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.
This book, which collects contributions by leading legal scholars from different jurisdictions, intends to explore the relationship between punitive damages and European private international law from different angles. After introducing the topic from a comparative law perspective, the chapters of this book examine, in particular, the purpose and operation of public policy as applied to punitive damages, the solutions adopted by the case law of various European States, the treatment of punitive damages in international commercial arbitration, and the emerging trends in EU and ECHR law.