capacity defense

capacity defense
Generic term to describe lack of fundamental ability to be accountable for actions, as one under duress lacks the capacity to contract and hence when sued on such contract he interposes defense of lack of capacity. Similarly, a child accused of crime committed when he was under age of 7, his defense being lack of criminal capacity. As a defense, it tends to negate some essential element of the action required for responsibility.
See also competency proceedings
- competency to stand trial

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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