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NZ $40.00
Author(s): Robert Dobson, Brendan Brown QC
Published: 18 March, 1997
Pages: 114




A generation ago the law on damages was perceived as having compartmentalised rules, with important distinctions as to the permissible scope of recoveries, largely determined by the nature of the cause of action.

Writing in the Cambridge Law Journal in 1978 the then Sir Robin Cooke began by saying:

The law about remoteness of damage in contract and tort is in a strangely unsettled state. Pursuing justice in individual cases, the courts have felt driven into vacillations on points of general principle which have not shown our system of case law at its best. Yet there is perhaps no field of common law in which there have been so many attempts by Judges, and at a high level of authority, to formulate principles or rules in exact terms.

The developments in most aspects of damages since that time have seen moves away from any rules in exact terms, and towards case by case application of solutions perceived as appropriate to the particular case.

Content outline

  • Where is the bottom line? - which bottom line? Contract
  • Tort
  • Damages for loss of a chance
  • Damages in equity
  • Damages in administrative law
  • Damages and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act
  • Exemplary damages
  • Damages for mental distress
  • Election between remedies
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