What is duress?

Pressure,especially actual or threatened physical force,put on person to act in particular way.

What need to know about duress under criminal law?

Acts carried out under duress usually have no legal effect.

Example : -A contract obtained by duress is voidable. -In criminal law,when the defendant¶s power to resist ia destroyed by a threat of death or serious personal injury or by circumstances,he will have a defence to a criminal charge,although he has the mens rea for the crime and knows that what he is doing is wrong.


Duress is not a defence to a charge of murder as a principal.

Example : -to someone who actually carries out the murder himself.

Duress is not a defence to aiding and abetting murder.

Example : -R v Howe [1987] AC 417 (HL) -The threat need not be immediate,it is sufficient that it is effective,for example a threat in court to kill a witness may constitute duress and thus be a defence to a charge of perjury,even though it cannot be carried out in the courtroom.However the defence is unavailable to someone who failed to take available alternative action the threat. Which penal code relate to duress?

Section 94 of Penal Code

Example 1 : Cannot raise the defence because join them voluntarily or threat of being beaten.It may negate the state of blameworthiness of mind. There must be an element of compulsion for example the act done due to the threat. Golden Approach : refer to any other person. What is relationship between rationale and duress? According to English law. y The accused person msut not place himself in a situation where he can be threatened. y y y Literal Approach : refer to the accused person. . Example 2 : Can raise the defence because the threat of instant death. The instant death must be to that person.the rationale of having duress as a defence that is the element of threat overcomes the mens rea of the offence. The threat of instant death and not mere threat.What is the relationship between duress and Section 94 of Penal code? y It must not be a murder and offences against the state punishable with death. What is reasonable apprehension? It can be illustrated when a person feel threated when not doing anything being asked by a person that give command to him.

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