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The law of restitution is the law of gains-based recovery. Obligations to make restitution are a type of legal response to events in the real world. When a court orders restitution, it orders the defendant to give up his gains to the claimant.


Restitution, like other legal responses, can be triggered by any one of a variety of causative events. These are events in the real world which trigger a legal response. Broadly speaking, an obligation to make restitution can be triggered by two different types of causative event:

  1. Wrongs
  2. Unjust enrichment

It is arguable that other types of causative event can also trigger an obligation to make restitution, but the above two are by far the most important.

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