What Is Coercion In Law?
- Marvin Harvey
( ACT NO. IX OF 1872 ) – Chapter II OF CONTRACTS, VOIDABLE CONTRACTS AND VOID AGREEMENTS “Coercion” defined 15. “Coercion” is the committing, or threatening to commit, any act forbidden by the Penal Code or the unlawful detaining or threatening to detain, any property, to the prejudice of any person whatever, with the intention of causing any person to enter into an agreement.
- Nbsp; Explanation – It is immaterial whether the Penal Code is or is not in force in the place where the coercion is employed.
- Nbsp; Illustrations A, on board an English ship on the high seas, causes B to enter into an agreement by an act amounting to criminal intimidation under the Penal Code.
A afterwards sues B for breach of contract at Chittagong. A has employed coercion, although his act is not an offence by the law of England, and although section 506 of the Penal Code was not in force at the time when or place where the act was done.
- These actions may include extortion, blackmail, or even torture and sexual assault,
- For example, a bully may demand lunch money from a student where refusal results in the student getting beaten.
- In common law systems, the act of violating a law while under coercion is codified as a duress crime,
- Coercion can be used as leverage to force the victim to act in a way contrary to their own interests.
What is coercion with example?
Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by the use of threats, including threats to use force against a party. It involves a set of forceful actions which violate the free will of an individual in order to induce a desired response.
Coercion can involve not only the infliction of bodily harm, but also psychological abuse (the latter intended to enhance the perceived credibility of the threat). The threat of further harm may also lead to the acquiescence of the person being coerced.
- The concepts of coercion and persuasion are similar, but various factors distinguish the two.
- These include the intent, the willingness to cause harm, the result of the interaction, and the options available to the coerced party.
- 126 John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, Ronald Dworkin, and other political authors argue that the state is coercive,
: 28 Max Weber defined a state as “a community which has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force.” Morris argues that the state can operate through incentives rather than coercion. : 42 In healthcare, informal coercion may be used to make a patient adhere to a doctor’s treatment plan,
What are the two types of coercion?
Characteristics of Coercive Threats: Distinctions and Requirements – The two main categories of coercion — deterrence and compellence — are distinct in their nature and requirements. When an actor refrains from a behavior, one does not and cannot know the specific reason (or reasons) for that choice.
Refraining from an action can be attributed to causes other than the specific deterrent threat. The enemy may never have intended to attack in the first place, for example, in which case the deterrent threat is not what prevented the attack. In fact, it is never clear whether the absence of an attack is due to an enemy giving in to a deterrent threat.
This ambiguity enables enemies who have been deterred to save face. Because compellence is active in ways that deterrence is not — the target state must perform an act rather than simply refrain from one — it is clear to all when compellence is successful.
- Moreover, the actor being compelled is usually being forced into some degree of humiliation.
- Robert Art explains that compellence requires the target state’s “overt submission.” 41 The ability of a powerful state to compel a less powerful one is constrained and complicated by this fact.
- Coercers, Downes argues, “tend to underestimate the target’s concern for its reputation and thus offer too little compensation to obtain the target’s acquiescence.” He adds, “The target’s fear for its reputation and the challenger’s unwillingness to lower its demands or offer side payment to compensate the target for the damage to its reputation cause the target to resist threats from powerful states.” 42 Thus, though the state being coerced may appear to be in a weaker position, this is not true in one important sense: The state being coerced ultimately makes a decision about whether or not to comply — and in that sense it holds the initiative.
As Schelling pointed out, when it comes to timing deterrence can be indefinite while compellence, by contrast, must be definite. Without a deadline, the adversary being compelled has no incentive to act: “If the action carries no deadline it is only a posture, or a ceremony, with no consequences.” But on the other hand, if too little time is given for compliance, then the coercer has put its adversary into an impossible position, virtually ensuring that compellence will fail.
- Schelling summed this up by stating, “Too little time and compliance becomes impossible; too much time and compliance becomes unnecessary.” 43 To compel successfully, a coercer must convey specific information to the actor being coerced.
- If compliance is being demanded, then how much, and for how long? Moreover, the enemy must believe that the coercer will actually stop the pain if the target state concedes the stake.
The promise to cease coercion if the enemy gives in must be believed, just as the threat to continue coercion if the target state withholds the stake must be. When it comes to deterrence, a promise not to attack if the enemy doesn’t invade is easier to believe — after all, there is no attack taking place right now.
