UCL FACULTY OF LAWS



The Society of Legal Scholars 2012 Annual Seminar

“The Philosophical Foundations of Property Law”


The Speakers
Lisa Austin is Associate Professor in Faculty of Law as well as the Chairholder of the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy at the University of Toronto. She is one of Canada's leading privacy theorists and has published widely on privacy theory, law and technology, privacy law and legal theory. Her ability to bridge theory and practice is evidenced by a number of influential reports that she has drafted, including 'Model Policy for Access to Court Records in Canada' which was approved by the Canadian Judicial Council as its official policy in September 2005 and formed the basis for the Policy for Access to Supreme Court of Canada Court Records (February, 2009). Her current research interests include property theory, the rule of law, and legal theory and her recent articles include 'Person, Place or Thing? Property and the Structuring of Social Relations', (2010) 60 University of Toronto Law Journal 445 and 'A Postmodern Defence of Universal Liberal Legal Norms', (2010) 23(1) Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 5.
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Peter Benson is Professor of Law at the University of Toronto and has published on a wide range of topics in private law and in the theory of private law as part of working out a liberal conception of justice for private law. In addition to writing on tort law and property, a principal focus has been the theory of contract law. Central to his analysis of contract is an idea of ownership that underlies all parts of private law. He is currently writing a book for Harvard University Press entitled Justice in Transactions: A Theory of Contract Law. Part two of the book will explore, amongst other things, both the differences between contract and property with respect to ownership as well as their underlying unity. Professor Benson's work draws upon philosophers such as Aristotle, Grotius, Kant, and Hegel, but sees legal doctrine as a work of public reason that can be justified in its own terms on a liberal public basis and that is compatible with, though fundamentally distinct from, requirements of distributive justice, such as Rawls's principles of justice. He is the author of over 30 articles and essays including which include"Philosophy of Property Law" in J Coleman and S Shapiro (eds) Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence (Oxford: OUP, 2002), 752, Contract as a Transfer of Ownership" (2007) 48 William and Mary Law Review 1673 and"Misfeasance as an Organizing Normative Idea in Private Law" (2010) 63 University of Toronto Law Journal 731.
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Alan Brudner is Professor in the Faculty of Law and the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. One of the world's leading scholars on legal and political philosophy of GWF Hegel, he has published widely in the philosophy of law and particularly on the philosophy of private law and the law of property. His papers include "Hegel and the Crisis of Private Law," (1989) 10 Cardozo Law Rev. 949 (reprinted in D. Cornell, M. Rosenfeld, and D. Carlson, eds., Hegel and Legal Theory (New York: Routledge, 1991) and 'The Unity of Property Law', (1991) 4 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 3 and he served as the guest editor of 'Property', the 1993 special issue of the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence. His The Unity of the Common Law, 2nd ed. is forthcoming from Oxford University Press (the first edition was published as The Unity of the Common Law: Studies in Hegelian Jurisprudence (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)).
Eric Claeys is Professor of Law at George Mason University. He has written widely on property's conceptual structure, its relation to other fields of private law, and its foundations in classical-liberal political theory. His publications have revitalized interest among American property scholars in a natural-law/natural-rights approach to property, and include 'The Right to Exclude and the Shadow of the Cathedral: A Response to Parchomovsky and Stein', (2010) 104 Northwestern University Law Review 391, 'Jefferson Meets Coase: Land-Use Torts, Law and Economics, and Natural Property Rights', (2010) 85 Notre Dame Law Review 1379, and 'Virtue and Rights in American Property Law', (2009) 94 Cornell Law Review 889.
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Larissa Katz is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. Her writing on the philosophical foundations of ownership and on the political economy of property institutions has been widely cited across the English-speaking world. She was a visiting fellow at the Australian National University in 2008. In 2011, she will be a visiting professor at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris and a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford. Her most recent publications include 'Red Tape and Gridlock: Flight to the Informal Sector', (2010) 23 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 99 and 'Exclusion and Exclusivity in Property Law', (2008) 58 University of Toronto Law Journal 275.
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Dennis Klimchuk is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario. He has published on a range of topics in legal theory and the philosophy of law, in particular private law. His principal recent contributions have been to work on the philosophical foundations of unjust enrichment, at points adjacent to a number of issues in the theory of property law, including 'The Normative Foundations of Unjust Enrichment', in R. Chambers et al. (eds.), The Philosophical Foundations of Unjust Enrichment (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 81 and 'The Structure and Content of the Right to Restitution for Unjust Enrichment', (2007) 57 University of Toronto Law Journal 661.
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Matthew Kramer is Professor of Legal & Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge; Fellow and Director of Studies in Law at Churchill College, Cambridge; and Director of the Cambridge Forum for Legal & Political Philosophy. He is the author of thirteen books in many areas of legal and political and moral philosophy, including John Locke and the Origins of Private Property: Philosophical Explorations of Individualism, Community, and Equality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), and is the co-editor of four others.
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Brian Lee is Assistant Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School. A talented younger scholar, Lee works principally in the law of property and intellectual property. His recent research focuses on the role of non-utilitarian moral principles in contested areas of property and intellectual property doctrine
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Ben McFarlane is Reader in Property Law and Trusts at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. He has published widely on the law of property and the law of obligations and is perhaps best known for his book The Structure of Property Law, which was short-listed for the 2009 Peter Birks Prize. In 2010, he was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in recognition of his progress towards "providing a unified conception of property law". His most recent work has focussed on the nature of equitable property rights, the numerus clausus principle, and the distinction between property rights and other forms of right.
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Stephen Munzer is equally versed in philosophy and law. He began his academic career at Rutgers University as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, and is currently Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles, and he is active in sections of the American Bar Association that deal with biotechnology and patent law. He is best known for his work on moral, political, and legal philosophy, especially his book A Theory of Property (Cambride University Press, 1990). Over the years he has written on constitutional interpretation, legal validity, property, retroactivity, intellectual property and biotechnology, and the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples. He has also published articles on the philosophy of science, philosophical theology, and body modification. A former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, he is the recipient of a Fellowship from the (US) National Endowment for the Humanities (1991), the David Baumgardt Memorial Fellowship (American Philosophical Association, 1997-98), the Berger Prize in the Philosophy of Law (American Philosophical Association, 1999), and the Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching (UCLA, 2005). In 2009, the American Philosophical Association published a symposium tribute to his work in legal philosophy and biotechnology.
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James Penner is Professor of Property Law at the Faculty of Laws, University College London. Since the publication of ''The 'Bundle of Rights' Picture of Property'' (1996) 43(3) UCLA Law Review 711 and The Idea of Property in Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997) his work has become a reference point in the philosophy of property law. He has written widely on the philosophy of law, on the philosophy of property and property law, and on the philosophical foundations of common law, and his recent papers include 'Property, Community, and the Problem of Distributive Justice', (2009) 10 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 121 and 'The State Duty to Support the Poor in Kant's Doctrine of Right' (2010) 12 British Journal of Politics and International Relations 88. He co-edited with Robert Chambers and Charles Mitchell Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Unjust Enrichment (Oxford: OUP, 2009) which included his 'Value, Property, and Unjust Enrichment: Trusts of Traceable Proceeds' at 306
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Arthur Ripstein is Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, and Chair of the Department of Philosophy. In addition to numerous articles in legal theory and political philosophy, he is the author of Force and Freedom: Kant's Legal and Political Philosophy (Harvard 2009) and Equality, Responsibility and the Law (1999). He is editor of Ronald Dworkin (Cambridge 2007) and co-editor of Law and Morality (1996, second edition 2001, third edition 2007), and Practical Rationality and Preference (2001). He is currently writing a book on philosophical aspects of tort law. He is an Associate Editor of Philosophy and Public Affairs, a former Editor of Ethics, and the Canadian Journal of Philosophy serves on the editorial board of Legal Theory, and University of Toronto Law Journal and is Advisory Editor of the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence. His popular work has appeared on Ideas on CBC Radio One

