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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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At the Expense of the Claimant

At the Expense of the Claimant

(p.73) 4 At the Expense of the Claimant
Unjust Enrichment

Peter Birks

Oxford University Press

Unjust enrichment is a category with a core where all agree, and a periphery where reasonable people begin to differ. At a certain point all agree once more that an outer limit has been overstepped. If a tidier boundary is to be defined, it has to be artificial. The law is used to that. It makes choices all the time to iron out uncertainties which would otherwise leave the law unstable. Such peripheral doubts beset the limits of ‘at the expense of the claimant’. The choices which every system therefore has to make turn out to have a profound effect on the range of its law of unjust enrichment. This chapter examines the meaning of ‘at the expense of’, focusing on what constitutes a sufficient connection between the would-be claimant and the enrichment he wants to claim. It discusses interceptive subtractions and their overlap with corresponding loss, leapfrogging, initially valid contracts, and no initial contract.

Keywords:   unjust enrichment, claimant, interceptive subtractions, loss, leapfrogging, contracts, law

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