In deterrence, Schelling observed, “the objective is often communicated by the very preparations that make the threat credible.” By contrast, compellent threats “tend to communicate only the general direction of compliance, and are less likely to be self-limiting, less likely to communicate in the very design of the threat just what, or how much, is demanded.” Offering an example, Schelling focused on the Western military garrison in West Berlin during the Cold War, which, he argued, had an unmistakable deterrent purpose.
Were it to intrude into East Berlin, though, “to induce Soviet or German Democratic Forces to give way,” there would be no “obvious interpretation” of “where and how much Soviet and East German forces ought to give way unless the adventure could be invested with some unmistakable goal or limitation — a possibility not easily realized.” 44 The centrality of communication means that coercion is heavily dependent on knowledge, and thus on sophisticated intelligence.45 The coercer must understand the target state’s fears, vulnerabilities, and interests — as well as its willingness to endure pain on behalf of those interests.
For these reasons, coercion is subject to cultural miscommunication while brute force is not. As Schelling explained, To exploit a capacity for hurting and inflicting damage one needs to know what an adversary treasures and what scares him, and one needs the adversary to understand what behavior of his will cause the violence to be inflicted, and what will cause it to be withheld.
The victim has to know what is wanted, and he may have to be assured of what is not wanted.46 Coercive action often begins with economic action — the freezing of assets, perhaps, or the imposition of sanctions. The goal is to force the target state (or actor) to choose between conceding the disputed stake or suffering future pain that making such a concession would avert.
- The target state must be convinced that if it resists it will suffer, but if it concedes it will not.
- If it suffers either way, or if it has already suffered all it can, then it will not concede and coercion will fail.
- One can thus see the many formidable challenges facing a coercer.
- Precision of thought and language can matter greatly in compellence, while a degree of vagueness occasionally can be useful for deterrence.47 A nuanced understanding of the needs, fears, capabilities, interests, and will of the target state is essential.
But the coercer must possess self-knowledge as well, including an understanding of the importance of the stake involved, and the likely commitment to it — by policymakers and by the domestic population — over time. And the coercer must be able to articulate the demand in ways the target state can comprehend and comply with.
To understand all this is to understand the deeper meaning of Carl von Clausewitz’s insistence on the linkage between war and politics, and the need to recognize the relationship between the stake and the scale of effort required to achieve it. It is also to understand, beyond a superficial level, the meaning of Sun Tzu’s insistence on knowing one’s self, and knowing one’s enemy.
One should note here, too, that democracies engaging in coercion will face a challenge inherent in the structure of their system of governance: Communication is complicated by multiple power centers — built by design to check one another — and myriad interest groups.
- Indeed, bureaucratic (and organizational) models of decision-making are at the center of many scholars’ critiques of U.S.
- Foreign policy, and deterrence in general.48 Communication by the coercer may be verbal, but it need not be.
- It can also be delivered through an action itself,
- Schelling argued: Unhappily, the power to hurt is often communicated by some performance of it.
Whether it is sheer terroristic violence to induce an irrational response, or cool premeditated violence to persuade somebody that you mean it and may do it again, it is not the pain and damage itself but its influence on somebody’s behavior that matters.49 In many instances verbal threats are backed up by actions to ensure that the message is being taken seriously.
- But the coercer must be sure that language and actions are aligned, clear, and suitably tailored to create the behavior being sought.
- If miscommunication occurs in any of these realms — due to carelessness, mixed messaging from different groups within the coercing state, or cultural obtuseness — then coercion is likely to fail.
Military planners who understand this will have an elevated appreciation for the crucial importance of getting all the details right when they are engaged in the important work of operational design.50 And they will also have a heightened appreciation of the need for a fastidious commitment to inter-agency coordination.
Precision of thought and language can matter greatly in compellence, while a degree of vagueness occasionally can be useful for deterrence. Credibility, which matters for deterrence and compellence, is neither unvarying nor permanent. Actors place different values on stakes. This means that adversaries will constantly try to calculate each other’s level of interest in and commitment to a given stake.
A preponderance of strength does not imply successful coercion. Daniel Byman and Matthew Waxman have observed, “The United States failed to coerce North Vietnam; Russia failed to coerce Chechen guerillas to give up their struggle; Israel has pulled out of Lebanon.
These instances evince the importance of vital, if rather ineffable factors.” They add: “Will and credibility matter as much as, and often more than, the overall balance of forces. At times a coercer may have preponderant power in a general sense but lack specific means to influence an adversary.” 51 In the case of deterrence, a nation’s willingness to defend its own sovereign territory is typically clear.
Its willingness to defend another’s territory — or to risk drawing pain upon itself for the sake of another — is not as certain. Schelling explained: To fight abroad is a military act, but to persuade enemies or allies that one would fight abroad, under circumstances of great cost and risk, requires more than a military capability.
