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Tag Archives: property rights

Ronald Coase (1910-2013)

I was intending to make this my Wednesday post for last week, but my iPad ate my draft in Pages (it will not open or email the document: any suggestions for getting to the document would be welcome). But delaying for a week allowed me to provide a more complete post.   Ronald Coase, the […]

Value and ambit

ADDENDA: I have added in three extra paragraphs, because I came to realise a key part of the argument, and a key relevant distinction, was missing. ADDENDA II: My thinking on these issues is a work in progress, and I would put the transaction utility point somewhat differently now. As economist Frank Mehrling has observed (pdf): […]

Government: the good, the bad and the appalling

Conservative humourist P J O’Rourke once observed, after flying over West and East Germany, that one should probably try to avoid public policy mistakes you can see from 20,000 feet up. Then there are public policy mistakes one can see from orbit. The two Germanys and the two Koreas constituted natural public policy experiments. Take […]

What is this thing called property?

My nomination for the most misleading metaphor in modern philosophy is John Locke’s notion that, in a state of nature, one mixes one’s labour with something to rreate property. In John Locke’s words: The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out […]

Ode to Property Law

As a result of discussions on Twitter with Kat Gallow (who blogs at Curl) I have been thinking about why I love Property Law (yes, #propertylawnerd alert). As Kat noted, property law has a bad reputation amongst law students as dry and boring. However, I believe that nothing is further from the truth. I’m going […]

Repossessing houses with tenants

Once upon a time, I was a lawyer who acted for mortgagees. I used to repossess houses and call on guarantees. Sometimes I’d get mortgagors calling me in distress, saying, “How can the bank take my property? It belongs to me.” Sigh. Well, yes you do own it – but it is subject to the […]

A reminder

Just because we have freedom of speech doesn’t mean we get to say anything we like, wherever we like. If people don’t like swear bears (to take one example) on their property, then those swear bears will receive no further invitations to visit. This is not a constraint on freedom of speech, but the enforcement […]

Property rights and the body – right to a dead person’s reproductive material

It was reported in The Australian today that a women has won the right to possession of her dead husband’s sperm with a view to using the material to conceive a child via IVF. The full judgment is available here: Jocelyn Edwards; Re the estate of the late Mark Edwards [2011] NSWSC 478. The facts […]

Property and animals

A while ago back on the blog, we were having a debate about whether the idea of property, and private property in particular, is a peculiarly human thing. Certainly, I think animals have a notion of territory. Sometimes they have a very strong notion, and will chase any interlopers off their territory. Our dog had […]

Tolerating the intolerant

I am a quintessential liberal (with a small ‘l’) in relation to religious belief. I don’t much mind what someone else believes, as long as they (a) don’t harm others and (b) leave me well alone to my own rather quirky beliefs. One thing I particularly dislike is being preached at. The more someone tries […]