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Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Unjust Enrichment$
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Robert Chambers, Charles Mitchell, and James Penner

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199567751

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567751.001.1

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Two Kinds of Enrichment

Two Kinds of Enrichment

(p.242) 9 Two Kinds of Enrichment
Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Unjust Enrichment

Robert Chambers

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that there are two different kinds of enrichment: pecuniary value and assignable rights. While most enrichments are valuable rights, enrichment can consist of value without rights or rights without value. When enrichment is an assignable right, its value is irrelevant to the claim for restitution. It has been assumed that there are two different kinds of restitution, either of the enrichment itself or its value in money. However, if there are two kinds of enrichment, then there is really only one kind of restitution, which always consists of giving up the actual enrichment received, which is either value or rights. The difficulty is not in deciding which kind of restitution is available, but in deciding which kind of unjust enrichment has occurred. This problem affects mistaken payments and failure of consideration in particular. Also, if change of position is concerned with disenrichment, then what counts as a relevant change of position will depend on whether the enrichment is value or rights.

Keywords:   unjust enrichment, value, wealth, assignable rights, property, specific restitution, rectification, rescission, trusts, mistaken payment

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