It requires projecting intentions. It requires having those intentions, even deliberately acquiring them, and communicating them persuasively to make other countries behave.52 During the Cold War, what came to be called “Mutually Assured Destruction” rested on the idea that a Soviet nuclear attack on the United States would be answered by a U.S.
nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, and vice versa.53 Whether the United States would have risked a nuclear strike on its own territory in order to protect Paris or Bonn, however, was not nearly so clear. But U.S. statesmen, through words, policies, and actions, sought to convince their Soviet adversary that the threat was real.
What is an act of coercion?
Coercion committed by instilling in the victim a fear that he/she. or another person would be charged with a crime, that the. defendant reasonably believed the threatened charge to be true. and that his sole purpose was to compel or induce the victim to. take reasonable action to make good the wrong which was the.
What is the difference between intimidation and coercion?
The difference between coercion and intimidation is subtle and can be hard to prove. Often, it is only considered coercion if there are clear signs of an individual suffering from stress or fear regarding the situation. The threat used when committing coercion must be clear.
What types of behavior are considered coercion?
Coercion means forcing a person to do something that they would not normally do by making threats against their safety or well-being, or that of their relatives or property. The person making the threats is attempting to gain compliance from a victim through intimidation.
What is one of the most common forms of coercion?
In international relations, coercion refers to the imposition of costs by a state on other states and non-state actors to prevent them from taking an action ( deterrence ) or to compel them to take an action ( compellence ). Coercion frequently takes the form of threats or the use of limited military force.
- It is commonly seen as analytically distinct from persuasion (which may not necessarily involve the imposition of costs), brute force (which may not be intended to shape the adversary’s behavior), or full-on war (which involves the use of full military force).
- Coercion takes the form of either deterrence or compellence.
Compellence has been characterized as harder to successfully implement than deterrence because of difficulties in getting actors to withdraw actions. One influential typology of coercion distinguishes between strategies to punish an adversary, raise the risk for an adversary, or deny the adversary from achieving their objectives.
- Successful instances of coercive diplomacy in one case may have a deterrent effect on other states, whereas a reputation for a lack of resolve may undermine general deterrence and future compellence.
- Successful coercive diplomacy entails clearly communicated threats, a cost-benefit calculus, credibility, and reassurance.
It frequently revolves around a demonstration of capabilities and resolve, both of which enhance the credibility of attempts to coerce others. Scholars have identified several factors as contributing to successful coercion, such as power, interests, reputation, credibility, resolve, and ability to signal.
Who has to prove coercion?
The burden of proof lies on the aggrieved party in case of coercion while in undue influence it lies on the other party. Effects of coercion in a contract- A contract obtained by means of duress exercised by one party over the other is void.
What are the essential conditions to prove coercion?
‘Coercion’ is the committing, or threatening to commit, any act forbidden by the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or the unlawful detaining, or threatening to detain, any property, to the prejudice of any person whatever, with the intention of causing any person to enter into an agreement.
Is coercion a form of harassment?
What are the differences between harassment and coercion? NOTE : This guidance reflects minor correction(s) (e.g., for grammar, typographical errors, or consistency) made on March 10, 2022. FMCSA-HOS-ELD-395-FAQ66(2017-04-06)-CORR1 Question: What are the differences between harassment and coercion? Answer: As defined in 49 CFR, a motor carrier can only be found to have committed harassment if the driver commits a specified underlying hours of service violation based on the carrier’s actions and there is a connection to the electronic logging device (ELD).
- Adverse action against the driver is not required, because the driver complied with the carrier’s instructions.
- In contrast, coercion, as defined in § , is much broader in terms of entities covered, and addresses the threat to withhold work from or take adverse employment action against a driver in order to induce the driver to violate a broader range of regulatory provisions or to take adverse action to punish a driver for the driver’s refusal to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in violation of the specified regulations.
Unlike harassment, coercion does not have to result in the driver being in violation of the regulations and does not have to involve the use of an ELD. Contact Info: FMCSA ELD Information, 1-800-832-5660 or, _ Note: This guidance document does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way.
Can coercion be proved?
6.5 Duress, Coercion or Compulsion (Legal Excuse) 6.5 DURESS, COERCION OR COMPULSION (LEGAL EXCUSE) The defendant contends acted under at the time of the crime charged. legally excuses the crime of, The defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence.
