Journal of Civil Law Studies


Aimite Jorge


Inflation can be one of the risks assumed by the parties to a contract. Notwithstanding, contractual terms may provide for monetary corrections to offset that risk in cases of foreseeable inflation. The same may not hold true, however, for claims based on unjustified enrichment. They may find themselves in the position of innocents because the events that brought about the decline of purchasing power of the currency were unconnected to them. This paper analyses the approach recently favoured in the new Brazilian Civil Code on inflation in enrichment claims. Its focus is on article 884 (headed “enriquecimento sem justa causa”), and it argues that while inflation may be taken into account in certain situations of unjustified enrichment claims (whether falling within the category of “undue payment” or that of “unjustified enrichment”), the application of article 884 should not be automatic in all enrichment claims. An automatic application of the general principle may lead to incongruent outcomes.

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