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Property As a Fundamental Right? The German Example

Gregory S. Alexander

Cornell Law School

Cornell Law Review, Vol. 73, No. 3, March 2003

This article examines an apparent paradox in comparative constitutional law. Property rights are not treated as a fundamental right in American constitutional law; they are, however, under the Basic Law (i.e., constitution) of Germany, a social-welfare state that otherwise gives less weight to property. The article uses this apparent paradox as a vehicle for considering the different reasons why constitutions protect property. It explains the difference between the German and American constitutional treatment of property on the basis of the quite different approaches taken in the two systems to the purposes of constitutional protection of property.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

JEL Classification: K11, K33

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Date posted: April 2, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Gregory S., Property As a Fundamental Right? The German Example. Cornell Law Review, Vol. 73, No. 3, March 2003. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=384161 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.384161

Contact Information

Gregory S. Alexander (Contact Author)
Cornell Law School ( email )
Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States
607-255-3504 (Phone)
607-255-7193 (Fax)
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