A defendant acts under only if at the time of the crime charged:1. there was a present, immediate, or impending threat of death or serious bodily injury to if the defendant did not the crime;2. the defendant had a well-grounded fear that the threat of death or serious bodily injury would be carried out;
3. the defendant had no reasonable opportunity to escape the threatened harm If you find that each of these things has been proved by a preponderance of the evidence, you must find the defendant not guilty. Comment The fourth element should be used only in cases of prison escape.
- See United States v.
- Solano, 10 F.3d 682, 683 (9th Cir.1993).
- N order to be entitled to an instruction on duress or necessity as a defense to the crime charged, an escapee must first offer evidence justifying his continued absence from custody as well as his initial departure.” United States v.
- Bailey, 444 U.S.394, 408 (1980).
Although not an element in non-escape cases, whether the defendant surrendered to authorities upon reaching a point of safety is nevertheless relevant to whether the third element is satisfied. United States v. Zaragoza-Moreira, 780 F.3d 971, 978 (9th Cir.2015) (quoting United States v.
Ibarra-Pino, 657 F.3d 1000, 1005 (9th Cir.2011)).In Dixon v. United States,548 U.S.1, 7-8 (2006), the Supreme Court held that when a statute is silent on the question of an affirmative defense and when the affirmative defense does not negate an essential element of the offense, the burden is on the defendant to prove the elements of the defense by a preponderance of the evidence.
“Like the defense of necessity, the defense of duress does not negate a defendant’s criminal state of mind when the applicable offense requires a defendant to have acted knowingly or willfully; instead, it allows the defendant to ‘avoid liability, because coercive conditions or necessity negates a conclusion of guilt even though the necessary mens rea was present.'” Id,
Quoting Bailey, 444 U.S. at 402). Use this instruction when the defendant alleges that he or she committed the alleged criminal act under duress, coercion or compulsion. See United States v. Meraz-Solomon, 3 F.3d 298, 299 (9th Cir.1993) (in prosecution for importation of cocaine, burden is on defendant to prove duress, coercion or compulsion by a preponderance of the evidence).
A defendant is not obligated to admit guilt to a crime as a precondition for raising the affirmative defense of duress. See United States v. Haischer, 780 F.3d 1277, 1284 n.1 (9th Cir.2015) (clarifying that defendant does not have to admit knowing or intentional commission of crime to assert duress defense).
A defendant is not entitled to present a duress defense to the jury unless the defendant has made a prima facie showing of duress in a pre-trial offer of proof. United States v. Vasquez-Landaver, 527 F.3d 798, 802 (9th Cir.2008). The phrase “present, immediate, or impending threat” in the first element of the instruction was used in Vasquez-Landaver, 527 F.3d at 802.
Expert testimony about Battered Women’s Syndrome may be relevant to both the second and third elements of the duress defense, as well as in rehabilitating a defendant’s credibility. See United States v. Lopez, 913 F.3d 807, 822-23 (9th Cir.2019). Duress is not a defense to murder, nor will it mitigate murder to manslaughter.
Is it illegal to coerce someone?
(c) Coercion is a class A misdemeanor except, if the threat is to commit a felony, coercion is a class D felony.
Is coercion the same as manipulation?
Across the line on the dark side is coercion, which is forcing someone to do something by using threats or intimidation, and manipulation, which is controlling someone else to the point that you use unscrupulous acts to get what you want.
What are the consequences of coercion?
Difference between Coercion and Undue Influence –
|Nature of Action||Through coercion, by committing an offence or threatening to commit an offence, consent is gained.||Under the undue influence, consent is gained by suppressing other party’s will.|
|Carried by||Coercion is typically physical in nature, in order to obtain consent, it requires a physical force of violent nature.||Undue influence is immoral in nature, using mental pressure to gain consent.|
|Criminal Action||Coercion includes a criminal act and is punishable under the IPC by a person who commits coercion.||Undue Influence requires unlawful act and is not punishable under the IPC by a person who has done undue influence|
|Relationship||Coercion does not involve a party’s relationship.||Undue influence can only be exerted if there is a relationship between two-party.|
|Agreement||When coercion induces consent to an agreement, the agreement is null and void at the option of the party whose consent is induced.||When consent to an agreement is caused by undue influence, it becomes null and void at the discretion of the individual whose consent has been so affected.|
Is coercion a criminal offence?
Click here to download a PDF guide to Coercive control and the law What is coercive control? What does serious effect mean? How will the court decide whether my abuser knew or ought to have known that his behaviour would have a serious effect on me? Are we personally connected? In an emergency Reporting coercive control to the police Evidence of coercive control Coercive control that happened before 29 th December 2015 Protection from the Family Court: domestic violence injunctions Useful contacts It is a criminal offence in England and Wales for someone to subject you to coercive control.
