Riparian Rights in Lower Canada and Canada East: Inter-Imperial Legal Influences
in Imperial Co-operation and Transfer, 1870-1930: Empires and Encounters 107-125 (Roland Cvetkovski & Volker Barth eds., Bloomsbury, 2015)
26 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2014 Last revised: 4 Dec 2015
Date Written: April 3, 2014
The development of the law of riparian rights in the Anglo-American world in the nineteenth century has been analyzed from several points of view, including economic property theory and Marxian legal history. Transnational aspects of the subject have not been neglected, as some have highlighted the transatlantic framework in which this body of doctrine developed, and others have examined the use of Continental, civil law sources by some of the American jurists responsible for that development. Yet the inter-imperial aspect of this story, in particular the meeting of the laws of the British and French Empires, has gone unremarked.
This paper examines the crossed histories of English common law, French civil law, and American law in the jurisprudence of water rights in Lower Canada/Canada East/Quebec in the mid-nineteenth century, and the influence of this jurisprudence on the developing water law of the British Empire.
Keywords: Privy Council, riparian rights, water law, Canada, Quebec, legal transplants, British Empire, French Empire, James Kent, civil law, common law
JEL Classification: K11, K32, N51, N53, Q25
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation