Watch: Property, acquisition and compensation: environmental regulation and cultural loss
Professor Lee Godden (Director, CREEL) presented a seminar on the topic of Property, acquisition and compensation: environmental regulation and cultural loss, on Tuesday 3 May 2022.
The power of the Sovereign state to acquire property, the process by which property is to be acquired, and whether compensation is due, and on what terms, are among the most contentious issues in property law. These questions reverberate across property law but have reached a flash point in recent decades where governments have enacted environmental, land-use planning, and natural resources laws designed to achieve greater sustainability. As environmental degradation has intensified, the number and reach of environmental laws has expanded as these laws, anchored by principles of public interest (including community with the non-human world), have sought to regulate deep-seated environmental problems.
The seminar drew on scholarship that brings together relational theories of property within the legal ambit of acquisition and compensation laws as a bridge for drawing into one ontological realm a discussion of laws for environmental protection, property, and compensation for cultural loss for Australia’s native title holders. Environmental law, statutory acquisition schemes, and compensation or regulatory takings doctrine, typically are held to operate within a different legal register to claims by Indigenous communities for dispossession. Yet environmental law and Indigenous claims often have congruent, if not always identical aims in offering a counterpoint to conventional property law regimes that emphasise a relatively narrow range of legitimated property interests.
The scholarship is part of a wider ARC funded Discovery Project on Property as Habitat, that includes:
Nicole Graham, Margaret Davies, and Lee Godden, The Handbook of Property, Law and Society.
The Handbook brings together multiple approaches to one of the most significant socio-legal institutions - property. Property touches on many fundamental human questions. It involves decisions about power, economy, morality, work and ecology. As both legal doctrine and social narrative, property shapes the place of humans in the world and how humans relate to more-than-human life.