The Principle of Unjust Enrichment and Formation of Contract: The Importance of a Hidden Policy Factor
Jan M. Smits
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI); University of Helsinki - Center of Excellence in Foundations of European Law and Polity
European Review of Private Law, Vol. 14, pp. 423-435, 2006
The two types of situations discussed in this contribution show how the principle against unjust enrichment interrelates with formation of contract. It is defended that the wish to avoid unjust enrichment plays an important role as a policy factor in cases that are often regarded as contract cases. The situation in which goods are supplied or services are performed without a contract and the case of apparent intention are used to explain this. The contribution shows that in these cases it is the cumulative impact of reliance and enrichment that accounts for obligations coming about. Subsequently, the consequences this may have for the taxonomy of the law of obligations are discussed and a plea is made for the resurgence of a separate category of 'quasi-contract' at the European level to accommodate the cases discussed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: restitution, contracts, comparative law
JEL Classification: K12Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 20, 2006
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