Penalties / Relief


Civil Law

The court has wide powers to grant the parties interim relief, including interim injunctions, freezing injunctions, search orders, specific disclosure and payments into court.

Usual substantive remedies awarded by the courts include:

  • Damages (the objective is typically to compensate the claimant rather than to punish the defendant, although exemplary damages may be available in distinct circumstances)
  • Declarations (for example, that the defendant has breached a legal duty)
  • Injunctions (requiring the defendant to do, or refrain from doing, an action)
  • Specific performance (a mandatory order for the sale, mortgaging, exchange or partition of land)


Criminal Law

There are four main types of sentence (punishment) that a court can impose for a criminal offence:

  • Imprisonment
  • Community sentences (combining rehabilitation with activities carried out in the community)
  • Fines
  • Discharges (used for the least serious offences where the experience of being prosecuted is considered sufficient punishment)

In the case of a discharge, if the offender commits another offence within a set period, a sentence for the original offence, as well as the new one, may be given.