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Unjust Enrichment in South African Law

Rethinking Enrichment by Transfer

By: Helen Scott
Media of Unjust Enrichment in South African Law
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Published: 10-07-2013
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 250
ISBN: 9781849462235
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Hart Studies in Private Law
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £75.00
Online price : £52.50
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About Unjust Enrichment in South African Law

Conventional thinking teaches that the absence of liability - in particular contractual invalidity - is itself the reason for the restitution of transfers in the South African law of unjustified enrichment. However, this book argues that while the absence of a relationship of indebtedness is a necessary condition for restitution in such cases, it is not a sufficient condition. The book takes as its focus those instances in which the invalidity thesis is strongest, namely, those traditionally classified as instances of the condictio indebiti, the claim to recover undue transfers. It seeks to demonstrate that in all such instances it is necessary for the plaintiff to show not only the absence of his liability to transfer but also a specific reason for restitution, such as mistake, compulsion or incapacity. Furthermore, this book explores the reasons for the rise of unjust factors in South African law, attributing this development in part to the influence of the Roman-Dutch restitutio in integrum, an extraordinary, equitable remedy that has historically operated independently of the established enrichment remedies of the civilian tradition, and which even now remains imperfectly integrated into the substantive law of enrichment. Finally, the book seeks to defend in principled terms the mixed approach to enrichment by transfer (an approach based both on unjust factors and on the absence of a legal ground) which appears to characterise modern South African law. It advocates the rationalisation of the causes of action comprised within the condictio indebiti, many of which are subject to additional historically-determined requirements, in light of this mixed analysis.

Table Of Contents

1 Introduction
I Enrichment Liability in the Civilian Tradition
II Enrichment Liability in South African Law
III A Law of Unjustified Enrichment?
IV Unjust Enrichment: the Reanalysis of Enrichment by Transfer
V Beyond the Condictiones
VI Plan of Action
Part I Mistake
2 Mistake: Nineteenth Century
I Introduction
II Condictio Indebiti
III Restitutio in Integrum on Grounds of Iustus Error
IV Restitution of Contractual Performance on Grounds of Iustus Error
V Conclusion
3. Mistake Continued: Twentieth Century and Beyond
I Introduction
II Twentieth Century: Excusable Mistake of Fact
III Willis Faber Enthoven (Pty) Ltd v Receiver of Revenue
IV Twenty-first Century: Excusable Mistake
V Analysis: Excusable Mistake in South African Law
Part II Compulsion and Incapacity
Introduction: Taking Stock
4 Compulsion
I Introduction
II Historical Background
III Restitution of Compelled Transfers: Nineteenth Century
IV Restitution of Compelled Transfers: Twentieth Century
V Analysis
5 Incapacity: Minority and the Doctrine of Ultra Vires
I Introduction
II Historical background
III Restitution of Minors' Transfers in South African Law
IV Restitution of Ultra Vires Transfers
V Conclusion
Part III Theory
6 Theory: Unjust Factors or Absence of Legal Ground?
I Introduction
II Unjust Factors Analysis in English Law
III Absence of Legal Ground Analysis
IV Civilian Critique of the Unjust Factors Analysis
V The Case for Unjust Factors
VI Unjust Factors and the Common Law Method
VII A Mixed Approach
7 Conclusion
I Unjust Enrichment in South African Law
II In Defence of the Unjust Factors Analysis
III Unjust Enrichment: the Future

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