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PUNITIVE DAMAGES: Perception and reality

30 August 2017  

James Goudkamp and Eleni Katsampouka provide an in-depth guide to punitive damages

Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the claimant for loss suffered. By contrast, punitive damages are awarded in order to punish the defendant for his or her contumelious disregard of the claimant’s rights and to deter the defendant and others like him or her from acting similarly in the future. This article summarises the results of an investigation into punitive damages (see ‘An Empirical Study of Punitive Damages’, James Goudkamp and Eleni Katsampouka (2018) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (forthcoming)). The study, which is the first of its kind in the UK, uncovers important evidence regarding punitive damages. This evidence comports with certain widely held views regarding punitive damages and casts doubt on others.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Riches & ors v News Group Newspapers Ltd [1985] EWCA Civ 20

    Rookes v Barnard [1964] UKHL 1

Last modified on 30 August 2017