Change of position is a defence to a claim in unjust enrichment which operates to reduce a defendants liability to the extent to which his or her circumstances have changed as a consequence of an enrichment. When the appellant employer sought restitution of the payment on grounds of mistake the court held that the plaintiff had a defence of change of position despite having spent the money on ordinary living expenses since the expenditure is a substantial detriment stemming from her reliance on receipt of the payment and was denied benefits to which she was entitled as a result of her receipt. The court has clarified that the change of position defence is unavailable where the recipient had reasonable grounds to believe that the property had been stolen even where this was not known for certain. The defense of change of position is premised on concepts of equitability this brings to fore the importance when ascertaining the injustice or hardship suffered by the innocent defendant demanding a defendant whose position has so innocently changed to make restitution would be unfair
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