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Unjust Enrichment$
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Peter Birks

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276981

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276981.001.0001

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(p.49) 3 Enrichment
Unjust Enrichment

Peter Birks

Oxford University Press

Enrichment at the expense of another is neutral in itself. This chapter asks only whether the defendant was enriched. A conclusion that the recipient was not enriched puts an end to the inquiry. The defendant may still be liable, but not in unjust enrichment. A person who has received a service but cannot be said to have been enriched may yet be liable to reimburse an uninvited intervener in his affairs. In the great majority of unjust enrichment cases the enrichment in question is passed over unnoticed. This is not because it does not require an answer but because the defendant has usually received money. Since money is the measure of wealth, there is very rarely any contest on the enrichment issue where money has been received. Most of the problems relating to enrichment fall under one or the other of two heads. The first is the subjectivity of the value of non-money benefits. The second problem deals with the relationship of unjust enrichment and property in the last chapter. This chapter also discusses enrichments in kind, extant enrichment and instant disenrichment, retention of pre-existing title, raising of new proprietary rights, and two conceptions of wealth.

Keywords:   enrichment, non-money benefits, money, property, unjust enrichment, wealth, extant enrichment, instant disenrichment, proprietary rights

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