The Role of Vindication in Torts Damages

(2009) 17 Tort Law Review 16

UWA Faculty of Law Research Paper

25 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2014

See all articles by Normann Witzleb

Normann Witzleb

Monash University - Faculty of Law; The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Robyn Carroll

University of Western Australia

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

The award of every judicial remedy, whether in the nature of declaration, coercion, compensation, restitution or punishment, can be said, in general terms, to vindicate the legal rights of the plaintiff. At the same time, remedies awarded in civil actions sometimes serve a more pronounced vindicatory purpose, particularly where the action is to protect important rights and dignitary interests. Despite frequent references to vindication in defamation and trespass cases, there is much uncertainty about the role of vindication in an award of damages. In recent times, a growing interest in the remedial role of vindication can be detected. This article aims to bring greater clarity to use of the word vindication in the law of remedies, to develop a framework for understanding the vindicatory role of remedies and to explore the role that vindication plays in tort damages. To do this, the following questions will be examined. First, what does vindication mean? Secondly, what does it mean to attribute a vindicatory purpose to a remedy? Thirdly, in what way and to what extent do tort damages achieve a vindicatory purpose? Fourthly, are there torts that by their nature require vindication as a distinct remedial purpose?

Suggested Citation

Witzleb, Normann and Witzleb, Normann and Carroll, Robyn, The Role of Vindication in Torts Damages (2009). (2009) 17 Tort Law Review 16, UWA Faculty of Law Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2507628

Normann Witzleb

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

The Chinese University of Hong Kong ( email )

6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
Shatin, New Territories
Kowloon, Sha Tin
Hong Kong

Robyn Carroll (Contact Author)

University of Western Australia ( email )

M253
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia

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