The paper explains the role of ‘substitutive damages’ in torts and breach of contract. Substitutive damages vindicate the right to performance which has been infringed, rather than compensate for loss suffered as a result of the infringement. The paper argues that this analysis provides the best explanation for many difficult cases, including The Mediana, Slater v Hoyle, Ruxley v Forsyth, and Wrotham Park; further, it is possible to reconcile the availability of substitutive damages with the decision of the majority of the House of Lords in The Golden Victory.

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