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The Principles of the Law of Restitution

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Casebook on Restitution

Gerard McMeelBarrister of the Inner Temple and Lecturer in Law, University of Bristol

ISBN13: 9781854315175
ISBN: 185431517X
Published: January 1996
Publisher: Blackstone Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: Out of print

Restitution has emerged over the last 50 years as an essential component in the modern law of obligations. Its central concerns are the reversal of unjust enrichment and the unscrambling of defective transactions. A major difficulty with studying restitution is terminological. Whereas the older cases utilize techniques such as ""actions for money had and received"" and ""constructive trusts"", modern cases and juristic writings speak of ""unjust factors"" and ""incontrovertible benefit"". This volume guides the reader through the often impenetrable language to an appreciation of the leading cases, and a clearer understanding of the practical difficulties of restitution claims. Cases cover issues ranging from the deceptively simple example of mistaken payments to the complicated fall-out of corporate collapse, as in the ""Barlow Clowes"", ""Polly Peck"" and ""Maxwell"" cases.

Part 1 Introduction:
the principle of unjust enrichment
restitutionary techniques, tests of enrichment.

Part 2 Mistake:
Money paid under a mistake of fact
money paid under a mistake of law
services rendered under a mistake
rescission for misrepresentation and mistake
is "ignorance" a restitutionary cause of action?

Part 3 Compulsion:
benefits conferred under duress
benefits obtained as a result of undue influence
legal compulsion
necessity or moral compulsion.

Part 4 Failure of consideration:
contracts discharged by breach
contracts discharged by frustration
restitution and pre-contractual liability
void and unenforceable contracts
free acceptance.

Part 5 Restitution and public law:
the "Woolwich" case
the "swaps" cases.

Part 6 Restitution and the law of wrongs:
restitution and torts
restitutionary damages for breach of contract?
breach of fiduciary duty
breach of confidence
accesssory liability in equity.

Part 7 Tracing and proprietary remedies:
tracing at common law