May 12, 2020

The equitable principle that no one should profit from their own wrongful act is intuitive, and likely as well understood by laypeople as by jurists. The related equitable doctrine of unjust enrichment is similarly intuitive: it enables one person to lay claim to property in another’s possession where there is no valid reason for that person to retain the property. The doctrine of unjust enrichment has specific application in estates litigation.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Moore v. Sweet provides meaningful clarification on the Canadian law of unjust enrichment and the equitable concept of constructive trusts. This paper will provide a general overview of the doctrine of unjust enrichment and constructive trusts and summarize the foundational cases leading up to the Moore decision. It will then briefly set out the Court’s analysis in Moore and identify areas that require additional development, hopefully forming the basis for a practical discussion to follow.

Read the full paper: 2020.05.08 – Moore v Sweet – Unjust Enrichment (JWdV and CP).