A Liberal Theory of Property
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Séminaire de l’École de droit
Hanoch Dagan will speak on (by Zoom) A Liberal Theory of Property.
Property enhances autonomy for most people, but not for all. Because it both empowers and disables, property requires constant vigilance. A Liberal Theory of Property addresses key questions: how can property be justified? What core values should property law advance, and how do those values interrelate? How is a liberal state obligated to act when shaping property law? In a liberal polity, the primary commitment to individual autonomy dominates the justification of property, founding it on three pillars: carefully delineated private authority, structural (but not value) pluralism, and relational justice. A genuinely liberal property law meets the legitimacy challenge confronting property by expanding people's opportunities for individual and collective self-determination while carefully restricting their options of interpersonal domination. In my Lecture I hope to show how the three pillars of liberal property account for core features of existing property systems, provide a normative vocabulary for evaluating central doctrines, and offer directions for urgent reforms.
Participants who will be interested in getting the text on which the lecture will be based can look at Autonomy and Property, in Research Handbook on Private Law Theories (Hanoch Dagan & Benjamin C. Zipursky eds., forthcoming 2020), which is available on SSRN (to which the link leads, of course).
Hanoch Dagan is the Stewart and Judy Colton Professor of Legal Theory and Innovation and the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel-Aviv University. Professor Dagan is a former Dean of Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law and also served as the founding director of the Zvi Meitar Center for Advanced Legal Studies, the director of The Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Law, and the Editor in Chief of Theoretical Inquiries in Law. Among his many publications are over 100 articles in major law reviews and journals, such as Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, Michigan Law Review, New York University Law Review and more. Professor Dagan has also written eight books, including Property: Values and Institutions (Oxford University Press, 2011), Reconstructing American Legal Realism & Rethinking Private Law Theory (Oxford University Press, 2013), The Choice Theory of Contracts (with Michael A. Heller) (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and A Liberal Theory of Property (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2020). Professor Dagan has been a visiting professor at Yale, Columbia, Michigan, Cornell, UCLA, and Toronto. Dagan delivered keynote speeches and endowed lectures at Singapore, Alabama, Toronto, Queensland, Cape Town, Monash (Melbourne), and Oxford. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the International Academy of Comparative Law. Dagan obtained his LL.M. and J.S.D. from Yale Law School after receiving his LL.B., summa cum laude, from Tel Aviv University.