If you experience this kind of abuse you can report it to the police. You may also be able to apply to the Family Court for protection. This legal guide is designed to give you information about the ways in which the law can protect you. What is coercive control? Coercive control is when a person with whom you are personally connected, repeatedly behaves in a way which makes you feel controlled, dependent, isolated or scared.
The following types of behaviour are common examples of coercive control:
- isolating you from your friends and family
- controlling how much money you have and how you spend it
- monitoring your activities and your movements
- repeatedly putting you down, calling you names or telling you that you are worthless
- threatening to harm or kill you or your child
- threatening to publish information about you or to report you to the police or the authorities
- damaging your property or household goods
- forcing you to take part in criminal activity or child abuse
Some of the behaviours in this list can be other offences as well as coercive control, so your abuser can be arrested for more than one offence for the same behaviour. For example, if your abuser broke your phone as part of his coercive control then he could be arrested and charged for coercive control and also the offence of criminal damage.
- he is personally connected to you, and
- his behaviour has had a serious effect on you, and
- your abuser knew or ought to have known that his behaviour would have a serious effect on you.
What does serious effect mean? Your abuser’s behaviour is considered to have a serious effect on you if:
- on at least two occasions you have feared that violence will be used against you, or
- you have felt serious alarm or distress and it has had a substantial effect on your usual day to day activities. The behaviour has had a substantial effect on you if it has caused you to change the way you live. For example, you may have changed the way you socialise, your physical or mental health may have deteriorated, you may have changed the way you do household chores or how you care for your children. If you have changed the way you live in order to keep you or your children safe from harm, it is possible that the behaviour you are experiencing is coercive control.
How will the court decide whether my abuser knew or ought to have known that his behaviour would have a serious effect on me? The court will decide based on whether a reasonable person who had all the information your abuser had would have known that the behaviour would have a serious effect on you.
- Are we personally connected? Only someone who is personally connected to you can commit an offence of coercive control.
- You are personally connected to your abuser if you are in an intimate personal relationship with them, for example if they are your partner, spouse or someone who you have a romantic or sexual relationship with.
This includes same-sex relationships. If you are no longer in an intimate relationship with your abuser, but you still live together, then you are still personally connected to them and the offence of coercive control may apply. You are also personally connected to your abuser if he or she is a family member who you live with.
- A family member could be anyone you are related to or have a child with, or any person who you have ever entered into or agreed to enter into a marriage or civil partnership with.
- A family member can also be a person who your spouse is related to and that you live with, for example, your husband’s parents who you live with.
If you are not personally connected to your abuser because he is for example a colleague, a neighbour, an acquaintance or someone you don’t know you may still be able to seek protection from the abuse under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. See our legal guide Harassment and the law,
In an emergency In an emergency you can contact the police for assistance by dialling 999 or text phoning 0800 112 999. The police may be able to attend the scene of the incident to protect you from further abuse and/or to arrest your abuser (see our legal guide Reporting an offence to the police: a guide to criminal investigations ).
For other support and protection see Useful contacts at the end of this guide. If it is not an emergency then you can contact the police by going to your local police station, or calling your local police station by dialling 101. Reporting coercive control to the police Coercive control is a criminal offence.
- If you experience this form of abuse you can report it to the police.
- The police may give your abuser a warning or they may arrest him for a criminal offence.
- If the police have enough evidence they will refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’).
- The CPS can start criminal proceedings against your abuser.
If he is found guilty of an offence he can be sentenced up to 5 years in prison or made to pay a fine or both. The court may also make a restraining order to protect you. The court can make restraining orders even if your abuser admits that he is guilty, if he is convicted (found guilty) even if he is acquitted or not convicted of the crime.
- A restraining order is a court order which prohibits your abuser from doing certain things such as contacting you or attending your place of work or home address.
- Breaching (breaking) a restraining order is a criminal offence.
- For more information on the criminal justice process see our legal guides Reporting an offence to the police: A guide to criminal investigations and From charge to trial: A guide to criminal proceedings,
Coercive control can involve a range of criminal offences including assault, rape, threats to kill, burglary and criminal damage. Coercive control is a criminal offence even if you have not experienced any physical violence or damage to your property.
You can report everything that has happened to the police and the police will identify which criminal offences may have been committed. If you have experienced a violent crime you may be entitled to criminal injuries compensation. For more details see A guide to criminal injuries compensation, You can also contact our legal advice line, please see Useful contacts for details.
