This course introduces students to the general framework of rules governing property rights in goods, land and intangibles in English law. The first part of the course is concerned with fundamental questions: what distinguishes a property right from other rights, what may be the subject-matter of a property right, and what are the permissible contours of a property right? The course proceeds to review how such rights are acquired – in particular by transfer – and what complications arise when property rights are co-owned. In conclusion the course will examine the main security rights recognised in English property law.
The course takes a comprehensive look at property law across the range of ‘things’, while leaving some of the detail which is specific to certain forms of property to be addressed elsewhere: knowledge gained from this course thus provides a general underpinning for a number of other property-related courses, namely those on trusts, land law, and interests in goods. The course should help students to navigate safely through what at first may appear to be an arcane conceptual jungle and to familiarise themselves with the distinctive tools of property law in the common law legal systems. The course highlights the surprising diversity of rules (in origin and in approach) within this field of private law, introduces students to the complexities inherent in ‘rights in rights’, and illustrates how common law and equitable rules interact.
Alison Clarke and Paul Kohler, Property Law: Commentary and Materials (Cambridge University Press 2005)
Students may wish to purchase a copy of a property law statute book, such as Meryl Thomas (ed.), Blackstone’s Statutes on Property Law, 30th edn, Oxford University Press (2022). This book will assist with learning on this course and in addition can be used in written assessments on related courses, such as ‘Trust Law’ and ‘Land Law’.