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Brett of the schoolyard bullies puts Mark on the side and threatens to beat him up if he doesn`t make him copy his homework. Mark knows it`s a violation of school policy to help another student cheat, but he also doesn`t want another bloody nose; He gives in and gives his homework to Brett. This is a classic example of coercion in which a party uses intimidation or threat to force someone to act against their will. In case law, coercion or coercion refers to a situation in which a person acts as a result of violence, threat or other pressure on the person. Black`s Law Dictionary (6th edition) defines coercion as “any illegal threat or coercion used… to encourage another to act in a way they would not otherwise do.┬áDuress is pressured on a person to force that person to perform an act that he or she would not normally do. The notion of coercion must be distinguished from both an unjustified influence of civil law. In criminal law, coercion and necessity are different defences. [1] [2] Although a wide range of acts can be considered a constraint on the whole, laws and legal definitions provide greater clarity on what is a civil injustice or crime (or, in some cases, a defence against criminal complaints). Below, we will discuss the importance of coercion in the law, including national and federal laws as well as contract law. The coercive rule applies to both the entire contract and individual contractual terms.

In other words, the parties must accept the contract as a whole as well as the various conditions, definitions and requirements that are defined individually in the agreement. Professor Ronald Griffin, Florida Agricultural – Mechanical College of Law, Orlando, FL, simply imposes physical constraints: “Your money or your life.” In Barton v Armstrong,[8] Armstrong (accused) attempted to compel Barton (plaintiff) to act in connection with the sale of certain businesses by threatening to murder him. While the complainant took the threats seriously, there were other commercial reasons for signing the contract. An innocent party who wants to set aside a contract of coercion on the person only has to prove that the threat was made and that it was one of the reasons for entering the contract. In addition, once the threat has been proven, the onus is on the person who made the threat to prove that the threat did not contribute to the applicant`s decision to enter into the agreement. [9] When a party enters into a contract under duress (usually under threat of damage or retaliation), that contract may be considered illegal and therefore unenforceable. Even in cases where most of the contract is effectively legal, the entire contract may be revoked (i.e. terminated) if it can be proven that only one term has been concluded under duress. A possible defence for coercive charges is where the other party has also been involved in coercive activities called “unclean hands”. When coercive conditions are found, the entire contract is terminated or terminated. The termination of the contracts has the effect of terminating the contract in its entirety. Both parties thus relieve their obligation to comply with the contractual obligations set out in the agreement.

In addition, the contractual obligation may be imposed as a defence against the performance of contractual obligations. For example, a party might argue that it is not required to meet its contractual obligations because it was obliged to execute the contract. Thus, coercion is often used as a contractual defence. The idea of “unclean hands” is a defense that can be used for coercion in a contract. The general idea behind impure hands is that one party cannot be held responsible for coercion because the other party was guilty of the same act.