Communities and Collections

Natural Obligations and Unjust Enrichment

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Though the term has largely fallen out of use and the underlying concept may strike some as anachronistic, it is natural to think of Michael Bryan as a gentleman. Cardinal Newman famously spoke of one ‘mainly occupied in … removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him’. He has his eyes on all his company … he can recollect to whom he is speaking; he guards against unseasonable allusions, or topics which may irritate; he is seldom prominent in conversation, and never wearisome … He makes light of favours while he does them, and seems to be receiving when he is conferring. He never speaks of himself except when compelled … he has no ears for slander or gossip, is scrupulous in imputing motives to those who interfere with him, and interprets every thing for the best. [H]e observes the maxim of the ancient sage, that we should ever conduct ourselves towards our enemy as if he were one day to be our friend. Those words very much find their mark. I first gained an impression of Michael, as a true gentleman, shortly after my wife and I arrived in Australia in the mid 1990s. Although Michael was at a different university – indeed, in a different city – he very graciously welcomed us to our new home, while helping me adjust to the peculiarities of Antipodean private law. His kindness was as genuine and understated as it was unexpected.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
  • DOI
  • License
    © Cambridge University Press 2010. This material has been published in Exploring Private Law edited by E. Bant & M. Harding. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works.
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • McInnes, M. (2010). Natural Obligations and Unjust Enrichment. In E. Bant & M. Harding (Eds.), Exploring Private Law (pp. 175-199). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Link to related item