Are Liberal Theories of Property Ahistorical?

There is a tension between accounts of property as a state-created institution and as an institution that emerges from the interactions of persons (albeit supported and regularised by state action). After a brief consideration of the contributions of Locke, Hume and Kant to the latter understanding, the paper considers the historical plausibility of such accounts against the background of scholarship concerning medieval agriculture practices.

About the presenter

Dr Jensen is a graduate of the University of Queensland and was an academic staff member there from 1996 to 2014. He joined ANU in 2016. He has also taught at Bond University and the University of the South Pacific Emalus Campus (Vanuatu). Dr Jensen's doctoral studies concerned the various equitable doctrines which Australian courts have used to resolve disputes arising out of informal property sharing arrangements. He has written extensively on constructive trusts and other equitable remedies and has sought to study the development of legal doctrine in these areas against the background of theoretical debates about the nature of the common law, equity and judicial decision-making. He has also written on the law affecting charitable and religious institutions. He has a developing interest in the relationship between statute law and common law in private law contexts. 

Full biography at ANU website >  

Zoom seminar link

About Australian Centre for Private Law Events

The mission of the ​Australian Centre for Private Law is to foster the development and understanding of the private law through advanced theoretical, doctrinal, empirical and historical research, and the dissemination of that research through education and professional outreach. By supporting the work of its Fellows, the ACPL seeks to promote research in all areas of private law and to establish itself as a research centre of national and international importance. The core initiatives of ACPL are:

Research: To advance a deeper understanding of the structure, principles and policies of the private law through advanced theoretical, comparative, and empirical analysis.

Education: To promote, facilitate and disseminate the results of that research for the benefit of Australia’s social and economic fabric.

Professional Outreach: To engage the judiciary and members of the legal profession in discussion about the values, goals and methods of private law and the respective roles of the judiciary, the legal profession and the academy in the interpretation and reform of private law.

The ACPL embraces all branches of private law, including the law of contract, torts, trusts, equity, property, unjust enrichment, including theoretical and jurisprudential dimensions and contextual applications thereof.