Where the duress originates from a third party and the other party neither knew nor should have known of it, a party under duress who wishes to be released from the contract must pay compensation to the other party where equity so requires.
A party is under duress if, in the circumstances, he has good cause to believe that there is imminent and substantial risk to his own life, limb, reputation or property or to those of a person close to him.2 The fear that another person might enforce a legitimate claim is taken into consideration only where the straitened circumstances of the party under duress have been exploited in order to extort excessive benefits from him.
Where the injured party consented to the action which caused the loss or damage or circumstances attributable to him helped give rise to or compound the loss or damage or otherwise exacerbated the position of the party liable for it, the court may reduce the compensation due or even dispense with it entirely.
The court may also reduce the compensation award in cases in which the loss or damage was caused neither wilfully nor by gross negligence and where payment of such compensation would leave the liable party in financial hardship.
Where a person has acted in self-defence, he is not liable to pay compensation for loss or damage caused to the person or property of the aggressor.2 A person who damages the property of another in order to protect himself or another person against imminent damage or danger must pay damages at the court's discretion.3 A person who uses force to protect his rights is not liable in damages if in the circumstances the assistance of the authorities could not have been obtained in good time and such use of force was the only means of preventing the loss of his rights or a significant impairment of his ability to exercise them.
On grounds of equity, the court may also order a person who lacks capacity to consent to provide total or partial compensation for the loss or damage he has caused.2 A person who has temporarily lost his capacity to consent is liable for any loss or damage caused when in that state unless he can prove that said state arose through no fault of his own.
Amended by Annex No II 4 of the FA of 18 March 2016 on Electronic Signatures, in force since (AS 2016 4651; BBl 2014 1001).d.