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ISBN: 9780199256877

Published: 1 Nov 02

Availability: Available




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Private Property and Abuse of Rights in Victorian England

The Story of Edward Pickles and the Bradford Water Supply

Michael Taggart

The leading case of The Mayor, Alderman and Burgesses of the Borough of Bradford v Pickles was the first to establish that it is not unlawful for a property owner to exercise his or her property rights maliciously and to the detriment of others, or the public interest. Though controversial at the time, today it is often invisible and taken for granted. This book explores why the common law, in contrast to civil law systems, developed in this way.

A contextual study of a leading case, which has influenced developments throughout the common law world

Compares and contrasts common law and civil law approaches to abuse of rights

Compares and contrasts British and American approaches to the prima facie tort doctrine

Explores the contrasting approaches of public and private lawyers towards property and regulation of its uses

Research Note
Notes to Illustrations
Table of Cases
1: Bradford and its Water Supply
2: Coal, Stone and Water and Many Wells Farm
3: To Court
4: Property and Statutory Interpretation
5: Property and Water
6: Abuse of Rights
7: Malice and the Law of Torts
Epilogue: Pickles and the Public/Private Law Divide
Select Bibliography

Michael Taggart , Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, The University of Auckland

Michael Taggart is Professor of Law at The University of Auckland. He studied law at the University of Auckland and Harvard University. He has taught law at the University of Auckland since 1982. Before that he taught at the University of Western Ontario and has visited Queen's University, Canada, the University of Saskatchewen, the University of Toronto and at the Centre for Public Law at the University of Cambridge, New Zealand.

"...a workof undoubted scholarship, yet one which remains readable and engaging...it should satisfy the most demanding of private lawyers, whilst at the same time remaining interesting and accessible to anyone with even a passing interest in the history of common law." Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly Vol 54 no 1

"...an impressive reach of research" Modern Law Review, September 2003

"This is an original contribution to our understanding of how local government functioned in the late nineteenth centuty" Modern Law Review, September 2003

""...an enlightening study. It is a tour de force of legal forensics and analysis, always intelligent and highly readable even when dealing with some remarkably complex legal doctrine" Modern Law Review, September 2003