Sovereignty as Governance: An Organising Theme for Australian Property Law

2013 UNSW Law Journal Volume 36(3) 1075

U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2013-31

35 Pages Posted: 25 Dec 2013

See all articles by Paul T. Babie

Paul T. Babie

Adelaide Law School, The University of Adelaide

Date Written: December 23, 2013

Abstract

Perhaps the best-known and most succinct, but most misrepresented statement of the meaning of property comes from Sir William Blackstone’s Second Book of the Commentaries on the Laws of England:

There is nothing which so generally strikes the imagination, and engages the affections of mankind, as the right of property; or that sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe.

Of course, what it gained in succinctness, Blackstone’s statement lost in accuracy, or, at least, in the way it has been used by others; for Blackstone never meant this statement to represent a full account of all that property was. The way in which most others ever-after have portrayed Blackstone’s words is, at best, inaccurate and, at worst, disingenuous; property is nothing like the absolutist picture painted by an uncritical acceptance of Blackstone’s pithy quotation.

Keywords: Property Law

JEL Classification: K11

Suggested Citation

Babie, Paul T., Sovereignty as Governance: An Organising Theme for Australian Property Law (December 23, 2013). 2013 UNSW Law Journal Volume 36(3) 1075, U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2013-31, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2371432

Paul T. Babie (Contact Author)

Adelaide Law School, The University of Adelaide ( email )

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Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia
+61 8 8313 5521 (Phone)
+61 8 8313 4344 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://researchers.adelaide.edu.au/profile/paul.babie

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