ABSTRACT

A NUMERUS QUASI-CLAUSUS OF PROPERTY RIGHTS AS A CONSTITUTIVE ELEMENT OF A FUTURE EUROPEAN PROPERTY LAW?

Sjef van Erp (Maastricht University)

In this article, the so-called numerus clausus doctrine of absolute rights is analysed. According to the numerus clausus doctrine, the number and content of real rights (rights against the world, distinguished from merely personal rights) is limited. As such, the numerus clausus doctrine is a characteristic of civil law systems, although it is not unknown in literature on the common law. The question is discussed whether harmonisation of property law in Europe is possible without finding a middle ground between the civil law, which considers the numerus clausus doctrine to be a fundamental part of its property law, and common law, where this doctrine as such is not applied. A middle ground could be found if, on the one hand, civil law systems would be willing to become more flexible by accepting a numerus quasi-clausus doctrine and, on the other hand, common law systems would be more willing to limit the creation of rights against the world by means of a standardisation of these rights.

Cite as: Sjef van Erp, A Numerus Quasi-Clausus of Property Rights as a Constitutive Element of a Future European Property Law?, vol 7.2 ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW, (June 2003), <http://www.ejcl.org/72/art72-2.html>

Contents
I Introductory remarks
II The feudal system, the French Revolution and numerus clausus
III The role of the numerus clausus doctrine
IV Towards a numerus quasi-clausus or standardisation of property rights?
Notes

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