chapter  3
Is this case still a good precedent? (Cf Camelot Group plc v Centaur Communications Ltd [1999] QB 124.) 4 Do these judgments conflict with the observations of Hoffmann LJ in the Central Television case (p 129)? 5 Ought one to be concerned about the English judiciary’s willingness or ability to protect human rights? 6 In refusing to disclose his source, is it actually true to say that the journalist was disobeying the law? If it transpired that he had the right not to disclose, is it not true to say that it was the judges who were in contempt of the law? 7 Was the plaintiff a ‘private citizen? Did it have the right to vote?
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Lord Hailsham:… Of all the various remedies available at common law, damages are the remedy of most general applications at the present day, and they remain the prime remedy in actions for breach of contract and tort. They have been defined as ‘the pecuniary compensation, obtainable by success in an action, for a wrong which is either a tort or a breach of contract’. They must normally be expressed in a single sum to take account of all the factors applicable to each cause of action…

In almost all actions for breach of contract, and in many actions for tort, the principle of restitutio in integrum is an adequate and fairly easy guide to the estimation of damage, because the damage suffered can be estimated by relation to some material loss. It is true that where loss includes a pre-estimate of future losses, or an estimate of past losses which cannot in the nature of things be exactly computed, some subjective element must enter in. But the estimate is in things commensurable with one another…

In many torts, however, the subjective element is more difficult. The pain and suffering endured, and the future loss of amenity, in a personal injuries case are not in the nature of things convertible into legal tender… The principle

of restitutio in integrum, which compels the use of money as its sole instrument for restoring the status quo, necessarily involves a factor larger than any pecuniary loss.