18.01 The laws concerning fraud and duress in the context of contracts are designed to protect parties rather than the society as a whole. Societies are certainly protected from matters like fraud, threats of violence, and extortion but this is done through other measures often found in the criminal law. As a consequence contracts tainted by fraud or duress are typically voidable rather than automatically void.1 This is true even where laws exist to protect large classes of parties, such as consumers.2 18.02 The fundamental issue in cases involving fraud and...
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