W v W; J v Raewyn Bell: PC 19 Jan 1999

PC (New Zealand) The claimants sught to recover exemplary damages from defendants convicted of criminal offences against them.
Held: There were differences in the system between New Zealand and the English jurisdictions. The New Zealand Courts made a greater allowance for the effect of the offence on the victim. No issues of public policy clearly indicated either way. Could it be right for the Board to take a view of public policy in New Zealand different from that taken by the New Zealand Court of Appeal: ‘a need for consistency leads inexorably to the conclusion that an acquittal should also bar the civil remedy for exemplary damages. The decision to bar the remedy after conviction and punishment is plainly a matter of policy and the consistent application of such a policy requires that it should apply irrespective of the severity or lightness of the punishment imposed by the criminal court. ‘ The appeal was dismissed.
Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett
[1999] UKPC 2
Bailii, PC, PC
CitedAustralian Consolidated Press Ltd v Uren 2-Jun-1966
(High Court of Australia) . .
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 . .
CitedDonselaar v Donselaar 1982
(Court of Appeal – New Zealand) The plaintiff sued for exemplary damages for assault and battery alleged to have caused physical injury, indignity, mental suffering, disgrace and humiliation. The defendant had been charged with assault in a . .
CitedInvercargill City Council v Hamlin PC 12-Feb-1996
(New Zealand) Seventeen years earlier the plaintiff had asked a builder to construct a house for him, but it now appeared that the foundations had been inadequate. The building company no longer being in existence, he sought damages from the local . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 03 January 2021; Ref: scu.159334