The future of unjustified enrichment in Scotland

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Noting that Goff & Jones has not had much impact in the Scottish courts, this paper shows that in enrichment law Scotland has not developed so much as a mixed as a Civilian system. But there have been two distinct phases in its development: the first blending Canonist ideas of restitutio with the Roman condictiones; the second, beginning towards the end of the twentieth century, using the model of German law as it has developed since the BGB came into force in 1900. Recent criticism of German law from within that system compels reconsideration of the Scottish approach, but the paper argues that in an uncodified system the force of the critique is much less and that, far from becoming fragmented, Scots enrichment law is acquiring a new sophistication. It is acknowledged that the law on unwinding failed contracts might still benefit from fresh analysis and approaches, while English law in general should not be lost to sight in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRestitution Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • unjustified enrichment
  • Scots law
  • obligations
  • restitution
  • recompense
  • absence of legal ground
  • enrichment and contract

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