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Property, unjust enrichment and restitution.

Webb, Charlie Edward James (2008) Property, unjust enrichment and restitution. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis examines the law's response to defective transfers and other misapplications of assets and argues that the present variety of responses is unprincipled and fails to treat like cases alike. Sometimes, when A mistakenly transfers property to B, the law says that, because of the mistake, A's legal title to that property never left him. At other times the law says that legal title did pass to the recipient but that the mistake leads to a new equitable title to the property arising in A's favour. And at other times, the law says that A relinquishes all title to the property but has instead a personal claim against the recipient for recovery of the value of the property mistakenly transferred. These differences matter because they affect issues such as the measure and form of recovery, the impact of B's insolvency, and the availability of defences. Yet in all such cases the claimant's complaint seems to be the same: the asset was mine to dispose of and I did not consent to its passing to the defendant. If all these cases are concerned with the same question, they should all receive the same answer. Accordingly a new, uniform approach, consistent with the principles underlying such claims, will be put forward. This will then point the way to a clearer understanding of certain issues of a more fundamental nature, such as the organisation and structure of private law, the use of concepts in legal theory and reasoning, and the distinction between property and obligations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Law
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2316

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