• Class Number 3848
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Pauline Ridge
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
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, property law and contract law. Her research in these areas informs the teaching of this course.

Required Resources

There is no prescribed textbook for this course. A full list of readings with links to those held in electronic form by the library will be made available on the Wattle site.

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. The Law Library holds several hard copies and an e-book version.

Staff Feedback

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

  • written online feedback on assessment tasks.
  • oral feedback in class and in student consultations.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

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

Extenuating circumstances: https://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/extenuating-circumstances-application

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

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

Distribution of grades policy: 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 any announcements relating to the course.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The ANU Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as providing clear guidance on the responsible and ethical use of AI technologies.

The following resources may also be useful:

• The ANU Library's Libguide is a valuable resource for gaining a comprehensive understanding of AI's role in academia.

• The ANU Academic Skills site provides useful information to ensure that you leverage AI responsibly and effectively.

• The ANU College of Law Academic Integrity and Misconduct site provides content related to legal implications, ethical guidelines, and considerations when dealing with AI in the context of law.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to Restitution Law In line with the University’s recording policy, lectures, seminars and lectorials will be recorded and made available for students on Echo360. However, lecture recordings are only an additional resource and they should not be taken as a substitute for regular attendance. If a recording does fail, there is no guarantee a replacement recording will be provided.Each week there will be a pre-recorded one hour lecture and a two hour in-person seminar recorded on Echo. Seminars are designed for in person attendance.
2 The Mistaken Payment Claim
3 Defences
4 Ineffective Contracts
5 Ineffective Contracts Non-assessed, optional quiz on Weeks 1-5 content opens. The quiz can be attempted any time before 5pm Wednesday, 27 March.
6 Revision and Problem-Based Assessment Live and recorded zoom revision class from 1pm-2pm on Monday, 25 March in lieu of pre-recorded class. In-person test covering Weeks 1-5 doctrinal content held during Week 6 seminar on Thursday, 28 March.
7 The Role of Theory in Private Law; Unjust Enrichment Theory
8 Testing Unjust Enrichment Theory: Equity and Restitution
9 Testing Unjust Enrichment Theory: Equity and Restitution
10 Coercion
11 Coercion Optional: feedback on research outlines provided.
12 Necessitous Intervention & Course Themes No pre-recorded class.

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Optional online quiz 0 % * 1,2,4
Mid-semester Test 50 % 28/03/2024 1,4
Research Essay 40 % 05/06/2024 2,3,4
Research Essay Discussion 10 % * 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills 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.


For all courses taught in any mode (whether face to face or online), the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the program. Students are expected to attend all classes.

In line with the University’s recording policy, lectures, seminars and lectorials will be recorded and made available for students on Echo360. However, lecture recordings are only an additional resource and they should not be taken as a substitute for regular attendance. If a recording does fail, there is no guarantee a replacement recording will be provided.


There is no final examination for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Optional online quiz

Details of Task: This optional online quiz comprises multiple choice questions and will provide feedback on your understanding of the lecture recordings, seminar content and set readings for Weeks 1-5 (focusing on content assessable in Assessment Task 2). 

Nature of Task: Optional. This assessment task is designed to give students an opportunity to receive feedback on their progress in the course.

Weighting: 0%

Release: 5pm, Friday, 8 March 2024

Due Date: The optional online quiz will remain open until the end of week 6. As this quiz is open for more than 24 hours, no time adjustments or extensions shall be applied for this task.

Estimated Return Date: Automatic and immediate feedback will be given.

Assessment Criteria: This task is marked automatically according to accuracy of understanding of course content.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 28/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,4

Mid-semester Test

Details of Task: This in-person test has two problem scenario questions that may have parts. The questions require you to provide legal advice, including analysing and predicting how ambiguous questions of doctrine could be resolved by the courts. There will be no choice of questions. Answers should demonstrate an understanding of the doctrinal material taught in the course in Weeks 1-6 of the semester (Mistake; Defences; Ineffective Contracts).

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to sit this test will result in a mark of zero for this task.

