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Disciplining a combat tank manufacturer? A tale of lay judges handling punitive claims for moral damages in business

Abstract : Institutions are many different things to many different people (Selznick, 1949). Institutions of social control of business are no exception to this rule. This contribution uses research on the functioning of the Commercial Court of Paris, a judicial, specialized, but consular court in which judges are voluntary, lay judges and promoted by the trade association in which they are affiliated. In order to look at how social control of business operates in such a heterogeneous and polynormative institution, we asked these lay judges to assess whether or not to use punitive damages in a case of unfair competition against a combat tank manufacturer. We show that, in such a debate around punitivity, judges coming from the financial industry tend to spread non punitivity in the Court thanks to their central position in the advice network of this court. Such cases shed new light on frequent outcomes of regulatory regimes in which states are no longer the main/only source of regulation and control. It is argued that such new insights into the social control of business emerge, in particular in cases where the more the state “loses direct control” of the economy, the more different forms of regulation of these economies are multiplied, the more new institutions of are needed to protect the public interest.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 10:39:02 AM
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Emmanuel Lazega. Disciplining a combat tank manufacturer? A tale of lay judges handling punitive claims for moral damages in business. Nienke Doornbos; Nick Huls; Wibo Van Rossum. Liber Amicorum Prof. Dr. J.F.Bruinsma. Rechtspraak van buiten: Negenendertig door de rechtssociologie geïnspireerde annotaties, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp.169 - 176, 2010. ⟨hal-02884783⟩

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