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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Are Persons Property?

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Margaret DaviesAssociate Professor of Law, Flinders University, Australia, Ngaire NaffineProfessor of Law, University of Adelaide, Australia

ISBN13: 9780754620327
ISBN: 0754620328
Published: July 2002
Publisher: Routledge
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

The idea that persons are now all free and equal is supposed to be fundamental to modern liberal legal systems. However, this text questions that ideal. It looks at slavery and the philosophical and legal reasonings as to why it should no longer exist, but reminds us that this is not the case. It appears though that slavery is not the only situation whereby a person could be considered property, and this work seeks to prove the point. In the course of the book the authors suggest that in a number of important respects, persons can still be rendered unfree and effectively reduced to something akin to the property of another in certain situations and under certain conditions. The text also questions the purity of the modern property/personality distinction.

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Persons as property - legal and philosophical debates; from dominium to ""thin air"" - concepts of property; the nature of legal personality - its history and its incidents; sex, reproduction and the self-proprietor; personality and property at the end of life - the will and the corpse; intellectual property in the person; owning the building blocks of life; persons beyond property?