François Barrière

Non-Compensatory Damages: France under the Influence?

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: non-compensatory damages, punitive damages, lucrative torts.

Punitive damages have a sulfurous reputation in civil law jurisdictions, even though their use in common law jurisdictions is less intense than usually believed to be. However, so-called «punitive» damages need to be defined, and «lucrative torts» should be distinguished from «punitive» damages strictly construed. Under the influence of American common law, a number of French scholars and practitioners have suggested, and even pushed for, the introduction of non-compensatory damages in France. Different questions are considered in this article, which focuses on French law: (i) are traditional civil law liability compensatory damages sufficient to respond to wrongdoings?, (ii) should non-compensatory damages be subject to different regimes depending on the type of torts they focus on? After these questions have been discussed, (iii) the traditional absence of non-compensatory damages in France will be discussed, (iv) the influence of European Union legislation on non-compensatory damages in civil law jurisdictions such as France will be analyzed, and (v) proposals to legalize non-compensatory damages in France will be presented.

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