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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Property, Landscape and Spatial Justice Event

15:00 - 17:00
17 April 2024
B4 R4003 (Moot Room) and on Teams

Event details

We are pleased to invite you to a research seminar for the Centre for People, Property, Community by Dr Amanda Byer.

This talk will examine the relationship between property, landscape and spatial justice and its significance to the regulation and protection of land.

Unlike previous genealogies of property in the law, my research uses a legal geographical lens to examine property’s roots, from the early Anglo-Saxon period, and the Norman conquest, to the colonial era and industrialisation, placing its development not just in time but in space – Scandinavia, England, North America, the Caribbean, and Ireland.

Property emerged from landscape, a term signifying a locally distinct polity in which ‘land’ represented the nexus between land, law, and people, and possessed socio-cultural, economic, and ecological dimensions.

This working landscape was extinguished to create property, but the process was not linear, progressive, or responsive to natural changes in the physical world; it was a deliberate policy choice, executed through enclosure, colonisation, and displacement.

These spatially unjust practices were facilitated by a legal system that gradually retreated from grounded perspectives on land, in favour of abstract rights that were individual, exclusive, and tradeable.

When land is treated as abstract space by the law, there are profound implications for communities, ecosystems, and planetary boundaries. I conclude by positing that ownership is too narrow a filter for defining and managing land when land security is of universal concern. Re-engagement with the landscape could offer a comprehensive and materially relevant understanding of the land, and challenge property’s ‘placelessness’ in the law.

Join the meeting now
Meeting ID: 371 901 896 641
Passcode: DT9vsB

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