In the same way that there are general principles of compulsion and exploitation on which a number of specific grounds of restitution are based, there is also a general principle of necessity by reference to which a number of specific grounds of restitution can be identified. Although the existence of a general principle of necessity is beyond doubt in English law, the principle is not well developed in common law legal systems. The predominant reason for the underdeveloped nature of the necessity principle is because of the importance of the principle of officiousness which operates to bar restitutionary claims. The success of restitutionary claims grounded on necessity will depend on how the principle of officiousness is defined. This chapter discusses the principle of necessity, the principle of officiousness, identification and valuation of enrichment, necessitous intervention by a stranger, agency and other pre-existing legal relationships, and necessity in the context of maritime adventures.
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