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Restitution and the rescue of life

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  • The author argues that restitutionary relief should be available to life rescuers. Analyzed in terms of the Canadian principle of unjust enrichment, it can be said that a victim receives an enrichment and a rescuer suffers a corresponding deprivation when there is no juristic reason for the enrichment. Policy considerations and precedent also favour the recognition of a right of recovery in limited circumstances. A rescuer's measure of relief should generally be restricted to reimbursement of his expenses, though a professional should also be entitled to remuneration for his services. Policy considerations militate against the availability of privately financed rewards, and against compensation for losses and injuries. | L 'auteur soutient qu'une indemnisation aux fins de restitution devrait 6tre accordde aux personnes qui effectuent des sauvetages. Analysd en regard du principe canadien d'enrichissement sans cause, on peut avancer qu'une victime bdndficie d'un enrichissement et quun sauveteur souffre d'une privation correspondante quand l'enrichissement est sans cause juridique. Les prdcddents et certaines considdrations de principe favorisent 6galement la reconnaissance d'un droit de recouvrement dans des circonstances limit4es. L 'indemnisation devrait g~nralement se limiter au remboursement des d~penses engages par le sauveteur, encore qu'un spdcialiste devrait 9galement avoir le droit d'etre rdmun~rg pour ses services. Des considdrations de principe militent contre la distribution de rcompenses financdes par le secteur privd et contre les dommages-intdr~ts pour pertes et blessures.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
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  • License
    © 1994 Mitchell McInnes et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • McInnes, M. (1994). Restitution and the rescue of life. Alberta Law Review, 32(1), 37-70. Retrieved from
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