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. Duress 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.   Professor Ronald Griffin, Florida Agricultural – Mechanical College of Law, Orlando, FL, simply imposes physical constraints: “Your money or your life.” In Barton v Armstrong, 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.  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”.
A applied coercion, although his act was not a crime under English law, and although section 506 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) was not in force at the time or place where the act was committed. The conclusion of a contract under duress, which is a kind of constraint, renders the contract unenforceable. For example, if you buy a product from a company and the company refuses to complete the delivery until you give it more money, that would be a form of constraint. In criminal law, if a person is legally found insane because he believed that God ordered him to do the crime (“decree deific”), is an interpretation of the folly that he acted under a folly of God`s coercion. 615-625 A, aboard an English ship on the high seas, ensured that B entered into an agreement through an act of criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860). Charges of rape or other sexual assault may also be committed in the event of a charge of rape or coercion, in order to deny the defence of the consent of the person making the charge. 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. The concept of coercion can be found in several sections of the U.S. code with respect to political activity, employment, sex trade, trade, housing and contract law, to name a few.