Moore v Sweet
Four Lessons in Unjust Enrichment from the Supreme Court of Canada
The recent decision in Moore v Sweet provided the Supreme Court of Canada with an opportunity to provide valuable guidance concerning the capacity of the unjust enrichment analysis to ground recovery in novel cases. The opportunity was not lost. First, the Court confirmed that resort should be made to the underlying unjust enrichment principle only in circumstances in which there is no existing and applicable restitutionary doctrine or rule. Second, the Court explained how the concept of “corresponding deprivation” may apply in three-party cases where the benefit comes from a source other than the plaintiff. Third, the application of the “no juristic reason” for the transfer element to transfers required by statute was clarified. Fourth, the Court provided guidance concerning the availability of the constructive trust remedy.