The recognition of punitive damages represents a controversial issue in Europe. For many years, due to their conflict with fundamental principles of the lex fori, punitive damages have been found to be in breach of public policy by some European national courts. This has prevented the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments awarding them, or (more rarely) the application of a foreign law providing for these damages.
More recently, the negative attitude of European courts vis-à-vis punitive damages has been replaced, at least in some States, by a more open approach. The latest example is offered by a revirement of the Italian Supreme Court case law as per its judgment no 16601 of 5 July 2017.