Undue influence refers to a situation in which one person, usually in a position of power or authority, manipulates or exerts excessive pressure on another person to make a decision or take an action that they would not have otherwise made or taken.
Taking advantage: Undue influence is an equitable doctrine that involves one person taking advantage of a position of power over another person.
Inequity: This inequity in power between the parties can vitiate one party’s consent as they are unable to freely exercise their independent will.
Relationship: Undue influence occurs when an individual is able to persuade another’s decisions due to the relationship between the two parties.
In a position of power: Often, one of the parties is in a position of power over the other due to elevated status, higher education, or emotional ties.
Weaker party: In exerting undue influence, the influencing individual is often able to take advantage of the weaker party.
Coercion: The more powerful individual uses this advantage to coerce the other individual into making decisions that might not be in their long-term best interest.
Voidable contract: In contract law, a party claiming to be the victim of undue influence may be able to void the terms of the agreement.
This influence can be unethical and even illegal in certain circumstances, particularly in legal and contractual contexts.
You can learn more about this topic with our Contract Law notes.