The Idea of Home in Law : Displacement and Dispossession book cover
1st Edition

The Idea of Home in Law
Displacement and Dispossession

ISBN 9781138269446
Published November 16, 2016 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

The Idea of Home in Law: Displacement and Dispossession explores an important set of legal and policy issues surrounding the concepts of home and homelessness, taking a growing area of legal scholarship into the new arena of human rights and international law. The collection considers the ideas concerning home - both in the sense of the dwelling place as a special type of property, and territorial claims to homeland - which underpin many contemporary legal problems, by examining a range of contexts where people are displaced or dispossessed from their homes. The essays focusing on dispossession consider themes ranging from mortgage and rent arrears in the UK to responses to the foreclosure crisis in the USA, and from eviction for the purposes of economic development in South Africa to the exclusion of asylum seekers from the UK's social housing and welfare provision, and within the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights. The displacement theme, meanwhile, examines transnational 'home' issues from the experiences of exiles and refugees in areas of conflict to the impact of the broader context of economic, social and cultural rights on attempts to protect housing and home through international law. At the heart of each essay the contributors, experts from across the fields of law, policy, and housing rights, examine the circumstances in which displacement and dispossession take place, and reconsider how law and policy respond to such circumstances with a particular focus on the impact of loss of home for the human person. At a time of particular and increasing concern about security of tenure and the role of law and policy in protecting people who are vulnerable to forced eviction, The Idea of Home in Law presents a bold opportunity to raise questions about the 'rights' and norms associated with housing and home, and to generate new insights for scholarship and for national and international policy debates concerning displacement and dispossession.

Table of Contents

Contents: The idea of home in law: displacement and dispossession, Lorna Fox O'Mahony and James A. Sweeney; Dispossession for arrears: the weight of home in English law, Susan Bright; Home as ownership, dispossession as foreclosure: the impact of the current crisis on the American model of 'home', Reshmi Dyal-Chand; Housing rights in the intersection between expropriation and eviction law, A.J. van der Walt; The displacement and dispossession of asylum seekers: recalibrating the legal perspective, James A. Sweeney and Lorna Fox O'Mahony; Can international housing rights based on public international law really impact on contemporary housing systems?, Padraic Kenna; The international law rights to home and homeland, Susan Breau; Loss of the home during armed conflict: ECHR case law on destruction, eviction and denial of access, Antoine Buyse; Re-thinking responses to displacement and dispossession, Lorna Fox O'Mahony and James A. Sweeney; Index.

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Lorna Fox O'Mahony is Professor of Law at the University of Durham, author of Conceptualising Home: Theories, Laws and Policies (Hart, 2006) and co-editor of Unconscionability in European Private Financial Transactions: Protecting the Vulnerable (Cambridge University Press, 2009). James A. Sweeney is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Durham, where his work focuses on human rights and refugee law. He is the author of The European Convention on Human Rights and Its New Contracting Parties: Democratic Transition and Consolidation in the European Jurisprudence (Routledge/Cavendish, forthcoming 2010).


'Lorna Fox O'Mahony and James Sweeney's book bridges different branches of the law when examining the concept of home. The breadth of such an undertaking which includes discussion on displacement in the context of conflict and the international legal implications of such, possession of the home from an English law perspective, human rights as well as home ownership in the US is admirable. With leading scholars from a broad range of fields this book is likely to make a significant contribution to the legal field.' Rachel Murray, University of Bristol, UK 'The chapters in this book are important contributions to the literature on specific legal issues, while at the same time providing thoughtful analyses of the broader unifying themes raised by legal issues relating to the loss of a home. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the relationship between home and law, and more broadly for anyone interested in the interface between law and society.' D. Benjamin Barros, Widener Law School, USA