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Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2011


The unit incorporates the study of case law and theory where the law recognises the underlying principle of unjust enrichment. The unit will cover

  1. the elements of the unjust enrichment principle,
  2. the scenarios in which it is recognised, and where it is controversial,
  3. the remedies and defences that are available, and
  4. whether restitution is limited to unjust enrichment or is also available for wrongs.


Students who successfully complete this course should have:

  • been introduced to unities in the private law where it deals with the retention of moneys or benefits which it is against conscience to keep;
  • acquired an overview of legal and equitable remedies which embody a 'restitutionary' response - the revindication of money and other benefits unjustly retained;
  • acquired an understanding of Australian law in the principal areas where the restitutionary response has been applied;
  • considered the content and operation of the unjust enrichment doctrine;
compared and assessed the language of unjust enrichment with traditional language used to express what the law is doing in restitutionary areas; and
  • speculated on possible wider applications of the unjust enrichment idea and what part it should play in our jurisprudence.


Compulsory written assignment (2000 words): 40% and examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 60%.

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Susan Barkehall-Thomas

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW2100 or LAW2101 and LAW2102


LAW2200 or LAW2201 and LAW2202, LAW3400 or LAW3401 and LAW3402