Restitution Essay

1327 WordsMar 11, 20126 Pages
In the context of Criminal Law, state programs under which an offender is required, as a condition of his or her sentence, to repay money or donate services to the victim or society; with respect to maritime law, the restoration of articles lost by jettison, done when the remainder of the cargo has been saved, at the general charge of the owners of the cargo; in the law of TORTS, or civil wrongs, a measure of damages; in regard to contract law, the restoration of a party injured by a breach of contract to the position that party occupied before she or he entered the contract. The general term restitution describes the act of restoration. The term is used in different areas of the law but carries the same meaning throughout. The basic purpose of restitution is to achieve fairness and prevent the Unjust Enrichment of a party. Restitution is used in contractual situations where one party has conferred a benefit on another party but cannot collect payment because the contract is defective or no contract exists. For instance, assume that a person builds a barn on the property of another person. Assume further that the structure is not erected pursuant to a contract or agreement and that the owner of the property on which the barn sits refuses to pay the builder for the barn. Despite the absence of a contract, a court can order the owner to pay the builder the cost of the labor and materials under the doctrine of restitution. Courts in seventeenth century England first developed the doctrine of restitution as a contractual remedy. The concept migrated to courts in the United States, and it has since expanded beyond its original contractual roots. Courts now apply restitution in the areas of maritime or ADMIRALTY LAW, criminal law, and torts. In admiralty law restitution may be ordered when a shipping crew must throw goods overboard to keep the ship afloat. In such a
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