The Nature of Comparing
Published in Bram Akkermans and Anna Berlee (eds), “Sjef-sache” essays in honour of Prof. mr. dr. J.H.M. (Sjef) van Erp on the occasion of his retirement (2021)
12 Pages Posted: 12 May 2021
Date Written: May 11, 2021
Prof van Erp’s research encourages us to see beyond the traditional Common law/Civil law divide in comparative property law. His work also challenges us to change our mentality in order to contribute to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. Being inspired by his arguments, in this contribution, I explore how comparative property law projects could consider environmental factors or even adopt a nature-based methodology.
The arguments in this contribution are founded on the acceptance that the transition to sustainability is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity. We must adapt to living within the Earth’s resources. Property law can, and should, have a positive role in this transition. Nevertheless, this transition will not be an easy one, and will require changes to the existing methodologies, logic, assumptions and working practices of the discipline. Involving the environment in comparative property law projects could be a valuable step in the process of the transition to sustainability. If it is the landscape, containing all its natural features, species and habitats, which provides the limits to the law, perhaps this is where we need to begin our property law research.
Keywords: Comparative Property Law, Comparative Law Methodology, Sustainability, Property Law, Natural Resources
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