Restitution from Public Authorities
This chapter is concerned with the application of the grounds of restitution and principles in one particular context, namely, where a restitutionary claim is brought against public authorities. There is a public law dimension to such a claim which always requires careful consideration. Indeed, there is growing evidence that a distinct ground of restitution exists to establish a restitutionary claim in unjust enrichment against a public authority and only this ground of restitution is available for such claims. The chapter discusses constitutional considerations and establishment of unjust enrichment as reasons why public authorities should be treated differently from other defendants, the grounds of restitution (including mistake, duress, extortion by colour of office, and total failure of consideration), and recommendation of the Law Commission as to the right to restitution and the special defences.
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