The Human Right of Property

105 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2018

See all articles by José E. Alvarez

José E. Alvarez

New York University School of Law

Date Written: March 27, 2018


International law has long sought to protect property rights both on their own terms and as a “human right.” This article surveys the reality of internationalized property rights protections, particularly as protected by 21 human rights treaties. It addresses how the U.S. has contributed to the internationalization of the right, even while U.S. courts, along with many human rights advocates generally, continue to resist the idea that there is a “human right” to property protection that extends to a nation’s own citizens. The essay also canvasses the policy and jurisprudential objections to the idea of a human right of property and uses the property case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to provide a non-instrumentalist defense of the right based on conceptions of human dignity.

Suggested Citation

Alvarez, José Enrique, The Human Right of Property (March 27, 2018). University of Miami Law Review, Forthcoming, NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-21, Available at SSRN:

José Enrique Alvarez (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics