Journal article

Materially identical to mistaken payment

T Cutts

Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence: an international journal of legal thought | Cambridge University Press (CUP) | Published : 2020


Mistaken payment is the ‘core case’ of unjust enrichment, and it has had a powerful effect on the development of this area of private law. For Peter Birks, unjust enrichment was simply ‘the law of all events materially identical to mistaken payment’—to be shaped through a process of abstraction from that core case. But this begs the question: how do we work out what counts as ‘materially identical’ to mistaken payment? The most obvious starting point, and that which Birks chose, is the central characteristic of money: money is valuable. Thus, ‘the law of all events materially identical to mistaken payments’ is ‘the law of all events that unjustly enrich one party at another’s expense’.In thi..

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University of Melbourne Researchers