The importance of FII no. 2 is mainly to be found in its treatment of the limitation period for restitutionary claims of payments made as a result of a mistake. Prior to this case, claimants enjoyed a generous limitation period, so they could be certain of success at the point at which they brought their case and could expect payments to be backdated to the date at which the payment was made. The financial consequences of this for defendants (who in the overpaid tax litigation were public bodies) was nothing short of disastrous. In the aftermath of this decision, claimants can no longer benefit from such a favourable position due to the Supreme Court’s interpretation of what “reasonably discoverable” means. The decision has been described as a “triumph of coherence in English limitation law”. That is certainly true, but parts of the decision are regrettable – mainly the lack of reckoning with jurisprudential questions on the nature of mistakes.
Keywords: Unjust enrichment, restitution, mistaken payments, mistakes of law, FII, overpaid tax litigation
How to Cite:
Al Khalifa, M., (2022) “The Straw That Broke The Claimant’s Back: An Assessment of the Supreme Court’s Reasoning in FII (no. 2)”, Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 11(1), 134-151. doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.2052-1871.1361