Under Influence in Contract and Criminal Law

Undue influence is a term used in contract law to describe a situation in which one party has exerted pressure or influence over the other party, resulting in the weaker party being induced to enter into a contract that is not in their best interest.

Undue influence occurs when one party has a position of power or trust over the other party, such as a relationship of dependency, confidence or trust, and uses that position to gain an unfair advantage. The party exerting undue influence may use coercion, threats, or other forms of pressure to induce the other party to enter into the contract.

Undue influence can be categorised into two types: actual undue influence and presumed undue influence. Actual undue influence refers to a situation where one party is able to demonstrate that the other party exerted pressure or influence over them. Presumed undue influence, on the other hand, refers to a situation where a relationship of trust and confidence exists between the parties, and the party in the stronger position is presumed to have exerted undue influence over the other party.

In contract law, a contract that has been entered into under undue influence may be voidable. This means that the weaker party may be able to avoid the contract and seek damages or restitution. The burden of proof is on the party alleging undue influence to demonstrate that it occurred.

In criminal law, undue influence may be seen as a factor that can undermine the voluntariness and free will of a person who has been induced to commit a crime. For example, if someone was threatened with harm to themselves or their family unless they carried out a criminal act, they may be able to argue that they were acting under undue influence.

The concept of undue influence is an important aspect of contract law and criminal law, as it protects parties from being unfairly induced to commit a crime or enter into agreements that are not in their best interest.
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