Unjustified Enrichment


Final level, half course, second semester, two lectures per week.

Course Co-ordinator: Professor Helen Scott

Entrance requirements: All Preliminary and Intermediate Level courses to have been completed

Course outline: This course seeks to provide a broad overview of the South African law of unjustified enrichment - comprising enrichment by transfer (by far the largest part of the subject), imposed enrichment, and enrichment by invasion of rights - and to introduce students to key issues in foreign legal systems. In this way it seeks to equip students for practice and for further postgraduate study. Unjustified enrichment constitutes the third part - with contract and delict - of the law of obligations. Thus it is essential to an integrated understanding of private law. Moreover, during the last twenty years it has emerged as an important area of commercial litigation throughout the common-law world, and has become the focus of comparative private-law scholarship, especially in England, Scotland, Canada, Australia and most recently the United States. South Africa has not been immune to these trends: enrichment is increasingly the subject of litigation, not only in the high courts and Supreme Court of Appeal but now also in the Constitutional Court, and no fewer than four new books on the subject have appeared recently. A knowledge of unjustified enrichment is thus becoming increasingly important, both from a theoretical perspective and for the purposes of legal practice, whether in South Africa or elsewhere.