THE BEGINNINGS OF A PUBLIC LAW OF UNJUST ENRICHMENT?

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Abstract:

Article analysing the decision of the Court of Appeal in Deutsche Morgan Grenfell v Commissioners of Inland Revenue [2005] EWCA Civ 78. The piece argues that unjust enrichment claims involving public bodies cannot be regarded as belonging wholly in private law and that if the claim is based on a charge or payment that was invalid as a matter of public law, this public law illegality must also play a role in establishing the cause of action. Given the Court of Appeal's partial recognition of this fact in Deutsche Morgan Grenfell the article concludes that its decision is to be welcomed, but that in basing its decision on judgments in previous cases as if they were statutes the Court of Appeal lost an opportunity to examine the full implications and operation of this public law approach.

Keywords: Unjust enrichment; public law; restitution; tax

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.
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