Per minas

Per minas, in British common law, to engage in behavior "by means of menaces or threats".[1]

The term comes from Latin.[2]

Per minas has been used as a defense of duress to certain crimes, as affecting the element of mens rea.[3][4] William Blackstone, the often-cited judge and legal scholar, addressed the use of "duress per minas" under the category of self-defense as a means of securing the "right of personal security", that is, the right of self-defense.[5]

The classic case involves a person who is blackmailed into robbing a bank.

In contract law, Blackstone used per minas to describe the defense of duress, as affecting the element of contract intent, mutual assent, or meeting of the minds.[6][7]

See also


  1. Clickdocs web site
  2. List of Latin legal phrases.
  3. Duress per minas as a defense (sic.) to crime, from Law and Philosophy, 185-195 (August 1982).
  4. JSTO site, from A Consideration of What Amounts to Duress Per Minas at Law, in the American Law Register, Vol. 23, No. 4, (April 1875), pp. 201-207.
  5. , citing Blackstone, (I)(2) (1765).
  6. Law-dictionary-com, citing I Blackstone's Commentaries 131.
  7. Online Law dictionary, citing Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856).

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