Thursday, October 14, 2010

Law likes property

This is a comment I made here.

A comment was made that:
But It does seem true that law is perturbed at crimes more to property than the person, on different levels.
Partly it is a relative scarcity issue. The scarcer property is (compared to people), the more valuable it is. When common law was getting underway, property had very high relative scarcity. We, living in a society where people are scarce (compared to property) find the consequences of this surprising and somewhat offensive.

Also, property is a human construct rather more than people are, so property requires laws in a certain basic sense that people do not. Law is required to deal with human interaction, but that is not quite the same: it does not have the same defined-by-rules depth to it.

Which also makes property easier for law to deal with (including as the basis for judgments).


  1. Lovely little post. How did I miss this? Some of my favourite, law, history, medieval times...