The Future of Property

Yael Lifshitz, Yotam Kaplan, Maytal Gilboa

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Property law focuses predominantly on spatial conflicts of interest between
neighbors but neglects temporal conflicts between generations. This lack of attention to the temporal dimension leads to a troubling mismatch in property law: while property rights last forever, the corresponding duties that require property holders to respect the interests of others are remarkably short lived. The result is that property law currently does not adequately protect the rights of future generations. In this Article, we offer a blueprint for correcting this anomaly. We advocate a change in the current conception of property and propose that property law focus more on intertemporal conflicts of interest. This new conceptualization provides greater consideration to intertemporal externalities and the problems of overconsumption and overuse by current property holders, so that property law can better protect the rights of future generations. This type of protection is needed now more than ever, with the growing recognition that the climate crisis represents a catastrophic failure on our part to respect the interests of those who will come after us. We discuss the implementation of our proposal, demonstrate its benefits, and explain its origins within the existing structure of property law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1443
Number of pages1492
JournalCardozo Law Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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