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Remedies in International Human Rights Law$
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Dinah Shelton

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199207534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199207534.001.0001

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Punitive or Exemplary Damages

Punitive or Exemplary Damages

(p.354) 10 Punitive or Exemplary Damages
Remedies in International Human Rights Law


Oxford University Press

Most human rights tribunals have either a textual or inherent basis for enhancing damage awards to deter and punish wrongdoing. Fundamentally, the question of punitive or exemplary damages is one of utility. Several justifications can be given for their use: punishment, deterrence, preservation of the peace, inducement for private law enforcement, or compensation for otherwise uncompensated losses and payment of costs and fees. In cases of consistent non-prosecution of individual perpetrators, monetary awards may be indicated in order to express disapproval of the actions of the government, and to repair the full dignitary losses sustained by private individuals. The purpose is to reprove a state for its conduct and deter it from similar actions in the future.

Keywords:   punitive damages, exemplary damages, remedies, human rights, deterrence

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