Abstract: Recourse to pecuniary awards as a remedy for moral damage (also called non-pecuniary damage) has become an international norm in modern times. The impetus or inspiration for this development at the top came from below, that is it came from the private law traditions of civil law and common law, though of course it may be debated as to which tradition was the decisive infl uence. What seems important is that the notions which emerged at the transnational and international levels have surpassed the products of those traditions. The assimilated ideas received and redeveloped at the supranational level have, in turn, passed back down to national courts and national laws. This has an impact in both common law and civil law. There has been a constant circulation and rotation of ideas passing back and forth through various conduits which link the vertical levels. By investigating the evolution and growth of the concept of moral damage and the generalised remedy to compensate it, this article will attempt to throw light upon the process by which ideas derived from private law spread, evolve and re-emerge as norms of international law.
Keywords: moral damage; non-pecuniary loss; human rights; pecuniary awards; European Convention on Human Rights
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