The Rule of Law and the Measure of Property

The Rule of Law and the Measure of Property

By (author) Jeremy Waldron

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When property rights and environmental legislation clash, what side should the Rule of Law weigh in on? It is from this point that Jeremy Waldron explores the Rule of Law both from an historical perspective - considering the property theory of John Locke - and from the perspective of modern legal controversies. This critical and direct account of the relation between the Rule of Law and the protection of private property criticizes the view - associated with the 'World Bank model' of investor expectations - that a society which fails to protect property rights against legislative restriction is failing to support the Rule of Law. In this book, developed from the 2011 Hamlyn Lectures, Waldron rejects the idea that the Rule of Law privileges property rights over other forms of law and argues instead that the Rule of Law should endorse and applaud the use of legislation to achieve valid social objectives.

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  • Paperback | 132 pages
  • 216 x 274 x 10mm | 498.95g
  • 30 Jun 2012
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge
  • English
  • 1107653789
  • 9781107653788
  • 380,112

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Author Information

Jeremy Waldron is Professor of Law and Philosophy at the New York University School of Law and Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, Oxford University. He has published extensively on the Rule of Law and property, including God, Locke and Equality and The Dignity of Legislation.

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Review quote

'This accessible and highly engaging book shows Waldron's versatility as he moves from the Lucas case on constitutional protection for beachfront property besieged by environmental legislation to work on the rule of law by Dicey, Epstein, Hayek, and Raz. At every point [he] advances the debate between procedural and substantive versions of the rule of law and their implications for property holdings - all this with a grace and fluidity of expression that makes this book a pleasure to read.' Stephen Munzer, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles 'In The Rule of Law and the Measure of Property Jeremy Waldron examines with his characteristic style and insight the relation, such as there is, between private rights and the rule of law. That the protection of private rights, in particular property rights, broadly construed, is an essential function of the rule of law is now widely promoted, especially in the literature on economic development, and Waldron provides a most welcome corrective to that view.' J. E. Penner, Head of Law, University College London 'Even by his own high standards, Jeremy Waldron's Hamlyn Lectures are stunning. Taking on defenders of the idea that our rights to private property trump any legislature's right to limits or restrict them, from John Locke in the seventeenth century to Richard Epstein in the twenty-first, he demonstrates just how shaky the foundations of that view really are. He is no enemy to the idea of the rule of law, but he is a devastating critic of the claim that the rule of law privileges private property above all else. The lectures are tightly argued, but written with a dry wit that makes them a continuous pleasure to read, a genuine case of great learning lightly worn.' Alan Ryan, Princeton University

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