FAQ: Derelict Law

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Land Law

The clearest example of derelict law can be found in our laws on ownership of land. In England, the basic structure of those laws crystallised at a time when land ownership was part of the machinery of government; landowners’ powers were not simply privileges, they were administrative responsibilities.

Over the centuries most of those administrative responsibilities have been taken over by other bodies but landowners have been left with the power to extract rent – which was originally what paid for government – and the power to nominate a successor.

Inheritance Law

As suggested above, current laws on inheritance have their roots in the administrative responsibilities that used to be a core part of landownership.

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