Old law could use a renovation

06 June 2008 | Story by Chris McEvoy

Prof Danie Visser
In-depth: Professor Danie Visser's new book, Unjustified Enrichment, was launched on 5 June

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Danie Visser of UCT's Department of Law, launched his new book, titled Unjustified Enrichment, on 5 June.

The book provides an in-depth look at the South African law of unjustified enrichment, giving a detailed description of the current law, making comparative insights and investigating new solutions to old problems.

Unjustified enrichment occurs when one is unjustly enriched at the expense of another. A classic example of this is when one party makes a double payment to another by mistake.

Visser says the law can present "difficult conundrums". In South Africa, for example, one has to prove a loss to be protected by the law. This means that, for example, a company can use a photograph of you in their advertisements, but if you haven't suffered a loss, you have no claim. Visser argues that aspects such as this need to be addressed.

"The book aims to help the law develop in a positive way," says Visser, "and promotes amending it to keep in tune with modern times."

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