Duguit and the German Property Law Tradition

Murray Raff

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Leon Duguit and German Jurisprudence share approaches to property rights that embrace responsibilities as well as entitlements. The responsibilities associated with an object of property are to be ascertained in light of its broader social context. For Duguit this followed from the social function of property. In German Jurisprudence the principle of responsibility has been recognised by three schools of thought: (i) the 19th century modern sociological style, (ii) the Historical School and particularly its Germanist thinkers, and (iii) the long and deep tradition of modern natural law. Duguit disagreed with all three German schools of thought. There is nevertheless a coherence between the perspectives. Duguit has been noted in German legal literature, most importantly concerning the actual influence of his theory of the social function of property in revolutionary Russia, and the resonance of his theories in Germany with respect to transitions of the concept of private property during World War 1 and the early years of the Weimar republic, attesting to his insights as a modern sociological thinker. If Duguit were still writing today he would probably embrace the current German approach and contribute to the urgent moulding of an international conception of private property, especially with respect to land, that protects the ecological integrity of ecosystems expected by the international concept of sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLéon Duguit and the Social Obligation Norm of Property
Subtitle of host publicationA Translation and Global Exploration
EditorsPaul Babie , Jessica Viven-Wilksch
Place of PublicationSingapore, Singapore
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789811371899
ISBN (Print)9789811371882
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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