42 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 391 (2003-2004)
Punitive Damages: A Comparative Analysis

handle is hein.journals/cjtl42 and id is 399 raw text is: Punitive Damages: A Comparative Analysis
JoHN Y. GOTANDA
In light of expanding   international trade, it is
increasingly likely that politicians, courts, and
tribunals will wrestle with whether punitive damages
are appropriate in transnational disputes, and whether
countries that traditionally do not allow exemplary
relief should recognize and enforce foreign awards of
such damages. By exploring how different systems
address these problems, we can gain a deeper
understanding of the role of punitive damages in our
own legal system and discover a way to better deal
with punitive damages issues in the international
arena.     This  Article  undertakes  a  thorough
comparative study ofpunitive damages in five common
law countries. It examines the laws of Australia,
Canada, England, New Zealand, and the United States
to determine whether there exists a consensus on the
availability of punitive damages. The Article finds
that,   despite  the    controversy   over   their
appropriateness, punitive  damages    are   widely
available in these countries and claims for such
damages have increased in recent years. However, it
also finds that there is little consensus about the
factors used to determine the amount of punitive
damages that should be awarded. Some jurisdictions
provide little or no guidance to the judge or jury who
sets the award. Others provide a detailed list of
factors, and one country even provides damages
brackets to guide the decision maker in fixing the
amount of punitive damages. The Article concludes
that all of the examined countries have taken steps to
rein in unreasonably large punitive damages awards.
Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Law and Director, J.D./M.B.A. Program,
Villanova University School of Law. The author gratefully acknowledges helpful
suggestions by Joseph Dellapenna, John Murphy, and Louis Sirico. Thanks are also due to
Audrey Sorokach for the valuable research assistance.

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