In this book, which is part of the Common Core of European Private Law series, reporters consider legal institutions that allow persons who have occupied the private or public land of others to acquire that land through mere long-term use.
Rules permitting such acquisition have existed since Roman times and are said to promote legal certainty as regards ownership of land. The reporters investigate how these rules work in their legal systems today and whether this justification still holds water, especially given that land is now registered in most countries. Registration seems to obviate the necessity for rules permitting acquisition of land through mere long-term use, as land registration systems create clarity as to who owns the land.
The continued existence of these rules also comprises a human-rights dimension. Landowners enjoy constitutional property protection under many constitutions and other legal instruments, which draws the constitutional validity of rules on long-term use into question. Yet, the rights to housing and human dignity are also relevant, especially where such users have lived on the land for extended periods and regard it as their home or where they are vulnerable to landlessness. As such, these rights must be balanced against each other.
The reporters represent 19 jurisdictions from all over the world, including civil law, common law and mixed legal systems, and are from both the global north and the global south. A comparison between these legal systems and their experience with their rules on long-term use reveals a common core and guidelines against which these rules may be measured in other countries. As such, this book will be valuable to practitioners dealing with both private and public law, academic lawyers and government officials tasked with land use planning.
There are no separate chapters available for this publication.
Launched in 1993, The Common Core of European Private Law is the oldest ongoing collective comparative law effort in Europe. Putting cases at their heart, each book in this series analyses a selected legal topic on the basis of real and fictional facts across different European jurisdictions. The likely outcome of the decision and its underlying legal rules are clearly set out case by case and jurisdiction by jurisdiction. In addition, the national reporters put the respective legal rules into the relevant cultural context. In this way, the collaborative effort brings not only the inner structures of national laws in Europe to the fore, but also the different cultural sensitivities forging their development in the first place. It allows a reliable map of what is different and what is common in the various private laws across Europe to be drawn, without any specific agenda for or against the further harmonisation of private law in Europe. The series comprises more than 20 volumes of work of more than 300 academics and is an invaluable tool to understand private law across Europe.
Mauro Bussani, University of Trieste (Italy) – University of Macao (People’s Republic of China)
Ugo Mattei, University of Turin (Italy) – University of California, Hastings College of Law (USA)
Aurelia L.B. Colombi Ciacchi, University of Groningen (the Netherlands)
Anna di Robilant, Boston University (USA)
Francesca Fiorentini, University of Trieste (Italy)
Antonio Gambaro (Emeritus), State University of Milan (Italy)
James Russell Gordley, Tulane University (USA)
Marta Infantino, University of Trieste (Italy)
Alessandra Quarta, University of Turin (Italy)
Mathias Reimann, University of Michigan (USA)
María Elena Sánchez Jordán, University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain)
Filippo Valguarnera, Stockholm University (Sweden)
Franz Werro, University of Fribourg (Switzerland) – Georgetown University Law Center (USA)