Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1874046
 
 

Footnotes (434)



 


 



Public Access to Private Land for Walking: Environmental and Individual Responsibility as Rationale for Limiting the Right to Exclude


Heidi Gorovitz Robertson


Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University

June 20, 2011

Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, Vol. 23, pp. 211-262, 2011
Cleveland-Marshall Legal Studies Paper No. 11-210

Abstract:     
Whether people have an independent right of access to walk on land they do not own is a question answered differently throughout the world, largely due to cultural, historical, and political variations amongst regions. In this decade, English citizens gained a legislated right to roam on privately owned land designated by the government for public access. The British government now designates land as access land by evaluating the nature of the land itself, not its ownership status. In Sweden, the right to roam on land owned by another has long been a deeply rooted cultural tradition, though not codified in law. Other countries have adopted variations of a right of access, while some, like the United States, continue largely to resist it, choosing instead to hold property owners’ right to exclude above a public right of access. This paper looks at some of the historical and cultural reasons countries have adopted, cherished, or rejected a public right of access to privately owned land. In particular, it focuses on the degree to which each culture values environmental and individual responsibility.

To do so, it considers the Scandinavian countries, with an emphasis on Sweden, where a public right of access is longstanding and cherished, and there is a corresponding deep respect for the environment and individual responsibility. It then considers England, which has moved decisively toward granting broader rights of access to certain types of land through legislation, grounding that expansion on the satisfaction of certain rules pertaining to environmental and individual responsibility. It also looks briefly at several countries in Europe, where environmental and individual responsibility, as well as other cultural factors, have supported expanded rights of access. Finally, it raises the question why the United States does not have, and will not likely achieve, a similar legislated or cultural right of access to private land for walking.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 53

Keywords: right to exclude, public access, right of access, England, Sweden, allemansratt, environmental responsibility, individual responsibility, rights of way

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: June 29, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Robertson, Heidi Gorovitz, Public Access to Private Land for Walking: Environmental and Individual Responsibility as Rationale for Limiting the Right to Exclude (June 20, 2011). Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, Vol. 23, pp. 211-262, 2011; Cleveland-Marshall Legal Studies Paper No. 11-210. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1874046

Contact Information

Heidi Gorovitz Robertson (Contact Author)
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University ( email )
2121 Euclid Avenue, LB 138
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 775
Downloads: 125
Download Rank: 128,275
Footnotes:  434

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo6 in 0.328 seconds