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Monday, August 11, 2008

Moral Damages Awarded in International Arbitration

In a recent NYLJ article, Emmanuel Gaillard provides a nice overview of the arbitration award in Desert Line Projects LLC, which granted an Omani company US $1 million in moral damages in a breach of contract dispute against the Yemen government. The article explains:

Although it is not common practice for a party to international arbitration proceedings to bring a claim for moral damages, the possibility of awarding such damages has never been questioned in international arbitration. "Moral" damage is distinguished from "material" damage that refers to damage to property or loss that can be assessed in financial terms. The codification work of the International Law Commission (ILC) refers to moral damage as including "such things as individual pain and suffering, loss of loved ones or personal affront associated with an intrusion on one's home or private life" (see ILC's Articles on the Responsibility of States for International Wrongful Acts ("ILC Articles"), Commentary of Article 31, at para. 5).

[Meredith R. Miller]

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