Duress in Contract

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  • DURESS
    • Establishing a Claim
      • 1. C must show pressure of an improper nature applied, or harm was threatend
      • 2. The pressure, objectively asses, was such that the C had no other choice but to give in to it (no reasonable alternative)
      • The Casual impact of the pressure was that the C acted in the manner the D wanted
      • R  v AG [2003] as summarized  by Lord Hoffman
    • Three Types
      • Duress as to the Person
        • Has very narrow limits and requires actual or threatened violence - Barton v Armstrong [1976]
      • Duress as to Goods
        • Pao On Lau v Yiu Long (1980) stated that it is possible, but the must be illegitimate and has constituted a significant part of the reason why the contract was entered
      • Economic Durees
        • DSND Subsea Ltd v Petroleum Geo-Services ASA [2000]
          • The threat must be unlawful or illegitimate leaving no reasonable alternative can be held as economic duress.
            • Example - threat to breach a contract unless extra is paid
    • Variations of Pressure
      • Lawful threat or pressure - CTN Cash and Carry Ltd v Gallaher [1994]
      • Implicit or Over Pressure - Williams v Bayley [1866]
      • Commercial Pressure - Adam Opel GmbH v Mitras Automotive [2008]
    • Causal Impact of the Pressure
      • Prssure must be a "significant cause inducing the plaintiff to enter into the relevant contract" - Lord Goff in Dimskal Shipping Co [1992]
        • Three considerations of the court here
          • Is there a realistic or alternative action to submitting to the pressure
          • Whether the C protested at the time
          • Whether the C affirmed the contract - Atlantic Baron [1979]
            • If C affirms the contract, after the coercion has ceased to influence him, he loses the chance to set aside the contract

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