Difference between Duress & Undue Influence

Duress and undue influence are legal terms that describe situations in which a person is coerced or manipulated into performing an act or entering into a contract. While both terms involve the exploitation of power or control, there are key differences between the two concepts.

Key Takeaways

  • Undue influence involves taking advantage of a position of power to manipulate another party in a contract.
  • Duress refers to a situation in which a person performs an act under the threat of violence or other unjust pressure.
  • While both involve taking undue advantage, duress typically involves the use of threats, while undue influence does not include threats.

Undue influence occurs when a person uses their position of power to gain an unfair advantage in a contract with another party. If it can be proven in court that one party used undue influence to gain an advantage, the contract may be declared null and void, and compensation may be ordered.

Duress, on the other hand, occurs when a person is coerced into signing a contract or performing an act due to direct or indirect threats. To prove duress, the victim must describe the exact circumstances that led them to act in a way they would not have under normal conditions. Duress is also used in jurisprudence to convict individuals who exploit others sexually or force them to perform acts they would not otherwise do.

The main difference between duress and undue influence is the use of threats. In cases of duress, there is a clear threat, either veiled or explicit, while there is no threatening behavior in cases of undue influence. In both situations, the victim performs in a manner they would not have otherwise, but in duress, this is due to fear, while in undue influence, it is due to the perceived dominance of the other party.

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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