Examples of Coercion and Duress

The actions that people carry out, it is usually assumed, are carried out in the fullness of their knowledge and under the full exercise of the Will. However, there are actions that are carried out by people consciously, but violated by threats of serious and imminent harm, so it cannot be assumed that the behavior is complete.

It cannot be expected that the person responds and assumes the consequences of those actions, so that they no longer have guilt for them. When a person acts in such a situation, he is said to be under the influence of coercion Or the coercion.

Means of coercion

The terms of coercion and coercion come from Latin, and are indispensable in the law to be able to really assume the culpability and the responsibility. The means of coercion can be material in the case of physical violence, or immaterial when the violence is moral or psychological.

Through these resources it is that a person can get another to perform a behavior they want, in the event that they do not resort to the path of persuasion and that of the manifestations in which the individual will is transformed by means of dialogue and words: there are occasions in which the limit between persuasion and coercion is quite fine, and justice must intervene to determine each case.

Legitimate and illegitimate coercion

The fact of live in society It imposes on the individual certain constraints, which are generally psychological, that dispose of the acceptance of certain social rules: the pressure, at least, is that if he does not do so, he will be marginalized.

However, it is assumed that the fact of marginalization on the part of the rest of the people it is not enough, and for the most important issues the coercion is through violence or the deprivation of the most important things for the person: property, liberty and life.

The democratic societies They are characterized because the State is the only body capable of exercising coercion in a legal way. Those who question the repressive nature of the State precisely go against this attribution, considering that in the absence of these constraints, people’s relations will be peaceful anyway.

Difference between duress and coercion

Sometimes the concepts of coercion and coercion are considered synonymous; such as those voluntary actions in which the subject is not free to determine his conduct because he acts threatened, by a serious and imminent evil against himself or against a third party.

If there is any difference, it is that when we speak of coercion we are referring to a direct and objective pressure, constituting a mechanism of pressure on an individual, while coercion is instead indirect and objective, seeking a feeling of risk but without doing it in a verifiable way, much more subtle and difficult to demonstrate in legal proceedings.

Here is a list of situations that can be categorized as duress or coercion:

  1. A person who takes advantage of someone who is about to die, forcing him to sign a will in which he expresses a coerced will.
  2. A person who shows up every day at someone else’s work, without directly threatening him but harassing him with his constant presence.
  3. Threatening calls are an example of coercion.
  4. Legal coercion, which is exercised by the State through the rule of law.
  5. Torture is the quintessential instrument of coercion.
  6. The coercion carried out by some social corporations (unions, businessmen, religious institutions) before the State forcing it to impose its interests.
  7. A person who marries another due to coercion from his family.
  8. Internet threats, in many cases anonymous, can still lead to actions carried out under duress.
  9. An apartment owner who cuts off the water forcing his tenant to leave it.