Definition of COERCION


COERCION

criminal law, contracts. Constraint; compulsion; force.


2. It is positive or presumed. 1. Positive or direct coercion takes place
when a man is by physical force compelled to do an act contrary to his will;
for example, when a man falls into the hands of the enemies of his country,
and they compel him, by a just fear of death, to fight against it.

3. - 2. It is presumed where a person is legally under subjection to another,
and is induced, in consequence of such subjection, to do an act contrary
to his win. A married woman, for example, is legally under the subjection
of her husband, and if in his company she commit a crime or offence, not
malum in se, (except the offence of keeping a bawdy-house, In which case
she is considered by the policy of the law as a principal, she is presumed
to act under this coercion.

4. As will (q. v.) is necessary to the commission of a crime, or the making
of a contract, a person coerced into either, has no will on the, subject,
and is not responsible. Vide Roscoe"s Cr. Ev. 7 85, and the cases there
cited; 2 Stark. Ev. 705, as to what will, amount to coercion in criminal
cases.

Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition

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