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The Law of Unjust Enrichment in New Zealand

NZ $30.00
Author(s): Ross Grantham, Charles Rickett
Published: 15 November, 1999
Pages: 39



The emergence of the subject which has come to be known as the law of restitution has had a rapid and profound effect on developments in the whole of the common law. The recognition that the private law is not explicable solely in terms of contract and tort has focused judicial, practitioner and academic attention on the law of restitution and on the structure of private law as a whole.

The explosion of case law and academic writings which this development has generated has in a short space of time raised the profile of the law of restitution to that of one of the core disciplinary subjects of the private law. The need in practical and theoretical terms for works dealing with this area of law is thus increasingly pressing. In this respect, the United Kingdom has been well served by the magisterial works of Lord Goff and Professor Jones and Professor Birks. Australasia, however, has been less fortunate.

It is against this background that some time ago we set out to write a work dealing with the law of restitution. Our aim was to provide an accessible account of the law as it is applied in New Zealand and one which was doctrinally stable. The material presented in this New Zealand Law Society Seminar is based on our book, and seeks to present in a summarised form the major themes and conclusions reached therein. Enrichment and Restitution in New Zealand is published by Hart Publishing, Oxford.

Charles Rickett
Ross Grantham
The University of Auckland


Content outline

  • Chapter 1 - The general theory
    • What is restitution?
    • The principle of unjust enrichment
    • The dominant model
    • The Canadian approach
    • Coherence of the subject
  • Chapter 2 - The interface with property
    • A brief critique of Birks' view
    • A better structural understanding
  • Chapter 3 - The interface with expectations
    • Failure of consideration or basis
    • Failure of basis in a contractual context
    • When does the basis fail?
    • The requirement of a total failure of basis
    • The relevance of the contract
    • Restoration of non-money enrichments
  • Chapter 4 - The interface with wrongs
    • Restitution and restorable enrichment
    • Central issues
    • Compensation - the natural remedy for a wrong?
    • When is disgorgement appropriate?
    • Is disgorgement a general principle?
    • Quantification of disgorgement
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