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Carol Rose is the Ashby Lohse Professor of Water and Natural Resource Law at the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law, and the Gordon Bradford Tweedy Emeritus Professor of Law and Organization at Yale Law School. Professor Rose's research focuses on history and theory of property, and on the relationships between property and environmental law. Her writings include three books, including Property and Persuasion:  Essays on the History, Theory, and Rhetoric of Ownership (1994), undoubtedly one of the most influential books of the last two decades on the nature of property law and ownership. She has also written numerous articles on traditional and modern property regimes, environmental law, natural resource law and intellectual property, of which the most recent include 'Liberty, Property, Environmentalism', (2009) 26 Soc. Phil. & Pol'y 1 and 'The Moral Subject of Property', (2007) 48 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1897. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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Irit Samet is a lecturer at the School of Law, King's College London, and is an exciting young presence in the philosophy of private law. Dr. Samet's recent work investigates the relevance of conscience to the existence and institution of property rights, and her publications include 'Guarding the Fiduciary's Conscience' (2008) 29 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 763 and 'Locus Poenitentiae: Repentance, Withdrawal and Luck' in C. Mitchell Constructive and Resulting Trusts (Oxford: Hart, 2010), 335.
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Henry Smith is Fessenden Professor of Law and the Director of the Project on the Foundations of Private Law at Harvard Law School. His individual writings and his work with Professor Thomas Merrill of Columbia Law School establish him as one of the foremost scholars of the philosophy of property law working today. With Professor Merrill he is the co-author of The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Property (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) and Property: Principles and Policies (Foundation Press, 2007) and the landmark papers 'What Happened to Property in Law and Economics?' (2001) 111 Yale Law Journal 357, 'The Property/Contract Interface', (2001) 101 Columbia Law Review 773, and 'Optimal Standardization in the Law of Property: The Numerus Clausus Principle', (2000) 110 Yale Law Journal 1. His most recent single-authored papers include 'Self-Help and the Nature of Property', (2005) 1 Journal of Law, Economics & Policy 69, 'Institutions and Indirectness in Intellectual Property', (2009) 157 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 2083, and 'Mind the Gap: The Indirect Relation between Ends and Means in American Property Law', (2009) 94 Cornell Law Review 959.
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Jeremy Waldron is Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, University of Oxford and Fellow (since 2010) and University Professor and Professor of Law, New York University (since 2006). Professor Waldron is a very prominent scholar on the philosophy of property. Whilst his work ranges widely, covering topics as diverse as theories of rights, constitutionalism, the rule of law, democracy, property, torture, security, and historical political theory (on Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Hannah Arendt), his first book The Right to Private Property (Oxford: OUP, 1988), remains a landmark in the subject, and he will be giving the 2011 Hamlyn lectures in May, on 'The Rule of Law and the Measure of Property'.
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Katrina Wyman is Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. Her work in property reflects her combined interests in property law and environmental law. In the widely cited article 'From Fur to Fish: Reconsidering the Evolution of Private Property', (2005) 80 New York University Law Review 117, she has examined the evolution of new forms of property rights in ocean fisheries in the latter part of the twentieth century and the implications of this development for our understandings of property law. Currently, she is analyzing the possibility of using property law doctrines and their underlying philosophical basis to assist small island states whose habitable land mass may be altered by climate change.
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