An important theoretical account of private law explains it in terms of corrective justice. Ernest Weinrib in particular has argued that private law is the instantiation of a particular form of corrective justice; one which invests the Aristotelian notion with elements of Kant’s concept of right. The early battleground for Weinrib’s theory was tort law. A debate has also occurred in contract law, thanks in large part to the work of Peter Benson. More recently, the focus has shifted to consider whether Weinrib’s theory can account for another major area of the private law, unjust enrichment. This article argues that Weinrib’s theory cannot explain the duty to restore which arises in cases where the defendant plays no role in the sequence of events that result in the conferral of the enrichment.
Matthew Doyle, Corrective Justice and Unjust Enrichment. University of Toronto Law Journal, Volume 62, Number 2 / April 2012, pages 229-254.