of damages for Charter breaches. That case makes several points
of interest about Charter damages:
(a) Damages for breach of a person’s Charter rights are to be
distinguished from private law damages. They are to be dis-
tinguished from a tort claim for which a state actor may be
vicariously liable. Rather, they are to be regarded as a “‘pub-
lic law action directly against the state for which the state is
primarily liable’. . . . The nature of the remedy is to require
the state (or society writ large) to compensate an individual
for breaches of the individual’s constitutional rights. An
action for public law damages — including constitutional
damages — lies against the state and not against individual
actors. Actions against individual actors should be pursued
in accordance with existing causes of action” (at para. 22, in
part quoting Dunlea v. Attorney General,  NZCA 84,
 3 N.Z.L.R. 136, at para. 81).
(b) There are three purposes that Charter damages may serve:
compensation, vindication and deterrence.
(c) In the public law context, when it comes to compensation,
the courts have recognized that personal losses that may be
compensated include “harm to the claimant’s intangible
interests” which includes “distress, humiliation, embarrassment, and anxiety”. This harm will often merge with
psychological harm, but “a resilient claimant whose intangible interests are harmed should not be precluded from
recovering damages simply because she cannot prove a substantial psychological injury” (at para. 27).
(d) “Vindication focuses on the harm the infringement causes
society . . . [V]iolations of constitutionally protected rights
harm not only their particular victims, but society as a
whole . . . While one may speak of vindication as underlining the seriousness of the harm done to the claimant, vindication as an object of constitutional damages focuses on the
harm the Charter breach causes to the state and to society”
(at para. 28).
(e) “Deterrence seeks to regulate government behaviour, generally, in order to achieve compliance with the Constitution . . .
[D]eterrence as an object of Charter damages is not aimed at
deterring the specific wrongdoer, but rather at influencing
government behaviour in order to secure state compliance
with the Charter in the future” (at para. 29).