Evidence of coercive control It is the job of the police to investigate any reports of coercive control and gather evidence. You may be able to help the police by providing copies of emails, text messages or voicemail recordings, photographs of injuries or damage to property.
You may be able to evidence financial abuse by showing your bank statements or you may have kept a diary of your day to day experiences. You may be able to show that you have lost contact with friends and family members, left your employment or withdrawn from clubs and other activities. Your medical records may show that your abuser accompanies you to appointments.
It is common for abusers to make or threaten to make false allegations about their victims to the police, social services and immigration authorities or to friends and family. These threats are part of the coercive control and you can also report these threats to the police.
- You can report the coercive control to the police even if you don’t have any other evidence.
- Your statement is evidence in the case.
- If you are helping the police to gather evidence it’s important that you discuss whether this is safe.
- Remember that it is the police’s job to investigate and gather evidence and they should not be expecting you to do something that the police should be doing, or anything that puts you in danger.
If you have concerns about the way the police have responded to your report then you can contact our legal advice line, see Useful contacts for details. Coercive control that happened before 29 th December 2015 The offence of coercive control came into force on 29 th December 2015.
It only applies to behaviour that happened after 29 th December 2015. If your abuser started the abuse before 29 th December 2015 and the behaviour continued after that date then he could be charged for the behaviour after 29 th December 2015. He cannot be charged for the behaviour before 29 th December 2015, but it can be helpful in showing his bad character and it can support the case against him.
Protection from the Family Court: domestic violence injunctions If you are associated to your abuser you may also wish to apply to the Family Court for a domestic violence injunction to protect you from further abuse or to exclude your abuser from your home.
- are or were ever married, engaged or in a civil partnership
- are or were living together (including as flatmates, partners, relations)
- are relatives, including: parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews or first cousins (whether by blood, marriage, civil partnership or cohabitation)
- have a child together or have or had parental responsibility for the same child
- are or were in an intimate personal relationship of significant duration
For more information see our legal guide Domestic violence injunctions, The law is complex and may have changed since this guide was produced. This guide is designed to provide general information only for the law in England and Wales. You should seek up-to-date, independent legal advice.
What are coercive tactics?
Coercive tactics, or coercive psychological systems, are defined on their website as unethical mind control such as brainwashing, thought reform, destructive persuasion and coercive persuasion.
What is harmful coercion?
(2) The term ‘coercion’ means— (A) threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person ; (B) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or (C) the abuse or threatened abuse of
Is coercion hard to prove?
Definition of Coercion – The broad definition of coercion is “the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal (as discharge from employment) or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his or her will.” Actual violence, threats of violence, or other acts of pressure may constitute coercion if they’re used to subvert an individual’s free will or consent.
In legal terms, it’s often said that someone who’s been coerced was acting under duress, In fact, “duress” and “coercion” are often interchanged. Black’s Law Dictionary defines duress as “any unlawful threat or coercion used. to induce another to act in a manner otherwise would not,” It’s not always easy to tell when the line between subtle intimidation and coercion has been crossed and even harder to prove.
A shrewd business negotiation may be considered contract coercion only if it can be proven that it was signed under duress. Similarly, proving criminal coercion (or duress) rests on the surrounding facts of the incident and may be quite subtle. For example, telling someone “Gee, I’d hate for something to happen to your daughter” is technically vague even when it’s said with coercive intent,
What is moral coercion?
‘The moral irrelevance of moral coercion’ An agent A morally coerces another agent, B, when A manipulates non-epistemological facts in order that B’s moral commitments enjoin B to do what A wants B to do, and B is motivated by these commitments. It is widely argued that forced choices arising from moral coercion are morally distinct from forced choices arising from moral duress or happenstance.
- On these accounts, the fact of being coerced bears on what an agent may do, the voluntariness of her actions, and/or her accountability for any harms that result from her actions (where accountability includes liability to defensive harm, punishment, blame and compensation).
- This paper does not provide an account of the wrongness of moral coercion.
Rather, I argue that, whatever the correct account of its wrongness, the mere fact of being coerced has no bearing on what the agent may do, on the voluntariness of her action, or her accountability for any resultant harm, compared to otherwise identical cases arising from duress and happenstance.
An agent A morally coerces another agent, B, when A manipulates non-epistemological facts in order that B’s moral commitments enjoin B to do what A wants B to do, and B is motivated by these commitments. The use of human shields to deter (rather than physically obstruct) attacks is a paradigm example of moral coercion, as in Cache : Cache : Combatant places his weapons cache in Civilian’s house.
