Unjustified enrichment has been one of the most intellectually vital areas of private law. There is, however, still no unanimity among civil-law and common-law legal systems about how to structure this important branch of the law of obligations. Several key issues are considered comparatively in this 2002 book, including grounds for recovery of enrichment, defences, third-party enrichment, as well as proprietary and taxonomic questions. Two contributors deal with each topic, one a representative of a common-law system, the other a representative of a civil-law or mixed system. This approach illuminates not just similarities or differences between systems, but also what different systems can learn from one another. In an area of law whose territory is still partially uncharted and whose borders are contested, such comparative perspectives will be valuable for both academic analysis of the law and its development by the courts.
Part I: 1. Introduction David Johnston and Reinhard Zimmermann; Part II. Enrichment 'Without Legal Ground' or Unjust-Factor Approach?: 2. Unjust factors and legal grounds Sonja Meier; 3. In defence of unjust factors Thomas Krebs; Part III. Failure of Consideration: 4. Failure of consideration: myth and meaning in the English law of restitution Graham Virgo; 5. Failure of consideration Robin Evans-Jones and Katrin Kruse; Part IV. Duress and Fraud: 6. In defence of unjust factors: a study of rescission for duress, fraud and exploitation Mindy Chen-Wishart; 7. Fraud, duress and unjustified enrichment: a civil law perspective Jacques du Plessis; Part V. Change of Position: 8. Restitution without enrichment? Change of position and Wegfall der Bereicherung James Gordley; 9. Unwinding mutual contracts: Restitio in integrum v the defence of change of position Philip Hellwege; Part VI. Illegality: 10. The role of illegality in the English law of unjust enrichment Gerhard Dannemann; Part VII. Encroachment and Restitution for Wrongs: 12. Reflections on the role of restitutionary damages to protect contractual expectations Janet O'Sullivan; 13. Encroachments: between private and public Hanoch Dagan; Part VIII. Improvements: 14. Mistaken improvements and the restitution calculus Andrew Kull; 15. Enrichment by improvements in Scots law James Wolfe; Part IX. Discharge of Another Person's Debt: 16. Performance of another's obligation: French and English law contrasted Simon Whittaker; 17. Payment of another's debt Hector L. MacQueen; Part X. Third Party Enrichment: 18. 'At the expense of the claimant': direct and indirect enrichment in English law Peter Birks; 19. Searches for silver bullets: enrichment in three-party situations Daniel Visser; Part XI. Proprietary Issues: 20. Proprietary issues George Gretton; 21. Property, subsidiarity, and unjust enrichment Lionel Smith; Part XII. Taxonomy: 22. Taxonomy: does it matter? Ewan McKendrick; 23. Rationality, nationality and the taxonomy of unjustified enrichment Niall R. Whitty.