Farewell to Unjustified Enrichment?

28 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2016

Date Written: March 1, 2016


The purpose of the paper is to make accessible, to an English-speaking audience, the historical background and present state of unjustified enrichment theory in the German-speaking civilian legal systems – i.e. in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The German law of unjustified enrichment has grown from two intellectually separate roots. These different legal ideas were interwoven during the 19th century by the German Pandectists. During the 20th century, it appeared that these ideas did not fit well with one another. Hence, the modern civilian law of unjustified enrichment is increasingly characterised by a division into independent and distinct parts. Particularly the rules on the unwinding of contracts and on payments made in contemplation of future contracts no longer have much in common with claims based on an infringement of another person’s property right.

Keywords: Restitution, unjust enrichment, unjustified enrichment, wrongs, contract, legal history

Suggested Citation

Jansen, Nils, Farewell to Unjustified Enrichment? (March 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2740322 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2740322

Nils Jansen (Contact Author)

University of Muenster ( email )

Institut für Rechtsgeschichte
Universitätsstraße 14-16
Münster, D-48143

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