The Concept of Ownership and the Relativity of Title

Jurisprudence, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 191-203, 2011

13 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2011  

Larissa M. Katz

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 9, 2011

Abstract

What does the relativity of title tell us about the concept of ownership in the common law? The traditional answer is that the common law protects not ownership but rather rights to possess of varying strength. There are no owners on this view, just possessors. A modern version of this story, equally reductionist, is that there are no possessors, only owners. The law resolves conflicts between owners by privileging pre-existing rights. Neither version of the story adequately locates the place of ownership in a system of law that also treats title as relative. This paper sets out the beginnings of an account that attempts to do just that.

Keywords: property, ownership, relativity of title

Suggested Citation

Katz, Larissa M., The Concept of Ownership and the Relativity of Title (November 9, 2011). Jurisprudence, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 191-203, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1957119

Larissa M. Katz (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

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