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The Legal Defence of Duress in New South Wales

You are not criminally responsible for an offence other than murder in New South Wales if you were acting under duress, which is where you acted due to threats of death or really serious harm to you or your family member, and the threats were of such a nature that a person of ordinary firmness and strength of will, of your maturity and sex and in your position, would have given in to them and committed the crime demanded of you.

If you are able to raise evidence of duress, the onus then shifts to the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defence does not apply in the circumstances.

You are entitled to an acquittal if the prosecution is unable to do this.

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