Enemy cannot destroy the weapons cache without also killing Civilian. Combatant knows that Enemy does not want to kill Civilian. Civilian’s presence does not make it physically harder for Enemy to destroy the weapons. Rather, Combatant relies on Enemy’s commitment to not harming Civilian as a means of getting Enemy to refrain from the destroying the weapons.
One can also morally coerce someone into causing, rather than refraining from causing, harm. Coerced Trolley depicts this type of coercion: Coerced Trolley : Villain unjustifiably plans to kill Victim. He sends a trolley towards five innocent people who are trapped in its path. As Villain predicted Bystander diverts the trolley down a side-track in order to save the five.
The trolley hits and kills Victim. Here, Villain manipulates Bystander into killing Victim by making the alternative—letting the trolley run its course—morally impermissible. Manipulating merely epistemological facts—for example, bringing x to B’s attention, such that B’s moral commitments cause her to act—does not count as moral coercion.
A sunbather who spots a drowning child and tells a nearby swimmer, intending that the swimmer’s moral commitments cause her to act to save the child, is not morally coercing the swimmer. This is true even if, by changing the swimmer’s evidence, the sunbather places the swimmer under a moral obligation to act.
Rather, A morally coerces B if A manipulates facts such that x is the case. For example, the sunbather morally coerces the swimmer if she pushes the child into the water in order that the swimmer’s moral commitments cause her to save the child. In this case, the sunbather manipulates the ‘facts on the ground’, and not merely facts about what the swimmer knows.
- We can distinguish moral coercion from moral duress,
- Moral duress occurs when a wrongdoer forces a choice upon a third party, such that her moral commitments require the third party to act (or refrain from acting), but the wrongdoer does not intentionally manipulate the facts to this end.
- Duress Trolley depicts moral duress: Duress Trolley : Villain unjustifiably sets a trolley in motion towards five innocent people, intending to kill them.
Villain doesn’t realise that Bystander can divert the trolley towards Victim, which Bystander does. Victim is killed; the five are saved. As in cases of moral coercion, Bystander is motivated to act not by any physical threat to her person but rather by her moral commitments.
I’ll use happenstance to describe cases in which there is a forced choice, but no wrongdoing (which includes natural accidents and innocent misadventure), as in Trolley : Trolley : A trolley is blown by the wind to where it will kill five innocent people. Bystander can save the five only by diverting the trolley down a side-track, where it will kill Victim.
Bystander diverts the trolley. Victim is killed; the five are saved. Again, Bystander is motivated by her moral commitments, rather than by any threat to her person. Many philosophers argue that forced choices arising from moral coercion (henceforth, coercion) are morally distinct from forced choices arising from moral duress (henceforth, duress) or happenstance.
According to these philosophers, the fact of coercion is morally significant in at least one of the following respects: it bears on what an agent may do (Kamm ; Bazargan ; Zohar ), the voluntariness of her actions (Mason ), and/or her accountability for any harms that result from her actions (where accountability covers a broad range of liabilities, including liability to defensive harm, punishment, blame and compensation (Mason ; Kamm ).
The view that coercion is morally significant was also reflected in the 2015 US Department of Defence Law of War Manual, which held that, unlike other civilians caught in the crossfire, civilians being used as involuntary human shields by the enemy (as in Cache ) may be disregarded in combatants’ proportionality calculations (US Department of Defense 2015: 5.12.3).
The UK Joint Service Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict holds that harm to involuntary shields may be discounted relative to harm to other civilians (UK Ministry of Defence 2004: 2.7.2), such that harms inflicted on shields can be proportionate even if inflicting identical losses on non-shields would be disproportionate.
Whether coercion is indeed morally distinct from duress and happenstance is thus of considerable importance. This paper defends Moral Irrelevance : Moral Irrelevance : When all else is equal, whether a person faces a choice between harms as a result of moral coercion, moral duress, or happenstance has no bearing on what she may do, the voluntariness of her actions, or her accountability for those actions.
- The paper does not provide an account of the wrongness of moral coercion.
- Rather, I argue that, whatever the correct account of its wrongness, the mere fact of being coerced has no bearing on what the agent may do, on the voluntariness of her action, or her accountability for any resultant harm, compared to otherwise identical cases arising from duress and happenstance.
I assume throughout that the coercion is unjustified. I begin by defending the claim that coercion makes no difference to what an agent may do. In Section Two, I consider two objections that might seem to easily defeat Moral Irrelevance. The first is that wrongdoing matters for what we may do, thus marking a distinction between harms arising from coercion and duress, and harms arising from happenstance.
