oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The principle of unjust enrichment in international law

Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



It is suggested in this article that a reasonable degree of detailed computation and guidelines will be necessary before the notion of unjust enrichment can be extended and used to 'bridge the gap between the concepts of the economically developed and the underdeveloped nations'. It is respectfully submitted that such detailed elaboration is of doubtful value even if it were possible, given that each case will depend on its particular facts and politico-economic context. Furthermore, any rigid guidelines are bound to inhibit the flexibility inherent in the application of the principle. Modem international law in general, and the doctrine of unjust enrichment in particular, today finds its contemporary relevance in finding suitable solutions to the inequities created by the prevailing international economic situation, where the rich capital exporting states have continued to exploit the poor underdeveloped state through what has sometimes been referred to as 'unequal' treaties.

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