Tag Archives: property law

Public property and government

This is the third and final installment of our series on public property. In order to understand this discussion, one should have read the previous installments:

On co-ownership and public property

Property, possession and holding Continue reading Public property and government

Mordan Property Law

Here we will give a short overview of Mordan Property Law. Since this is still a proposal, we restricts this discussion the essential features of Mordan Property Law. We will cover three topics: immovable property, movable property and animals.

Immovable property

All land is the inalienable property of the people. Though the government will be responsible to manage this on behalf of the people, it will be incorrect to refer to land as “state” or “government property”.

Individuals can hold land in a private capacity through lease (using the legal figures of emphyteusis and superfices). Subsequent leaseholds can be sold or mortgaged by their lessees.

Movable property

With the exception of animals (see below) the law on movable property will not differ much from most terrestrial legal sytems. Full ownership of both personal and capital goods will possible and expropriation is not allowed without due cause and adequate compensation.


Under Mordan law animals cannot be owned by humans, as they are not things but sentient beings. Nevertheless people can keep, under certain limitations, animals. However, this relation will be a type of guardianship rather than ownership.

Since animals are not property, they cannot be sized for the settlement of debts. The forfeiture of animals is only possible for the sake of animal welfare or public health.

Real rights

In the philosophy on property, one will soon encounter the bundle theory of property. Rather than being a single right, property consist of a set of rights, such as the right to use a good, to exclude others from using a particular good and to transfer ownership to others. Different authors differ on what rights could be distinguish, but virtually all agree on property being a set of rights. Continue reading Real rights


Allemansrätten, Swedish for everyman’s right or the freedom to roam, is a legal principle most prevalent in the Nordic countries of Europe. Basically it’s the right of any person to access nature areas, including both publicly and privately own land.

As we have stated earlier on this blog, we believe that all land in space habitats should be collective property of the (local) community. Instead private parties could only lease land, and the revenues generated in this way should be used to fund the government. But what privileges get a landholder in return? First of all, (s)he got the right to use the land in a manner allowed by the lease contract. Secondly, the landholder receives the right to exclude others from using the leasehold.

But, wait a second. Does the second privilege not violate the principle of allemansrätten? Well, that depends on the question what “use” means here. Land can be used in several ways, one can build a house on the land, or establish a business on his land, or one could simply use the land for letting out one’s dogs.

In Sweden the freedom to roam does not apply to private gardens, the immediate vicinity of private homes, or cultivated land. But on any other land people are free to walk, hike, cycle, ski or camp.  So the freedom to roam depends upon the use of the land in question.

Gerard O’Neill describes in his book that he would cover the valleys of an O’Neill cylinder with villages, parks and forests. Forests are important ecosystems, not only because trees produce oxygen but also because forests supply wood and non-timber forest products. Because of the applications of these products, they have commercial value.

Because we assume state ownership of the land, including woodland, we could argue that the state should harvest these products, and sell them on the market for revenue. Another approach is the following. People could lease woodland for a certain period, 49 or 99 years for instance, during which they are allowed to collect wood and non-timber forest products from the forests, under the conditions that they will maintain the forest and that they respect the allemansrätten.

Or put simply: the holders of woodland have an exclusive right on the collection of wood and other forest products, but they cannot exclude third parties of using the woodland in any other way.