and undue influence will make a contract voidable. Finally, the chapter considers types of contract that are illegal under statute and under common law.