In contract law, the narrow scope of the common law doctrine of duress led to the development of the doctrine of undue influence in equity. Historically this doctrine applied wherever improper pressure – not capable of amounting to duress at common law – was brought to bear on a party to enter a contract. At present the way some children are manipulated and alienated from their natural parents in some public law cases by the state in the guise of its social workers should be also be remediable arguably using the doctrine of undue influence as prima facie causing a breach of the social contract.
The recent focus on undue influence here on the alienation experience blog was inspired by local and global events. There’ve been three new government initiatives in the UK and the global launch of the Open Minds Foundation.
This new framework creates a new way to approach high family conflict – even about how to prevent it. It helps common purpose to bind together the opposing armies of the endless gender-based war.
The three UK initiatives that tackle aspects of undue influence or coercive persuasion or control are :
- The new law on controlling and coercive behaviour in intimate and family relationships (in England and Wales – Scotland is developing its own version)
- The new website and programme educating against extremism
- The new Scottish Guidance on Child Welfare Reports for family courts – among other welcome improvements, it requires those who provide the family courts with basic reports on separated families…
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