Community, Property, and Human Rights: The Failure of Property-as-Respect

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Journal of Law and Social Policy, ISSN: 0829-3929, Vol: 27, Issue: 1, Page: 7-27

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Hamill, Sarah E.
article description
The question of whether private property rights can be human rights is longstanding. In this article, I unpack Hanoch Dagan and Avihay Dorfman’s recent attempt to render private property rights as capable of being human rights. Their account of private property forms part of a larger project to re-read private law and argues that the idea of substantive equality is at the heart of private law properly understood. In this article, I critique their focus on the horizontal aspects of property as ignoring the ways in which property always invokes a sense of community. I also argue that Dagan and Dorfman’s account does not solve the problems it claims to do, such as addressing those dispossessed by the global land rush.