Faithful readers know that for a StAR/UNODC project I am searching for cases where corruption victims were compensated for their losses. One area where I desperately need assistance is in locating awards for social damages.
Recovery for social damage was pioneered by Costa Rican jurists. Article 38 of the Costa Rican penal code gives the Procuraduría General de la República the power to recover damages for acts that affect diffuse or collective interests. Termed “social damages,” the PGR web site lists five corruption cases where over $41 million in social damages have been collected. The cases have generated learned commentary both in Costa Rica (examples here and here) and in other Latin American states (here and here). Likely because I read Spanish poorly and slowly, beyond the Costa Rican ones, I can find no case where social damages for corruption have been awarded. Help from readers with examples or leads on where I might find examples is solicited.
For the uninitiated, social damages are compensation paid to redress harm to the welfare of a community. A community’s welfare is the combination of economic and non-economic conditions that together produce a sense of satisfaction, happiness, health, and so forth. To me, it seems to parallel Amartya Sen’s argument that GDP alone is not a sufficient measure of a nation’s well-being though I have yet to see the link made.
Thanks again to readers who responded to my earlier queries. As with those, submissions in any language Google Translate reads welcome.