oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - The development of enrichment liability : Byzantine Law in the teachings of the Digest of Stephanus
"In die Suid-Afrikaanse reg is ondanks die ontwikkeling wat in die Romeins-Hollandse reg plaasgevind het geruime tyd steeds aanvaar dat die reg geen algemene verrykingsaksie ken nie". But for how long will this still be valid? South African law acknowledges various legal claims for specific situations in which somebody has been enriched at the expense of another. In the literature this topic has recently been discussed in an incisive manner, for instance, by Sonnekus and Visser, enquiring whether the various enrichment actions found in present-day South African law are based on one general principle. This question has already been discussed earlier in, for example, the work of De Vos.
From a historical and comparative point of view, this question is of great importance. In various stages of the development of Roman law, actions for a specific kind of "enrichment" were already acknowledged. The condictio was applicable in cases of loan for consumption, stipulation and undue payment, and also in cases of theft. In the formulary procedure, the actio de in rem verso and the action for the management of another's affairs could also be brought to recover specific kinds of enrichment. A general enrichment action, however, never emerged. Still, a general principle, namely that no one should be enriched at the expense of another, was already formulated in two texts of Pomponius, dating from the era of classical law. But until the sixth century, the forensic meaning of these texts was never of great importance.
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