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date: 08 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The emergence of unjust enrichment as a cause of action in its own right in England and Australia sparked a remarkable debate between, on the one hand, civil and common lawyers, who were confronted with thinking which was often completely outside the paradigm to which they had become accustomed, and, on the other hand, between common lawyers inter se about the merits of the various ways in which unjust enrichment may be understood and organized. At the heart of this debate was the struggle of the common law to confront and deal with the deficit caused by its reliance solely on ‘unjust factors’ to make sense of enrichment liability without taking account of the notion of ‘absence of basis’. This chapter argues that comparative lawyers can make an important contribution to the future of the fractured and fractious world of unjustified enrichment by uncovering the enormous wealth of learning of which both the common law and the civil law are the repositories, and so bring the same level of understanding to the law of unjustified enrichment which has, over the years, been achieved between the systems in regard to contract and tort.

Keywords: civil law, common law, comparative law, contract, English law, enrichment liability, tort

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