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What Is Acquiescence?

There exist instances when a person implicitly accepts something by virtue of not protesting it. This means that the person made the acceptance because he or she did not object to receiving it. This type of passive consent is known as acquiescence.

Acquiescence is most commonly seen in silent assent. When a person observes or participates in an action or event that is illegal or inappropriate, he or she may be guilty of having committed the action because he or she did not object to it. Thus, it is important to always object or complain to an act that may be done by another in order to establish rebuke rather than silent assent. This is because it may not be possible to correct whatever has been done through legal means at a future date or time.

Mutual acquiescence exists when people mutually consent in a passive manner. This is most often seen in cases of boundary issues. For example, neighbors will mutually acquiesce that the fence separating their houses acts as a boundary between their properties. However, the actual boundary may not be where the fence was placed, but by virtue of mutual acquiescence, the boundary remains to be where the fence is.

Issues of acquiescence are mostly found in civil cases rather than criminal cases. However, criminal cases involving acquiescence due to the silent assent of a victim does not mean that the victim is deprived of legal rights in the future, as compared to a litigant in a civil case dealing with acquiescence.

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