Unjustified enrichment law has always been the stepchild of the law of obligations in South African law. Affer the unfortunate judgment of Nortje v Pool NO en ’n Ander, where the South African Appellate division, by a majority of one, decided against accepting a general action for unjustified enrichment, the South African law of unjustified enrichment languished in a stagnant pool for more than 30 years. This all changed when Peter Birks, the Regius Professor of Civil Law at Oxford, woke this area of the law from its slumbers when he suggested a fresh approach to the chaotic English law system of restitution by providing a more rational structure or taxonomy to bring the English common law system into the modern world. This made the English system much more workable and intelligible, and led to a worldwide reappraisal of unjustified enrichment law in both civil and common law systems. South Africa was not unaffected … (more)
Jan-Louis Serfontein, What is wrong with modern unjustified enrichment law in South Africa? De Jure, vol 48, issue 2, 2015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2225-7160/2015/v48n2a7.