Development of Doctrines of Undue Influence and Duress Essay

2006 Words9 Pages
DURESS Duress is a common law doctrine basically states that one party has been forced into a contact by the other contracting party undermining their free will through unlawful use of force or a superior power resulting in he formation of a contract which is deemed to be unfair,in such cases regardless of what the terms or facts of the cases are English law is willing to intervene to make the contract void as the liberal element of the contract has been tampered with.Duress falls into two main categories the first being the traditional doctrine of duress to person where the law is without any ambiguity,duress to person is basically a threat to kill/harm a person or people who are close to them such as family although the degree to which a person can resist to these threats is a decisive factor once duress to person is proven it will allow for immediate relief through rescission of the contract.The principle that duress needed to comprise of real threats of intimidation came about in the case of Cumming V Ince (1847).A clear distinction to duress to person was made in Council V Armstrong(1978) where it was held by the Privy Council that the contract was voidable as threat of violence was sufficient in the formation o the contract and it did not have to be the main cause even it was a small factor in making the decision therefore any threat of violence which would play a driving role in the formation of a contract meanwhile it was also established that it was the defendants burden to prove that the threat was not a decisive factor in the formation o the contract.The law on duress to person was clear enough for courts to directly implement it but as time passed the forms of duress evolved creating a need for courts to go expand on the principles of duress.As stated in the Michigan Law Review 1947 "common law doctrines of duress were ill equipped for the work they

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