International law has long sought to protect property rights both on their own terms and as a ‘human right’. This article surveys the reality of internationalized property rights protections, particularly as protected by 21 human rights treaties. It addresses how the US has contributed to the internationalization of the right, even while US courts, along with many human rights advocates generally, continue to resist the idea that there is a ‘human right’ to property protection that extends to a nation’s own citizens. The essay also canvasses the policy and jurisprudential objections to the idea of a human right of property and uses the property case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to provide a non-instrumentalist defense of the right based on conceptions of human dignity.
Alvarez, José E, The Human Right of Property (March 27, 2018). University of Miami Law Review, forthcoming; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No 18-21.