condemnation for an award of as much as GBP25000 to be justified and the figure

Condemnation for an award of as much as gbp25000 to

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condemnation for an award of as much as GBP25,000 to be justified and the figure of GBP50,000 should be regarded as the absolute maximum, involving directly officers of at least the rank of superintendent" (p. 776). The Court of Appeal in Thompson also observed that a useful rule of thumb is that the total sum of damages (including punitive damages) should not exceed three times the basic compensatory damages (p. 777). B. Australia 52 The High Court of Australia takes the view that the purposes of punitive damages are (1) deterrence of the wrongdoer, "other like-minded persons", and generally of "conduct of the same reprehensible kind"; and (2) the social function of "teach[ing] a wrong-doer that tort does not pay" (Lamb v. Cotogno (1987), 164 C.L.R. 1, at p. 10; XL Petroleum (N.S.W.) Pty. Ltd. v. Caltex Oil (Australia) Pty. Ltd. (1985), 155 C.L.R. 448, [page627] at p. 471, per Brennan J.). Punitive damages "serve to mark the court's condemnation" and "disapprobation" of the defendant's behaviour (Lamb, supra, at pp. 10 and 13). Punitive damages require something more than a jury's "mere disapproval" of the defendant's conduct (Uren, supra, at p. 153). The High Court has endorsed moderation and proportion in punitive awards; proportionality is relative to the circumstances of the case, and there is "no necessary proportionality" between the assessment of compensatory and punitive damages (XL Petroleum (N.S.W.) Pty., supra, per Gibbs C.J., at p. 463, and Brennan J., at p. 471; Lamb, supra). 53 In 1966 in the companion cases of Uren, supra, and Australian Consolidated Press Ltd. v. Uren (1966), 117 C.L.R. 185, the High Court declined to adopt Rookes's "categories" of restrictions on punitive damage awards. Punitive damages are available for "conscious wrongdoing in contumelious disregard of another's rights" (Whitfeld v. De Lauret & Co. (1920), 29 C.L.R. 71 (Austl. H.C.), at p. 77, per Knox C.J.). Punitive damages are awarded "rarely" but in a wider range of torts than those prescribed in Rookes, supra. They are most commonly awarded for intentional torts but their availability is not precluded merely because the cause of action is framed in negligence if the wrongdoing is wanton, reckless or outrageous (Gray v. Motor Accident Commission (1998), 196 C.L.R. 1 (Austl. H.C.), at pp. 9 and 28; Lamb, supra).
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Page 19 of 44 Whiten v. Pilot Insurance Co., [2002] 1 S.C.R. 595 Thus punitive damages have been awarded for trespass to chattels, trespass to land, trespass to the person, deceit, reckless negligence, and defamation (Gray, supra, at pp. 27-28); and see generally, Halsbury's Laws of Australia (1995), vol. 9, 1995, "Damages", at paras. 135-505. The defendant's misconduct, and not the cause of action, thus governs the availability of punitive damages. [page628] 54 With respect to the potential duplication of the punitive function of the criminal law, the High Court has ruled that the "infliction of substantial punishment for what is substantially the same conduct as the conduct which is the subject of the civil proceeding" bars the award of punitive damages (Gray, supra, at p. 14). The dissent on this point by Callinan J. is closer to the Canadian position at pp. 50-51:
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