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Defences To Unjust Enrichment Notes

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1 UNJUST ENRICHMENT (III): DEFENCES

2

1. DEFENCES

1.1.

ESTOPPEL

1.1.1.

General

(1.1.a)

Operation

Estoppel will arise where D detrimentally changes his position in reliance of a representation made by C that a benefit was validly received. This is a complete bar because its effect is to stop C arguing that the elements of unjust enrichment have been established United Overseas Bank v Jiwani (1976) (HC) - McKenna J - three conditions must be satisfied: [1] D led to believe that he or she is entitled to a benefit, [2] D relies on this,
[3] D's circumstances have changed so that restitution would be inequitable

(1.1.b)

Justice of the Case United Overseas Bank v Jiwani (1976) (HC) - McKenna J - estoppel will still fail if it is not just to require D to make restitution to C, e.g. if D was under a duty to inform of the mistake

1.1.2.

Defendant Led to Believe He Is Entitled to a Benefit

(1.2.a)

General

Must have been an unequivocal representation or a duty of accuracy to D which C breached RE Jones v Waring and Gillow (1926) (HL) - Lord Sumner - these are cumulative conditions and both must be satisfied in every case

The better view is that they are alternative: United Overseas Bank v Jiwani (1976) (HL) - McKenna J - assumed that these are alternative conditions

(1.2.b)

Representation of Fact RE Jones v Waring and Gillow (1926) (HL) - representation must be collateral to the transfer and cannot be implied from the mere fact of voluntary transfer. It must be made by C rather than a third party

Representations of fact may be express or implied

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