Presentation on theme: "Common Law & Civil Law Property * A Conversation *"— Presentation transcript:
1 Common Law & Civil Law Property * A Conversation * Professor Kirsten AnkerProfessor David Lametti22 March, 2011
2 Common Law Property * Idiosyncrasies* Archaic terminologyFee simple estate, freehold tenure, seisin, feoffee, replevin, ejectmentSources and defining propertyNo “owners”Title is relativePossession gives rightsAll titles “held of” the CrownFive dimensions of property in landDivisions over timeLegal and equitable interestsAboriginal rights
3 Civil Law Property : *Absolutes* Patrimonial Rights$$$
4 Extra-patrimonial Rights OwnershipReal RightsPatrimonial RightsPersonal RightsExtra-patrimonial Rights[Aubry v. Vice-Versa]
5 Defining Property - Caselaw Yanner v. Eaton (1999)The ultimate fact about property is that it does not really exist: it is mere illusion. (“native title”)INS v. Associated Press (1918)Property, a creation of law, does not arise from value, although exchangeable – a matter of fact. (“hot news”)Storey-Bishoff v. Storey-Bishoff (1994)One of the inherent qualities of property is that it may be transferred, bought, sold, exchanged, gifted or hypothecated. (“degrees as matrimonial property”)Stewart v. The Queen (1988)As the term "property" is simply a reference to the cluster of rights assigned to the owner, this protection [for confidential information in the commercial field] could be given in the form of proprietary rights. (“theft of information”)
6 Defining Property - Statutes Land Titles Act“property” means land designated as a property under subsection 141 (2) or (4)Mortgages Act; Trespass to Property Act(property not defined)Conveyancing and Law of Property Act“property” includes real and personal property, a debt, a thing in action, and any other right or interest.Family Law Act“property” means any interest, present or future, vested or contingent, in real or personal property
7 Defining Property - Commentaries Blackstone 1760Property is the ‘sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe.’Classifications: Real (corporeal, incorporeal); Personal (tangible, intangible)Hohfeld and Honoré (following Bentham)Person to personSocially constructed bundles of rightsProperty rights indistinct from other rights (Gray)Both “owner” and “object” have become abstract and diffuse
9 947. Ownership is the right to use, enjoy and dispose of property fully and freely, subject to the limits and conditions for doing so determined by law.Ownership may be in various modes and dismemberments.947. La propriété est le droit d’user, de jouir et de disposer librement et complètement d’un bien, sous réserve des limites et des conditions d’exercice fixées par la loi.Elle est susceptible de modalités et de démembrements.
10 911. A person, alone or with others, may hold a right of ownership or other real right in a property, or have possession of the property.A person may also hold or administer the property of others or be trustee of property appropriated to a particular purpose.911. On peut, a l’égard d’un bien, etre tiulaire, seul ou avec d’autres, d’un droit de propriété ou d’un autre droit réel, ou encore être possesseur du bien.On peut aussi être détenteur ou administrateur du bien d’autrui, ou être fiduciaire d’un bien affecté à une fin particulière.
11 899. Property, whether corporeal or incorporeal, is divided into immovables and movables. 899. Les biens, tant corporels qu’incorporels, se divisent en immeubles et en meubles.
12 Where are the owners in the Common Law? The feudal pyramidThe king as absolute lord“Seisin” = right to enjoy returns of the landDifferent kinds of “tenures”Decline of feudalismTenures converted into “free and common socage”Land granted to tenant and his heirsThe “estate” as the object of inheritanceDifferent slices of time possiblefee simple, fee tail, life estate, conditional estates
13 5 Dimensions of Property in Land Leasehold EstateLife EstateFee Simple EstateTime – 4th dimension2 dimensions3 dimensions3 dimensionsLegal InterestEquitable InterestEquity – a second layer of estates and interests – the 5th dimension
14 Umm… The owners? The importance of possession Multiple persons entitled to landDisputes solved by “seisin”Presumption that possession was legitimateThe role of writs and remediesWrit of rightWrit of entryAssize of novel disseissin, mort d’ancestorWrit of ejectment (leasehold→freehold); now part of trespassLarceny a crime against possession“Ownership” understood variously in terms of protection, limitation and title
15 Civil Law Property Attempts to organize these impulses… according to kinds of objects & rightsaccording who « owns »according to whose rightsaccording to time, space
16 976. Neighbours shall suffer the normal neighbourhood annoyances that are not beyond the limit of tolerance they owe each other, according to the nature or location of their land or local custom.976. Les voisins doivent accepter les inconvénients normaux du voisinage qui n’excèdent pas les limites de la tolérance qu’ils doivent, suivant la nature ou la situation de leurs fonds, ou suivant les usages locaux.
17 Extra-patrimonial Rights 947OwnershipCo-ownership Special ModesSuperficies Real RightsPatrimonial RightsUsufruct DismembermentsPersonal RightsEmphyteusis Servitude Extra-patrimonial Rights[Aubry v. Vice-Versa]Innominate Real Rights?
18 Civil Law PropertySupposedly absolute, BUT perhaps not quite so …
19 976. Neighbours shall suffer the normal neighbourhood annoyances that are not beyond the limit of tolerance they owe each other, according to the nature or location of their land or local custom.976. Les voisins doivent accepter les inconvénients normaux du voisinage qui n’excèdent pas les limites de la tolérance qu’ils doivent, suivant la nature ou la situation de leurs fonds, ou suivant les usages locaux.
20 Civil Law Property : *Absolute?* Limits on each form of real rightLimits on certain objectsPossessionAnd historical contingencies:The Crown (and common law) in QuebecAboriginal « interests »: rights and title in QuebecThe modern, global context
21 Example 1 – Who “owns” the baseball? Popov v. Hayashi “Significant but incomplete steps to achieve possession … interrupted by the unlawful acts of others [give rise to] a pre-possessory interest … a qualified right to possession.
22 Example 2 – Conditional Estates: ruling from the grave Defeasible feeAn estate terminated before its natural end by the fulfillment of a condition“To A provided he never marries a Roman Catholic”Condition removed if invalidDeterminable feeAn estate limited from the outset by conditioning event“To A for the time that she lives in Toronto”Invalid condition voids whole grant
23 Example 3 – Quasi-public space Harrison v. Carswell (1975)Picketing (statutory labour right) on shopping centre sidewalkDixson (majority)private property central in Canadian lawright to exclude can only be curtailed by explicit legislationLaskin (minority)historical purpose of trespass relates to privacyinterests of owners v members of public can be reconciled by limiting right to exclude to misbehaviourcalls up civil law abuse of rightsStatutory amendmentsCharter rightsCCC v. CanadaR v. Layton
24 Example 4 – Barriere Lake: unceded Algonquin territory
25 Aboriginal rights Doctrine of continuity Three categories of colony conquestcessionsettlementPre-existing rights?“Some tribes are so low in the scale of civilization…” Re Southern Rhodesia (1919)Must not “render [aboriginal] title conceptually in terms which are appropriate only to systems which have grown up under English law” Amodu Tijani (1921)Which category for Canada?
26 Aboriginal rights in Quebec R v. Adams; R v. Coté (1996)Regardless of recognition by French regime, s.35 protects activities “central to the distinctive culture of aboriginal societies prior to contact”Legislative infringement possible if justifiedDifficult to establish commercial rightsAboriginal title for “semi-nomadic” peoples?Exclusive possession (Delgamuukw)Sui generis, reconciliation of two perspectivesRegular, not occasional useComprehensive claim agreements since 1975James Bay and Northern Quebec, Nunavik completedMi’maq, Innu in progress