Takitota v The Attorney General and Others: PC 18 Mar 2009

Bahamas – The claimant appeald as to the amount of compensation awarded to him for his unlawful detention for over eight years, in appalling prison conditions. The Court of Appeal categorised his treatment not only as ‘less than humane’ but as a ‘flagrant misuse/abuse of power.’ The court was now asked as to whether the case was one for aggravated damages.
Held: It was not appropriate to make an award both by way of exemplary damages and for breach of constitutional rights. When the vindicatory function of the latter head of damages has been discharged, with the element of deterrence that a substantial award carries with it, the purpose of exemplary damages has largely been achieved. To make a further award of exemplary damages, as the appellant’s counsel sought, would be to introduce duplication and contravene the prohibition contained in the proviso to Article 28(1) of the Constitution.

Lord Phillips of Worth Matrave, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2009] UKPC 11, 26 BHRC 578
England and Wales
CitedRookes v Barnard (No 1) HL 21-Jan-1964
The court set down the conditions for the award of exemplary damages. There are two categories. The first is where there has been oppressive or arbitrary conduct by a defendant. Cases in the second category are those in which the defendant’s conduct . .
CitedTynes v Barr 28-Mar-1994
(Supreme Court of the Bahamas) The plaintiff had been wrongfully arrested and humiliated publicly at an airport. He claimed exemplary damages. In assessing the exemplary damages in a court should take account of the injury the plaintiff has endured . .
CitedAttorney General of Trinidad and Tobago v Ramanoop PC 23-Mar-2005
(Trinidad and Tobago) A police officer had unjustifiably roughed up, arrested, taken to the police station and locked up Mr Ramanoop, who now sought constitutional redress, including exemplary damages. He did not claim damages for the nominate torts . .
CitedSubiah v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago PC 3-Nov-2008
(Trinidad and Tobago) The Board considered the extent of damages for infringement of the claimant’s constitutional rights. He had been on board a bus. He complained when a policeman was allowed not to buy a ticket. The same constable arrested him as . .
CitedMerson v Cartwright, The Attorney General PC 13-Oct-2005
(Bahamas) The defendant police had appealed the quantum of damages awarded to the claimant for assault and battery and false imprisonment and malicious prosecution, saying that she had been doubly compensated. The claimant now appealed reduction of . .
CitedTaunoa v Attorney General for New Zealand 31-Aug-2007
Supreme Court of New Zealand – The claimants sought damages after their treatment in prison. They challenged the legality of a behaviour modification regime which five prisoners had been subjected to. The regime had been operated at Auckland Prison . .
CitedThe Attorney General for Saint Christopher and Nevis v Sir Probyn Inniss PC 18-Jul-1988
(Eastern Caribbean) . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Damages, Torts – Other

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.471043