Weighting: 50%

Time and Date and Location: 9.15am-10.45am, Thursday, 28 March 2024, in the usual seminar location (see MyTimetable).

Due to the nature of the task, late submission (without an extension) is NOT permitted. If you experience extenuating circumstances and cannot attempt the assessment on the due date and time, you should apply for an extension here: https://law.anu.edu.au/forms/assessment-extension-request. The College will give you one final opportunity to complete the assessment, at the same time three weeks later.

Please do NOT sit this task if you are unwell as once you have commenced the task, you will not be approved an extension and will need to complete the task on the original sitting date and submit on time. 

If you have special arrangements for exams/tests in your EAP, please apply for a time adjustment at: Assessment Time Adjustments | ANU College of Law. This must be lodged no later than 5pm 21 March 2024.

Estimated Return Date: Thursday, 18 April 2024. An announcement will be made on Wattle when the marks and feedback are released.

Answers should demonstrate an understanding of the doctrinal material assessed by the task; specifically they should:

  • Analyse the facts of one or more hypothetical problems 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;
  • Where relevant, analyse and predict how unresolved or ambiguous doctrinal questions could be resolved;
  • Come to a reasoned conclusion as to the likely resolution of the problem.
  • Answers will also be assessed on the quality of the written expression, structure and compliance with the conventions of spelling and grammar. The short time period in which the assignment must be completed will be taken into account.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 05/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Research Essay

Details of Task: The research essay should demonstrate the ability to carry out substantial research (beyond the course materials), critical evaluation of the law and legal scholarship and present a well-reasoned legal argument.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete will result in a mark of zero for this task.

Weighting: 40%

Release: 5pm, Thursday, 22 February 2024.

Word Limit: 2,400 words. Do not include your bibliography in the word count. The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here.

Submission Requirements: Footnotes should be used for the referencing of all sources. All references should be compliant with the current edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. Your submission must be made in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files will not be accepted.

Due Date: 5pm, Wednesday, 5 June 2024. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted, although late penalties will apply. Please be mindful that if you are in your final semester, late submissions will have an impact on your eligibility to graduate on time.

Estimated Return Date: Official end-of-semester results release date

Assessment Criteria:

  • Independent Research: extent (an appropriate range of primary and secondary sources that are relevant to the topic), depth and appropriateness. A bibliography must be supplied.
  • 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.

A rubric will be available under the Assessment Task in Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Research Essay Discussion

Details of Task: A short recorded zoom discussion of your research essay with your course convenor during which you will be asked questions about your essay research, formulation of arguments and understanding of how your essay's theme or argument relates to general course content.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to complete will result in a mark of zero for this task.

Weighting: 10%

Time and duration: You must schedule a 10-15 minute meeting appointment on either 12, 13, 14 or 17 June 2024 using the scheduling tool on the Wattle course site.

Estimated Return Date: Official end-of-semester results release date

Assessment Criteria:

  • understanding of essay theme or argument;
  • evidence of research;
  • understanding of how essay theme or argument relate to general course content.
  • communication skills

A rubric will be available under the Assessment Task in Wattle.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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. You must ensure that you upload the correct document on the specified submission due date and time. Any document modified after the due date and time will either incur a late penalty or will NOT be accepted. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education), submission must be through Turnitin in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). Electronic copies in .pdf file format are not acceptable.

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 tests or examinations.
  • Late submission with an extension. To ensure equity for all students, the 5% penalty per working day for late submission of work does not apply if you have been granted an extension. Where an extension is granted, the revised due date and submission time will be provided in writing. Importantly, any revised due date is inclusive of weekends and public holidays. Regardless of which day of the week the revised due date falls on, students who submit after that date will be penalised by 5% of the possible marks available for the task per 24-hour period.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

All marks and feedback will be provided online by the return date listed in the class summary. 

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission is not guaranteed. Please ensure that you have reviewed your submission carefully before you submit.

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

Research Interests

Pauline Ridge researches in equity, restitution and related aspects of property 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. A list of Pauline’s publications can be accessed at http://law.anu.edu.au/staff/pauline-ridge.

Prof Pauline Ridge

Thursday 16:00 17:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions