Protection of Property Interests

Peter Birks

in The Law of Property

Third edition

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780198299936
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191685811 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Law Series

Protection of Property Interests

Show Summary Details


Everyone is entitled to protect their property rights. If self-help is not available, one can go to law, and one of the law's tasks is to protect entitlement to and enjoyment of property. The criminal law attempts this by defining and penalizing such offences as theft and wanton damage. Other branches of law provide means to rebuff trespass, to recover one's possessions, and to claim compensation by an award of damages. In approaching this complex area, the following matters need to be considered: the type of property involved; the kind of infringement committed; who is protected; against whom; how; and for how long. The law's protection of property interests varies with the nature of the asset involved. It is a characteristic of proprietary interests that they are protected against an indefinite number of persons.

Keywords: property; protection; property interests; self-help; criminal law; proprietary interests; damages; compensation

Chapter.  4838 words. 

Subjects: Civil Law

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