Yet Another Function for the Numerus Clausus Principle of Property Rights, and a Useful One at That

29 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2012

See all articles by Bruce Ziff

Bruce Ziff

University of Alberta - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 19, 2012

Abstract

In recent years increased attention has been paid to the numerus clausus principle – the recognition of a limited, though not fully closed, set of property entitlements. An impressive number of rationales (eight by my tally) for that principle have already been offered. In this paper I claim that these arguments are incomplete. I argue that the presence of impediments to the termination of property rights suggests the need for caution in their initial recognition, because doctrinal mistakes cannot easily be corrected. On that view, numerus clausus serves as an instantiation of what is sometimes called the precautionary principle: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Keywords: property theory, numerus clausus

Suggested Citation

Ziff, Bruce, Yet Another Function for the Numerus Clausus Principle of Property Rights, and a Useful One at That (March 19, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2026088 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2026088

Bruce Ziff (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Faculty of Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H5
Canada

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