deanna conlan
Mind Map by deanna conlan, updated more than 1 year ago
deanna conlan
Created by deanna conlan over 4 years ago


A level Law Mind Map on Duress, created by deanna conlan on 02/06/2017.

Resource summary

  1. This is relevant where D has committed the offence because he has been threatened with death or serious injury. D has an excuse because he has been effectively forced to commit the offence.
    1. If D is told to committ a specific offence 'or else' it is known as duress by threats - for example if D is told she will be killed unless she acts as a getaway driver for robbery. If D decides which offence to commit because of the surrounding circumstances - duress of circumstances.
      1. It is a general defence to all crimes except murder, attempted murder and some forms of treason
        1. HASAN (2005) elements of duress by threats are:
          1. 1) there must be a threat of death or serious injury (confirming GRAHAM 1982)
            1. 2) that threat must be made to D or his immediate family or someone else to him or someone or whom D would reasonably regard himself responsible for
              1. 3) D must reasonably believe that he had good cause for fear of death or serious injury.
                1. 4) his response must be one which might be expected of a sober person of reasonable firmness
                  1. 5) there must be no reasonable opportunity to escape the threat
                    1. 6) D cannot rely on threats to which he has voluntarily laid himself open
                    2. 5. Was there a threat of death or serious injury?
                      1. It is probable that a threat to cause serious psychiatric injury could amount to duress: BAKER v WILKINS (1997)
                      2. 6) Was the threat made to D or someone for whom D would reasonably regard himself responsible?
                        1. In WRIGHT (2000) threats against D's boyfriend sufficed. In HASAN it5 was said that persons for whom D would reasonably regard himself as responsible would cover those who could be injured by a bomb unless D committed the relevant crime.
                        2. 7) Did D reasonably believe that he had good cause to fear death or serious injury and was his response one which might be expected of a sober person of reasonable firmness?
                          1. It was held in BOWEN (1996) that when deciding if D reacted reasonably they could take into account the following characteristics
                            1. D's age or D's sex
                              1. D was pregnant
                                1. if D had a serious physical disability
                                  1. if D had a recognised mental illness (eg post traumatic stress disorder and serve battered woman's syndrome)
                                2. Was the crime nominated by the duressor?
                                  1. SOmeone must have said "Commit this crime or else"
                                    1. In COLE (1994) D had been threatened because he owed moneuy, he then committed robbery in order to pay off the debt. He said he onlt did this because he was in fear for his life and that of his girlfriend and his child. The defence of duress was rejected by the CoA because he had not been under a threat to commit robbery.
                                  2. Was there a reasonable opportunity to escape the threat?
                                    1. The threat need not be capable of being carried out immediately as long as it was still effective at the time D performs the crime - i.e D must reasonably believe that the threat could be carried out immediately: HASAN
                                      1. The defence will not be available where D had a reasonable opportunity to contract the police or escape
                                        1. In GILL (1963) D claimed that he and his wife had been threatened unless he stole a lorry. He could not rely on the defence of duress as threatened as there was a period of time during which he was left alone and so could reasonably have raised the alarm.
                                        2. When the threat is withdrawn or bvecomes ineffective, D must stop committing the crime as soon as he reasonably can. IF, for example having consumed excess alcohol D is threatened and drives off in fear of his life, he commits a drink driving offence only if the prosecution can prove that he continued to drive after the terror ceased.
                                        3. Has D voluntarily laid himself open to the threats?
                                          1. According to HASAN, the defence of duress fails where D voluntarily assosciates with criminals and he foresaw or ought reasonably to have forseen the risk of being forced to commit any crime by threats of violence.
                                          2. Duress of circumstances
                                            1. It is only since the mid 1980's that the courts have recognised this defence.
                                              1. The same principles apply to duress of circumstances as to duress by treats.
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