Property law guides how we interact through and around a variety of valuable and increasing scare resources, including land, personal possessions, and ideas. This course explores how and why property is allocated; what default rights and obligations come with ownership; the role of private agreements with respect to property; and the extent and limits of the state’s power to set the terms of ownership. Throughout, we will consider justifications for property rights as well as the fine-grained details of how courts and other institutions resolve conflicts about property. There are a number of common threads that tie property law together, and a series of recurring themes that we will emphasize throughout the semester. Among these, the most important are likely the relational and interdependent nature of property rights. As far as the law is concerned, property is not a “thing” like a piece of land, but a set of claims that some people have against others with regard to particular resources. Such claims are deeply contextual and relational; saying that someone “owns” something is generally the beginning, not the end, of the legal inquiry. Questions about the ways in which race, socioeconomic status, and gender have shaped property rights will inform our conversation throughout the semester.
|Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW-170-04-Sp23
|Email list: LAW-170-04-Sp23@sakai.duke.edu