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Legal Dictionary

Unjust Enrichment

Unjust enrichment is a term used in legal language to describe a situation where one party gains an advantage at the expense of another party in an unfair or unjust manner. This usually involves the retention of a benefit that should be returned or compensated. The aggrieved party typically argues that it would be unfair for the other party to keep the benefit without compensating the party that provided it.

Unjust enrichment is a legal remedy that is available in various legal systems in situations where one party has been unjustly enriched at the expense of another party, even in the absence of a contract or explicit agreement between the parties. To establish unjust enrichment, the court must find four key elements: enrichment, deprivation, absence of a legal basis, and unjustness.

Enrichment refers to one party receiving a benefit, directly or indirectly, at the expense of another party, who must have suffered a loss or deprivation as a result. The enriched party should not have a legal right to keep the benefit without compensating the deprived party. The court must find that it would be unjust or inequitable for the enriched party to keep the benefit without providing compensation or restitution to the deprived party.

However, courts may order restitution or compensation to remedy the unjust enrichment, with the aim of restoring the deprived party to the position they would have been in had the unjust enrichment not occurred.

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