Issue 1: Can the doctrine of economic duress apply?
Economic duress is the economic pressure or threat exerted upon another party which is beyond what the law deems as acceptable or legitimate. Under the doctrine of economic duress, a contract may be avoided by a party who has entered into it because of this illegitimate threat to harm his economic interest (financial or business interest) The elements of duress were laid down in Universe Tankships Inc of Monrovia v International Transport Workers Federation, The Universe Sentinel (1983), where Lord Scarman observed that there are two elements in the wrong of duress oPressure amounting to compulsion of the will of the victim (blahblah), meaning is there coercion oIllegitimacy of the pressure exerted
Sub Issue 1: Was there sufficient pressure to coerce?
In Siboen and the SIbotre (1976), The aim of the courts is to distinguish between agreements which are the result of mere commercial pressure and those which are the consequence of unfair exploitation. To examine if there was sufficient pressure, we have to apply the guidelines laid out in Pao Onn v Lau Yiu Long (1980) Whether the person alleged to have been coerced did or did not protest? Whether at the time he was allegedly coerced into making the contract, he did or did not have an alternative course open to him Whether he was independently advised
Whether after entering the contract, he took steps to avoid it. Conclusion: We can conclude that there was sufficient pressure applied on blahblah from the above guidelines. However, to establish the vitiating factor of economic duress, besides sufficient pressure, there has to be the illegitimacy of threat and even if the threat was illegitimate but there was no coercion( no casual link between the illegitimate threat and the decision to pay more, then Ben cannot rely on economic duress to avoid his promise to pay more) Sub Issue 2:...