The question of whether private property rights can be human rights is longstanding. In this article, I unpack Hanoch Dagan and Avihay Dorfman’s recent attempt to render private property rights as capable of being human rights. Their account of private property forms part of a larger project to re-read private law and argues that the idea of substantive equality is at the heart of private law properly understood. In this article, I critique their focus on the horizontal aspects of property as ignoring the ways in which property always invokes a sense of community. I also argue that Dagan and Dorfman’s account does not solve the problems it claims to do, such as addressing those dispossessed by the global land rush.
Sarah E Hamill, Community, Property, and Human Rights: The Failure of Property-as-Respect, Journal of Law and Social Policy, 27, 2017, 7-28 (Tara archive).