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    Limited, inclusive, and communitarian: in defence of recognising property in the human body

    Maddox, Neil (2019) Limited, inclusive, and communitarian: in defence of recognising property in the human body. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 70 (3). ISSN 0029-3105

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    While recognising property in the human body would have its uses, there are objections to granting such rights given the unique nature of the body. One objection is that property serves individualistic and not communitarian values and fails to capture the body’s relational interdependent nature. I contest this objection as it takes an overly narrow view of property as being ‘Blackstonian’ in character, eliding the diversity of property institutions that actually exist. Thus, the usefulness of property law in the protection and management of community resources and the manner in which property is often limited by non-property interests that the law is accustomed to protecting have not been accounted for. I contend that property facilitates cooperative human activity and could potentially provide useful tools for the protection of individual and communal rights in the body. I further contend that, where property rights have tentatively been recognised in human biomaterials, they are not strongly exclusive in character and are consistent with property’s inclusive and communitarian nature in being limited to prevent public harm and by reference to the non-property interests of other persons and the community.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Blackstone; the body; ownership; property; personhood; tissue;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Law
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, MUSSI
    Item ID: 13812
    Depositing User: Dr. Neil Maddox
    Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 11:12
    Journal or Publication Title: Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly
    Publisher: SLS Legal Publications (NI), Faculty of Law, Queen's University
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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