An Uphill Battle: Restitution for the Haitian Independence Debt Under the Theory of Unjust Enrichment
10 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 7, 2021
This paper discusses whether Haiti can recover from France payments for the independence debt under the legal theory of unjust enrichment. After exploring the possibility of raising a claim of unjust enrichment in U.S. and the likelihood of initiating a similar proceeding before an international forum, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the author concluded that although unjust enrichment may be a potentially viable claim both in the U.S. and at the ICJ, the procedural hurdles for such restitution claims will likely prevent both forums from adjudicating on the substance of the case. Particularly, it is difficult for U.S. courts and the ICJ to establish jurisdiction over France, and the likelihood of reactivating the statute of limitations is low.
Keywords: Haiti, Sovereign Debt, Independence Debt, Restitution, Reparations
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