Part Three Restitution and punishment, 20 Punitive damages
Andrew Burrows QC FBA
- Breach of contract — Punitive damages
This chapter considers the law on punitive damages (otherwise known as exemplary damages) which are concerned to punish the defendant rather than to compensate the claimant. Punitive damages cannot be awarded for breach of contract but, provided a case falls within the three categories set out in the leading case of Rookes v Barnard, they can be awarded for any tort (apart from a eurotort). The chapter goes on to discuss the factors that are to be considered in deciding whether to award punitive damages for a tort and the quantum of punitive damages. The chapter concludes by asking whether the present law on punitive damages should be reformed as was recommended by the Law Commission.