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Principles of the Law of Restitution in Singapore

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Principles of the Law of Restitution in Singapore

Author Tang Hang Wu
Publication Date August 2019




Publisher: Singapore Academy of Law

The law of restitution is a major branch of private law which is not well understood. This is the first book dedicated to the law of restitution in Singapore providing an analysis of the principles of the law of restitution with reference to two distinct parts, namely, unjust enrichment and restitution for wrongs. The prevention of unjust enrichment as an independent legal principle, capable of founding causes of action, gained currency as an independent branch of the common law in Singapore only in the 1990s. This book introduces readers to the central concepts and controversies in the law of restitution, focusing on unjust enrichment and restitution for wrongs as organising themes. Leading decisions in Singapore and other Commonwealth jurisdictions are used to explain the fundamental concepts in the law of restitution.


Tang Hang Wu is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Cross-Border Commercial Law in Asia at the School of Law, Singapore Management University. Hang Wu has published widely and his work has been relied on by all levels of the Singapore courts, the Royal Court of Jersey, the Caribbean Court of Appeal, Federal Court of Malaysia, law reform committees in the Commonwealth, major textbooks and law journals. Apart from his work in academia, Hang Wu advises members of Singapore’s legal profession and relevant government ministries on complex legal issues pertaining to restitution, property, trusts and charities and often acts as Counsel before the Singapore courts on such issues. He is also sought after as an expert witness on Singapore law in international litigation and arbitration proceedings.


  1. Introduction
  2. At the Plaintiff’s Expense
  3. Enrichment
  4. Mistake
  5. Interference with Ownership or Ignorance or Lack of Consent
  6. Failure of Consideration
  7. Duress, Undue Influence and Unconscionable Transactions
  8. Illegality
  9. Restitution for Wrongs
  10. Restitution and Proprietary Remedies
  11. Change of Position
  12. Other Defences

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