Nicholas Sage, ‘Disgorgement: From Property To Contract’

The article develops an understanding of the disgorgement remedy in private law by moving between the proprietary context, where the remedy has long been awarded and is fairly uncontroversial, and the contractual context, where the remedy is relatively new and still poorly understood. The resulting account can explain the emerging common law on disgorgement for breach of contract, which has so far eluded explanation. The account also has broader implications for private law theory. First, it suggests that asking whether the plaintiff has a right ‘to a thing’ (the paradigmatic sort of property right) may obscure the remedial analysis. Instead, the analysis should attend to another, hitherto overlooked aspect of the plaintiff’s rights: their ‘logical scope.’ Second, the account suggests that a purely ‘rights-based’ understanding of private law remedies cannot adequately explain disgorgement, because it elides the crucial role that the defendant’s wrongful action plays in the explanation for the remedy.

Nicholas W Sage, Disgorgement: From Property To Contract. University of Toronto Law Journal, ahead of print, DOI: 10.3138/UTLJ.3205.

First posted 2015-09-15 06:02:42

Leave a Reply