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The European Convention on Human Rights and General International Law$
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Anne van Aaken and Iulia Motoc

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198830009

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198830009.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Punitive Damages in Strasbourg

Punitive Damages in Strasbourg

(p.230) 12 Punitive Damages in Strasbourg
The European Convention on Human Rights and General International Law

Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque

Anne van Aaken

Oxford University Press

‘Punitive damages’ have long been controversially discussed in national as well as in international law. This is not different for the European Court of Human Rights. Until now the Court has considered it officially inappropriate. One would thus expect that punitive damages are not used by the Court. But is this really the case? This chapter finds that the Court has been at the forefront of an international trend, using just satisfaction to prevent further violations of human rights and punish wrongdoing governments in several instances. The purpose of this chapter is, first, to argue that the Court uses punitive damages implicitly and, second, that there are well-established social-science reasons why punitive damages should be used. The idea of ‘punitive damages’ is strongly connected to the effectuation of law. Wherever the enforcement might be weak, ‘punitive damages’ can set the correct incentives for following the law.

Keywords:   punitive damages, effectuation of international law, law and economics

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