General Principles of Property Law

Sukhninder Panesar  
Pearson Longman
Total pages
March 2001
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General Principles of Property Law
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This book provides an original introduction to the general principles of property law in England.  Moving away from a compartmentalised approach to the study of law, the book allows the student to examine and understand the basic premise and idea of property, the law and its associated concepts. This book adds weight to the trend towards the teaching of general principles before the specific aspects of property law.


  • Focuses on the wider concept of property law to give the student a firm understanding of this area of the law before they go on to study in specific areas.
  • Describes the justifications for property laws to explain the purpose of modern day property rules.
  • Emphasises concepts such as ownership, possession and title to explain the law in its historical context.
  • Looks at the changing nature of property to understand property law in its modern context.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Legal Concept of Property 2. Justificatory Theories for Private Property 3.Classification of Property 4. The Changing Nature of Property 5. Ownership and Possession 6. Title 7. Creation and Transfer of Proprietary Rights 8. Fragmentation of Ownership 9. Personal and Property Rights 10. Interference with Property Rights and Proprietary Remedies

Back Cover



This innovative new book examines some of the fundamental principles of property law, starting with the premise that understanding the subject is a difficult challenge for many students. A number of factors contribute to its complexity; one important factor is the 'compartmentalisation' of the various branches of property law without recourse to an explanation of the basic ideas and principles of property. The author argues that the law of property, and its various branches, can become a more accessible subject if students are exposed to the idea and nature of property and the very basic principles that govern property relationships.

General Principles of Property Law begins with an examination of the legal idea of property, with the objective of getting the student to think about property as a right rather than a thing. The purpose is to aid the student in understanding the function of property as the governance or regulation of rights in things, rather than things themselves. At the initial stage of discussion, the student's mind is focused into thinking why the law should concern itself with protecting rights in things. The book continues with an examination of how property lawyers classify property, in particular the distinction between real and personal property and legal and equitable property. As well as examining important concepts such as ownership, possession and title, the book examines the methods by which property rights are acquired. Other important themes in the book include: how the idea of property changes with time; the pressures on property lawyers to adopt new categories of property rights; the increasingly difficult distinction between proprietary and personal rights; and fragmentation of ownership.

General Principles of Property Law is an important book for property law lecturers who are teaching an introductory course in property concepts before core LLB courses on land law and trusts, or who are considering doing so. It is an ideal introduction for those students wishing to understand the broader concerns of property law before studying the more specific branches of the subject.

Sukhninder Panesar is a Senior Lecturer in law at Coventry University with several years' experience of teaching property and trusts law as well as international trade law.


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