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Nothing provides as much material for comparative legal study as the great variety of rule-making that characterizes land law. Land law is perhaps the only legal area in which the levelling march of globalized uniformity has had to yield to the progressive development of local customary law. It is a rich and rewarding field for comparative law scholars, a field with a diverse past that resists classification and an equally unpredictable future. This book presents 14 essays, all originally presented at the 2001 Annual Colloquium of the International Association of Legal Science, held in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, in October 2001. These essays, all by leading scholars in the field, deal with a broad array of significant issues, including such debates as the following: public versus private property - a meaningful distinction?; how customary law defeats the purpose of state land law; and land ownership - to pollute or not to pollute?;The book also includes detailed discussion of the special land needs of small islands, private residential governments, regulatory takings, land transfer, mortgage law, securities in property transactions, housing, town planning, agricultural land use and water and riparian rights. The scope is global, with attention to the great differences in terminology and even in basic legal concepts. The lasting contribution of this symposium lies in its exposure of the enormous intellectual wealth arising from the numerous different legal techniques used to solve land use problems.