Difference between “Primary Rights” and “Sanctioning Rights”

A violation of breach of the primary rights gives rise to a sanctioning right or remedial right. Thus my right not to be libeled is primary, while my right to obtain compensation from one who has libeled me is a sanctioning right.

Primary rights, therefore, exist independently, while sanctioning rights have no independent existence and arise only on the violation of primary rights.

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The enforcement of a primary right is called specific enforce­ment: the enforcement of a sanctioning right may, according to Salmond, be called sectional enforcement. Proceedings to compel a defendant to pay a debt, to perform a contract or to repay money wrongly received, furnish examples of specific enforcement and the right enforced is primary right.

Sanctioning Rights:

Sanctioning rights are divisible into two kinds: (1) rights to exact and receive from the defendant a sum of money by way of pecuniary penalty for the wrong which he has committed; and (2) rights to exact and receive damages to compensa­tion for the injury that may have been caused to the sufferer.

Compensation falling under the second form of sanctioning right may either be restitution or penal redress. In the former the defendant is required to restore lo the plaintiff the pecuniary value of some benefit wrongfully obtained by him at the expense of the plaintiff.

In the lacier the defendant is compelled to pay the amount of the plaintiff’s loss which may far exceed the profit received by the defen­dant.