Module code: LAW3132

Module Overview

Commercial restitution is an intellectually stimulating subject which lies at the intersection of the foundational subjects of private law. It is a recent and swiftly developing area of law, with significant practical relevance. Knowledge of the rules that form the basis of this subject is highly recommended for those who want to pursue careers in commercial law.

Unjust enrichment as a cause of action has been recognised by the House of Lords in 1991. However, commercial restitution has been an important concept in English commercial law for much longer. In this course, we explore the legal developments and debates in this lively and commercially very important area of law.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

TUREK Krystof (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: M221

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 117

Seminar Hours: 33

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Introduction to unjust enrichment and restitution
What is enrichment?
At the claimant's expense?
A list of unjust factors
The absence of basis theory
Restitutionary remedies

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3,000 word written coursework 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The module will be assessed by a 3,000 word written coursework. There will be an opportunity to submit a formative assessment and obtain feedback.

Module aims

  • To introduce the concept of unjust enrichment and the variety of restitutionary responses
  • To develop an understanding of the concept of unjust enrichment in English law
  • To understand and critically assess when enrichment will be reversible when it is at the claimant's expense
  • To understand and critically assess the variety of unjust factors that may make the receipt of enrichment unjustified
  • To understand and critically assess the rival theory of absence of basis
  • To understand and critically assess the law of tracing
  • To understand and critically assess the variety of restitutionary responses
  • To understand and critically assess the variety of defences to a claim for restitution

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Critically evaluate the central principles, concepts and history of the area of restitution and unjust enrichment CKT
002 Critically evaluate the content of the rules studied on this module CKT
003 Critically evaluate the concept of enrichment in English law CKT
004 Critically evaluate the idea of when that enrichment is at the claimant's expense CKPT
005 Critically evaluate the proper justification for restitutionary reliability (unjust factors or absence of basis) CKT
006 Critically evaluate the remedies available to effectuate restitution of unjust enrichment CKPT
007 Critically evaluate the circumstances in which the defendant may have a valid defence to a restitutionary claim CKPT
008 Critically engage with scholarly debates on the law of restitution and unjust enrichment CKT
009 Critically engage with the major controversies surrounding the legal areas studied in this module CKT
010 Critically engage with and apply knowledge of the primary and secondary legal authorities to solve complex problems and complex essay questions which seek to resolve tensions between the competing arguments surrounding the law of restitution CKP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

This course will be delivered through 11 weekly three-hour seminars. Preparatory reading will be required, and seminar participation and debate encouraged within an informal academic setting.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW3132

Other information


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.