• Class Number 9551
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Pauline Ridge
    • Prof Pauline Ridge
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

The course covers aspects of the law of restitution as it has developed in Australia, England and (to a lesser extent) Canada, and considers the inter-relationship between restitution, contract, equity, and other categories of legal obligations.

The course considers the relevant law from three perspectives: historical, conceptual and doctrinal.  It provides a useful overview of the private law of obligations and property.  The first section of the course considers:

  • the history of restitution; and
  • theories of restitution and the concept of unjust enrichment

The second part of the course examines various situations where restitutionary relief may be sought including:

  • mistake (including its role as the paradigm unjust enrighment claim);
  • ineffective contracts;
  • restitution after breach of contract;
  • compulsion;
  • restitution for wrongs;
  • property and restitution;
  • equity and restitution; and
  • other topical issues.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Explain and apply to a complex hypothetical factual problem the law relating to selected topics taught in the course;
  2. Demonstrate an advanced and general understanding of the theoretical debates concerning the structure, content and methodology of the law of Restitution;
  3. Conduct research with some independence to critically evaluate the theoretical debates concerning the structure, content and methodology of the law of Restitution;
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship of the law of Restitution to other categories of the law of obligations and to Equity, and to synthesise knowledge in these areas of law.

Research-Led Teaching

Pauline Ridge researches in equity, restitution and contract law. Her research in these areas informs the teaching of this course.

Required Resources

There is no prescribed text book. The Course Reading Guide/E Brick (access via WATTLE) provides links to the prescribed readings.

Kit Barker and Ross Grantham, Unjust Enrichment (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2nd ed, 2018) contains helpful extracts of many of the primary and secondary sources referred to in the course.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments on assessment
  • verbal comments in class and in student consultations
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. Please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction & History of Restitution The Mistaken Payment Claim & Defences
2 Defences in Restitution Law; Unjust Enrichment Theory
3 Equity & Restitution
4 No Classes
5 Coercion Necessitous Intervention
6 ?Ineffective Contracts
7 Restitution for Wrongs; Formative Feedback and Revision There will be no face to face class on Friday, 20 September as Pauline will be attending an interstate conference. A podcast will be recorded if necessary to complete delivery of course content.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online Quiz 0 % 09/08/2019 09/08/2019 1,2,4
Assignment 50 % 23/09/2019 15/10/2019 1, 4
Research Essay 50 % 28/10/2019 28/11/2019 2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


The workload expectation for each six-unit course at the ANU is 10 hours per week

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 09/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 09/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Online Quiz

Brief Details: The quiz is designed so that students can test their understanding of course content from Weeks 1-3 and obtain feedback about misunderstandings without any effect on their final grades. There will be ten multiple choice questions.

Nature of Task: Optional.

Weighting: 0%

Release: 5 pm Friday, 9 August 2019 via Wattle.

Due date: There is no due date. The quiz is optional and may be attempted at any stage of the course.

Estimated return date: You will be provided with a mark and feedback immediately upon completion of the quiz.

Assessment Criteria: This assessment is not weighted towards a student’s final grade, but the feedback provided to students will include a mark based on the number of correct responses.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 23/09/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4


Brief Details: This is a problem-based assignment with two questions (that may have parts). Assignment answers should demonstrate an understanding of the doctrinal material (excluding unjust enrichment theory) covered in the course in Weeks 1-2 and 5-6 of the semester (Mistake and Defences, Coercion, Necessitous Intervention and Ineffective Contracts). This is not a research-based assignment and no research beyond course content should be undertaken.

Nature of Task: The assignment is compulsory and non-redeemable. Non completion of this task will result in a mark of 0 for the task.

Weighting: 50%

Word limit: 2,000 words.

Release: 4 pm Friday, 20 September 2019 via WATTLE.

Due date: 12 noon, Monday, 23 September 2019 via Turnitin on WATTLE. Late submission without an extension is permitted, but default late penalties will apply.

Estimated return date: On or before 15 October 2019.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Analyse the facts of a hypothetical problem and identify the relevant legal issues;
  • Accurately and concisely summarise the relevant law as taught in this course, providing relevant authority (including material from non-Australian jurisdictions where appropriate) in support;
  • Formulate legal arguments relevant to the resolution of the legal issues drawing by analogy from cases covered in the course where relevant and appropriate;
  • Come to a reasoned conclusion as to the likely resolution of the problem.
  • Assignment answers will also be assessed on the quality of the written expression, structure and compliance with the conventions of spelling and grammar.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 28/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Research Essay

Brief Details: The essay should demonstrate the ability to carry out substantial research (beyond the course materials) and present a well-reasoned legal argument.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Non completion of this task will result in a mark of 0 for the task.

Weighting: 50%.

Word limit: 2,000 words. Do not include the bibliography in the word count.

Release: Essay questions will be available on the WATTLE course page by 5pm on Friday, 2 August (Week 2 of semester).

Due date: 4pm on Monday, 28 October 2019 via Turnitin. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Estimated return date: On release of final course results.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Independent Research: extent (an appropriate range of primary and secondary sources that are relevant to the topic), depth and appropriateness.
  • Response to question: cogency, breadth, depth, coherence, engagement with the issues posed by the topic, independence, understanding and interpretation of the sources. The essay should be presented as a logical argument which addresses all the issues relevant to the question asked.
  • Structure: essays should be well structured and appropriate headings should be used to break up the text and enhance the flow of reasoning. The essay must include a brief introduction and an appropriate conclusion.
  • Written expression: fluency, intelligibility, compliance with conventions of spelling and grammar.
  • Citation and referencing: adequacy, accuracy and consistency.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Pauline Ridge
6125 4126

Research Interests

Pauline Ridge researches in equity, restitution and contract law. Her research in these areas informs the teaching of this course. She also researches on the interaction of private law and religion, particularly in relation to religious charity law, the right to freedom of religion, and the regulation of religious financing. Current projects include the law of tracing in Australia; silent accessories; the public benefit of religion; and religious financing law. A list of Pauline’s publications can be accessed at http://law.anu.edu.au/staff/pauline-ridge.

Prof Pauline Ridge

Prof Pauline Ridge

Research Interests

Prof Pauline Ridge


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