This chapter seeks to provide an overview of the circumstances under which a shift of wealth, albeit compliant with the law, is held as entitling the disadvantaged party to seek recovery therefor. It starts by describing the enactments, scope and legal framework of unjust enrichment in Civil Law systems and explains the different approaches followed in its respect, inter alia, by French and German law. It then proceeds to compare those systems with other ones, particularly the English, which have thus far refrained from adopting a general doctrine of unjust enrichment entitling, e.g., a person who paid another's debt to restitution. In English law, that person is required, in order to be granted restitution, to demonstrate the occurrence of an “unjust factor”, such as a mistake (either in fact or in law) incurred when making the payment. The chapter also examines certain Common Law remedies for specific unjust enrichment situations, such as the constructive trust.
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