The second is that intentional rights violations are worse than unintentional rights violations, thus making it worse to allow the killing of the five in Duress Trolley than to allow the killing of the five in Coerced Trolley, I show that neither undermines Moral Irrelevance. In Section Three, I reject Saba Bazargan-Forward’s claim that coerced harms ought to be treated as intentional by the coercee, thus making them harder to justify than non-coerced harms by altering their weight in the coercee’s proportionality calculation (Bazargan : 14).
In Section Four, I argue that agents lack rights to resist being used as means by coercers that make a difference to what they may do. In Section Five, I reject the claim that one may resist moral coercion on the grounds that acceding allows the coercer to exploit morality.
- In Section Six, I argue that, other things being equal, one is as responsible, in the voluntariness sense of responsible, for harms that one inflicts or allows as a result of coercion as one is for harms that one inflicts or allows as a result of duress or happenstance.
- I reject Elinor Mason’s claim that coerced actions are less voluntary than non-coerced actions, and offer an alternative explanation of why coercees are not accountable for harms resulting from coerced actions (Mason ).
Section Seven concludes. Moral Irrelevance is compatible with the view that wrongdoing bears on what an agent may do. Imagine that Bystander can save either Victim from being murdered, or Other Victim from being killed by a falling tree. If one ought to attach greater disvalue to harms that arise from wrongdoing compared to those that do not, then, other things being equal, Bystander ought to save Victim rather than Other Victim.
- This does not undermine Moral Irrelevance, even though unjustified moral coercion and moral duress both involve wrongdoing, and happenstance does not.
- This is because in cases of either moral coercion or duress, we are weighing rights violations against each other, rather than a rights violation against an adventitious harm.
If Bystander kills Victim in either Coerced Trolley or Duress Trolley, Villain thereby violates Victim’s right not to be killed. And if Bystander refrains from diverting towards Victim in either case, such that the five are killed, Villain thereby violates the five’s rights not to be killed.
- In cases of moral coercion or duress, anyone who is harmed, or allowed to suffer harm, suffers a rights violation This feature of coercion and duress cases is therefore neutralised.
- One ought to simply weigh the harm that one will inflict on Victim against the harm one will otherwise allow to befall the five.
This is also what one ought to do in a happenstance case. Thus, the fact that coercion and duress involve wrongdoing does not undermine Moral Irrelevance. This is true even if the fact of wrongdoing makes coercion and duress cases morally worse than happenstance cases.
Bystander is not choosing whether to bring about either a wrongful harm or an adventitious harm in our cases. When Villain has wrongly set a trolley in motion (as in Coerced Trolley and Duress Trolley ), Bystander is choosing between only wrongful harms. There is no option available to her that avoids anyone’s having their rights violated.
Whatever she does, Villain will violate the right(s) of whoever is killed. Moral Irrelevance is thus compatible with the claim that Bystander ought to prevent wrongdoing in Double Trolley : Double Trolley : Villain has set Trolley A in motion towards five innocent people, intending that Bystander will divert the trolley towards Victim.
The wind has blown Trolley B towards five innocent people, who can be saved only if Bystander diverts towards Other Victim. Bystander has time to divert only one trolley. Moral Irrelevance allows that Bystander ought to divert Trolley A, preventing five wrongful killings, rather than divert Trolley B, preventing five adventitious killings.
This is not a case in which the choice facing Bystander arises as a result of moral coercion or happenstance, as Moral Irrelevance specifies. It is rather a choice that arises as a result of both coercion and happenstance. And it is not the fact of being coerced as such that bears on what Bystander may do, but rather the fact that diverting Trolley A prevents five wrongful deaths, and diverting Trolley B prevents five non-wrongful deaths.
What is coercive control example?
How do you know if this is happening to you? – Some common examples of coercive behaviour are:
Isolating you from friends and family Depriving you of basic needs, such as food Monitoring your time Monitoring you via online communication tools or spyware Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying you’re worthless Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising you Controlling your finances Making threats or intimidating you
You can read more in this article we wrote for The Telegraph
Which of the following is an example of coercive?
It seeks to force or compel behavior rather than to influence behavior through persuasion. Examples of coercive power include threats of write-ups, demotions, pay cuts, layoffs, and terminations if employees don’t follow orders. In order to be effective, the manager must be able to follow through on the threat.
What is coercion in Indian contract Act with example?
‘Coercion’ is the committing, or threatening to commit, any act forbidden by the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or the unlawful detaining, or threatening to detain, any property, to the prejudice of any person whatever, with the intention of causing any person to enter into an agreement.