Conflicts caused by competing concepts of property are the subject of this book that reshapes study of the relationship between law and society in Australasia and North America. Chapters analyse decisions made by governments and courts upon questions of policy and law in terms of their consequences for rights and models of personhood. Late twentieth-century decisions concerning native title in Canada and Australia demonstrate the relevance of historical case studies of communal and fee-simple land holding in colonial and post-colonial societies. An international team of contributors draw on their experience from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds and jurisdictions.
Contents: Origins: Introduction; Husbanding the earth and hedging out the poor, Laura Brace. The Empire of Property: Introduction; Colonization, civilization and cultivation: early Victorians’ theories of property rights and sovereignty, Pat Moloney; Strangers in their own land: capitalism, dispossession and the law, A.R. Buck. The Land Question: Introduction; They seem to argue that custom has made a higher law formal and informal law on the frontier, Peter Karsten; The recognition of Aboriginal status and laws in the supreme court of New South Wales under Forbes C.J. 1824-1836, Bruce Kercher; Property rights and the discourse of improvement in nineteenth century New South Wales, Nancy E. Wright and A.R. Buck; Raupatu: the punitive confiscation of Maori land in the 1860s, Bryan Gilling; The Canadian Doukhobors and the land question: religious communalists on a fee-simple world, John McLaren. Challenges: Introduction; Aboriginal title and the state’s fiduciary obligations, Stuart Rush, Q.C.; Freedom, serfdom and Internet governance: private domain or cyber commons?, Paul Havemann; Index.