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Being and OwningThe Body, Bodily Material, and the Law$
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Jesse Wall

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727989.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

The Structure of Property Law

The Structure of Property Law

(p.141) 5 The Structure of Property Law
Being and Owning

Jesse Wall

Oxford University Press

This chapter aims to identify the ‘structural’ (or ‘doctrinal’) features of property law, compare these features with other branches of law, and consider how these features have been applied to the use and storage of bodily material. Since property rights are exclusive rights, property rights are exercisable against an open-set of persons, actionable per se, and impose duties of non-interference. This set of features can explain why there is pressure on the common law to recognize property rights in bodily material: to pull the entitlements in bodily material behind an ‘exclusionary boundary’. Additionally, since property rights are also rights that can exist independently of the particular rights-holder, they impose corrective remedial duties and are transferable. This set of features can begin to explain why there are limits to the appropriate application of property law: not all rights regarding an object or resource can exist independently of the rights-holder.

Keywords:   bodily material, property rights, right to bodily integrity, pre-existing rights, direct rights, duties of non-interference, duties of care, justice, transferability, inalienability

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