“Of all areas of law, it is property – particularly as it relates to housing and home – that affects people most consistently and directly. Yet, while people are intensely interested in property, property – broadly understood as the laws, doctrines and policies that govern the acquisition, accumulation, management and transfer of resources – does not appear to reciprocate. This lecture explores how the traditional methodologies of property law scholarship – centred on the status quo of established rights, obligations and duties, and invoking the ‘property values’ of certainty, autonomy, efficiency – marginalise the human ‘subjects’ of the property system. The lecture seeks to raise questions concerning the role of property law and property scholarship: is it to understand and make the best out of the available material; to achieve change in a progressive (or progressive but incremental) way; or to contribute to, or at least not to prevent, progress towards greater substantive equality between property’s ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’? In exploring these questions, the lecture reflects on the hidden politics of property discourse and its impact on the (in)visibility of the property outsider’s human experience within legal analyses, arguments and decision-making. Finally, this analysis is related to a series of ‘property problems’ in which ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ compete for ownership or access to resources, with the aims of considering an alternative approach to problem-based property scholarship that starts from the person rather than the law, and reflecting on the implications of this approach for normative arguments invoking ‘property’s values’.”
Date: Thursday 5th December 2013, 6.00-7.00pm
Location: UCL Faculty of Laws, Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1H 0EG
More information can be found here.