Teaching property critically in disparate parts of the former British empire

Cristy Clark, Sarah Keenan, John Page

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


The story of Australian and UK property law is often a sanitised tale of feudal tenure, title registration, arcane real property interests, and the legal fiction of terra nullius. This narrow legal account is not only wilfully ignorant of dispossession, invasion, and ongoing Indigenous property jurisprudence; it is also ignorant of its own rich, pluralist common law past. Yet very little of this vast and critical history is taught in the ordinary curriculum of property law, which instead largely continues to teach and entrench a structure of violence.

This chapter explores what it means to teach property as non-Indigenous Australian legal academics. Using case studies from law schools in the UK and Australia, this chapter critically examines the flawed colonial structures of property and its perpetuation of class, gender, and race inequalities over generations.

Through a re-emphasis on curriculum content, a re-evaluation of teaching methods, and a reappraisal of assessment design, this chapter seeks to articulate an optimistic and hopefully empowering reconceptualisation of a decolonised property pedagogy that is fit(ter) for its early 21st-century purpose.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDecolonisation, Anti-Racism, and Legal Pedagogy
Subtitle of host publicationStrategies, Successes, and Challenges
EditorsFoluke Adebisi, Suhraiya Jivraj, Ntina Tzouvala
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003397885
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Teaching property critically in disparate parts of the former British empire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this